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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mark_Kindy, Sep 29, 2012.
My bars might be too long.
Or, I could be spending too much time in them.
We had built in risers in our rehearsal room in college. I would put one foot up on the riser behind me to play anything above E above high C.
Yeah, my jaw hurts the next day after I try playing high notes (anything above the high C area). Actually I do that "sphincter thing" -- although I call it tightening the buttocks, and firming the stomach cavity to compress my air. Whether that is what happens or not, I don't know -- BUT I definitely tighten the lower body, while I try to keep the air, upper body, lips and such ---- loose and relaxed.
FOR ME -- I sometime end up coughing after a high note run -- and my lungs burn a bit!!!! ---- but I think, I am just giving it all I have, which apparently isn't much!!!!!!!
Maynard Ferguson had a specific place for his feet and his body followed form. His face may have contorted a bit, but that was simply because of the enormous control of the muscles he needed to play THAT high with THAT incredible volume and size of his sound.
Sorry, but your face should not contort much beyond your normal mid-register face.
Years back, I remember watching Doc Severinsen play a G above high C with one hand and cutting the band off with the other. By golly, his face didn't change much at all.
What all the above means, is you have not become efficient in the high register. From a few feet away, I've seen Nick Drozdoff absolutely paste double Cs without any contortions at all. Saw Roger Ingram from less than 10 feet away, while he was sitting down, go well above double C with little change in his face from the one in the middle register.
Folks, the high register is the most difficult to achieve and to play properly. Any tension in your body will cause your air flow to choke off making your face muscles and other muscles that are not to be involved in the high register to make a valiant attempt and doing something they can't.
Some folks never get the hang of it.
Once upon a time, I could feel air hitting my palette, but not anymore since I've now a full denture, but with any exertion it seems my nose clogs up and drips, especially a short time after I remove my O2 cannula.
Then too, look at Louis Armstrong ... watch closely ... he was not only holding the trumpet with a handkerchief, he also wiped his brow ... AND HIS NOSE and then would reach for a clean handerchief, the last in film clips ending on the cutting room floor.
Yes, many years ago when I was running 5 and 10Ks, when I stopped it seemed my nose kept running seemingly endlessly for about 5 - 10 minutes. Why worry about what occurs naturally!
anyways --- on a tangent, as I am so frequent of doing --- while playing the trombone last night (the trombone for me takes considerably more effort/air) than my trumpet --- whether I am not playing it efficiently or it just takes more air is irrelevant. Anyways -- I felt similiar things to the trumpet, tightening my lower body to get air compression/ support, and sucking in lots of air, which can be felt in my lungs, and my eyes even watered a bit. NOW I was NOT going gonzo on the high note trombone thing (OK MAYBE A LITTLE BIT) ---
I used to play with so much compression that after a high passage I'd sometimes blow out a slight "fog" of water vapor. This compression and muscle tension had some bad side effects, as I used to get really bad sinus headaches as well. Once I learned to relax the air, arch the tongue up, shrink the lip aperture, play down on the note, and relax my shoulders (which I'll admit I still don't always do) the massive compression problems went away.
wow -- it sounds so easy now!!!!!!!!!!!
Hardest change I ever made...I had range that way, and wasn't sure I could get it any other way.
Better that than a gas release from the "sphincter thing", which would make another part of the anatomy burn.