Hello! I am new to the TM forum and am looking forward to a wonderful experience. I played for about 40 years - college, community theater pit orchestras and community bands all the while taking lessons from a local pro even as an adult many years ago who was a student of CG. I have been away from the horn (for the most part) for about ten years. Early on i was a 'stretcher' and a 'pusher' as a result of being initially taught by a junior high band director. I did everything wrong, I swear it... and am still fighting those old habits. In high school the stretching stopped as I was turned to the Gordon method - focusing the muscles of the lip and face in and forward, deep breath, pedals and so on. I never had any endurance at all and my face always hurt as well as never getting above a high D consistently. To today's point - I never, ever played with that soft relaxed lip that is talked about. So.... now is the time to learn all over.
Thanks to Rusty Russell's post and those related to the "relaxed vs. tense" embrochure set, using the lip as a cushion with lots of air I have tried this totally new way of playing (for me) for the last three weeks. So far so good and have gotten to a never before heard resonance and no fatigue what so ever, but...(there's always a 'but') I can't seem to get above second line G without the old focus and tension creeping back in. I know we have to keep the air from leaking around the chops and all but am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the notion of focusing/tensing my facial muscles (per CG) and STILL keeping that tension out of the vibrating part of the lip. I'm guessing this is one of those 90% brain things. I am pretty stubborn and will keep with it, but I could really use some encouragement and thoughts about this notion and how to get over it from someone who has gone down this road before.
Thank you so much for wading through this, my first post.