You are hereEmbouchure / My motivation
The main two reasons that convinced me to try these 'outrageous exercises' (as I remember calling them in my first e-mail to Jeff Smiley) were these:
1. It is an INDIRECT method!!!!! This means that your embouchure changes gradually and not at once. When doing the exercises in the book, your old set up will fade away without having to compromise on your current playing level. When I started it was a big plunge in the deep. I did not know if it was true what the book told me and let's be honest, it took me a lot of effort, perseverance and patience. But it was the first time I ever saw so explicitly stated that a method should be applied indirectly. A direct approach was being discouraged. That was totally new for me. I went through some embouchure changes in the past and they all were pretty disastrous, at least they put me back to a much lower level and hopefully up from there (not always, alas).This book stated that I could go on playing as I was used to, and still change my set up gradually, without risking my chops to be wasted. Since I am a pro this was the only method I was in a position to try, because I did not want to cut on the gigs, and maybe more important, I did not want to jeopardize my selfconfidence by not being able to play on stage for months. It worked !!! Of course there can be days of instability (but hey, some things ARE changing, and that is why I started it in the first place, and these instabile days are absolutely nothing compared to a former 'bad day': I never went down this deep since I started the process). Since the first days my tone, range and endurance are improving and the nice thing is that even though a lot has changed already, I'm still not there. And that is great. Imagine where I will be in one year, two years, five years! I am getting better again after more than ten years of standstill!
2.There is the CD part. Nothing strange about a CD with the exercises on it. But the exercises are played by kids from 12 to 17 years of age, hmmm. Oh well, the most talented can play like that, but still: a fifteen year old playing a G over high C with this sound and control.... For me this was a brilliant pedagogical trick. It motivated me enormously, because if a fifteen year old can play something I have not been able to do my whole life, than he must be doing something good. Jeff states that everybody can learn this by doing the exercises described in the book, and I tend to believe him. I learned a lot from what I saw with some of my own students, especially the little ones, ten and eleven year olds. They can actually play G above high C with a big tone! I have seen this happening more than once. And those are no supertalents. Just ordinary kids who cannot even play Twinkle, Twinkle great, but doing the right thing with their lips. Because that is the point: it is not about power, it is about making the lips move in more or less the right direction.
The power of the book also comes from the logic in it. The exercises may sound strange at first, but they all have the basic mechanics as a starting point. What the embouchure eventually will look like will differ from person to person, but the mechanics are the same for every player.
If you are very interested at this point and want to read more, click on this link. It will bring you to Jeffs own site, and there is a lot of information to be found about the method, mechanics and lots more.