WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks visualizer, using something else or

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    • #16569
      Guillaume M

      Hi All !

      I’ll be straight but don’t want to start a controversy.
      Anyway, I find the price of mouthpiece visualizer quite ridiculous for what it is.
      So my question to Greg would be :
      1/ what’s your take on charlie porter’s video about embouchure and using a scissors hole as a visualizer ?
      Everybody have scissors so it could be a good/great tool to avoid buying a visualizer. But the size of the hole is larger than my mouthpiece (4mm bigger in diameter I’d say). So doubts are crossing my mind whether that could be of any use in that case.

      Second question to anyone :
      2/ have you ever tried making your own… I was thinking buying a cheap plastic moutpiece, cut it and use that… Any other idea appreciated.

      3/ We could start a business here as we are all crazy about how our lips look like… 😀
      and by the way, I don’t understand why it still doesnt exist instead of these expensive piece of metal…

      Cheers to all 🙂

    • #16597
      Greg Spence

      Hey there Guillaume, thanks for your empassioned post 🙂

      I agree about the cost but sadly it is what it is. Trust me, there is no value in it for me from a time/cost perspective but I believe in them so I make them available. Notice I use my fingers very often, a free and natural substitute but not as good as the real thing.

      1. I am proud to say that I gave Charlie a lesson a few years back, we had a lot in common and his feedback was extremely enthusiastic and complimentary. He is a genuinely nice guy and KILLER player.

      I have been looking for cheaper options as you suggest and even researched bubble blowing rings like in the video in the course. I could not find any in bulk with just the plastic rim alone. Getting moulds made is very expensive I would love to have plastic rims at a cheap price that’s for sure.

      The scissors are another option, I have several students that do that but as I say multiple times in the course, we are creating new sensations and one of my major breakthroughs was substituting the feeling of the rim, EYES CLOSED, with the mouthpiece imagining it was just the rim still. A trigger finding process.

      2. By all mean find other otions. Notice I put a plastic boba straw in the WindPack as a cheap substitute for the leadpipe. Again, the real thing is better but it is a good, cheap alternative.

      3. I hit barriers in trying to get cheap plastic rims manufactured. I might follow it up again once the Ultimate Level is complete, unless you have already cornered the market. 🙂

      I am totally in agreeance with you but I do have plenty of metal ones if people want them.


    • #16626
      Guillaume M

      Hi there Greg 🙂
      Thanks for your answer !
      Well, first, I wasn’t thinking about the visualizers you sell.
      That was merely general and I was more looking at things that can be found where I live.
      Not much actually.
      1/ So yes, I get it about scissor and I get where you wanna go with a real rim. That totally makes sense. No doubt about it.
      Well I think that you and charlie porter give one of the best videos. They are clear with very good content.
      2/ I will try to see what I can find out….
      3/ 😀 😉

    • #16667

      I stumbled across Charlie’s videos first (before I found Greg’s) and for some reason, something clicked for me–I think the “straight line approach” video just worked inexplicably for me–I started hitting notes somewhat effortlessly that I never could before. I like Charlie’s other videos too, but eventually I wanted more and Greg’s videos and course, for me, fill in the gaps and actually helped open up my mind and connect for me how it seems now that all the approaches / methods I have ever read / been exposed to seem to actually say the same thing, rather than contradict each other as it first seemed. Charlie’s videos got me to squeaking out A above the staff to high C, but Greg’s video’s and course turned those notes into actual notes and got me up to high F above high C. The Maggio monkey has been helpful too–I bought the Maggio book but haven’t even done the exercises, but looking at the picture and skimming through the book / thinking about is as I play helps me remember the aperture corners moving in as I ascend.

    • #18101

      Hi, I used an appropriately sized ring spanner that I had (about 15mm). I could see what was happening with my lips.

      Didn’t use it that much in the end but I could see what was happening and more importantly what was wrong. Then just used the mental picture when playing a proper mouthpiece and have that voice in my head that says don’t force it, particularly higher up the range.

      Not sure whether its the right thing to use but I found it helpful. I think after initially doubting the concept of the visualiser the concept is actually very good.


