I've heard that playing those notes (above the tuning C) with alternate fingers: 13, 23, and 12 have lower sound quality than playing them as 1, 2, and open. I agree with that from what I can tell. Yet, you're supposed to play in the center of your instrument to play it! If you play the "regular" fingering, you have to lip up a bunch and thus paying above the center of the sound. So, you would think the alternate fingerings would sound better. How can this be? Is it because perhaps the more valves you use, the more your sound deteriorates (if that's the case... do you think playing high A-flat with your first valve and lipping up might actually improve your sound?). Either that or trumpet designers have just figured out the best way to make them? I'm just fine with lipping those notes up (years ago I did struggle with that), but I just found it interesting. I haven't had lessons for 4 years, including 2 with almost no playing. I started out by practicing tonguing a whole bunch. Now I'm working on perfecting my Clarke exercises, and working on lip slurs. Speaking of lip slurs, any tips on exactly how this is to be done. I've gotten the impression that you're supposed to be able to play them incredible soft, relaxed, and accurately? It's very, very tough for me to do those three things all at once. If I try to play soft and relaxed on the lip slurs, the air ends up stopping and by the time I go to the next note (whether moving up OR down) half there's a big break in the sound/air. Are my objectives correct? Any tips to get better at those lip slurs? More practice? I haven't practiced them very much yet. I can do high trills, like F-G or G-A at the top of the staff, despite not having very good range/endurance, but it seems like the issue is with the WIDER lip slurs (3rds or greater; for instance, a lip slur between tuning C to E). I went for like 2 years with almost no playing until a couple months ago. I can't wait to see Nick of the Utah Symphony again for some lessons. I have to wait until July, though... I'm getting impatient!