Can't Play High Notes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dfusselman, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. dfusselman

    dfusselman New Friend

    Dec 2, 2008
    Thanks Robert :-) I would LOVE to be proven wrong, because that's a small step forward for science, but until then... Siar, I hear your pain! If your dependable C is the one two ledger lines above the staff, then you certainly don't count in this "study." Also, this hypothesis by no means proven, and it's NOT the only reason why someone might not have good range. If you could send me a picture of triceritops that would be great. Make sure he's NOT smiling and he hasn't been playing hard right before.
    Bill M. yeah, I have a friend who wants me to play sax. I played clarinet in college for woodwinds and did OK. I certainly can't blame my chops on an instrument like that since the reed does the vibrating. I'm playing piano and violin now, but I would like to find a wind instrument at some point. Maybe bassoon. I did play my nieces alto and that was a kick. I'll let you know... Does the sax player get the girls? That's what I heard.
  2. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    To build on what rowuk was saying and why you are confused about being able to have more range on the side of your mouth... May I propose that playing on the side of your mouth allows more muscular mass to be had as the cheek and mouth corner muscles are a lot stronger than the middle lips and surrounding tissues. With that extra strength, (I've been playing around with it since your post) I am also able to have far greater range (yes, tone/etc lacks). Again, I don't think it has anything to do with the "flatness", I believe it's muscle mass and airflow.
  3. lushcot714

    lushcot714 New Friend

    Jul 16, 2008
    San Juan, PR
    Have any body checks any ogf the Claude Gordon book, Allen Vizzutti Methods, CArmine Caruso system? I believe any body can play high notes. It only takes guided practice, and lot of patience and persistence. Mouthpiece helps, trumpet helps, but real good practice/teaching will show the desire results.

    I do not know anything about "widow lip" or "M" shape upperlip. I play a comfortable double C in mouthpieces such as Bach 3C, 1-1/4C, Dennis Wick 4 and 2FL, and Marcinkewitz 12. I have the same results in my Bach Stradivarious and my Yammys. I even play as high in a Plumbing trumpet I'm making.

    So, I don't believe any mechanical/phisical issu are the cause for good/bad high register. Check Carmine Caruso book and find out. Also take a look at what Vizutti have to say about this and the Claude Gordon book, Playing Brass is not Harder than Breathing.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  4. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    ok I'm new but that doesnt mean I will detest from bashing you.

    This is complete BS. Infact your own video is in complete contradiction wiht itself. Isnt that Arturo in the second frame. And he has just like you widow peak.

    range is the question of mind, infact the trumpet should be played from the mind not lips, tongue fingers. I never ever rean no books about technicque, I just listen to the musicians better than me and than I'm trying to reproduce what I HEAR, but I di not ask them to tell me how their tongue is positioned during certain phrase. Trumpet playing is so individual that it is more like talking than instrument playing.

    People that make such excuses are not trumpet players and are probably deaf. That is only my general opinion, It is not aimed at you personally.

    Do not take offence form this, instead take it as friendly advice.

    Just blow the goddamn thing, hit it hard and wish it well, and there you go, you will sizzle like fire alarm :-):-):-)

    and remember, no offence mate.
  5. RobertSlotte

    RobertSlotte Pianissimo User

    Jul 7, 2008
    When things are not working, Isn`t it normal to start looking for causes frankmike???

    If everything is working then why should one worry. But everyone is not so lucky.
    I think your advice: Just blow the goddamn thing is BS if anything is.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  6. trumpetlore

    trumpetlore Pianissimo User

    Apr 14, 2007
    Rochester, NY

    Please refer yourself to the following website...some small time player called Thomas Stevens...

    Thomas Stevens, musician, trumpet player, composer, writer

    My address for the $5 is:
    Jeremy Maitland
    54 University Avenue
    Rochester, NY

    Thanks for your contribution to my college fund!
  7. RobertSlotte

    RobertSlotte Pianissimo User

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thomas Stevens...thereĀ“s one. Interesting...thats a big WP.
  8. dfusselman

    dfusselman New Friend

    Dec 2, 2008
    Here's a better pic of Thomas Stevens. It shows that the LOWER part of his upper lip is pretty flat. I am NOT concerned with the part that meets the regular facial skin. He obviously has a monstrous "cupid's bow", but the only part I am concerned about is where vibration occurs.


    If that didn't work, here's the link:

    Thanks! Keep those efforts coming!

  9. dfusselman

    dfusselman New Friend

    Dec 2, 2008
    To Bear, I can't say either way about your claim that there is more strength on the side of your mouth, but I don't think you're right. If you take a pencil or similar object and try to hold it up with your lips, I am imagine that most people will have the more strength dead in the middle of their mouth.

    Here's some more pics of my chops, for you to see what I am talking about:

    Attached Files:

  10. Dr. Zink

    Dr. Zink Pianissimo User

    Feb 8, 2007
    North Coast US
    Interesting subject and, in my opinion, one that deserves some serious research. Afterall, who wouldn't benefit from a greater knowledge (scientific) of emboucher mechanics as it were? I know, I know, its only part of the equation.

    Could this issue be connected to that of the einsetzen embouchure - playing on the red, inner part of the lips? Though it certainly isn't advocated, I do know of several such players who have quite good high ranges and decent tones. I myself have a modest widow's peak and have experimented with rolling in/under the upper lip to good effect. Always experimenting and hopefully improving.

    Actually, I know exactly what DF was doing by moving his mouthpiece off center. Way back when I was an undrgrad I was a decent trumpet player but I had definite range limitations. Shortly after started playing cornetto I decided to go to an off-center embouchure (right about where my trumpet rim sits) and within a few minutes it was obvious that the embouchure was more efficient and frankly, the sky was the limit! I even transferred that to piccolo trumpet (a cornetto mpiece in a cut off trumpet mpiece backbore to fit in a Benge pic) - and why not, afterall it is the same fundamental sounding length. The results were rediculous - instant Brandenburg with little or no effort and a full sound! I even managed a Michael Haydn in D in Grad school - NOT in performance mind you! (by then I was playing cornetto full time)

    Strangely enough I was never able to transfer any of the side embouchure/cornetto technique to my center/trumpet embouchure. They were two different things. So when I got back to trumpet playing I approached it differently and got beyond my former limitations, but certainly not with the seemingly limitless upper register of the other embouchure.

    Caveat: its one thing to have a perfect embouchure, but its another to know what to do with it.

    Sorry for the dissertation


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