Can anyone play high?

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

  1. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    The band I play with is a contemporary big band. We play arrangements by Bill Holman, Mike Abene, Ernie Wilkens,Frank Foster, and other contemporary arrangers and composers .Plus arrangements originally performed by Buddy Rich, Maynard's 60's and 70's bands,Woody Herman's 60's and 70's Herds,Stan Kenton,Doc Severinsen with the Tonight Show band, you get the idea.
     
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    In my college jazz band I'm playing second and I have to play above high C, not sustained, but for important chords, etc.
     
  3. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

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    And "most" of the lead parts go up to double C, if not higher?

    I've played charts by many of those arrangers, and have never seen a double C. Maybe you guys play all the super-high arrangements that I haven't encountered, and maybe your lead player takes all the optional high notes, but still...

    I'll contend that, with the exception of bands led by high-note trumpet soloists, the books of most of the bands you named (or the output of the writers/arrangers) contain a handful of exceptionally high parts. It sounds like maybe the band you play in has put together the lead book to beat-to-death all lead books by selecting nothing but the screechers.

    But I don't think such a book accurately represents most professional bands.
     
  4. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    No not most,but there are some that do. There are plenty that are written that are written to high F's,G's,A's Bb's and B's. My point was the statement that said you never have to play above a high C was wrong. There are plenty of church and community bands that don't go above a high C, but to say you'll never need anything above high C was misleading.
    A lead part that has written high F's in it is not considered a screecher.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have a solid high C, you already have a decent high F. Range properly learned does not stop at a specific note.

    The problem with the lead book is not the DHC, it is the ape with no timing or sense of sizzle. Bands with heavy lead books simply need a player that gets it and they do not grow on trees. Even if they find a way to get the notes, they still need to get groove. Talking about range without the context is just wasting time. Some players will never get it.
     
  6. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

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    Consider the original poster. He's topping out at a G or A on top of the staff, and wondering how much higher he "needs" to go. I'm assuming he's not really planning on becoming a first-call lead player any time soon.

    It's just as misleading to suggest that an aspiring player "needs" a high F, G, A, Bb, or, golly-forbid a double C. The big band I play in plays plenty of paying gigs every year, and the 4th player can't play much above a high C. It would be nice if he could, but he's content to play the 4th parts and doesn't want any of the jazz solos, so he's made in the shade.

    I agree completely. The band I'm in plays plenty of charts with high F's in the lead part, as well as a handful of high G's and one or two high A's. Anything higher than that is in a designated "screech" part (separate from the lead part), and rarely attempted.
     
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    It depends on the arrangement. I've played some lead parts that had notes written above high A's,and we do perform them. As far as assuming the poster will never play professional lead,you never know.
    I was always told I'd never be a lead player,that some one has to play 2nd,3rd,and 4h parts. Well I did develop an upper register and have played lead with the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra, Melba Listen's big band,Frank Foster,and most of the local bands in my area. My point is you never know what can be accomplished until you try.
     
  8. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Actually this post was about anyone learning to play high notes,not lead in a big band. While you do need high notes to play lead,high notes don't make you a lead player. Learning to play in the upper register is just another technique, like double and triple tonguing. Everyone can learn how to do these things,some will do better the others,but they can all learn how.
     
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  9. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

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    Well overall this is where I stand. I know and have contact info for a great teacher that would be one to go to in my situation. At this point though, I'm going to have some lessons with him, wait it out and keep working for a few months on the trumpet. If my endurance/range hasn't gone up by then, then I'm switching over to trombone. I have been working on this range thing, and I have been taking it seriously. Maybe not enough work to soar above my current range, but I have done enough to know that things haven't been helping me. I wouldn't be content sitting any chair lower because of just range. Also, I couldn't head into college next year after finding out the range thing still isn't working, and then decide to switch to low brass with no experience at it shooting for a music career.
     
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Ditto:

    I play trumpet 2 in a semi-pro big band that does some Buddy Rich, Basie, Herman, Big Phat, MF, etc. and I can say that our lead book has plenty of high G's and A's, the 2nd book has some charts up the high E's and the 3 and 4 books also have occasional unison parts up to C and D.

    I also play trumpet in a R&B / funk band and those charts have similar "top ends" for cover tunes.

    We even have a few tunes in our quintet 1st book that reach high F and G (not piccolo, Bb trumpet)

    People that doubt this apparently haven't played the "pro" charts, but they do get up there.

    If you don't "own" the high F and G you won't be playing the lead book for long.

    It sounds harsh, but that's the reality of playing the "real" charts on a regular basis.

    Oh, BTW, if you can't play the rhythm, tempo, dynamics, accents, etc., as written you won't play any chair for
    long in a band that regularly plays "pro" charts.

    Claiming range isn't as important is bogus. Being able to play what is on the chart is important, whether
    its a delicate phrase or a screaming high F, its all important to play at a professional level.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
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