High C

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Lucas65653, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Lucas65653

    Lucas65653 New Friend

    Aug 2, 2015
    I have been playing the trumpet for about three years now and am entering high school at the end of the month. I didn't practice a ton on a regular basis at home but I was involved in several ensembles, our schools jazz band, and the normal band class at my middle school. I always found the assignments in our book very boring so the majority of my time would go towards practicing popular songs that I would find the sheet music to online. I played every improvised solo in our jazz band and every written solo in concert so those would add to my list of things to practice. Needless to say I practiced way less than I should have been. As I was progressing further and becoming more advanced technically I realized that my range had cut out at high A. (I was using too much pressure.) I found rowuk's threads on the subject and started following his daily routine recommendation and his circle of breath/ playing a scale from low c to high c without tounguing and very softly. I've been doing that for a week and a half and have noticed considerable improvement in my tone, control, and range. I can now play up to a high c and everything in between feels much much easier to play. The question that I have is when I play my high c it sounds very unsupported and hard to control. How do I get a more powerful/ controlled high c? I know that it would be best to get a tutor and I am looking into that but I wanted to get some different opinions and see what other people thought?

    EDIT: I can play a soft high C and have it sound good and get it to about a mp without losing control and can play a high d very very softly.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  2. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    The answer is short and sweet.
    You practice. You rest a bit, then you practice some more.

    Rich T.
  3. Lucas65653

    Lucas65653 New Friend

    Aug 2, 2015
    My question is more of what to practice and how to practice it.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Expanding your range from an A above the staff to a C above the staff will take a lot more than just 10 days to accomplish. It may take weeks or even months. From your reply, it sounds like you feel like things are getting better, so maybe you're on the right track. Consider giving yourself more time.

  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I fyou found my circle of breath posts, you found everything that you need -in my opinion. Your C sounds unsupported because it is. In my circle of breath posts you will also find a statement that success is achieved in months and years not days and weeks. Structured improvement needs structured practice, preferably monitored by someon who plays better than you do. I really believe it is not WHAT you practice as much as HOW. Teachers use standard methods because they generally are intelligently structured to build based on previous lessons in a logical way. If that is too boring, one sided development (only playing what you like) is very probably. Solid upper register is not a trick, rather building patterns of motion and control for the whole body. It is kind of like sports where you don't get good by simply getting a stronger body. There are many logical sequences of things that we learn when we do learn to like structure.

    My circle of breath starts with long tones, then goes to lipslurs and then easy music. After that, the practice session starts with things needed like etudes, velocity studies, technical studies.
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The book Top Tones for the Trumpeter has a really neat range exercise in the first part. Your high C will become more stable if you have a working range that works you beyond High C. As long as C is your highest note you only will have the strength for the high C. Expand beyond that and the C will be easier and stronger.
  8. Lucas65653

    Lucas65653 New Friend

    Aug 2, 2015
    Do you have any recommendations for what etudes, velocity studies and technical studies I should practice and how I should practice them?
  9. Lucas65653

    Lucas65653 New Friend

    Aug 2, 2015

    Thank you I will definitely check out that book! Also, do you know why it is that C gets stronger and easier to play as you expand your range? Is that always the case ie. If you had a range to dbl C would that still sound weaker and be harder to play than the rest of your range? Is it something psychological where subconsciously you think that it's your highest note so you unknowingly strain or view it as a harder task than it should be? Or is it more of the higher you go, the stronger your lips and emboushure need to become in order to play and sustain the notes so then if your emboushure is strong enough for you to play a high g above high c then it's also strong enough to play lower notes in a more controlled manner?
  10. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

    Jun 26, 2015
    I know people always use the body builder analogy but it really works. If you can bench 120kg max, then you'll be able to do a couple of reps and that'll be that. If you can bench 180kg, then 120kg will feel like a doddle - you'll have better control and you'll be able to sustain it for much longer.

Share This Page