WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Larry Meregillanos Compression Training System Reply To: Larry Meregillanos Compression Training System


Thanks mau.bowen, If I understand you correctly you’re saying that you can use mouth compression for notes up to about E on the staff but only get air above that, not pitch sounds. Is that correct?

If so, I believe what the issue probably is is that your “Shape” is not optimized such that a small amount of air can produce a pitch above the notes that you can successfully produce a pitch. That’s my best guess, FWIW.

Glad if any of my comments / ramblings have been helpful to you/others. It helps me to jot my thoughts down and I’m so grateful for how far I’ve come the past couple years, nothing would make me happier than if I’m able to help someone else have that same experience.

I’ve been on a great run lately.

BTW–the main topic of this thread is the Larry Meregillanos Compression Training System. I just bought that system myself to see what it was like. I sent in a question about it but didn’t get an answer but thought I would just splurge and buy it to see what it’s like.

I haven’t used it much yet to endorse it or conclude whether it’s useful or not. It’s basically a dial that measures air pressure (“Torrs”) hooked to a rubber tube that you slide into your mouthpiece. The dial shows the level of air pressure you’re achieving when you blow into your mouthpiece (and the tube, etc.).

I also have been messing around a little with the “pencil exercise” that Larry demonstrates that he learned from Roy Stevens, etc.

I think it may be helping me to develop a little more endurance-type strength in the aperture corner muscles. I think something like this could easily be overdone and cause more harm than good, especially if a player were using an inefficient Shape when playing above the staff, etc.

It seems to me that trumpet playing is much more about coordination than strength. Only lately am I starting to get the sense that I would benefit from a little more strength (but I would describe it more as endurance-type strength, not power) as I feel that I’m playing pretty efficiently above the staff and very consistently as well.

The amount of pressure it takes to move the dial much at all surprises me–I find it very doubtful that it’s necessary to obtain the ability that Larry demonstrates achieving with the system. But he does not state that you have to achieve the level he does, nor does he appear to state that you need to achieve a certain strength level to achieve a certain desired pitch, etc. It’s really more of a muscle building tool that can be used away from the instrument.

It could be more effective to practice harmonic slurs and lip slurs and Clarke technical studies to build the muscles in the aperture corners. However, if a player were playing incorrectly to begin with, it’s possible that they would never build up their strength in the right muscles–which perhaps is Larry’s point. Again, I only just received it and haven’t used it much at all.

I plan on not jumping in with both feet as I’ve been playing better than ever and had things detour sideways a bit after overdoing some long tone exercises trying to build my strength/endurance/range.

I’m going to try to incorporate a small amount of isometric exercises, probably at the end of my practice session after I’m already tired just to get a little extra stimulation. And probably not everyday–especially if I don’t feel good the next day, I’ll probably stop.

I also plan on going back and working on Clarke’s Fifth Study (Technical Studies)–I had worked up to playing all the way through to the High F above High C my first year of WindWorks, but wasn’t able to use my range above the staff to play musically in a consistent, controlled way with different dynamics. I could slur up to it relatively relaxed, but struggled as I started articulating, etc.

WindWorks is designed brilliantly by having us cycle through all of the various articulations for each not, BTW. If I would have stuck close to the WindWorks course and less time on unstructured personal experimentation, I would have probably saved a ton of time… But, no regrets–I’m happy where I’m at now and I feel like I really know what I’m doing and can recognize what I’m doing wrong when that occurs.

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