    • #18696

      Hi Guillaume and everyone else,
      Thanks for mentioning Charlie Porter’s video on embouchure setting. Embouchure seems to be such a mysterious subject, I think it’s brilliant that someone has actually taken the trouble to provide a step-by-step guide. However, the video has raised a couple of big questions in my mind and I wonder whether anyone here can help.

      Firstly, the video seems to suggest that a fair amount of pressure is needed to “pin those corners against the teeth” and make sure they don’t move. This seems to go against Greg’s advice, or certainly my understanding of it. My understanding was that the aperture should be much larger and the pressure of the mouthpiece on the lips much softer than implied in the video. Am I misunderstanding Greg or Charlie Porter or both?

      Secondly, could anyone advice how important the alignment of upper and lower teeth is? Aligning the teeth, as Charlie Porter says, makes sense to me, but I headed down that road a few months ago with pretty disastrous results. (My lower jaw is naturally much further back than that.) Is it important that top and bottom teeth align and I really need to have another go at that or should I leave my bottom jaw where it “wants to be”?

      I’m feeling quite confused about these fairly fundamental points and would really appreciate the thoughts of some more experienced players on this.



    • #19126

      Hi Jutta,

      Good question, I’m hoping Greg or someone more experienced replies, but for what it’s worth I have watched Charlie’s videos and am following WimdWorks.

      I don’t recall Charlie’s videos talking a lot about pressure, but if one does that doesn’t seem to be consistent with what Greg advises or Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron and others who put their horn in the palm of one hand with minimal pressure, etc.

      Not sure about the jaw issue–my teeth meet in the middle, no over or under bite, so I haven’t had that issue. Seems like that would be less of an issue as long as your teeth are apart and you have the angle right (tissue test).

      Good luck!

    • #19129
      Greg Spence

      Hi guys, I am so sorry for my absense, I am here working on the Ultimate Level, literally 14-15 hours a day. I want to launch on the weekend before I go away so totally absorbed and calmly frantic 🙂

      I understand your dilemma Jutta and I think if done the way Charlie is intending, you’ll end up in a great position. There is as you say a degree of lip manipulation required there and if not careful can turn into a pinch. Again, if done corrrectly I have no problem with it.

      Our two approaches ideally will end up in the same position with the same result. If you watch and listen very closely to what I am saying and doing in the videos, I am removing any pinch of the lips, illustrating aperture corners and developing the sensation of freedom of airflow. I make sure to say that the setup that I use doing that is not how we play all notes at all volumes but is a great place to start.

      We then add mp, leadpipe and continue the same sensation on the look out for any negative tension or choking in the system.

      I am curious as to how you are coming along and what you are trying to acheive when attempting to copy our approaches.

      What I have layed out here will get you into position, it just takes a lot of very mindful repetition and a clear understanding of what we are working and why.

      Stick with it. #trialanderror #processofelimination

      Cheers folks,

    • #19454
      Guillaume M
      Participant : thanks for ring spanner example ! Awesome !
      I ‘ll check out if I have one 🙂

      JUtta, as for Charlie’s videos, I first discovered them before greg’s ones.
      Just as johnelwood I guess. To me, they are really great. In the end, I find that
      Greg’s videos are more concise and in the end, as far as I was eager to watch charlie’s embouchure video first, then, to some extent, just a small critic, that was too much analysis which could lead to paralysis… And maybe Jutta, that’s why you are asking yourself some questions.
      Greg’s video on embouchure are really shorter, more synthetic and one could just try as he says.
      Then, on this embouchure thing… I do really think that we adults are thinking too much.
      Maybe some don’t, but when you start at an age when you want to understand things too much… then it creates this embouchure “crisis”. Or maybe I am wrong. I don’t know. When things don’t work the way we want, we want to understand why. And sometimes the why is not the thing we think it is.
      I tried to forget about the lips now… Just do the works on foundation… Maybe going very slowly could help that embouchure thing as well… Instead of willing to reach “high” notes too early, maybe we should go at a slow pace, always work out on the foundation to get stronger… And things should maybe get smoother……..
      I am one over really frustrated guy, because some time ago I could get almost to high D (but that was pretty soon after I started the trumpet). THen one day I started to think on this damn embouchure. And I lost everything. And I have read and watched too much things on the web.
      Then decided to sign up with Greg’s course as it seems clear, well explained and with enthusiasm. Video and sound is a lot of help. Working out solo on methods with no proper teacher along them is worthless I think.
      Anyway… Long post.
      Nice to exchange with you guys.

