High Ab & A

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ssbtrumpet1, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. ssbtrumpet1

    ssbtrumpet1 New Friend

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    So, about a month or so ago my playing really turned the corner. I'd been struggling my range for about 20+ years and finally I broke through the barrier. My high F, F# are pretty solid now, and G is well on its way to getting there. However, when I go up to the Ab & A above, it's as if I shoot up to the double C or C# above. And the sound comes out as kind of a whistling sound (not very pretty). Now what I'm wondering is: is this a slotting problem, embouchure problem or something else? Anybody have this same problem and did you fix it?

    Any/all help is appreciated.

    Steve
     
  2. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    If you're talking about the C two ledger lines above the staff that's a high C not a double C. If you been playing for 20 years and are just getting solid at the top of the staff, you're doing something wrong. It should only take two years or less to develop range to the top of the staff. I would suggest a good trumpet teacher to see and hear you play.
     
  3. ssbtrumpet1

    ssbtrumpet1 New Friend

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    Actually, I am talking about double C, six ledger lines above the staff.
     
  4. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

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    It might be the same problem as it is in the octave below then. I'm not sure if you continue to use standard fingerings when you're way up there, but if you do, then when you go from, let's say an E to G chromatically, you are either using one or no valves. As soon as you get to Ab, you are using two valves, and add to that the fact that it is a half step higher than the G on which you use no valves. That's what makes the gap so big. It means that you have to blow more air through a smaller hole, and up where you are, I can imagine that must be hard. Most people don't go past the G, so I say just do what you're doing and you'll make it soon enough.
     
  5. Corsair

    Corsair Pianissimo User

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    I had the same issue for many years, so, what I did was just let the embouchure take me to the C and worked the C until it got strong. Meanwhile I kept using MacArthur Park as a guide. The part where it goes from high D E F# then F# to G then A. It took some time and now can play a strong A. Sometimes working from the C DOWN to the A helped. Took about 2 years to make it easy.
     
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    If you're playing high G's and can't center Ab's,the G might be the top of your usable range for now. The distance between the notes gets smaller as you go higher.The thing to work on is relaxation.Play the G softly,then the Ab,don't worry about volume for now.
    Corsair has a good idea with using a melody you know, and playing it in the register you want to develop. The reason you're over shooting the Ab and A, is because you're trying too hard. It doesn't take a lot of air to play an A, just compressed air,so if you can play it soft you can then add a little more air and the volume will be there.
    Some figure this technique out faster than others,so don't be impatient. Remember the key is to relax not only your breathing but also your embouchure.Don"t over tense! By the way I use the same fingerings in this register as I do playing an octave lower. Sometimes using alternate fingerings can help you play a note up there more in tune, but that's not the problem you where describing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    OK! forget what I said!
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Once you are a fair ways above the staff, you have accomplished most of what is possible. Notes above high G are not "problems" if you can't play them. They are challenges. If your sound just gets thinner the higher you go, you are well on your way to getting more. If it just stops at a specific note, there is most likely a bit of pressure in your way.

    In either case, air, air and more air are the solution. There is no FIX for high range. Not everyone has the breath control, body use and chops for double C. There is no magic mouthpiece or embouchure to get there. The higher you go, the more you have to be in tune with YOUR body. Ever more detective work is necessary to find and eliminate tension. That is the difference between the best and the good.

    Slotting is a function of the instrument and mouthpiece. It refers to the instruments efficiency. It has nothing to do with more high notes or better intonation. If you have a solid high F with some endurance, you do not have an embouchure problem. If you are determined to call this a problem, then it is a patience problem.
     
  9. ssbtrumpet1

    ssbtrumpet1 New Friend

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    Thanks to all. There is some great advice up there. I wish the message board would alert me to all replys. I had no idea this many people replied to my post.

    Thanks again!
    Steve
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    I have the same problem in the stratosphere and have had it for years. For some reason around B / double C, I experience a embrochure change. Its as if my lip changes to the next partial.
     

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