Hi, all. I happened across this short video of Maynard Ferguson demonstrating his breathing technique. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts (and especially Greg’s) about its usefulness. Is this how you breathe when you play the trumpet? Do you use some other technique? https://youtu.be/qqYln7Ef6gk
I saw Maynard and his band in 1983 at the National Trumpet Symposium in Denver Colorado. Trust me, you don’t want to emulate anything that Maynard did. His chops looked like ground hamburger after performing and that’s the main thing I’ve always remembered about seeing him up close. Also, when Maynard talks about using a lot of air, he was clearly dealing with the Valsalva Manuever to force air past his firmly clamped together lips.
In 1983, Maynard was probably playing higher than just about every other trumpet player out there. But please, do yourself a favor and stick with Greg’s teaching. If you learn to play as high as he does with as little effort as Greg expends, you will be far better off than what Maynard was doing to his body.
It wasn’t till I watched the Arrrrticulation Four Rs video that I have begun to understand what Jim was on about with his explanation of breathing and embouchure and his crazy range. I have watched Jim Manley’s videos a lot but have only be able to start putting the pieces together since watching Windwork videos and following the process.
I would not dismiss learning how to perform a Yoga Breath on the basis of Maynard Ferguson. Bobby Shew has a version he calls Wedge Breathing.
Just because Maynard has chopped chops and Bobby was obese when I was at a clinic where he tried to teach the breathing technique, this does not disqualify any benefits you might get from a Yoga Breath or Wedge breathing.
I will leave it to Greg to guide us on whether or not the techniques are applicable to playing the trumpet, but I will also hedge by saying, as a competitive athlete for many years, almost any structured program to improve breathing will likely help in some area of your life.
Until Windworks it was always my understanding that the Yoga/Wedge breath was designed to create high air pressure which then resulted in the wonders of double C and beyond. But as we now know it is shape that changes pitch, and that Greg doesn’t use any body activation when demonstrating the high range and the videos of Jim Manley clearly show that he doesn’t need anything but a low slow deep breath to play with his incredible range. So I too support the petition to hear what Greg has to say about the role of the Yoga/Wedge breath in relation to the Windworks process and psychology.