High note / lip buzzing issue

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by The Weez, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. The Weez

    The Weez Piano User

    Dec 23, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    For a long time I've hit a wall at E over high C in my range. In fact some days I can't even hit it, so I consider D to be my highest usable note. When practicing I can move up to the Eb but the E is very elusive.

    I have been experimenting lately, trying to make sure my embouchure is correct, air support, etc. It just seems like when I get to that E my lips stop buzzing, and I can't figure out why. I've tried taking the trumpet away from my lips while playing various notes, and above the Eb they just aren't vibrating.

    I should also note that it's very difficult for me to lip buzz w/o a mouthpiece. I've seen videos of guys buzzing all over the place, high and low. I just can't seem to do it.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    It is very difficult to determine exactly what is going on with your buzz but I suspect that you may have too much tension in general or possibly setting your lips too close together to start with.

    What I've found to be a good excercise to combat this is playing scales starting in the middle register, say second line G, ascend one octave, descend two octaves and then play a 2 octave arpeggio ending a third above your tonic note (in the case of the G scale that would be B) striving for a nice clear, even tone throughout.

    Do this for all scales, progressing slowly higher. Stopping at the point where the sound refusesto be clear and full.

    Over time your useable range will increase.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    When your range stops at a specific note, the reason is always the same. TOO MUCH PRESSURE SQUEEZING THE CHOPS OFF.

    That usually comes from sub standard breathing and an inadequate practice routine.

    Solution: better breathing habits (optimally monitored by a good teacher) and a better daily routine to evolutionize your playing.
  4. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Evolutionize? That technical trumpet lingo gets baffling... :D
  5. The Weez

    The Weez Piano User

    Dec 23, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    Thanks guys.
    I've been trying to focus on reducing pressure but i still have a lot of tension up high. I know I'm cutting off the air somewhere; I just can't tell where.
  6. TrumpetMonk

    TrumpetMonk Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2009
    West virginia
    Yea, I used to have that problem, still do on some occasions. It's deffinitly a pressure thing, but mostly mental pressure. Make sure to stay mentally relaxed. What I do, is just get as relaxed as possible, hear it in my head, take a big 'ol relaxed breath and blow that stuff down the street. :D
  7. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    Crack the old Colling lip flex book out and do some of the ex out of there every other day and you will soon be up there :)

    also do the 'pencil' trick, on your top lip and in your lips pointing out for aslong as you can

    with your buzzing issue, go right back to basics, buzz long notes
    go up in a scale, arpeggeos etc then try without the MP the same sort of things just keep easy then build up. I tend to buzz along with the radio when im driving :)
  8. rainbowboy023

    rainbowboy023 Pianissimo User

    Feb 15, 2011
    Its hard to tell with out actually seeing you play but from what you posted your focusing on your embouchure to much. It may seem odd, but range doesn't come from your embouchure but instead your air stream. To get high you need to move your air faster and support it to in order to sustain it.
  9. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I've seen other players with this problem. It's usually caused by too much pressure,too much tension in the lips,not enough breath support and clenching the teeth too tight. As a matter of fact, most improved as soon as they learned to play with their teeth set a little further apart than they were used to.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Mouthpiece is being jammed into the lips. That is the mechanism that cuts the sound off at a specific note. Slower, more methodical development is usually the answer. Sometimes a hard concept for the testosterone driven player.

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