High range discovery, maybe...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jladams, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. jladams

    jladams New Friend

    Sep 5, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    Upon a attemptind a slur from top line F to the F above high C, I continued an octave beyond that and produced a rather full sound fleshed out F exactly one octave above the one I was trying to play. Hmmmm... I started thinking what exactly was I doing to cause that.

    I was trying to stablize the high F (the F above high C) at the top of the slur and was having some difficulty when I decided to think "small aperture" and "support". I remember focussing on the feel of the aperture and that is when the note escalated the one octave.

    So, what should I learn from this? I'm thinking these notes are "easy" and I just make them hard by my self-induced inefficiencies. Maybe I should focus on this small aperture feel and learn to tie all the notes together.

  2. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Yeah, I've been combining techniques of Ingram and Rapa along with what you're talking about into my playing and every once in awhile will hit that 'sweet spot' that feels like 'oh, that wasn't so hard.' But then try to do it again and it's hard. Ha.

    Only up to the F and G above ledger C so far, not exactly screeching but enough to play any written lead parts. The combination of pushing with your 'stomach pinned to your spine' as Maynard used to say, while letting the shoulders ease down and push air from the lung cavity as Rapa proposes works, but your body has to remember what it's doing while still remaining relaxed. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

    And you hit the F ABOVE double C? wow.
  3. jladams

    jladams New Friend

    Sep 5, 2010
    Georgia, USA
    Yeah, it was the F above double C.
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    yes! -- your on the right track (search Keith Fiala on TM here and also youtube) who says -pretty much small relaxed aperture and "faster" air.
    of course -- the next thing is to be consistent, and repeatable, and don't forget dynamics, and sound quality.
    I there with ya --- occasionally I get that F above DHC and sometimes the G --- but realistically playable notes are increasing a lot slower. but DHC is more or less playable with good tone -- sometimes.

    keep playing, keep learning, and pass that stuff on to the rest of the trumpet world ----
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Pardon me while I smile. All of this discussion about the mechanics of high notes really distracts from what is necessary in the upper register.

    I will say this much: yes, learning trumpet is a series of small steps. Learning to relieve pressure on the face is best accomplished with slurs and a natural byproduct of that would be a smaller aperature at lower volumes. I disagree that we need to "think" about smaller aperature. With any reasonable daily routine, we are pressing our lips together (in several directions) and if the mouthpiece is not clamping the lips open, there is no issue. There are others here who seem to think that opening the aperature lowers "backpressure". All of this discussion proves one thing. Too few really know how a trumpet works and therefore what is necessary.

    So, it is good that on an isolated instance that you found some way to squeal a high note. Now you need to find a way to repeat that reliably and in some kind of musical context. The path between squeal and music is a lot further than many are willing to accept. We have no idea how you twisted your face to get that note. Unless you have it on video, you probably can't say if it was natural or "bent into shape". I know of no recipes for miracles.

    As far as real life goes, players with high chops (and the brains to make the notes musically satisfying) generally have a different attitude than the rest. I believe that this type of player is generally born and not made.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011

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