I am a comeback player. Played the trumpet for 6 years (14 to 20 years old), and haven’t touched the horn for 8 years. 3 months ago started playing again on my own. I have been using stuff I learned back in the days, I. E. Pedal tones, Clarke, Collins, ascending arpeggios for range, etc. I have been having a very inconsistent playing, in the sense that some days my chops feel great and can play with ease and expand my range quite significantly. To my surprise I have also been having horrible days where everything I play sounds awful, range sucks, and overall it feels painful to just play. Therefore I felt the need to find some resources online to guide my training. I have seen a lot of stuff online, especially on YouTube and was so amazed how much material exists nowadays. The only issue is that I see a lot of garbage advice being given out there. After watching some videos of Windworks I somehow got attracted to the philosophy. Today I have enrolled in this platform and went through the lessons till the end of singing C# step 4. After that I have played my usual trumpet routine trying to apply the lessons learned. My question is, how should we transfer the knowledge of Windworks to our practice? I confess I tried to apply the learnings 100% and had a horrible training session as I struggled to play every note. I am guessing I should rather try to apply some 5% of the learnings as opposed to 100% 😛
Another question I have to the community is, do you guys create any pockets of air while playing with the windworks approach? This happens to me since I am literally using zero synthetic engagement of the body. All I do is take a deep breath and release the air and wait till the lips vibrate on their own. If I try to remove the air pockets, I use embouchure effort which I think violates the whole process.
Welcome! I’m a comeback player too, but with a longer break and I’m older…
You should check out the Trumpet Chats Greg has posted on YouTube and other threads (…”only dummy” and “overcoming a negative psychology”).
The basic premise is to treat your playing as if you’re living in your current house while building a new house. The two are separate buildings that you occupy at separate times. Eventually, your mind will develop new pathways and the two separate methods will gradually converge into one.
I dont get air pockets. You should experiment and focus on playing relaxed, but watch your sound. WindWorks isnt about using zero embouchure engagement, just minimal engagement and from the aperture corners rather than clamping down in the middle top-to-bottom like a clam, cutting off the vibration of the lips–especially the top (if youre a downstream player).
My $.02 FWIW. Good luck, I’ve come a long way the past year. Couldnt play above G above the staff till March 2018. Now I’m up to an octave above that and I’m playing a 1.5C mouthpiece. Hope you experience the same or better.
Hi thanks for your reply. I guess I will only implement the learnings on the warm up of my daily routine for now and gradually add more. As for the airpockets I am not worried, they are slightly above and below the lips and I think they showed up because I took the zero body engagement very seriously, to the point where the embouchure did not engage at all and the lips just oscillated with the air flow. My notes on the singing c were really piano and soft, sometimes almost non existent. For me the most important fight will be the lip clamp… I have always used a roll in roll out embouchure. As I increase the range my lips tend to roll in. However for the lower range, and especially for pedal tones my lower lip rolls out. I find this approach to work well for the low register, but the high register is very inconsistent. I have days where I can skyrocket my range and days where it is a fight against the trumpet, really painful one. My goal is to achieve consistency and effortless playing so that I can truly enjoy
*However for the lower range, and especially for pedal tones my UPPER lip rolls out
As John Elwood said, “Welcome!” Mr. Elwood gives good advice.
I believe you are rushing your progress to no progress. I had to start the Largo stage three times before I realized how to translate WindWorks into playing. Check out John’s and my posts to the thread “I Smile As I Play”.
You need to spend much time practicing the fundamentals: concert hall breath and AAH-OOH embouchure with the visualizer, then mouthpiece, and leadpipe. Since I am assuming you have no gigs or any performances, I would suggest you play beginning material using only this method; otherwise, you will be reinforcing old habits. Those that have playing engagements have to apply the “two houses” analogy.
I know what you are talking about when you mentioned air pockets. These usually form when the player is overblowing. Trying to force too much air through a small opening and air often forces pockets to form above the lips, sometimes below. It is more common as you ascend to higher or play loudly or both.
If you follow Greg’s program without rushing through, eventually you should be able to play softly above the staff or loudly with a beautiful tone at any volume without pockets, pinched lips, rolling lips, or excessive pressure anywhere (abdominal or mouthpiece).
Bottom line: practice those fundamentals until they become automatic. Proceed to exercise in the Largo Singing C, continuing to practice the fundamentals and do not rush the Largo Singing C exercises.
Thanks for engaging in the post.
I am actually in no rush at all, in fact for the past few days I have even abandoned my normal practice routine (I want to forget about all my old bad habits). I have realized that the benefit of being a comeback player is I have absolutely no obligations. Which means I have plenty of time to invest now on efficient playing without being worried about gigs! It is also great the fact that ego has no role in my case, I have absolutely no need to impress anyone. My air pockets are actually almost non-existent, and I am almost 100% sure they are not the result of overblowing as I have used only the air release approach and have engaged in no abdominal pressure at all. I have just noticed them because in my old way of playing I never had any. My typical embouchure consists of very closed corners and immediate lip pinching as I ascend, so I have a very tense embouchure which blocks any chance of forming air pockets. Fortunately abdominal pressure is something I have never had significant issues with. I remember my teacher back in the days always telling me I had to engage my abdominal muscles to play the trumpet as this stimulates the diaphragm… fortunately I always ignored this advice!! I always felt so uncomfortable every time I tried it. On the other hand, involuntarily I ended up developing the lip pinching since the beginning. This will be my biggest challenge ahead. It is such an ingrained habit! In notes as low as a g above low c I am already doing it. Anyway I am confident this will change now, following Greg’s method very patiently! I will have a more in depth look at the threads you suggest, thanks for that!
I to am a comeback player after 55 years. Been on Gregs program now for about 6 months and find that the slower I go the quicker it happens. Without trying to hard to inject the new way it is surprising how it creeps in to your set up.So far range is still the main concern for me however the basis for a good set up should bring positive results.
Good luck and success to all