High note problems & Mouthpiece queries

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Justamirage, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Justamirage

    Justamirage New Friend

    Feb 1, 2016
    Hey everyone, I'm a trumpet player from north Carolina and I'm relatively new to this website. I've been viewing the forums for a while but never got the chance to make an account and ask some questions.
    Anyways, I have a problem with hitting a certain note, E. The E above high C is probably the most difficult note for me to play, and no matter what I do I feel as if I cannot hit that note to save my life. I can play above it such as double A, Ab, G, etc. I was curious if anyone going give some guidance as to what I could do to practice specific notes such as that. As I said I can play all around the note but not that note.

    On another topic, I'm thinking about buying a Monette mouthpiece. I know you guys must get this questions multiple times daily, but I could use some help. I'm currently playing on the Yamaha Allen Vizzutti Signature mouthpiece and enjoy it very much. I tend to use a lot of pressure, which is horrible to do, and sometimes I can a small slit on the right side of my lip from the inner rip, alone with a outline of my rip from the mouthpiece pressure. I was curious if someone would be able to suggest a mouthpiece going off of my current mouthpiece. I play in marching band and an constantly plating above the staff and double G's and A's so I'd prefer to have a lead mouthpiece.

    I hope that someone can help!
    Also I'm not sure if this was the right category but I wasn't sure where this would fit.

  2. MusicianOfTheNight

    MusicianOfTheNight Pianissimo User

    Jan 24, 2016
    New York/Austria
    LONG TONES!!!!!!!!

    They will help you get a feel for what the note feels like and sounds like. Start on third space C and hold for a long as you can with the best tone. Keep moving up the chromatic scale like this. Note: This will take a while! Don't take short cuts. Also when playing long tones use a tuner! Try to keep a good tone, and the note in tune.

    I own a B6-S1 gold Monette mouthpiece in their middle weight. It is my favorite mouthpiece (The only mouthpiece I use), and I doubt I will ever need to switch to something else.
    Why do you want a new mouthpiece? If you can tell me why you think that getting a new mouthpiece will help you, I will give you some advice on mouthpieces.

    Pressure is bad!!!!! Don't do it.
    Take your pinky out of the ring. Rest it on top. Also going back to long tones-practice them with no pressure. They will sound very bad, but eventually will sound much nicer. Lip slurs are also great.

    Hope I helped
  3. Justamirage

    Justamirage New Friend

    Feb 1, 2016
    Well, being that Monette is a widely known in the trumpet industry and I've heard great things about them I was debating on trying one of their mouthpieces. After long performances my endurance can sometimes get to me (In which long tones will help), and I'd just like to see how a Monette mouthpiece would fair in the situations. I'm also debating on buying a new trumpet, which I'm talking about in another post, or a new Monette mouthpiece.
  4. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    Have you tried alternate fingerings?
    I would not suspect the mp as being an issue. Pressure, and undue amounts of it, is your problem.
  5. Justamirage

    Justamirage New Friend

    Feb 1, 2016
    Yeah, I tend to use a ton of pressure and I try to practice not using it. Then when I try to use little pressure I feel I cant get a good buzz going on and when I try to go up there its as if I cant push the note forward. And being in marching band I need to push those notes. I don't understand why pressure would negate that single note though. As I said I can play the notes all around it, Eb, F, F#, G, Ab, A, etc.
  6. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

    Mar 11, 2015
    Tidewater, VA
    Long, soft ppp tones should get you there if you feel you can't get a good buzz at higher dynamics.
  7. Brasseria

    Brasseria Pianissimo User

    Jan 10, 2016
    If the mouthpiece rim is causing actual damage (cuts) you need a different rim.

    People use mouthpiece pressure. The higher and louder you play, the more gets used. All pros use a LOT. Bergeron has had times where he's been blowing blood out of the spit valve.

    I'm not saying that is good, but I doubt mouthpiece pressure is the problem, and the simple solution is you need a different rim, either different diameter to avoid whatever it is that is causing cuts to the lips, or a wider rim so that the pressure is more distributed. A different bite could help as well.

    I remember the yamaha vizzutti rim to be quite thin and rounded, which is good for articulation, but doesn't work for everyone. Get something a bit less rounded, maybe a bit wider rim, in the same size and depth and go from there.

    For the E, Work from above, coming down to the E, rather than going up to it from below.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This whole thread is so wrong on so many levels.

    Forget the Monette mouthpiece. If the player has bad habits, it is more problems than help (I have been playing Monette since 1997).

    Forget about high notes for now. We use pressure because the correct way of playing is deficient. Breathing and body use generally suck in a big way. Just "trying" to use less pressure is a waste of time if we have not built the supporting habits. When our range stops at a specific note, pressure is clamping off the lips.

    The first step to fixing the problem is to stop trying to play high notes. We are creatures of habit and every time that we repeat stupid, we strengthen it, make it more permanent! Search on my circle of breath here. That has everything needed to get a daily routine that strengthens body and face. Without good habits, things do not get better.
  9. Sidekick

    Sidekick Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 14, 2011
    London UK
    I'm no expert, but I'd echo rowuk's comments here.

    Really you seem to know that something is not right because you are causing your lips to split and you know that you are using "tons of pressure".

    I know that you asked specifically about the problem with the "E", but would gently suggest that you take a moment to think about the way that you are playing those high notes.

    I am not especially familiar with the marching band set up in the US, but understand that there is a lot of competition for places and that playing high is the order of the day, so I can appreciate that you probably don't want to think about laying off the high notes while you address this, but you know that something is no right here.

    Just consider what rowuk has to say, his track record on posts here suggests that he does know what he is on about. Have a think about what you are doing right and what you are doing poorly - as someone said to me recently "Practice makes permanent, not perfect" - don't keep going regardless, as you'll just continue to injure yourself.

    I'd hold off on a new mouthpiece until you get this sorted.
  10. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Queens, NY
    Playing the same exercise every day can train the playing mechanism to develop more and more efficiency. All the range you want can be built in the range between low F# and high C. Establishing the muscle memory for the higher notes does not take long and can be easily found by playing musically up there - AFTER - you establish more efficiency in your chops. Practicing chromatic scale movement is an extremely effective way to train your playing mechanism. It is the smallest movement between two notes your chops can make as far as slots on a standard Bb trumpet. The more you practice this movement, the more your chops learn how little movement it takes to move between half steps. You want to get your range to where it feels close to like a piano keyboard. I.E. - Where there is little movement and the only change you will notice is the exertion in your abdominal and upper body region as it creates faster air speed for higher notes. Your embouchure remains relaxed and feels like it is not really moving discernibly. I'll give you a 'magic' exercise. Clarke's Technical Study #1 from the middle out. (In this order: 13, 12, 11, 14, 10, 15, etc.) Do each line slurred and tongued. Do it several times a day spread out if you can. You should notice results within several weeks.

    As far as mouthpieces - it's not the brand. You need a diameter that fits your chops comfortably and, in your case for the type of playing you want to do, I'd recommend a soft bite to the rim with a shallow cup. I would study some of the articles on the Stork website I am pasting to easily educate yourself about what will work for your chops: New Page 1 Best of luck! Lex
    p.s. - I'd recommend one of the Marcinkiewicz Signature Series mouthpieces. Read some of the articles on the Stork website and see if your chops would do better with a bigger diameter or a smaller diameter - on the Marcinkiewicz Signature Series page you will find mouthpieces that are set up well for efficient commercial, lead, and high note work.

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