WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks The Illusion of Competence – ALL MEMBERS MUST WATCH!!! Reply To: The Illusion of Competence – ALL MEMBERS MUST WATCH!!!


Awesome Video, Greg! I’ve been a member of Windworks since October and it’s been a very challenging yet very fun experience. After re-watching this a few video times since you first posted it, I’ve recognized a huge flaw in my posture and never noticed until I closed my eyes and just focused solely on bringing the tuba to my face. Initially, everything seemed fine. I had loose shoulders, had pre-set the pitch for a low C, hummed and sang a few notes and passively released the air on my palm as well as with a tissue and visualizer.

I played a low C all while eyes were closed doing my best not to worry about the result. At this stage I was just observing what kind of sound I’ll get and take note of it; not caring if it sounded bad or out of tune. The sound wasn’t great I could feel my lips instantly tighten and grab the mouthpiece creating I believe synthetic oscillation. It didn’t feel very good to play and my throat instantly tightened choking the sound.

I put the tuba down and just walked around clearing my head doing my best to stay as emotionally detached from the sound as possible and just observe what happened. Everything was as chilled as far as I could tell and knew something was happening right before I played the note and just spent the next 20 minutes figuring it out.

I sat down picked up the tuba. I was letting it rest on my lap first, closed my eyes and then lifted it and brought to my face. same process as before, humming/singing/ tissue/visualizer and passive breaths. I released passively and the low C was far fuller and felt great. It practically exploded and I’ve had many moments like this before but it never was consistent. I put the horn down and just tried to process what happened. The posture was identical and I inhaled just as did before and it just spoke with ease. Then suddenly it crossed my mind that it was possibly lower in the body rather than the face. Perhaps the synthetic oscillation was a by-product of some other compromise in the system and not in the face or neck or even throat.

With that I went back to the tuba, same process as before, closed my eyes and lifted the horn and let it rest on my leg. I was scanning for unnecessary tension lower in the body. Nothing as far as I could tell. Finally, I began bringing the horn to my face and at that moment I felt some push against my abdomen region. I opened my eyes and saw that the tuba was practically mashing itself against my abdomen pushing right up against my diaphragm. It was a lot of force but I could barely feel it and never noticed until several repeats of just bringing the horn to my face.

Immediately I bring move it away slightly so it’s no longer forced up against my diaphragm and with that the note practically exploded out of the horn. Let me tell you it felt really weird in the good way. It felt so open and loose I practically told myself: “It cannot be that easy. That’s just so open.” This explained a huge part of my inconsistency. Sometimes, I brought the horn too close to me and forced itself against my gut. Imagine trying to play with someone’s hand pushing against your gut. This created choking in the throat which in turn forced my lips to tighten up and engage to compensate for all the strain.

My rehearsal went great today. I was actually playing loud and with ease with the same sensation as when I moved the tuba away from my abdomen and was met with compliments from the conductor for the volume and the tone being produced.

Sorry for my long story but I really wanted to share with everyone my personal story of how when you think you got it it can be very easily (and quite often!) far from the truth. Be aware and on the look out for the illusion of competence. It’s ubiquitous! Thank Greg for this brilliant program! It has been a true game-changer and I’m looking forward to spending more time on this course.

Cheers from Canada!

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