I started back after a close to 30 year break a few years ago. I hope you have the same experience I’ve had–I can play things I never thought possible before. I’m not a great player or a screamer, I’m just an amateur hack who plays for fun, but WindWorks and its principles have allowed me to go from an effective range of G just above the staff to an E or F above High C and growing.
I’m really bad at following a routine, so I’m probably not the one to ask about that. Admittedly, I probably wasted a lot of time experimenting with all sorts of things the past few years. But to be honest, I have no regrets, as I’m playing better than I ever thought possible and have enjoyed the ride.
However, FWIW, I’ll give you my $.02.
When I was young and playing in school, I took lessons and practiced routines diligently. I believed if I worked hard and did what my instructors told me, I’d do well. While I did do relatively well, my range was very limited–as noted above, despite lots of lessons and hours of practice.
Most people back then, talked about tongue arch and air being the key. While those are important factors, if you don’t have Shape right, the rest won’t do you any good.
Every day for the past few years, I start my day with releasing air into the horn without trying to produce a pitch, in fact with my lips around the rim and I feel the resistance of the horn. I do a few breaths that way. This warms up the horn/MP as well.
Some time on the visualizer / tissue would be good as well, but I’ve kind of moved past that at this point.
Then, I release air into the mouthpiece/horn with as relaxed an embouchure as practical, not aiming for any particular pitch, but usually a G on the staff or low C sound once a pitch happens. I listen and pay attention to how things feel as I warm up, making minor adjustments in Shape and making sure I use quality Air and focus on Resonance of sound and efficiency (feeling) while trying to keep my volume somewhat soft–while using good air / looking for a resonant sound.
Lately, I’ve been warming up with Caruso’s 6 note long tones (G on the staff to middle C) and that’s going well. Prior to that, I mainly did Stamp warm ups or a chromatic scale spidering up and down away from G on the staff.
Then some Clarke studies, especially 1 and 2, feeling the air stream, trying to feel like I’m “riding the air” using passively released air and experimenting with Shape to optimize resonance and efficiency.
Then some harmonic slurs. Schlossberg #31 helped me a lot with the concept of using passively released air and Shape to play efficiently up to High C.
Music is important too–especially when we feel like it. Lyrical music and/or Etudes are good. Playing pitches at a written dynamic at a certain timing, coming from a certain pitch, are what helps test our ability to produce the optimal Shape and Air to produce the best sound possible. We’re testing our accuracy gained from playing scales, harmonic slurs, etc. And, hopefully it sounds good and we enjoy playing / hearing it…
Articulation–I haven’t spent a lot of time on that, figuring I’ll get to it eventually, but have been trying to use alternating articulation on Clarke 1 and 2 and doing some Arban.
I did the WindWorks exercises in a separate session away from my regular routine, which my understanding is what Greg recommends. WindWorks has some brilliant exercises which test your ownership of each pitch by using various dynamics, articulations, etc. Playing above the staff softly, on passive air, was the key for my range development–realizing that less air passes through the instrument the higher we play and realizing that Blowing More Air was not the way to play higher was sadly revolutionary (it shouldn’t have been). But now I know how the instrument works and am grateful for that.
Hope that helps, FWIW, and I hope others and/or Greg chimes in as well.
Good luck and have fun!