High Note Frustration

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

  1. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    I am currently helping a new to Trumpet/Bugle older gentleman (retired) to play. We started last November, with the intent to have the Last Post for ANZAC Day = April. He had the Bb above the stave by March, and the Last Post under his belt for home play. We practiced only Bugle, so he could get used to the open partials, and understand tuning by lipping up and down, and long tones.

    He has the High C pretty secure now, and has started on Bb Trumpet about a month ago. He has a decent tone, and he has a great ear. So I am sure that a High C can happen within a year.

    I started on Bugle when I was 13, and started on trumpet before I was 15, and had a range of 11 open notes... we did not learn music to play, we just used numbers. I started to learn Trumpet at 14. Moving air, and projecting with a Bugle gave me all the basics I needed, but learning music, and correct trumpet playing both got refined with a teacher.

    And we all struggle with that next partial - nothing comes easy.
     
  2. redintheface

    redintheface Pianissimo User

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    I think age has something to do with this as well. My thoughts are that we use body muscles (diaphragm, lungs, lips, plus "core" body strength), to achieve the "squeeze" required to make our breath come out of our mouth and down the trumpet. It takes time to develop these muscles, both in terms of strength, and in terms of HOW we use them. We can't expect a miracle overnight, unfortunately.

    Look at the age of most successful professional athletes, and it is often in their late 20s and early 30s when they are at their peak, except in some cases where it can be even later (40s in bodybuilding). It takes TIME to develop the muscles, and I'm not talking about just a summer, it takes YEARS.

    You say you are a junior in High School. Go easy on yourself, your body is still growing, adjusting, developing, and to force things now could damage your body. I know, I forced things and herniated my neck at about your age (I can look like a bullfrog on one side of my neck - it bulges out under pressure). This can never be fixed, I have to live with it for the rest of my life.

    I know that there is HUGE pressure to be "the best", or play "the highest", or "loudest", or something, but you have to work with what you have got - your body, your talents, not someone else's.

    Follow the advice of Rowuk, it is VERY good advice. Good routine, strength and endurance developing exercises, patience, not overdoing it, patience, and did I remember to add PATIENCE hahahahaha!!!

    Good luck, and please keep posting here, we would love to hear how you develop.
     
  3. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    I think high range is one of the big taboo's in trumpetplaying.
    People are lying their ass off on this subject.
    In my youth I was a cyclist for competition and in the dressing rooms all the succesful athletes claimed that they never practiced. Maybe one little hour or so a few days a week when the weather was ok.
    When somebody intervened bij stating that he practiced more than 20 hours a week and was only able to follow there was this big silence....
    I think the posts of Rowuk and Peter will frustrate almost everybody. If they are are right the OP has to count his blessings and can better go selling his trumpet or change it for a guitar like most of us, you and me have to accept that we are losers.
    On the other hand, all the threads in forums like "High range development" and all the books and methods in which getting high range is explained by being patient and so on are completely worthless and can be thrown away what could be a delight.
    In the meantime I think the OP could do better in 6 years but not MUCH better! There is a big difference in hitting some notes above high c (I can) and having an effective range over there.
    If Peter above had a high c within a year he must (with that talent) now be able to top off triple c's for hours at a stretch. Same for the beginner students of Rowuk. Something says to me that that is not the case.
    As a trombone player I had an exceptional talent for high blowing without knowing that. I played solidly from written scores up to high f (concert pitch of course). I could play without any pressure I'm getting sentimental over you in original (Tommy Dorsey) key of d, but it took me at least 4 to 5 years to get there. And I never realised that it could be something special. Sorry that I am so sceptical, I will not exclude the possibility that there will be some day some student who is able to produce a decent high c within a year but to present that as routine seems to me a little bit disrespectful to what I think a majority of players who struggled for years to get a decent range.
     
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Hey Franklin D,

    I am a hack, hobbyist player.

    I have a good range, but it never developed past a High G - the one above High C. I blew my head off learning Bugle as a lad, and gave up trumpet in my 20's. I was playing at least 2 hours a day for 6 days a week while at school. I was OK, but not great - but range was never an issue. I gave up for 20+ years, and when I came back I could play a 2 octave chromatic straight up. My idea of a warm up was a 2 octave C scale. Crazy and dumb - but you don't know what you don't know until someone tells you so.

    Background - Started on Bugle at School and Cadets, had to work in a Lumber Yard over my school break to buy my first horn. I went to Queensland College of Music at 14, Queensland Academy of Music at 15, mentored and had weekly lessons with Paddy Fitzallen from 15 to about age 21. Paddy taught me more about Jazz and how to play than anyone else.

