Frank, WindWorks Subscriber
Ike, WindWorks Subscriber
(In response to being a Win-A-Windpack WINNER)
Wooowww, sounds great!
Actually it is your enthusiasm and absoluut clear explainations that work great for me and that’s what makes my enthusiasm even greater (so actually we both win). As I already mentioned: for me there is finally a connection between reading stuff regarding how you should make the trumpet work and what you actually have to DO to make this happen. As you’ve already noticed, the last part happened after buying and working with your concepts.
And yes my desire to learn and improve is absolutely there (and has been over the past 30 years . . .). In the past weeks I became much more enthusiast because the noticible (not only to me) results and improvement in my trumpet playing.
I’m looking forward to the windpack. I’ve never tried products like this and hope to improve “the flow-side” of you concepts using them!
Again: thank you very much!
Thanks for the new videos – I just wanted to let you know that after working on your stuff for about a month now, I’m really starting to make some good progress in reprogramming the way I play.
I’m 48, and have played incorrectly all these years, so it’s quite a job to undo those deeply ingrained bad habits. The hard part is that the music I play on a regular basis is more demanding than what I can handle while doing the new approach, at least for a full 3 hour job, but it’s developing and getting better.
Anyway, thanks again for all the great help, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book whenever it becomes available.
Your book arrived yesterday. Thanks so much! It will be a welcome addition to my routine. And the breathing aids also arrived. Been using them.
I had gotten a bag from Arnold Jacobs years ago, but it started leaking a while back. For the geek in me, what horn and mouthpiece are you using?
Just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the work you have done. Excellent!!! So nice to see someone else who has paid the dues, done the research, and has done such a wonderful job of explaining the truth about brass playing. Kudos! Best success in your efforts.
A few weeks ago there was a thread concerning a book entitled Mystery To Mastery by Greg Spence. I followed the link to his site and downloaded 5 free lessons along with a few other pages. After a few days of applying his principles my sound started to clear up, and playing seemed to require MUCH less effort, so I decided to order the book, (it comes with a CD).
Greg’s approach is a well thought out logical “system.” He stresses playing with a beautiful sound ala Arnold Jacobs, and the CD provides an excellent sound model to follow. I should mention however that his approach will assist anyone to get a good sound out of this piece of plumbing we call a trumpet regardless of whatever method they are using.
One last thing—this is NOT a paid endorsement. I am just so happy to finally find something that is really helping me make a comeback to the trumpet that I had to announce it.
“Mystery to Mastery” is a great book. Too bad it’s not as well known in the U.S. as it apparently is in Australia. That’s one of at least two things the Australians know more about than we do.
The other is how playing football WITHOUT a helmet actually reduces head injuries. (Motivates players to stop using their heads as battering rams and, thereby, reduces concussions.) But that’s a story for another Forum.
I’m still seeing great results from focusing on sound. Another thing that has worked seamlessly with that approach (I know… it’s sort of thinking about the chops… but it’s kind of a set-it-and-forget-it thing), is the no-buzz, airstream, relaxed thing you can see demonstrated in the Allen Vizzuti Yamaha clinic. It’s also explained very well at the link below, by Greg Spence in his “Mystery to Mastery” thing.
This has helped so much in letting me forget about chop issues and focus on sound. That may sound backward to some, but it’s really been great for me. Just in the last couple weeks, approaching things this way, all kinds of things have been a lot more solid; range, endurance, fat sound, flexibility, articulation. Don’t think I’ve ever felt so positive and excited about playing. Two hard-playing gigs this week, and each ended with me wishing we could play a while longer. Really satisfying!
These videos are really excellent, and make me very enthousiastic!!!
I have also bought the method, and all that I can say, is to say that it is for me the best trumpet method never made! Videos and mp3s are great bonus, good recordings quality and very useful, and it is a perfect book for beginners, comeback players and struggling players (and teachers too!)
Greg Spence’s advices are great, and as for any method, read it many times before to practice it!
This set of free lessons completely changed how I viewed the mechanics of playing trumpet. It changed how I thought of embrouchure and airflow. I immediately had more endurance and range. I revisit it from time to time. So simple and so powerful.
The concept of the air releasing easily and naturally instead of being compressed or pushed really helped me. The concept of the lips vibrating against the mouthpiece independantly instead of “buzzing” together helped me keep everything relaxed and easy.
It really is sometimes counter-intuitive how seemingly effortless playing trumpet playing can be if everything’s relaxed. It’s not that it’s easy, but I tend to over-complicate the mechanics which only makes it harder.
