Can anyone play high?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by john7401, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Elevator shoes.


    I did it once when I was younger. Just the one time ..... could have been a gravity anomaly. :dontknow:
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Not even everyone can play low or mid. Some will have the most success when playing an iPod regardless of altitude.............................

    Basically life is the same behind the trumpet as elsewhere. If you have no taste, no demands for quality, no shame, then even the feeblest attempt and the smallest possible squeak qualifies. If this is your stand, then yes, EVERYONE can play high. We have many posters where this is surely the case.

    My stand is different: if what you have doesn't get the job in an ensemble done, then YOUR sense of values needs polishing, not your chops. High notes start with an understanding how they even fit into the music that we want to play. Then the question comes up if we will ever be able to get there.

    I firmly believe that we are not created with equal talents and that many will never get it. That does not mean that they can't have fun with the trumpet, it means that the fun will be limited to the audiences tolerance for what was just offered.

    The worst situation is when an unmusical person with bodybuilding techniques gets lucky and finds a couple of high notes. All they are then is noise pollution.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    To play basketball exceptionally and with the ease of a breeze, one needs to acquire "flubber" soled shoes created by the movie actor Fred MacMurray in his film role as a basketball coach.

    Otherwise, such is attained by dedicated practice, practice, practice ad infinitum.

    With our team lagging by just one point, I once upon a time (during my senior year in high school) I got one off from near half court just before the final buzzer that went in the basket swish and we won the game against our arch rival. The memory of my having made that one basket still is raved about by others when I've attended class reunions ... not my skill then of playing trumpet. Only time I've played basketball since has been pick-up games played on netless outdoor courts, the primary purpose then just to pass the hours away among friends and "dunks" then had no significant meaning ... and basketball never afforded me a paycheck, whereas my brass horns have.
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Good point. The definition of "note" isn't entirely established here. Those few lucky thin squeals I found up high would be doing well to be called "notes." Nothing musical about them whatsoever.

    So, if the definition of "playing high" includes consistency and musicality (where you're not just getting the note, but playing it), then I change my stance from before and agree with Rowuk here (that not everyone can play high). I DEFINITELY agree that some people can't play low or mid either, after hearing some current "Folk" music on the radio that included a trumpet. :shock: I'm not saying trumpet doesn't belong in Folk music, but in this case, the only way I could be sure it WAS a trumpet is the band said so. They announced it like, "Our next tune features our drummer on trumpet."

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  5. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    Certainly musicality is always the end goal. Can we please add a "standard disclaimer" clause to people's signature, along with "it's the player, not the horn", etc?

    In my mind, the ability to play high is similar to the ability to produce a nice tone in that it is part if the craft of the instrument, as seperate from the art.

    There are those who can play the trumpet tolerably well, but are not really musical. There's something missing.

    Ultimately, playing high without musicality is worthless to many of us but I don't recall the OP asking that particular question.

    Just my opinion, of course.
    Al Innella likes this.
  6. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    Musicality is the end result. I don't know what level of trumpet you are but you will not need to go higher than high C most of the time. I think its a matter of how bad you want it. If you really want it you would work and work. I have seen zeros go to heroes where the player obviously had a lack "natural" talent. The did have the talent to work hard.
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I disagree, most 3rd and 4th parts in professional bands do go above high C, the 2nd player definitely above high C, and lead parts to double C and above.
  8. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    The highest note I've seen in Wind Ensemble literature is from Ron Nelson's Rocky Point Holiday. I played first part and in the beginning ascending scale-fragment, it went straight up to a 3rd ledger line high Eb. I wasn't use to it and I sounded pretty bad the first couple runs around :p

    That motif comes back throughout the piece and kicks my ass every time.

    YouTube - Rocky Point Holiday

    I'm only talking about the symphonic band literature (no big band or jazz, etc)... Some other high-note pieces I've encountered were Festive Overture, Shostakovich, (wow, can you say Endurance?) and Outdoor Overture, Copland, (wow, can you say Intonation?)...

    And last but not least, Frenergy by Estacio. (wow, can you say Articulation?)

    YouTube - JOHN ESTACIO: "Frenergy" for Wind Ensemble
  9. Trumpet-Golfer

    Trumpet-Golfer Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2008
    Liverpool, England
    John7401 wrote:
    Yet, my current range only lasts up to the G sitting on the top of the staff after now 5 and 1/2 years. Good tone and everything too. Was having struggles with endurance last year, and still am, but that has gotten lots better. Since 2 years ago, the only improvement I have seen in range is me getting an A every now and then and a somewhat louder/more reliable G.

    Well John FWIW, I've just completed my 5th year playing trumpet.
    My G just above the staff is OK but I wouldn't say I have full control of it.
    I can only play G long tones Mf certainly not Pp.
    I hit my first decent A about 2 months ago, and played a sweet A over Christmas. Since then the A has been forced!
    My tone and musicality has improved over time. My next door neighbour who is also my mentor told me that I've sounded really good recently.
    He is in his 70's however he still teaches part time. He was Principal Cornet with a couple of top brass bands in the UK.
    His advice regarding the upper range is; not to force it. Instead to practice your high range chromatically a couple of times trough the week.
    Some people get there more quickly than others. He has told be that if I stick at it I will eventually get the Holy Grail (for me) highC.
  10. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    What are these bands? Where do they play? Who writes these charts?

    I'm skeptical of your premise.

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