    I came back to playing at age 50. I am still a hobbyist and I say it as I see it, based on what I have done. There are members here that know me, and have played with me, and I tell it as it is.
    I Practice daily, six days a week, as well as rehearsals 3 to 4 sometimes 5 times a week depending on the schedule for each band.

    BTW I still take lessons, as I still have a lot to learn on trumpet.
    I play Trumpet /Flugelhorn/cornet in a Concert Band,
    I play Trumpet/Trombone in a Big Band
    I play a number of brass instruments in a Trad Jazz Band
    I play trumpet/ cornet/ flugel in a Light Orchestra

    Range is something we can struggle with forever, but it is only 1 aspect of playing. I am not a Lead player, and don't ever want to be.
    BTW- I moved back to Trombone only about 12 months ago, and maybe Stumac can tell you where my range is on trom...
    I still try to have an annual lesson with Greg Spence if I can. Am I a good player - No, but range is not an issue.
     
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Ok I have calmed down.

    My point was that we all struggle with range as we develop, and we develop differently. But we will all experience the same frustration, only to play different partials, and at different times of our development.

    For range, it is not hard to get the range to a High C if you start with a Bugle for 6 months. Then when the player moves to trumpet, understanding where the partials are makes it easier to feel that you can get those notes. The struggle and frustration for the next partial in our range is the same for all of us.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
  6. richtom

    richtom Forte User

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    It's not hard to get range early with the right teacher and method(s). Range comes from proper use of air flow and keeping tension out of the body.
    This is what Bud Herseth said about high range:

    High range is not a separate part of trumpet playing, yet most players make such a big deal of it. It is not any more physical than any other aspects of trumpet playing, rather it should be just as musical. Just move the air more and keep a good sound, and it will always be there.

    Notice move the air more. That is where the solid foundation comes into play. Teach a young player to breathe correctly and the high range is not that "difficult".

    Skyscrapers are built on deep, solid foundations going into bedrock. Trumpet playing is the same way.

    Face it. Some trumpet players never develop the air support to play in the upper register. They aren't "losers", just not properly taught or don't practice.

    Here is an example of being properly taught. No extreme upper register here, but a solid foundation taught by a master to his sons. And yes, recordings show they had the upper register as well.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5poVkbOrN4

    Rich T.
     
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  7. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    Yes sir, sorry sir, it will not happen again.
     
  8. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

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    Another common misperception about playing in the extreme upper register is that you have to practice a lot up there and 'try' and get the notes out. But to acquire the set-up to play up there is all about having very solid mechanics in the range of the horn from low F3 to high C or D. Read my post in the 'corners of the mouth' thread and I talk about the exercise I use with great success. Just lip slurs up to high C but in one of the most effective and efficient ways I've ever seen them presented. If you build your lip slurs in the range I mentioned, the extreme upper register should be no problem, provided you are using efficient equipment and have no major embouchure issues - but you probably wouldn't be able to do good lip slurs if you had major embouchure issues. People talk about 'muscle memory' way up in the high register - and this I definitely agree with. But if you improvise, you never have to do any 'exercises' up in the extreme range - much better to improvise music up there. There's a reason why MF said to take melodies and transpose them up. The only other thing he recommended for chops, as far as I know, is the lip slurs in the Arban's. This is from talking/working with players who worked in his band and questioned him. Hope this helps! All the very best, Lex
    p.s. - If you want to play upstairs powerfully in a lead manner, don't discount your mouthpiece and trumpet - make sure the mouthpiece is shallow enough and the bite isn't too sharp, and the diameter fits your lips! You want to use the right tool for the job (Bobby Shew talks a lot about this) - and a good 'middle of the road' horn as far as specs - not something that blows too big - or is too tight.. There's a myriad of ones to choose from - read the reviews and look at what cats who are known for playing up there play. If I wanted to, I could make my living just on my Getzen Capri from the 70's - yeah the one with the first valve trigger.. cost me under $300 on EBAY:-)
     
  9. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

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    "and all the books and methods in which getting high range is explained by being patient and so on are completely worthless and can be thrown away what could be a delight."

    If you are not seeing a noticeable change in a couple of months, you are being too patient IMO - If you are expecting a big noticeable change in 1-2 weeks, then you're being impatient!:-)
     
  10. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    I think I was quite clear in what I wanted to say but too many people here think that they can use it for their own purpose so I am logging out now and will not be able to give any answer anymore
     

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