Thanks again. Great stuff. -Erik
This morning while I was waiting for my sweet wife to return from early mass and take me to work, I took out mouthpiece and horn and gave it another go.
This time I forgot about trying to keep my lips together. I followed Greg Spence’s 5 lessons suggestions as best as I could w/o a visualizer. Then when I finally put the mouthpiece in the horn, took in a nice easy breath, and let it go through relaxed and parted lips, spitting rice at the outset, I got some sound, not a very nice sound, but sound all the same – C(ish) below the staff.
BINGO! EUREKA!! WOW!!!
I worked on this a bit and the sound BLOSSOMED, and I was able to get G in the staff, and work it down a few steps. I could tell that my aperture was OPEN, and when I took the mp off my lips I could stick my tongue into the opening.
My wife entered at that point and I played it for her. She could tell the difference in sound, and she noticed that my face looked really relaxed, not straining.
At lunchtime I will continue, and I optimistically believe that today will mark the turning of a corner for me in my long struggle to find a way to take the tension and strain out of playing the trumpet.
I am PSYCHED! (how that dovetails with not trying to think is a question for professionals of another ilk)
I want to thank Fleebat for the well-thought-out and cogently written article and all the follow-up he’s provided. And I want to thank the rest of you who have been so supportive all through this thread, and Urban Agnas and Greg Spence who have, as has RR, done yeoman service to us fellow trumpet players.
This is the best of the best of TH, IMO, by a long shot. So thank you, TH!
You just have to check this out!!
I have not seen this site before, but it contains really great info, and knowledge.
It looks like it has been around for awhile, pity I did not see this 3 years ago when I started back.
I have found that website VERY useful. I think it is an important contribution. Your writings have enabled me to make some really important connections. For example, the picture you have about what constitutes “the corners” just to name one. Keep up the good work. I will be a patron of the website soon.
Greetings Mate! I have played the trumpet since 1970 (some 41 years) I’m from NY and am teaching Elementary band (grade 5) and playing with a great R&B group in the Boston area. I have always struggled with range and endurance issues. I found your web link on the Trumpet Herald site and have been watching your instructional videos for the last several days and have tried your breathing, release, and open aperture technique and I “think” I’m beginning to get it. I was trained to tongue behind my top front teeth in the Tu fashion but trying the anchor tonguing with your technique makes my sound a bit brighter and easier when I do lip slurs upward. . .I notice more of a “sparkle” in my tone, and less of a pinched feeling as I ascend. I have a decent F, F# and sometimes high G and these note did come out quite a bit easier. . . AND You finally made the Adams Pipe exercise understandable!!!! Thank You Sir! If you’re ever in the Boston area please e-mail me for a lesson… I unfortunately don’t have a skype camera…
Are you coming to ITG in Minneapolis? If you are, I’d like to see if I can arrange a lesson.
Thanks much for taking the time to put the book/videos/mp3’s together. I decided to commit to the process, and I am having good results. Overdoing air has been an issue for me, and I’ve had difficulty noticing where I’ve been adding the extra tension in my body. I have training in somatics, and your “body feeling” references have helped me make the connection to what relaxed feels like, so I finally have a frame of reference for making the refinements I’ve wanted to make for some time.
I’m still making progress with the current set of exercises, though I’ll eventually want to learn more about using this approach to develop an open, relaxed extended range. In particular, I’m curious about how diaphragm support (lock or leave alone) does or doesn’t enter the picture when playing upstairs.
Anyway, let me know about ITG, and I know I can always do a Skype lesson when I need additional help.
I am using your concepts with my students and I am using them in my own practice as well. I have used your videos during several of my student lessons and that really helps with their understanding. I also show them ideas from the book.
I do have some questions about your practice aids. I am considering purchasing them but would like to see a video of how you use them. Is that on your website? Also- you mention a possible video on mouthpieces coming soon. I have my standard recommendations for students but I always like to get new ideas.
Finally- most of my playing is jazz soloing in big bands and combo work and I use a Monette B4 for that. I do get asked to do an occasional lead gig and even though I have tried many lead mouthpieces I always have the same problem of bottoming out on the shallow cup. I have been told that this is due to my “cupid’s bow” shape to my top lip. Ever heard this before? Is it just my technique?
Thanks for your help!
I am Vladimir from Moscow, Russia. Now I am 49, but many years ago I made enough efforts attempting to play trumpet. But without deep understanding of trumpet sound’s physical nature and other causes I had no chance to achieve good results. Now I’ve got 12 years old son who wants to study to play trumpet, too. I deeply desire to help him. After I have learned your web-site content I found your basis explanation of playing trumpet very logical and I dream to meet your book “The Only No Mystery Guide To Trumpet Mastery” and demonstrational disk. I would appreciate you for sending these book and disk by post to Russia. I’m ready to pay for it by any convenient way.
