Ill keep my post short. I don’t feel a sense of freedom, even at low C, because I can’t manage to stop buzzing my lips together. I have fuller lips. When I play soft and definitely not overblowing my lips buzz together. Even when doing the aahoo… I check by pulling out the mp. Also, when I try to play by release more air, the buzzing becomes more obvious. I believe I don’t carry any tension in the lips but, I think, when I try to change pitch with the corners I end up introducing tension in the lips. I have a large mouthpiece. I am completely lost…
I don’t understand why I can’t play with a feel of freedom although I very clearly understand what it means to play with freedom…
Do the aah-ooh. You have corner tension and there should be space between your upper teen and lower.
Do like Greg and release the air into a tissue held in front of you.
The lips are not buzzing. Do it again putting the mouthpiece to your lips.
Try backing off the pressure using just your mouthpiece held by the fingers of your non-dominate hand. Also angling the mouthpiece either up or down may create buzzing.
Your goal is not to be totally tensionless. Your goal is to learn the shape of each note without pinching the lips in the middle and gripping your abdominal muscles and closing down your throat.
Your lips buzzing may not be a bad thing.
I believe the idea of freedom is not anti-buzzing it is getting rid of inappropriate tensions. Learning when to play passive and active breath.
Don’t let the idea of your lips buzzing stop you with your training. Use your minds magnifying lens to find where you can get rid of unnecessary tension. Being aware of what you are doing can feel awkward, be careful to not obsess over it. Be aware while doing WindWorks, but spend some time playing only to make music and concentrate only on the music.
Thanks for your comments!
After having started with windworks, I evaluate my own playing by my sound and sense of relaxation. My sound is terrible at the moment, haha! Forced, small, nassle, and not relaxed. I used to play with a rolled in embouchure which helped me get some high notes but I was working way to hard.
Of course, with the aahoo I have changed my embouchure and have considerably lost my range… but that doesn’t bother me since my wanting to play efficiently is very much desired.
But I have understood something enormous after reading your post!!! (I should have realised it this from the beginning). I feel like I choke as I ascend but I think I understand now why. I don’t think I have ever correctly fed air to my aperture. This may have led to many other negative symptoms. Basically, I feel like an idiot for not correctly doing the tissue exercise… the RELEASE part of playing. By not wanting to over-blow, I never gave my lips enough air to even produce a nice note…
I have always maintained a relaxed body with a good breath but when it came time to release air to my lips (as if they are vocal chords) I now realise that I always failed to do so! As a result of improperly releasing air, I think my lips had to always do the work. (I became a chop player). I think this is why I play with tension in the lips. I unwillingly made my lips buzz in order to produce notes. This is wrong… I believe this is due to a lack of air? As of today I now feed a relaxed breath to my lips and allow my lips to sympathetically vibrate in order to produce sound. Does this sound right?? My range is still low but I feel more relaxed. Its still very new to me but I have a new found hope!
Also your final paragraph is genius! Couldn’t have said it better. Being too self aware IS awkward and should not be so heavily focused on. Playing music is more important. So I have reduced my playing to 1) feel relaxed and 2) produce a beautiful sound. I am completely trying to surrender my mind and put trust in my body to find the notes. For example, when I ride my bike… I don’t analyse every movement I make, but I stay aware. I surrender my mind to my body in order to stay balanced.
Maybe a bad analogy but it makes sense to me. I hope my realisations are in fact the answers I have been waiting for…
You made my head swell with pride. Don’t worry though, I practice my horn today and come back down to earth. 🙂
The first exercises in Largo phase are crucial to repeat over and over daily. The new sensations and new ways of playing need to become your habit. You want these habits to translate into your normal way of playing. Even as you proceed to the other portion of this course, you should continue to practice these simple exercises because new habits take time to develop and old habits are hard to extinguish.
Riding a bike is a good analogy because we do a lot of that by what is called muscle memory. Many actions that repeat over and over become part of that muscle memory and if we have inefficient motions in muscle memory our abilities will be poorer. Using WindWorks, we are retraining our brains and bodies. Just opening your horn case and picking up the trumpet will stimulate old habits.
Do not rush through the beginning. You will need to come back to it often, or better yet make these exercises part of your routine. You will be relearning how to play each note if stay with this course to stop muscling out notes and stop squeezing out high notes that raise your blood pressure making you dizzy. Playing that way can actually kill a person, literally.
I would be interested in reading your progress and frustrations.
I did not really address overblowing. Overblowing is muscling the air out of your body. Later in the course, you will learn about active breath, how to support for loud playing.
You will learn to play softly in the upper register with passive air. Your body naturally acts like a balloon. You may think of the passive breath as sighing. Try sighing normally. Sigh with you aah-ooh embouchure and you’ll see it extends how long you sigh. Repeat that same exercise but this time use your tongue to release the air.
Overblowing is when you are forcing more air into the horn than you need to play a certain loudness. You can play a loud low C with just passive breath no muscling required. This will take training, not to “blow”. You will have to support and engage muscles in playing loudly. Greg will teach the difference between passive and active.