I have been trying to really get on with the WindWorks course lately, but I seem to be stuck. To be honest my practicing isn’t as regular as it should be, but I think I know why. Today when I went back to basics, again, I found out that I really couldn’t play the Low C with sympathetic oscillation, free flowing and not strained and so on. If I follow the procedure with aah ooh, yes I get a vibration on the leadpipe, I believe I’m not closing my throat, everything feels pretty relaxed. But when I go to the trumpet, that same sensation and setting produces a low pedal tone, waaay below low C.
So back to my practicing habits: I think I have a hard time motivating myself to practice since I can’t really go on with the course, since I can’t really even start the course, not being able to play the low C freely.
So does Greg or someone else have any tips on how to progress from where I’m at? How do you work yourself up to the low C? I just feel that the gap is too big to where the course starts, so that it’s hard to find playing and practicing any fun, since it’s so remote to where my actual, sympathetic oscillation playing is.
Hey there Hugo, thanks for your post and may I say you are not alone with this dilemma; I have been through it myself.
You are actually very close to the answer! When you are playing the pedal tone you are actually nailing the process and it is fortunate that you recognise the difference when playing the Low C, there is your “Point of Difference”.
Instead of being disturbed by this, embrace it. Play 1,000 of the loose pedals and learn to appreciate them, this is all part of the unlocking process.
You have been playing for a long time so releasing old habits takes a while.
I want to encourage you to persist with working through the course even though the PROCESS isn’t there yet, that doesn’t matter as long as you are spending time developing the sympathetic oscillation.
TASK: Try tiny changes in pitch from the pedal at first and I mean TINY with your EYES CLOSED. Eventually you will connect it to the Low C. IT MIGHT FEEL WEIRD!
Don’t be put off by the difference in feeling to your regular playing, it will become the new normal over time.
Be prepared to be outrageous with your experimentation to find ways to make it work, remember, you must change something to make a difference to your playing.
Again, go as far as you can through the course and merely observe when things begin to lock up and where they really start to cut out. Don’t panic about the fact that it isn’t 100% pure process, over time your pedal tone will filter through into your playing.
Stick with it Hugo, it is a wild ride but positive determination will get you there.
Thanks for your answer Greg! Always great to get a little push and motivation to just stick with things…
Question: so you recommend just playing through the exercises in say the largo stage and further and not really focus on the process and just play? Even the process-oriented exercises?
I think my mindset has been more ”if the process isn’t pure I might as well don’t” when it comes to technique. And so I have almost exclusively practiced ”music”, in my case jazz, as results practice, when I’m done with correct process. Is this a bad and impatient mindset to have??
Always a struggle to juggle these different topics…
So glad to read your question Hugo and Greg’s response. I too feel that the only sympathetic isolation I can achieve is on a very low pedal tone and I mean low because I’m a bass trombonist! I also wondered if I should continue if the process isn’t 100% pure. Nice to know the answer is yes. Looking forward to thousands of repetitions of the low pedal as more of the pure process slowly makes its way into my playing.
Yep, stick with it mate. Just let go from all instincts and habits and just observe the RESULT. It will develop over time. Cheers, Greg