WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Ear pressure, jaw/cheek engagement

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    • #39676

      Since I started on MTM, I have started to use my jaw and cheeks more. I try to engage my corners but when I try to play higher, it seems like my whole face pushes inwards to support the corners. I even feel my cheeks pushing on my teeth.

      After a day when I play more than an hour, I can sometimes feel pressure to my right ear almost like I have an ear infection. I can also feel fatigue in my cheeks more than I would think is normal.

      Not sure how I can fix this.
      Try to relax in the jaw/cheeks while playing?
      Split my day up into 5-10 minute practice sessions to avoid playing on tired lips (sometimes it can be hard to stop playing, I just want to go on)?

    • #39680

      It sounds to me like you are overdoing it somehow, like you’re over exerting yourself.

      WindWorks is about efficiency and less is more, etc. It should feel and sound efficient, resonant, great. You shouldn’t be getting that tired and sore.

      You might want to try Skyping with Greg or posting a video of yourself playing.

    • #39691

      I once had a big issue of jaw engagement. For a few weeks, I worked on low/mid range without engaging my jaw. It helped significantly.

      So, I’d say to avoid things that make you feel like you’re pushing too hard or engaging the wrong muscles. Be conscious of this issue while playing MTM and seek to make improvement. Watch the aperture corner videos and mmmmmaaaahhhhhhhoooooo all day long. It’ll get better!

    • #40215

      Hi, Jakob,

      I agree with johnelwood that a Skype consult with Greg would be extremely helpful.

      Something you might want to check is whether or not you are trying to force a result, such as playing with the mmmaahooh setting and/or keeping your jaw lowered. I’m not a medical professional, but have had some TMJ issues from playing in the past and know that the ear discomfort you describe can originate from excessive jaw tension. The mmmaaahooh is a tool to help get a feel for aperture corners and looseness in the center of the lips, as is blowing a tissue forward as Greg demonstrates. With continued effort on off horn practice, elements of the mmaahooh and lowered jaw will eventually leak into playing, but this process cannot be forced. Muscles and mind need time to gradually adjust to a new setting. You might also pay attention to whether or not you are overblowing to force a result.

      I have experienced some mild muscle feedback when working on WindWorks concepts, especially the lowered jaw, but nothing on the level that you describe. It sounds like there is too much tension and force in the system.

      Best wishes!

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