    • #20605

      Dear Greg and Guillaume,
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, and sorry it’s taken me so long to acknowledge them. I have actually been away for a few weeks. (I see you’ve finished the Ultimate level in the meantime, Greg; you must be thrilled!!)

      I always think that being able to identify a problem clearly gets you a long way towards solving it, so I’m not sure that too much analysis is a problem, but too much thinking and trying too hard? Yes, absolutely! The thing is: how do you stop it??

      Greg, your point about needing to have a “clear understanding of what we are working and why” is an extremely valid one, and one that I am definitely failing on at the moment. A few months ago, my playing really improved thanks to your course. The “E”, which had always stumped me, was suddenly there and my tone was improving, so all seemed well. Then I think I made one change too many and everything fell apart. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out what that change was. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like being in a maze. You can’t remember how you got to where you are, so you end up turning left and right randomly in the hope of evetually popping out somewhere. (I’ve tried the trick with turning right at every junction. It didn’t work for me.)

      That’s where I am; changing things randomly without any clear system, becasue there just seem to be too many things wrong and I can’t separate them out. So: Back to the beginning of the Largo videos once more and start from there. Park the tongue, get the embouchure right to produce a note, then play with aperture corners to change the note. One variable at a time. Hopefully, this will lead to some success; and I do think I need some success to avoid extreme frustration. Or maybe I just need to redefine what I call a “success”?

      Thans for your help once more. I’m off to square 1 now!! 😉


    • #20612
      Greg Spence

      Hey Jutta, welcome back and hope all is well.

      Here is a snippet from another thread that demonstrates the ups and down you will experience:

      I posted back in November that I had gone back to the beginning again. That worked fine and then the Ultimate level came out. I would some days get the Ab and somedays nowhere near. I could still feel I was not quite there so went back again through the early stuff making copious notes along the way and doing each exercise as if I was a beginner. This has been equally frustrating some days, but even having been through it a few times there were still things I had missed. The emphasis on the instrument playing you was one example. After a couple of weeks of this I have got to Allegro F and today that was as it should be. I have done a fresh set of PPCs and been meticulous about process and results, sometimes contrasting the two approaches. Last week I was playing duets and felt myself control pitch with the aperture corners in a normal playing situation. This is a first and different to whatever I have been doing for the past 50 years+(with 20 year break).Trying to do to all the progress exercises with slurs and tongue each day leaves me with the face muscles feeling as if they have been through a tough workout. This is also a recent development and left me so stiff on Tuesday I could hardly play as I was so comfortable on Monday I was stretching myself in the repertoire beyond my normal limitations. Yesterday was easier and today was flying. Learning to back off rather than blow harder makes a big difference in the upper register but playing louder is a point of conflict and the chops sometimes cannot sustain the volume in what is effectively a new embouchure. The key thing is everything is better when I get to band. I am totally focused on opening the throat. I feel that is me achilles heel, putting my foot in my mouth!!

      Yep, totally thrilled to have the Ultimate Level up, it’s aHUGE amount of time and joyous effort putting it all together.

      If you achieved something once, you WILL find it again. Going back to the start and patiently working through it IS the answer and when you find “it” again it will be more familiar and easier to repeat. Stick with it!


    • #20725

      Hello Greg,
      I guess patience is just wearing a bit thin after several months of not being able to produce a half-decent note. I am once more going through the course from the very beginning and have already spotted one gem (of course, it was there all along, but I hadn’t noticed it): it’s what you say about making sure the throat does not block even momentarily between the “backswing” and the “slingshot”. I’m sure I’ll make other discoveries as I go through the videos again, so I’ll try to be patient!

      Thanks for all your help!


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