Where am I so far, one year in to my comeback?
I tracked down top guy in the next big city; it is a 50 min drive and I have to sneak out of work in the middle of day but it is worth it. I am determined not to let my trumpet live pass me by.
For the time being, I am also still at the small town music store because I honour my commitments. I had my first band practice for a Christmas concert. What happened was analogous to a karate student to trains for years, gets into their first fight, then starts to just flail the arms like a windmill. I forgot everything I have learned about breathing and embouchure; it was all I could do to follow the conductor, keep time, and produce the notes anyway I can. I guess I really am a "practice room hero". It was a real eye opening experience. The trumpet section consisted of me, a 9 year old boy and a 16 year old girl. I am 50 years old and a good 3 feet taller than either. I promised the conductor I would be 100% better next time now that I know what to expect.
I keep thinking everyone has to start somewhere.
I did have my first lesson with the trumpet teacher in the next big city. He does have some serious credentials, so I am feeling very lucky to have found someone. This is a shout out to Markie. The teacher looked at my embouchure and just said, "not correct". I now set my embouchure like blowing out a candle (sound familiar?). I think some people refer to this as making an "M-shape" with the lips. Either way, I now use lip-on-lip compression at the corners as described by Pops McLaughlin in his Comeback guide published by the trumpet guild. A tiring practice session now has the muscles around my corners fatigued and not necessarily my lips. The jaw pain during double-tonguing has resolved. Everything feels good!
The moral of this story is you can read all kinds of advice that is well-described but sometimes it only makes sense when you can hook up with a teacher who actually plays and teaches the trumpet professionally.
Thanks to everyone so far.