High A, High B, and Double C

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by EggNoggin, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. EggNoggin

    EggNoggin New Friend

    Aug 13, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Hi, I'm a lead player in a few big band ensembles.

    A high G is no problem for me, I can hit it pretty consistantly. But now I want to extend myself beyond that and really show off, like a normal lead player is supposed to, right?

    Anyway, in terms of playability, high A's and B's are next to impossible to get out, while double C's are a lot easier. I can go high C, D, E, F, G and then hit a wall at A, yet I can slot up to a C. Is this due to the physics of the trumpet? If so, should I think about investing in a pro model horn?

    As of now, I'm playing a Yamaha Intermediate model, more specifically a YTR-2335.

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  2. CaptainAddy

    CaptainAddy Pianissimo User

    Nov 14, 2010
    Camden County, GA
    Let's get something straight: are we talking about the C two ledger lines above the staff, or the one an octave above that? The latter is the true double C. If you can hit double C, you should be able to hit the A and B, as the notes in the altissimo register are very close together. What it seems to me, is that you're a high school player with a very corrupt sense of music theory (not trying to be rude). The C that I think you're talking about, is the C that is usually the limit for traditional concert music.

    Oh, and the 2335 is a student model--no intermediate about it. For Yamaha, intermediate instruments are the 4-series.

    But to answer your question: Your valves could be out of alignment, you could need to clean your trumpet, there's a myriad of things it could be.
  3. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Egg Noggin,
    I normally move posts like this into the entertainment section. It sure does not sound like anything general trumpet.

    The problem with high notes is that we are not all born equal. I do not believe that extreme upper register is available to all. That has nothing to do with the muscles, it has to do with the attitude, brains and ears to know what the part needs to sound like and have the patience to develop what is necessary.

    In your case, I find your range claims sound exaggerated by an octave.

    That being said, I have worked with several players that could play high Gs (one octave ABOVE the staff) but no higher. The problem was mouthpiece pressure. It took them the better part of a year to solve that because they were not willing to take some time off.

    Your problem however seems to be YOU. A real lead player does not need to show off. They know what makes the part more magnificent and WHEN that makes sense. Anything else is just noise.

    If you think that you want to be a lead player, the best thing is to get lessons from one. Then at least you have a role model.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Tea kettle blues!
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    +1 ... I am crying because I am laughing so hard... too funny. What a glorious way to prove a point.. so you want to play trumpet or spend all your time to sound like a tea pot.
    still laughing at the video though
  7. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    As far as your question is concerned ... it never hurts to go out and try horns out even months before you might buy one. I would advise against just trying to find a horn that makes you feel you can play higher on.
    I will tell you in college I played lead and almost every other player in the section could play higher than me ... but because I had better tone, technical ability and could read them into the ground. I played lead while they were standing around seeing who could play higher.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Comfort. The key is comfort. Relax, and get the right equipment that lets your lips vibrate freely on the mouthpiece. Perhaps more room in the cup, perhaps a lighter freer blowing horn. And then there is always practice. But practice relaxed, with comfort. The key is comfort.
  9. ruling

    ruling New Friend

    Apr 24, 2011
    The Monadnocks, NH
    Back in HS band (early 70's) the four trumpeters were all competing to see who could get the highest note. It was pretty ridiculous. None of our music required it.

    That is, until the music teacher handed out Chameleon. Then we pooled our allowances to get an 8-track to see what Maynard Ferguson sounded like. Holy heck! I can't remember what the highest note was but it did start out with a high Eb in the first bar. From a cold start.

    We never did play it well enough to perform in front of an audience.

    The funny thing about that song, in retrospect, is that the best part is the bass foundation.
  10. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Hi EggNoggin. I think ROWUK gave the best advice (which you may already be doing) -- "[if you] want to be a lead player, the best thing is to get lessons from one."

    To answer your original question, I don't think the problem is because you are playing an intermediate trumpet. CaptainAddy offered a few possible problems with your horn, but none of them have to do with the fact that it's not a pro trumpet. You can always try a friend's horn to see if you have the same problem with the notes you mentioned.

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