High Note Frustration

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by KidOfIron, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. KidOfIron

    KidOfIron New Friend

    May 30, 2015
    Hello. I'm sure there are a ton of threads like this, and for that I apologize. My issue is that I am so frustrated at my lack of growth in terms of my range. I have had the same useable range for a year now. I am a junior in high school, I take private lessons, I practice everyday and try to make sure I'm doing everything right, to the best of my knowledge. I just feel as if my work is vain because I can't perform anything above an A above staff. It wouldn't be as bad, but I need a C above staff for this marching season. I've worked and worked trying to expand my range, doing everything my teacher said as well as trying various online suggestions. I was hoping someone could tell me why I haven't seen any growth as well as help me expand my range. Thank you.
  2. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    Get a new teacher. Plateaus come and go, but you need a plateau-buster, which means something must change.
    Also, welcome to TM!
  3. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Without seeing/hearing you play, no one can diagnose your problem, however in general cutting out at a particular note can be due to 3 basics, too much mouthpiece pressure, too much tension in the chops and not enough air support. Your teacher should be the best one to fix these.

    However not all teachers can, in my 30 year comeback of the several teachers I have had only 1 addressed the mechanics of playing the instrument, the others taught me music. There are some good videos on youtube.

    Regards, Stuart.
  4. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Range is something earned for most of us. A solid base of fundamentals must generally be built first. How long have you been playing? Google up posts by moderators rowuk and Vulgano Brother concerning range. They have addressed the issue time and again and have much helpful advice to offer. Remember that over-doing is an unhelpful trap many youngsters (and others too!) fall into. Best wishes in your trumpeting efforts and welcome to TM.

  5. NMex

    NMex Pianissimo User

    Dec 23, 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    I think my range was about the same, when I was your age. I stared playing when I was in the 5th grade. I do recall making great progress over the summer between by junior and senior year. I never had private instruction until I was much older, much older. You really do not have much higher to go in terms of partials. I watched a video last night on Youtube where the gentleman talked about it being better and more effective when trying to build range to break your practice sessions into many, shorter sessions rather than trying to having one long session per day. He talked about that in terms of muscle memory and the fact that 23 hours (if one were practicing 1 hr. per day) between sessions is just too long. Your teacher should be able to help you determine whether your equipment is holding you back or not and you should be able to add exercises to your daily routine that will help you increase range. Being that the summer may be winding down for you, you'll need to be dedicated in your practice. The trumpet is a jealous instrument. Wanting to improve is great but requires dedication and sacrifice. It'll certainly help you weed out anything unnecessary in the rest of your daily routine. Can you get together with other players in your band and practice etudes, duets, etc.? Can you get music from your band director so that you can begin working on it? Those things will help.
    Good luck,
  6. KidOfIron

    KidOfIron New Friend

    May 30, 2015
    Pressure was something my instructor addressed immediately and I make sure I do not use pressure to play high.
  7. KidOfIron

    KidOfIron New Friend

    May 30, 2015
    I have played trumpet for six years.
  8. KidOfIron

    KidOfIron New Friend

    May 30, 2015
    Also I want to say that my range doesn't cut out an A, it's just unreliable past that. Some (really good) days I can play up to a D without much issue. I can usually play solid Bbs.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    We get posts like this every year at this time. It always is the same thing. Some young adult crash and burns on summer marching band program and hopes that there is a quick fix.

    Well, quick doesn't exist because that is not how our body works. In your case I think we can find out what is wrong IF you are honest with us. The rest is up to you.

    Two things that probably could be considered Rowuks Law:
    1) if your range stops at a particular note - you are using too much pressure
    2) if your range is weak but doesn't stop at a specific note, then your breathing and body use suck.

    It really doesn't matter which one you have, the solution is the same. Get a solid daily routine (yes, it has been posted a thousand times here and is easily searchable). long tones, lipslurs, breathing, body use.

    If you have been playing for 6years and can't play a reliable high C, something is wrong and only a one on one lesson from a decent teacher can provide fast input what is wrong. My students, even beginners have a high C in the first year of lessons. I monitor their breathing body use and daily routine.

    We can't fix your problem for summer marching band. Take the problem sections down an octave or accept the fact that some things in life remain challenges. Playing well is a process. There are no miracles or magic.
  10. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

    May 23, 2009
    The Netherlands
    This is really a miracle. Great respect. I am 67 now and after playing 28 years trombone in a big bands and as a solist I know hundreds of trombone and trumpet players but never heard anything close to this.
    Imagine that you had been professor in medicine! All your students would have finished their studies cum laude in only one year!
    But this is still modest in comparison with TH. There are juniors of 13 to 15 who play the trumpet for one year and a half and who complain that their tone becomes a little bit thinner above double c and how that is possible.

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