Alternative fingerings in upper reg.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chet fan, May 27, 2010.

  1. chet fan

    chet fan Piano User

    Jul 3, 2009
    .Recently I have discovered that alternative fingerings in higher register suite me much more than regular. For eg; for 4th space E standard fingering is all valves open, but I find it easier to play with 1st and 2nd pressed down, just like first line E. Also G above the staff is easier in 1-3 combination than standard all valves open

    Is this normal? Can that actually damage my playing? Or should I simply stick whith what suits me the best?
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It is easy to lose your place with alternate fingerings unless they are practiced enough. I am sure above the staff your choice can very well result in much less security/accuracy. When you own the note, all of the combinations are equally easy. The sound and perhaps the intonation changes.

    It won't hurt your playing as long as you are not twisting your face or body to get there.
    Brassman64 likes this.
  3. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    Why are you feeling that they are easier to play? Easier to produce? If the note is on your lip, the fingering is secondary. Easier make blend in a section?

    I suspect that you are finding those two particular notes easier to play "in tune" thus, perceive them as simply easier to play. The harmonic for 4th space E is flat and the 1-2 fingering combination is sharper (as is the harmonic for 4th space E that fingering) thus, you might not be wrestling the note into pitch with that combination. Similarly, the harmonic for top space G is sharp on the open horn but somewhat stable with the 1-3 fingering.

    Yes, you can get lost in the harmonic series unless those fingerings are practiced and internalized. The intonation may improve but blend may suffer. If the intonation on your horn is that wonky, you might want to have the mpce gap checked. Do you play with your tuning slide very far out? That may indicate some other issues.
  4. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

    May 28, 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA
    1-2 is a fairly common fingering for people playing C trumpets. By any chance are you playing on a C?
  5. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    Good point, I was going to ask the same question?
    In fact, on my C trumpet (manufacturer name withheld) 3rd space C really only "sounds" right 2-3. I hate that horn but no longer play enough C trumpet to make the expense worth looking into why it stinks or finding a new one.
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Chet fan,
    Yes alternate fingerings is part of my daily routine. Sometimes I'll use an alternate fingering if a note seems a little off or I want to create a rhythmic effect such as using open and 1&3 on the G. Sometimes when I'm above High C, I'll use the fingerings that are typical in the low register around middle C.
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Alternate fingerings will not hurt unless you do them wrong (like any other fingering). But, there are a couple of things to remember. For example, when 4th space 'E' is played open, it is the 5th partial so your embouchure is configured for that partial. When you play it 1+2, it is 3 semitones stepped down from the 6th partial so your embouchure is different and the 6th partial is harder so you need to be ready for that to avoid slipping off the note. But, in certain keys - for example the key of Emaj (4 sharps), almost all notes can be played by holding down the 2nd valve so it makes many combinations much easier to finger. As mentioned, intonation may be different which may be better or worse (depends on the trumpet). It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
  8. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    Hey Come-Back Kid,
    You nailed it! Whenever there is a fingering discrepancy where one fingering is sharp and the other is flat, the sharp fingering always wins - meaning that it sounds the best; even if it is out of tune because lipping down is inherently easier that 'wrestling' the note sharp.
  9. chet fan

    chet fan Piano User

    Jul 3, 2009
    yes I know that G when fingered 1-3 is a parital above all open G. But that is just another thing I cannot really understand, for example, if I just do apperigo on all open (run through paritals all way up) I usually end up on 7th parital (high C), but if I do apperigio with 1-2 fingering I usually end up on 9th parital, or something like that, much higher than with all open. Why is that?

    Also a note to others; I'm playing standard student Bb trumpet.

    thank you all!
  10. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    I use 3 for high A a lot, and that's really it. It brings it into tune for me.
    Anything other than that I do for ease of fingering in fast passages.

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