Thanks for checking in on me. I have truly enjoyed your book and videos. Your lessons are full of wise and logical trumpet playing advice that is presented clearly with just enough detail. I’m passing it along to students that I coach at the local elementary school and the look on their faces when they play full rich notes is priceless. Thank you.
I’ve been through the book twice (earning gold medals both time : ) and im forming new good habits. It’s no surprise to me that when I get my wind working and my body free of negative tension that my tone and range improve. Your lessons are so good that I have to stop myself from overplaying the new notes above my normal range. I slip back into old habits. It’s just too tempting to hit big fat Gs that never existed before. Patience is key. Playing quietly as I ascend is important. Proper rest is mandatory.
I’m ready to pursue this new path further and have incorporated the concepts into my previous routines. I’m looking forward to your next book.
Hi Greg, no questions just to tell you that your web site is fantastic, great presentation and so much information, Best regards, Jim
I quite accidentally came across your website.
I’m a british amateur trumpet player living in Denmark.
Before now, I have never come across any AUSTRALIAN trumpet players!
Although I do a lot of classical trumpet in my old age(59), I found your videos very captivating. I must compliment you on your teaching style: very relaxed and informative!
I do listen to, and have played (in my younger days), a lot of jazz and
I sincerely hope that you have heard Cat Anderson play “Madness in Great Ones” from Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder” (not to mention Clark Terry on trumpet and violin).
I have often wondered what styles and techniques THEY use.
Keep up the good work!
Yours Sincerely Stephen
Hi Greg I bought your book about one year ago I trie and I like very much….you are simply great—could you do some lesson via web like Skype or Ichat…..i will pay via PayPal in advance if you want.
please let me know
all the best
Walter from Italy
I want to thank you so much for all the incredibly hard work you’ve put into your website. I just purchased your ebook and am very excited to use it. I am a professional trombone player in San Diego, CA. I have made huge strides in my playing but feel like I hit my limit lately. I feel like all of the incredible information you present will finally be the final combination to open up my “safe” and play the way I’ve always dreamed.
Thanks again for everything!
Thanks for the quick response.
I understand the notion that horn players can be closed off to new ideas.They are not like trumpet players always looking for the best method, the best horn and the best mouthpiece.. Being married to a trumpet player, I’ve been introduced and have applied Bill Adam concepts, James Stamp method,etc,etc,etc.
But not until Mystery to Mastery did I really understand what the lips are actually doing when blowing through the mouthpiece. No instructor has ever explained it as simply as you have. Thank you!
I will tell you that when I combine your method with Randy C Gardner’s, Mastering the Horn’s Low Register, my chops feel great. So, I look forward to the Horn book and hope to see emphasis on the low and pedal registers(often neglected) as well as middle and high.
Good Luck with the trombone book!
I appreciate the depth of knowledge and a concise set of procedures that produces natural sounds on the trumpet. I have been playing for over thirty years, had many terrific teachers, however have not attained the ease a purity of sound that I have after working in your method. As a beginning band instructor, I am using these same techniques with my students with many happy surprises and smiles from my students. Please let me know when you come out with next book, as my Master’s degree is integrating technology into the classroom, and your online method with the additional recordings, videos, and online tools are right up my line of work. Thanks!
I have actually had a bit of an epiphany the last couple days. The idea of not trying to force the air is really helping! The visualization that you used to describe the Maggio monkey with the focused/relaxed embouchre has worked wonders and on Saturday I was able to put in 7 hours and still have chop left after they kicked me out of the music building! (it was closing) 🙂 I’m getting more and more excited every day about playing now. Thanks so much for the helpful insights on your channel!
Greetings Mate! I have played the trumpet since 1970 (some 41 years) I’m from NY and am teaching Elementary band (grade 5) and playing with a great R&B group in the Boston area. I have always struggled with range and endurance issues. I found your web link on the Trumpet Herald site and have been watching your instructional videos for the last several days and have tried your breathing, release, and open aperture technique and I “think” I’m beginning to get it. I was trained to tongue behind my top front teeth in the Tu fashion but trying the anchor tonguing with your technique makes my sound a bit brighter and easier when I do lip slurs upward. . .I notice more of a “sparkle” in my tone, and less of a pinched feeling as I ascend. I have a decent F, F# and sometimes high G and these note did come out quite a bit easier. . . AND You finally made the Adams Pipe exercise understandable!!!! Thank You Sir! If you’re ever in the Boston area please e-mail me for a lesson. .