High note troubles.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bydetn18, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. bydetn18

    bydetn18 New Friend

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    After much delay, I am finally practicing my trumpet again. After a couple of months practice I feel I'm coming along pretty well, except I'm still having a lot of trouble hitting the high notes. Any advice? I play a Bach Omega with a 7 C mouthpiece. On a side note, what is everyone's opinion of the megatone mouthpieces?
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    First the Megatone question: Word on the street is that the Megatone mouthpieces don't really have enough mass to provide the benefits of a heavy mouthpiece. They do have a larger throat, however.

    Now the hard part. It is impossible to prescribe what to do specifically for you over the internet. Skype might work, but is not the same of having a flesh and blood teacher in the same room with you. Anything we can prescribe is generic. Pay no attention to those who advocate a certain embouchure--what works well for one player doesn't necessarily work for someone else.

    So, if you have the Arban's edited by Goldman and Smith (annotated by Claude Gordon) have your chromatic scales memorized, and can play g above the staff, turn to page 78, Nr. 9. It consists of two octave sixteenth note chromatic scales. Start with the last line; play it very softly and repeat as many times as you can with a single breath. Then play the next to last line after a short break. Your body will tell you when it is ready to go on.

    The key is playing very softly. Soft playing requires more chop strength than loud playing and the small aperture required is also what we need for high playing.

    Have fun!
     
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  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    More patience, more practice, and more air
     
  4. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi bydetn,
    The 7C is a fine mouthpiece and will take you far. As for going up the register, usually when an inexperienced player sees a note that's a little high, they hunker down and put gobs of force and tension on the process. Wrong!
    Play scales but play them soft. Soft and beautiful. The trumpet is a beautiful thing when it's played soft. Also, any poop slinging chimp can play loud. How to tame the trumpet and make it sing instead of sounding like a device that's signaling the coming of an army is the big secret to success. Many times people can't play in the upper register because they blow so hard that the air stream generated is so powerful that it blows the lips apart keeping them from occilating (buzzing).
    Along with soft scales, I would suggest lip slurs (SOFT!) as low and as high as you can while maintaining a good sound.
    Start with open low C and go as high as you can and back down. Work this for about a minute if you can. Remember, soft!!
    Next, do the same thing but with these valve combinations:
    (Open), 123, 13, 23, 12, 1, 2,
    Last, measure your progress. How?
    Practice every day.
    Be sure it involves:
    1. A little single, double, triple, tonguing
    2. Lip slurs
    3. Some songs
    ------
    Hope this helps and as for megatone mouthpieces, they look swell but they won't do anything more than your 7C will. If its a silver bullet you're looking for (and I think we've all looked for one) practicing soft and having a well rounded routine is the answer.
    Hope this helps.
    Dr.Mark
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Yes, the answer is in your question. You are just coming back. Give time a chance. Time and practice will get you to where you want to be. Just have faith and believe in yourself, and let motivation be your guide.
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    The 7C is fine. On some days, I use the 7C. Other days I use a 3C. Others I use a 14A4a. Others I use a Gustat 2. Others I use a Jet Tone Studio B. I play the same technical quality on all of these mouthpieces... its just that the Jet Tone lets me play a lot longer.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dr. Mark, I don't do number 1 every day. Forgive me for I have sinned. Am I doomed to falling into that deep dark abyss?

    [For clarification, I do do nature's #1 every day... in fact as a medical doctor, I believe in drinking plenty of water throughout the day, then in that way #1 happens often]
     
  8. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi G-man,
    You stated:
    "Dr. Mark, I don't do number 1 every day. Forgive me for I have sinned. Am I doomed to falling into that deep dark abyss?
    ----
    What am I going to do with you!!!
    Chances are you do like I do, when you improvise, you incorporate those various tonguings.
    As for sinning and sinners, I'm actually a believer in God but I think it's important to "research" sin so I can tell others what to avoid. Oh darned, It's beer time! I've got research to do.
    Dr.Mark
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    This is one of the virtues to being a doctor. I concur, my worthy colleague!
     
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Sometimes we are asked to signal the end of the world, and there is an exercise that teaches us to play loudly without sounding like a "poop slinging chimp" (nice metaphor, Dr. Mark!)

    There are two steps, and both involve long tones.

    The first is to play a long tone at a comfortable mf and decrescendo to a whisper. This whisper will sound and feel like the note is not quite making it all the way out the bell. It is not easy, but please persevere

    The second step is to start with this "ghost tone" and crescendo to the "poop slinging chimp breaking the sound up" and then immediately start your decrescendo back to the ghost tone.

    When we are asked to play loudly (and we will--it's a trumpet! Duh!) we start from that ghost tone position of our chops and then apply the air to pretty much instantly play loudly with a crisp articulation and controlled sound. That is one of the reasons for articulation studies.

    Have fun!
     

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