Airy high notes?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by musikman, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Whenever we are at our physical limits, things get ragged. In the case of young trumpeters, we get range by force. The mouthpiece is mashed into the lips and then we try to force air to blow open those mashed lips. The results are what you describe. With more experience, we keep using force, but get more air pressure so we can hit a couple of high notes more. In our third state, we learn to use more brain than brawn. We have a couple of thousand lipslurs under our belt and if our teacher was any good, some decent breathing habits were developed.

    For building range: Body use, breathing THEN chopbuilders like lipslurs!
  2. musikman

    musikman New Friend

    Dec 21, 2011
  3. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    When you said young, are you middle school or high school? How long have you been playing trumpet?
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    General advice:

    Subtract a perfect fifth from the highest note you can play a musical sounding tone on. Usually this is your real performance range. Or close to it. If you can play a fairly musical high G at any volume? Consider the High C the last musical note of your range*. This is a variable figure. Some cats can squeak a mile higher than they can use in performance. So they may need to deduct more than an octave. Me? I pretty much use every inch of what i can play. I've occasionally hit the F above DHC but only rarely. Kills me to do it in fact. So on most days my usable range is very close to what my top end is.

    Now take an exercise that requires this note to be played MUSICALLY and at a forte volume. One of my favorites is the horn/string line to TSOP here: MFSB TSOP The Sound Of Philadelphia-58orly - YouTube

    First note F# to A to B natural etc. Play along with the video until you're blue in the face. then play it again. And Again.

    Take a whole day off, rinse & repeat. OK you got me. It only goes to a High B Natural but is close enough to a High C.

    Too tired to play it complete? Take it down a perfect fourth. Strive for a very loud accurate tone with plenty of sizzle.

    there is no better upper register exercise than this one. When i don't have enough gigs to stay in shape i practice this every day. Sometimes taking it up a perfect fourth. this puts you on a high C# to E to High F#.

    Watch for dizziness, and neck puff.

    *You may use higher notes than this in concert but not for regular usage. We all fade a bit toward the end of the night. It's a matter of perspective. I can play and use my A to Double C but not on every set and every chart. These are "cap" notes. A cap note may eventually become part of your performance range or maybe not.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    wow -- we must be using the same practice regimen -- ROFL ROFL ROFL
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I'm going to repeat what Rowuk said. The airy high notes are a result of using too much pressure. This spreads the lips resulting in an airy tone or just air. In other words your lips are not rewady to play up there and you are trying to muscle the notes. You just need some good basic embouchure development which a good teacher would do. By having you work on material in a very certain way. It's not enough to say do these exercises. How you do them is just as important as what you do. Only an in person teacher can do this for you. because you'll need constant monitoring until good habits are formed. Until you can afford a teacher do as much playing in the meat of your range as you can. From low G to high G. With some forays up to high C.

    Can you really not afford to have a teacher!
  7. musikman

    musikman New Friend

    Dec 21, 2011
    hey guys, sorry i haven't been on this, i was having computer problems, I saw all of the advice and stuff, and i've been using it, Also, the guy up there^ asked me if i was in middle school or high school, I am in middle school, but i have been playing for 7 years.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  8. keigoh

    keigoh Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2012
    The video isn't working...:(

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