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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mambo King, Jul 19, 2012.
From my recent studies... Focus on Tone and sound quality and range will come with time.
Some interesting replies but I feel that my post has been interpretted as "how do I play higher?" (probably because I mentioned messrs Bergeron and Morrison) which is not at all the point. I'm aware that technical development comes only with dedication but my point is based on the concept that if we call something difficult, do we make it more difficult than it needs to be? I was told a story many years ago where the acclaimed marimba soloist Robert van Sice was on tour in Eastern Europe. He was taken to a village where he found a young girl playing 8-mallet marimba with remarkable fluency. When asked about the feat, it became clear that it was not difficult to her because nobody had told her that it was difficult! So if we start to play the trumpet in the bottom C-G register are we not placing the upper register on a pedestal and neglecting the lower register? In a purely academic argument, if we begin our journey at C on the stave and development is encouraged both upwards and downwards in an even and patient manner, both parts of the register are given equal importance and the extremes of register are more reachable...in theory...reload...aim...b...!
My thought has always been that there are many ways to play a low C with poor air support, bad embouchure, etc. It takes some breath support and some semblance of a good embouchure to play from middle G to C in the staff, but it's attainable within a week or so for a complete beginner. So, when my kids started, I strongly discouraged them from playing lower than a middle G until they were well-established on the G to C range.
I have found the majority of beginners,especially young beginners have an easier time starting on 2nd line G than they do 3rd space C.Cat Anderson starts his book on the 2nd line G saying it's usually the easiest note for most to play. As the student progress' we can then work on extending range up and down.Again it's usually easier to work lower notes first,it gives the student more notes to play.I like to do this with long tones and easy tunes.
As far as the Arban's book not written high enough,ever hear of playing it up an octave? If you can play Arban's up an octave, you will be able to play any big band lead arrangement.
Arban did NOT say anything to us ... he wrote. Too, he wrote that the usable trumpet range was from "middle C" to (the ledger line below the staff) to the G in the first space above the staff. OK, I don't believe any trumpet manufacturers of modern trumpets or contemporary players will agree with this now, especially any of the latter who profess to a "Double C " or better.
@local357 - loved the comment ref. Arban's, "Plus the bindings were notoriously weak. Split apart within a few months." LOL.
Not quite sure what you mean regarding Stevens-Costello by, "If you were to pull this off it would first require the latent ability to blow forward jaw. This characteristic occurs only in a minority of brass players." Are you saying that the majority of people aren't able to protrude their lower jaw, because that's all he's suggesting.
Ref: Arban's, it is what it is. Yes, you can get a lifetime's worth of worthy workouts from it. But there are definitely other aspects of playing that are not covered there. Some will way that you can adapt many of the exercises to do that for you. Maybe, but why? Why would I want to work out on jazz articulations to themes from "Martha" when I could do it to real jazz compositions? That's just an easy example. I would bet that, for the average community band player, Arban has all he needs. But for others, at some point they'll pick up and develop other special techniques quicker and more efficiently with materials which have been developed specifically to do that.
Was it Arban that was a smiler or St. Jacome, or both?
Something makes me think that Arban couldn't have cared less about Queen Victoria.
Most jazzers don't care for Arban's, which is understandable. "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing", as the song goes. Arban's is a very good source for the foundations of trumpet playing mechanics, though. And if you lean toward classical, brass band, and concert band type playing, it can help you develop into a fine player. If you'd rather play by ear, bend notes, articulate with 'style', etc, then you're probably better off learning to play that style "on the job". I grew up in the concert/symphonic band world, played with a semi-professional symphony orchestra and chamber orchestra, and now a brass band. I also play in a 19th century-style brass band, and the Arban training has proved invaluable for these. Then there's my stint with a few big bands...I waded in and learned the style by playing it and listening to recordings of the greats (and listening to the better players I was on stage with). Lots of fun and latitude for expression, but the fundamentals I learned in Arban's still were needed to really tear the place down. That, and style...Yeah, style is something that some people don't have, and never will. Nothing more painful than listening to someone from squaresville trying to swing.
I did learn something through all this. Some of the best jazzers can't play straight if their lives depend on it. Some of the finest classical players couldn't swing or ad lib if their lives depended on it. The ones who can play all styles of music are the ones who have the most opportunities to gig.
Years ago, I lived in north San Diego county and played lots of gigs with a "mature" trumpet player (over 40 years older than I was, at the time). He had played lead trumpet in a midwest "territory band" in the early '50s, and was still a dead-reliable lead player in his late 60s. One of the interesting tidbits he told me were the technical requirements in a lead-trumpet audition for the bands he played in: the Arban version of "Carnival of Venice," and the ability to play the high D at the end of "In the Mood," every single night, at the end of the second set.
Note that Toby specified "technical requirements." Obviously, there were stylistic requirements as well. I throw that out there to suggest a valid, if tenuous, connection between Arban and big band playing.
IMHO, the Arban Method is dated in many respects, including his comments about range. But it's still a valid encyclopedia of fundamental skills. Is it the be-all, end-all of trumpet technique? No. Does it matter if I know the correct way to play a mordent? Probably not. But if you can play every exercise in the book well, you have an excellent fundamental skill-set.
To try to get back to the OP's original question, there is validity to the question you're asking. Both Clint "Pops" McLaughlin and Armando Ghitalla have advocated basing one's range on a higher "set point," and developing range both up and down from there.