Help From the High Note Guys

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Buccaneer, Jul 22, 2012.

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  1. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer New Friend

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    Nov 23, 2011
    Hello all!
    I am currently a high school student and have been playing trumpet for 8 years now and want to major on the instrument. I currently ran into an issue however... I am having problems expanding my range. I have been working out of various lip flexibility books, mostly Clarke's book. My range, unfortunatly, has not seen any improvements. One day I can play a strong G above high C and the next I can only get up to an Eb above high C. I need to get the G stronger and consistant. I usually spend about ten minutes every day on range and another minimum of an hour, usually an hour and a half, on other things. (Arbans, Jazz Conceptions etc.) My dad (who is also my band director :shock:) told me that "something just needs to click". I do not know what he means by this. I don't think it really matters but I use a Yamaha 14B4 mouthpiece for just about everything, however for marching band I use a Bobby Shew 1.5. I play on a Yamaha 6345G horn, which is a relatively large bore. I will do anything to improve my range, please help me out.
    Thank you in advance!
    -Eddie
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  2. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

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    I dont see the problem. What is the problem? That you can get the G sometimes and the Eb others?
     
  3. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer New Friend

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    Nov 23, 2011
    Yes, that's the problem. I need the G consistently
     
  4. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

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    Need? Please explain why you NEED a G. A Eb is just fine, that will cover Haydn. You might need the E for a jazz chart but really anything above is not used.
     
  5. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer New Friend

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    Nov 23, 2011
    This year in marching band we have a show called "Gangsta Jazz". It opens with a drum break followed by a solo G on the trumpet, I'm having problems with that. Also, I really enjoy playing jazz and would love to build my chops to the "lead level"! :)
     
  6. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

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    Okay, I see it now. I posted the link to anyone else that wanted to hear this show.

    Well, with the time of the year now and what you need. I suggest passing off that part to another player. That is a nice shake on a G, not a squeaky G. A squeak will hurt you if I am judging you. If nobody else can do it, find that chord that it is and take the lower note. My best guess is that it is a concert Bb or F chord that will allow you to play a E or a D in place of the note.

    Also, a lead level is a solid C to G every time all the time plus a little more maybe.

    Gangsta Jazz - YouTube
     
  7. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer New Friend

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    Nov 23, 2011
    Okay thanks!
    I don't need the shake, just the note. And even if I can't get it for the show I will still need it later in my playing career. So I just need to know some books or methods I could possibly use to improve more.
     
  8. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

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    Long tones.
     
  9. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

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    Roger that, but more: There is no instant fix--of that be sure. It is reported over and over on this site. It is gradual strengthening. I have recently found the book by Frink and McNeill called Flexus. It's about $34 on Amazon. It has some great exercises which seem to be helping even an old recovering codger like me. But pay attention to what they say. Only do a certain number of each exercise, because, again it it a gradual strengthening process. They advocate note bending (down a half tone; back up to tone center. Start in staff. Keep mpc on the chops thru each exercise by breathing thru your nose. (This is really just a variation of long tones with note centering as a nice end to each tone. With note centering you find the sweet spot for each note on your chops and your horn.) Amazon should allow you a look at some pages gratis; see if you can find the ones in Preliminary Studies that I am talking about. But better, get the book and begin the process.

    PS Eventually you do need the shake. It is the ultimate in flexibility.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  10. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    When someone asks a question about range limitations up to the High G? The answer is almost ALWAYS rooted in physics of the embouchure positioning and muscular movements including the jaw (the jaw relative to the teeth that is).

    The one exception to the above would be due to an over training issue.

    This may seem an odd premise since I think that (generally speaking) we should always emphasize BREATHING as the main prerequisite in endurance/range problems. And in fact breathing should be made the number one concern. It isn't, however directly related to a cut-off point such as Eddie has described.

    One of the best discussions I've ever read comes from the late Lee C over at trumpetherald. Short of Roy Stevens no one I've read so far really understands or explains the significance of the "pinned upper lip". Plus Roy was seemingly negligent in his insistence that all trumpet players should blow with a forward jaw. Lee took the pinned upper lip matter farther and pointed out that fixing this situation could help all trumpet players. Not just those who play forward jaw. He also pointed out the fact that some trumpet players, due to physiology of the upper lip can NOT blow with a forward jaw.


    His response to a letter of mine discussing the benefits of Maggio and/or Claude Gordon methods posted somewhere from T/H in a message he sent me a few years back:


    1. Lower the upper lip a tad below the teeth. Has nothing to do with how much lip ratio is in the mouthpiece. I call this "ZEV" for "Zone of Efficient Vibration" The determining factor of most importance in the upper register is having sufficient upper lip below the upper teeth. Really easy stuff to understand. Sad that the major authors of trumpet pedogogy didn't figure it our forty years ago...

    Gordon
    (Claude) helped you by inadvertently causing you to do this. His pedal tones and upper lip ratio unintentionally pulled more of your upper lip down below your teeth to create the proper ZEV. However since the system didn't directly enforce the physical law your results were sporadic and limited.


    2. Keeping all upper lip flesh within the mouthpiece relaxed at all times and in every register. Especially the upper register. I call this T/STF for "Tension/Suppleness Threshold Factor". Control of pitch comes from the muscles either on or outside the mouthpiece rim.



    The third one is avoidance of over training.




    Note how he pointed out "over training" as a major factor. Often times over training problems are indistinguishable from physical factors. This is because even if you create what Lee calls a "Zone of Efficient Vibration" in order to play consistently strong High G's it can still all fall apart from having a swollen, fatigued and otherwise over trained set of chops.
     

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