Well, you are gonna hear this over and over, so I might as well be one of the first to say it....Practice, Practice, Practice. I know that isn't much of a help....but essentially that is what ya need to do. One day, all of a sudden, you will get the sound ya want and you will be off and running. That is what people have told me and I keep telling myself.
Like you, at times I think life would just be easier staying with my Big River flute. But, in the long run, you and I will be glad we learned the art of short reed calling.
I used the Foiles DVD and Primos DVD to get me started. I started with the easy things like the feeding growl and honks. I just kept practicing the growls and basic honks. That helped to build my confidence and gave me more experience just using the call. try that.
I also experimented with the call a lot, I still am. I would try different hand positions for backpressure, different mouth positions on the barrell of the call...tried different deliveries of air through the call. It just helps you become more familiar and comfortable with the call. The sounds you make experimenting don't really sound pleasing, but you are just experimenting.
Use the DVD's you have as guides...but try to stick to one. Jumping back and forth may confuse you because they likely have different styles or teaching methods. Pick one and stick with it for a while...don't jump back and forth.
And don't worry if you don't do things "exactly" as you see on the DVD. For instance, when I first watched my Foiles DVD...I tried and tried to create backpressure by holding my hands in the exact same position as Foiles did. But, I didn't get the results I wanted. I tried and tried and tried...nothing.
Eventually I said the hell with it and just tried a slightly different hand position, and got a sound closer to what I wanted. After a few minutes of tweaking my hand positioning...I "almost" got the sound I wanted.
Keep at it....I know how you feel. :thumbsup: