So I’ve been on the course for about a week now (hasn’t taken me long to subscribe)! And I’m loving it so far. I can already tell that this is going to be a huge (positive) change for my playing.
I have a question for you guys who have already been on the course for a while (or even Greg). I’ve been working a ton on the backswing and release. And practicing the Body Concert Hall feeling as well as having a free, relaxed playing state. And I’m seeing great results there.
I ordered a lead pipe and am waiting for it to come in. But in the meantime I’m pulling out the leadpipe/third valve slide and focusing on the sympathetic oscillation. I’ve gotten pretty efficient with it and even started getting notes and am working on the harmonic slurs.
Here’s where my question comes in (Finally, I know)! Even after practicing for several hours over the past several days of just focusing on the mechanics and trying to improve my tone, I feel like my tone is still kind of raspy/airy. Of course I can get a beautiful tone with my old way of rolling my lip in, but that defeats the purpose! Does anyone have any suggestions? Or is it just a matter of practice and time? Am I possibly using too much of the meaty part of my lip? I have been making sure to get the ahh ooooh and focusing on the aperture corners but I just want to make sure there’s not something that I’m missing. Thanks!
EDIT: I should point out that yes, I AM putting the slide back in when I start practicing notes and tone quality! lol
Hi and welcome to the course 🙂
Great to hear things are opening up for you. Stick with it daily, it’s easy to think, “I’ve got it!” and stop the implementation process.
Your leadpipe is on the way, thanks for the order.
Your tone will take time to settle. Remember there is now YOU 1.0 and YOU 2.0 and initially we are training YOU 2.0 about the feelings and sensations of efficient playing and creating a clearer understanding of how the instrument/body system works.
Over time your new discoveries will drip feed into your regular playing and eventually the new efficiency approach will be the new normal with your desired tone. As I stress throughout the course, especially with the Singing C Series, the sound is less important than the PROCESS. The sound will come in time.
Thanks for using WindWorks and constantly go back to the start of Largo and Re-watch, I can guarantee it takes many watches of what might seem to be simple videos to really grasp and then successfully implement what I am getting at.
Hi jerman. I would follow Greg’s recommendations, of course. It takes time and i have done many laps through Largo and each time I do I’m glad for watching the videos again and take away more each time.
I had several instances early on in which I thought I had it all figured out and would just play increasingly better from then on. Unfortunately, our minds and bodies don’t work that way and it takes a long time and it’s not a linear straight-line upwards like walking up stairs. There are peaks and valleys along the way.
Greg does point out the 1% Rule in which we continually try to improve the quality and efficiency of our sound; I think that’s an important guidepost to use on our journey of experimenting.
And I would say that, in my humble opinion, the biggest benefit of WindWorks for me wasn’t as much about the initial setup of the embouchure on the mouthpiece, although that’s obviously very important, it was what we do to change pitch and the separation of Shape (Pitch change) and Air (Volume, Duration / long notes).
I try to set the mouthpiece as naturally and relaxed as possible; I don’t think I roll in or out. Personally, I think Oooohhh more than I actually say it and form that shape with my lips. Early on, in hindsight, I was hyper focused on the corners and squeezing them in horizontally inwards towards the air column and was puckering much more than necessary at times and that did lead to an airy, raspy tone at times.
Honestly, I still have an airy/raspy tone on occasion with some notes above the staff (from time to time) and am still on this journey and am working on consistency, dynamic control and articulation. Usually, I find that the G above the staff is free and easy, then sometimes the A is a bit airy/raspy then it opens up and the B natural, C and D and E are open and clear. And I have had success lately in approaching playing the notes that were airy in such a way as focusing on the Less Is More approach and relaxing to the point that I miss the note or slot down to the next note down and experimenting with how little engagement is necessary.
I’ve noticed that relaxing a bit more and opening the aperture a bit more helps things most of the time; clamping down tighter and pushing more air through never helps. I’m finally starting to remember that and I don’t catch myself repeating that mistake too often anymore.
It’s also important to focus on the Process, not Results–early on, I repeatedly grew frustrated as I would have a great day(s) with coffee moment(s) / ephiphanies, followed by a frustrating day(s) in which I couldn’t achieve the results on the great day.
I’m embarassed to say now, in hindsight, that I later realized I needed to re-focus on the Process which got me to where I was; once I did that, things usuaally quickly got better and I re-found my footing.
Thank you guys so much for the feedback! I’ll keep working the process. I’ve been pretty good at remaining passionless about it (meaning I’m pretty good about multiple failures at any given step) and just keep focusing on the foundation. Thank you both again for responding.