Greg, I just viewed your latest Chat (#7). Yes, I viewed it ALL! Thank you for attempting to pound things into my head. Even tho, I am about half way thru the course, it inspired me to go back to the first and view the instructions from the beginning. I believe I have gotten some of the concepts. In an earlier email to you, I shared my 2 reasons for taking the course. 1) to get a more beautiful sound and 2) increase my range. I am making some improvement on SOUND. However, no range improvement yet (I think it will come soon).
Let me share a little wisdom from 86 years of living (NOT related to the trumpet)
Please do not let those individuals that put down your teachings get to you. Realize that some believe the earth to be flat. You can not help them. Just stay focused on those of us who believe in you and cherish your teaching.
Thanks Jim, don’t worry, it doesn’t bother me at all, it’s a reflection of their short comings. The range will come when the new PROCESS takes over and the efficiency improves.Thanks for watching and I am pleased you enjoyed it. Greg”
Watched the whole thing as well, thought it was great. Wow, that book is amazing.
I’ve been having a little difficulty again the past few days. I’ve been busy at work and have been just sort of rushing through a warm up, harmonic slurs and some scales each day.
Not sure if I’m losing muscle/endurance or going too fast through my practice sessions and not resting. I was still trying to touch the high points of my range, etc.
Was hoping for better sensations today, but didn’t happen.
Felt a little down, like I was “losing it” / my way again, but was patient and thought again about the basics, the fundamentals. I sensed I was kind of tending to move a bit towards clamping top-to-bottom again, slightly.
I focused on my aperture corners and did a thing where I started on Low C, then gradually relaxed my lips/corners and let the note “fall” to a pedal note, whatever it landed on without my manipulating, just completely relaxed lips and held that note out as long as the air lasted. Then I took a breath, started on the pedal then started gradually tightening my aperture corners (Ooooohhhh) and I ascended quite rapidly up to high C. I couldn’t resist compressing the air a bit with my lips and squeezing out an E, F and even a G. It felt a little different than normal, but good in a way. What was really interesting was that the aperture felt HUGE like there was a big hole like never before. I don’t know if I was playing with a bigger aperture, but it felt like it. It may have just been that the pedal relaxed my lips. But the sound did sound better and felt bigger/better.
I guess what my point is, that WindWorks works for me–focusing on the aperture corners especially is important for me. That always guides me back and gets me back on track.
I had been solidly progressing towards a good double G up until this week. Not sure what happened, maybe just didn’t play enough and was tied up at work, etc.
I’m sure I’ll get back to where I was if I’m patient and re-focus on the fundamentals.
Thanks Greg for all you’ve done for players like me. Couldn’t have done it without you.
Hi all. How do I get to see “Trumpet Chat #7”? Is this on Facebook? I’ve never wanted to use Facebook before, but will create an account if I need to in order to access supplementary discussions like this.
I will re-read it again with the WindWorks concepts in my mind. Thanks for all of the great stuff you are putting out. It all makes sense. It is now just getting the concepts to become habit through repetition.
As someone who took Alexander Technique lessons weekly for over five years (and who has read a LOT of books about Alexander Technique in the process), I would caution you a little about thinking that the book you’ve referenced really has much to do with playing the trumpet per se. If you look up a list of other works by Ethan Kind, you’ll see that he has written a whole suite of ebooks about “Alexander Technique and [[insert activity here]]” which are largely cut and paste exercises. It’s absolutely true that Alexander’s insights can be applied in many different spheres, but the title of this book is rather misleading in the sense that it seems to imply the advice therein is specific to trumpet players.
One of Alexander’s strongest insights was that we often need to learn to inhibit a learned and deeply engrained motor pattern that we typically apply to a specific activity before we can find a more efficient and easier way of performing that activity. Alexander acknowledges that it is very difficult for us to learn to inhibit engrained inefficient patterns, which unfortunately always “feel right” to us, and to which we tend to revert precisely because they “feel right”. All this is spelled out pretty well in “The Use of the Self” which Greg holds up at the start of this video. This is by far the most accessible and easily understood of Alexander’s own four books (he was a pretty terrible writer, in the main). While there are some excellent books written about Alexander Technique, there’s really no substitute for having a couple of Alexander Technique lessons if you really want to experience what it’s like to inhibit a learned way of doing something (typically, in an Alexander Technique lesson, rising from a chair – but this is only an example) and how very weird it feels to be using one’s body in a novel, non-deeply-engrained way. It seems to be there are obvious and strong parallels between what Alexander taught and what Greg is teaching in this respect. “Knowing” this, though, is just a booby prize really. I “know” it myself, but that doesn’t mean I can “do” any of this very well (in fact I can’t). But the “knowing” is presumably a start…
Dear Greg, every time I listen to your deep thinking chats I feel like I’ve had a session with an expensive phycologist. But in a much more real way. To me this is about changing my whole way of living my life. That’s why I’ll keep windworks as long as I can breath (concert hall breath). I enjoy playing so much more and trying millions of mouthpieces and horns and so forth is out the door. It’s a diversion, an excuse for facing the truth. I’ve been on MSM for a while now and mentally it’s obvious it’s the only way to go. Anyone that challenges any status quo grabs my attention now. I’m completely sober though I feel a bit self conscious. As you said I don’t really care about what other people think. A lifelong project. Thanks Professor Spence. You rock. Regards Brian Somerville.