Advice from my instructor

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hornlife98, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Hornlife98

    Hornlife98 Pianissimo User

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    Hello all,
    My trumpet instructor, when we work on high range studies, says the key to mastering the high range is to arrange my tongue so that it forms a kind of arc that funnels the air straight into the horn. He likens the effect of this tongue to two rocks in a river funneling the water quickly between them, while the rest of the river flows slower.

    Specifically, he says that the tip of the tongue must be generally placed on top of the bottom teeth, and the tongue must arc so that it can funnel the air to a greater velocity. He says that Allen Vizutti uses this method and that every professional player in Nashville uses this method as well. We attended a class by Allen Vizutti, and Vizutti essentially echoed my instructor's instructions.

    I happen to play with my tongue resting at the bottom of my mouth, and I have a good high range and good tone, but my instructor and I are insistent that I adopt this method.

    I just can't get it. For now, my instructor says to keep the tip of my tongue in the aforementioned area, and he says perhaps I will begin to get it right subconsciously.

    Any advice?

    Edit: My instructor is my best resource; I understand, but if the directives are said differently, or a small modification to the method is suggested by one of you, you guys may be providing help my instructor could not. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  2. ♠♥CORNET♣♦

    ♠♥CORNET♣♦ Pianissimo User

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    Keep your trumpet at a downward slant. Not too much. Tuck your chin in a little. And when you practice high notes play as softly as you can. I never heard of your instructors method but I'm sure it works just try what I says that should help high notes a lot!
     
  3. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    tongue is not the only piece of the pie chart. You also need firm corners, superb aperture control, strong diaphragm support, great ear training, correct equipment.... and the two hardest ingredients of all: a strong work ethic and unwavering patience.
     
  4. Hornlife98

    Hornlife98 Pianissimo User

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    Hello and thanks for the responses. With the trumpet, there is no limit to what you can learn and improve, but the one thing that needs the most improvement in my playing is my air velocity. I need to learn the increase that, and I will reach a milestone for which I have been aiming.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh no, here we go again - high notes downloaded over the internet.

    Well it doesn't work. Upper register that is worth being called that requires good body use and breathing habits, relative freedom from pressure and a concept of high playing that is easier picked up watching someone playing high that listening to internet experts with their copy paste recommendations.

    Here is the deal, when we start with trumpet, we use pressure - because it works. The problem with pressure is that it squeezes off the chops and basically there is a specific note where our range stops like a brick wall.

    When we remove the pressure, everything gets really crappy because our breathing and body use suck from having to compensate the pressurized lips.

    The way to get high register is to NOT PLAY HIGH until your breathing and body use are together. At that point in time, what your teacher said has "some" merit. We do use the tongue as well as the air and chops to control pitch. It is a holistic thing however, if all of the pieces don't line up, nothing works.

    Because we aren't in the same room, I can't tell you how much your body use and breathing suck - or if you are missing something else. Unfortunately there is no silver bullet for learning to play high, but I could use a truckload of them for all of the bad advice givers on the internet.

    The bottom line is: just because someone claims something that may have a "bit" of truth, that does not mean that it is wholly true. If you use pressure and have sucky breathing, no amount of arched tongue will fix that! Air velocity is not the key to unlocking the upper register, actually the velocity possible is limited by the cup, throat and backbore of the mouthpiece. The shallow "lead" mouthpieces present an even greater challenge because they even let less air through. That alone is proof enough that velocity is a myth.

    Actually, playing high notes need the lips to have a high "density". That happens when our air pressure and the backpressure/aircushion from the mouthpiece "suspend" the lips! If we blow harder than that, the lips are not optimally free to vibrate and no real upper register is possible.
     
  6. Hornlife98

    Hornlife98 Pianissimo User

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    Rowuk,
    I appreciate the response, but your post is oozing with condescension. I am not trying to "download" anything. I am bouncing a high range method from a storied, successful, and distinguished trumpet player in the South off of some members in an attempt to get some constructive thoughts. On top of your air of superiority, you reduce my ability to play the trumpet to an unknown degree of "suckiness" because you are not "in the same room with me".

    That being said, I will bring your thoughts to my instructor, and I will especially ask my instructor to pay careful attention to my "sucky" breathing and support. I will also tend to the synchronicity of mind and and body use.

    Thanks
     
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Seriously, the key as you call it, to mastering the high range is long tones and a whole bunch of other stuff already mentioned. Tongue arch is great IF you have the chops to handle the internal pressure without out resorting to external pressure to hold it all together. Can you play a rock solid SOFT high C? If you can, tongue arch can help. If you can't, see my previous post! Good luck. :D
     
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Oh, and as far as Rowuk goes, we like him just the way he is. Don't try and change him!

    [​IMG]via Imgflip Meme Maker
     
  10. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    He's not a native English speaker, though he speaks English pretty well.

    I've spent time with him in person. It's not what you think.

    And he's not wrong.

    Tom
     

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