Having problems playing above the D in the staff.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cobratank, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. cobratank

    cobratank New Friend

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    Dec 4, 2015
    It is inside the staff, sorry for any confusion.
     
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    No real confusion, but after 4+years and 1.5 to 2 hours of daily exercises, I would say you are the most dedicated person I know.

    I really would do 4 things:

    1. You do need help. You need someone to show you how to use your air, and how to form notes correctly. Find a good trumpet teacher

    2. Start back with basics. Go play just bugle calls, simple calls, but get each note correct. Don't just get blowing, stop and repeat each phase until it is correct. Do this for the first 15 minutes - then rest for 15 minutes.

    3. Practice Chromatic scales slowly, starting at bottom C, and move up to Middle C in the Stave. Repeat and go lower to the bottom F#.
    Then move up a half step on each chromatic run. Play slowly 60 bpm.

    4. Join a community band when you have that E solid. You need to make music and interact with musicians regularly.

    Lastly, you really need to look at whether the trumpet is your best choice. If you are not hitting the High C in 6 months of daily practice, then maybe look at what other instrument interests you. Take what you have learned and apply it to your next choice, brass is probably not the way to go for you. Maybe try a deeper instrument first, but maybe a saxophone may suit you better.

    I really would like to hear how you go, but what you are doing right now, and what you have been doing for the past 4 years is not doing it for you.

    Cheers - now go find a teacher, and listen to good trumpeters as much as you can. You must hear the sound in your head.
     
  3. cobratank

    cobratank New Friend

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    Dec 4, 2015
    Thanks, I really appreciate it. Another big reason why I am having so much trouble was before 2 weeks ago, was that I never practiced playing outside the band class every other day. I think once I incorporate the methods you guys gave me, I will be able to hit it without to much trouble. It also maybe that I was never exposed to notes above the D in the scale in my band class.

    I will say after practicing more, that D is becoming much easier to hit, but it is a slow process.
     
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    (self-deleted. misread the original post.)
     
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    When doing this, do not overdo it - play 15 mins and rest 15 mins. If you get tired then rest more. It is a gradual process.
    Those Bugle calls will do wonders for increasing your working range quickly.
    Keep with it, and do practice every day, even a sensible 15 mins is a lot better than 2 hours one day, and nothing the next. Building muscles for a reliable sound requires a lot of repetitions.
    Cheers
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, I think that we have a problem with a definition of what practice is. There is NO WAY that with even 30 minutes real practice per day that range in the staff is an issue - especially when we are not talking about a beginner. I suspect something different. My suspicion is that we are not talking about practice, rather beating the face up due to crappy breathing and body use! If there is a teacher involved, the problem is even greater!

    My suggestion is to spend a couple of weeks only playing easy longtones and lipslurs very softly. Then perhaps some easy tunes in the staff -also softly. No strain, no pain for at least two or three weeks. I am sure that there are many bad habits that prevent improvement. Practicing "garbage" 2 hours only makes bad habits stronger. This is a job for a real teacher, not the internet.

     
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Lowell Little's, "Embouchure Builder" might be a good source.
     
  8. Kyle Wong

    Kyle Wong New Friend

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    Nov 25, 2015
    Singapore
    I just started a couple of months ago and picked up Greg's MTM book and a copy of Arban (Carl Fisher Original Methods) as recommended to me by the good folks of this forum. Wasn't able to hold a middle C (3rd space) making the Arban an impossible book to even start with. Just 2 nights' back, I'm able to go up to E (4th space) and started to be able to at least squeak out a G just above the staff yesterday night.

    I've been practicing with the Denis Wick adjustable cup mute with the cup all the way to the bell for the lowest volume. Left the horn next to the sofa so that I can just practice a little here and there whenever possible. Suddenly, middle C became a non-issue and I'm able to go through the "First Studies" with all the basic staff. Not good at it yet but at least I can work on them.

    I believe the trick for me is, like someone mentioned above, to have short practice sessions and plenty of rest in between. I practice while watching TV (not that I enjoy the programs but to take my mind off wanting to push on with the horn).

    I still have the problem of air leaking from the left side of my lips when playing 2nd space A and above. Trying to figure out how to solve that.

    Just sharing my experience as a newbie.

    Kyle
     
  9. Culbe

    Culbe Forte User

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    I have the same problem when I am dead tired. I think it's a lack of muscle, or your muscles are tired. If it doesn't get better, even slowly, then you have something to worry about. But for right now, you are just building those muscles, don't be worried.
     
  10. larry newman

    larry newman Piano User

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    Yes, highly recommended, and will get you to a G before you know it...


    Playing in band, and playing a harmony part...second or third trumpet, will not get you very far if there's no practice behind it to back it up...heck, half the time, you're sitting there while the woodwinds or low brass go over a section!
     

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