best fingering for A flats and A's

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by joshuasullins, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    Manny,

    I am new to trumpetmaster.com, and I have a question that has been bothering me since college. When I play a G above high C, it almost always locks for me. Sometimes if I have real swollen chops it skates around on me a bit, usually ending up an E or F# for some reason, but the more experience I get the less that is happening. Now, when I go to an A flat above that, it rarely locks. Usually it goes to the G, and when I go to an A natural, it NEVER locks. It ALWAYS goes between a Bflat and a shaky A. As soon as I hit a B above that, it locks again and I am in the clear. I am using natural fingerings, so two and three for A flat and one and two for A natural. I have tried using different valve combinations, but I think I lack practice with them. Do you have any recommendations? What do you use for fingerings in that register? Is there a good method book out there or someone you could recommend in the New England area to study with to help me with that?

    Thank you very much for your time and music.

    V/R
    Joshua Sullins
    US Navy Band
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    I don't have much to tell you because 2/3 works for me. I don't play alternate fingerings as there doesn't seem to be a need.

    Anybody else?

    ML
     
  3. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    Thanks Manny. At least I know how you do it. I think I need practice. More practice. Could you recommend any exercises to get those notes to lock? It isn't getting there that is the problem for me, it is getting them to feel secure. They just like to skate around, almost as if you were preparing to do a shake or a lip trill, and you play sharp on the note so that you are very very close to the next partial.... that is what it feels like...

    Thank you for your time!
    Joshua
     
  4. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    The only time I have used an alternate fingering for "A" above the staff is on that one little "pp" octave call with the dotted eighth-sixteenth rhythm in R. Strauss' "Don Juan" . (I don't have the score in front of me to give a measure number, but I will look it up later). The high "A" pops out nice and easy at "pp". A third valve "A" tends to be flat, but when you are articulating it at "pp" in the upper register, it works in this instance. Otherwise, you need to use your slides a little bit on the high "A" and "Ab" and find the sweet spot naturally using the correct/natural fingering.
     
  5. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
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    Thank you Alex. I can't imagine ever using a tuning slide on anything above high C... is that a normal practice? I always thought that the partials were so close together up there that you could easily fix the intonation without sacrificing the core of the note... am I wrong?

    Thanks everyone for all your responses. This really helps me out!

    V/R
    Joshua
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Joshua,

    I just thought of something for you;

    The lower you play on the pitch, the better your notes will slot, or notch. When you play sharp or lower the angle of the horn more than absolutely necesary, the notches blur.

    So, as you ascend remember to play in the center of the pitch by aiming a little lower. I couldn't help you the other day because that's what I do naturally and I thought hard about what you asked and this is what came to me.

    This is also the reason I like Monette's mpc's. As I ascend and aim lower, the pitch still stays in tune. That's harder to do on conventional pieces. So, there's some Koolaid to drink if you're not confused enough yet.

    ML
     
  7. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    Manny,

    Wow, thank you so much. That is some great food for thought. I really appreciate your time and expertise. Now that I am thinking about it, the fact that the A wants so badly to go to the Bflat, suggests that perhaps I am playing too far above the core of the note... I am sure that the result of a mental dilemna. My A's used to be better, but sometimes they would go to a G. Now perhaps I have over compensated. In any case, thank you all for your help, especially Manny. You guys are great!

    As a side bar, last night I played a gig with the navy showband and we played Maynard's Take the A Train and I used 1,2,3 to play the A at the end and it worked pretty good, and now that I think about that.... it is probably because it is helping keep the pitch down, aiding in the notching process. So Manny is undoubtably correct again.

    V/R
    Joshua Sullins
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    That's great, josh...

    Would you write something later on after you've warmed up and tell me if you have success with that approach? I'm laying money that you will. Try some moderate scales up to the A and Bb with "normal" fingerings. Approach it almost in a classical way and in the lower part of the center as we discussed.

    ML
     
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Baltimore/DC
    Josh, your post is an interesting one because the Wild Thing trumpets are supposed to be better than average slotting above high C, although some will argue that no trumpet in existence truly "slots" above G and that it is completely a chops thing from that point forward.

    I knew a guy who used to swear by using the first valve for 'A'. For me, I've never had much luck getting A to slot at all (in the practice room, mind you - my on the gig usable range is pretty much tapped out at Eb) but Ab always slotted using 2 & 3. Also, and maybe my perception is somewhat skewed, but it seems to me from the reading I have done and conversations that I have had, that A is pretty squirrely for everyone. I know a guy who would much rather blow Bbs or B's than A's any day - on his particular Bb trumpet, the Bb just locks in and he nails it almost every time, but A's are a roll of the dice, like throwing darts.

    Is Tom Turner in the house? If anyone would know what valve combination to use for A's on a Wild Thing it would be Tom.
     
  10. sinfoniantrumpeter

    sinfoniantrumpeter Pianissimo User

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    Apr 10, 2005
    Josh Sullins is one sexy dude!

    -Carl Hess, SOA'98
     

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