Brad, you make very good and very valid points! I think it all comes down to one thing: enough research going in to give you a reasonable chance for success! If you are on the wrong track, all of the hard work in the world will not lead to success, you will only burn the wrong patterns into your head. That is why we need research time BEFORE getting started. I have trouble comparing pros and non-pros because too many characteristics do not line up. I think this is also what pops was talking about. If you have steady gigs, your improvements are variations on a theme, not a new start - you just do not have the time or freedom. What you do have is sensitive ears and body that will let you know in short order if success is probable! Survival is something ONLY experience can bring you. An amateur (even an advanced one) does not have this stable base and even small changes can produce big (unpredictable) swings in what works. Here we back to my original premise - optimise the odds. What is completely missing here is what is really wrong - why completely change everything? We are talking about the single most vulnerable thing about trumpet playing! IF a serious attempt was made to fine tune the present system, without success, IF there is a physiological reason to change, IF the requirement on ones playing change, then PERHAPS this could make sense. Too much pressure trying to play high notes does not mean that your base sucks or needs to be thrown away! It does not mean go back to the drawing board. It means get a handle on what is happening and then develop a plan of action. If one can get away with a small correction, then a lot of pain and strain have been avoided. Like I said, these are all guesstimates, but based on what has been posted, I smell trouble. It is not my face, but I can only advise preparation and caution. Getting help early often means much less pain!