Hitting the high notes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by TrumpetKid123, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. TrumpetKid123

    TrumpetKid123 New Friend

    Sep 25, 2010
    I'm having trouble with hitting high notes on my trumpet. My music teacher says just to take a really big breath, but I still have trouble.

    I am currently 12 years old and I was wondering if that might be a problem, with the amount of air going in and out of my lungs but I doubt thats the problem. Does anyone know how I can improve?
  2. gasp1974

    gasp1974 Piano User

    Jan 27, 2009
    Oslo, Norway
    Many posts on this topic, (search high notes, ie).

    You'll read everything from mouth position, fat lips/tiny lips, shallow mpc's, tight and open horns and so on... :-o

    In the end you're the one to do the experiment of of which horn and/or mpc to play to achieve your goals, along with numerous of studies, ie Claude Gordon, Patrick Hession's Hessionssessions and so on. ;-)

    I think you can read yourself to an answer here on this forum, that been said:

    I think you still need some more years behind the horn to really kick it of in the strathosphere, if you'll get there, be patient not rush it.

    When I got interested in high notes, there was no internet nor forums to discuss, the only way I learned high notes, were to play along with MF's cd's. No teacher I had except for my last one, knew what high notes was :shock:
    So I was lucky back then, age 14-15 hitting big F's G's and A's, they'd never heard a young guy play like that. But it wasn't great, I had much more to learn, even now 20 yrs later, I still struggle, but I've found my way to do things, and it's a little of everything and thanks to this board and youtube, there are lot to learn just by reading and watching ppl have their saying on the topic. I wish I had this tool when I started out, but I got a 2nd chance here so I'm happy now:thumbsup:

    I wish you good luck on the way, and I hope you'll find your way into the universe :play:
  3. TrumpetKid123

    TrumpetKid123 New Friend

    Sep 25, 2010
    Thanks, that was actually quite helpful.
  4. jim trpt1

    jim trpt1 Pianissimo User

    Aug 7, 2010
    greensboro nc
    It was high school before I really started to pound out F, g and a above high c. This is definately a function of time. I have been back playing for several months, the range again is a slow progression. I have been off 10 years, I have spent a lot of time on Claude Gordon, Schlossberg and a ton of long tones. My tone is great biut I am gradually getting it back about 1 note higher every month. Arduous process, but if you stick to it, it will come. Good Luck,and enjoy the jorney and you will come to your destination.
  5. craigph

    craigph Piano User

    Mar 12, 2010
    What kind of high notes are you talking about? How high?
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Chromatic ascension is an excellent and proven technique to increase range. It's not fancy, but it works. Curious, what do you DO with all that air from a really big breath? Too much pressure will shut you down in the upper register. The upper register must be finessed before you can add any power to it. Some players blow their guts out but have little control up there and sound terrible. They say they "hit" the note and I say you splatted it all over the place. You can play musically and with control up there. Also play your exercises softly and musically. I haven't said anything new. Good fundamentals and regular practice are your best way to reach the upper register. Regards.:thumbsup:
  7. jim trpt1

    jim trpt1 Pianissimo User

    Aug 7, 2010
    greensboro nc
    Trumpet players get cAught in that, "How high can I play syndrome?". I can play up to an A above the staff comfortably after a 10yr layoff, but that is after months of practicing. To me at this time, I am far more concerned about intonation and tone quality.
    My thing is if you can't sound good in the range you are playing it only amplifies when you go higher. I played an octave higher than i currently do now, but my sound is pretty decent,the high notes will come with practice just from all the things you will be doing. Emphasise sound, you are essentially a body builder lifting weights with your face and those muscles will come in time, just not over night. Trumpet playing is hard, if it weren't everyone would be hitting double C's and sound like Wynton Marsalis.
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi TK123,
    12 years old would put you around 6th or 7th grade, right?
    First off, how high is high? There are people on this site that make a living playing in the stratosphere.
    Let's make sure you have a good firm foundation before you start screaming double high C's
    Read Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment
    Watch Urban Angas video on "Flow.
    Pay particular attention to what he says about relaxation, posture, and breathing.
    Good Luck
  9. plp

    plp Pianissimo User

    Nov 9, 2003
    South Alabama
    Play your scales as softly as you can in the practice room. When you get to the top note, keep going as far as you can to make it a two octave scale.

    Keep it quiet, soft, and as relaxed as you can. Make it sing. There is something called the sweet spot that is the secret to better overall playing, not just high notes, that you are looking for. When you find the sweet spot, you will know it, as the tone will be fuller and more resonant than before. This will open the door to better range.

    If you can already play from low G to high G, you are on the way. If not, start with the C scale and work on it a few times each time you practice. This is for the practice room, not for class. Do exactly as your teacher tells you to do when he is on the podium.

    What not to do is blowing harder or adding too much tension. When you get tense, you end up working against yourself. Frustration sets in, which leads to more tension. When it stops being music is when you are hurting your playing. There is a difference between filling up the gas tank with air (what your teacher said) and blowing too hard. Blowing hard makes you play louder. Playing with a full tank is JUST as important when playing soft as when playing loud, if not moreso.
  10. wolfmann

    wolfmann Pianissimo User

    Aug 19, 2010
    Sounds like your Teacher might feel your having what is called a diaphram problem,in other words your just using your chest to load up and not breathing with your lower abdominal muscles.
    Try this:
    Put a heavy book a bit lower than your belly button.
    When you breathe in use those muscles down there to expand as you intake air.The book helps you FEEL those muscles.
    Do a slow control intake to a count of ten.
    When you let the air OUT do a slow CONTROL of ten.
    If you run out of air before ten you are not controlling it.
    As you get used to it you will find that you will need to increase your counts.

    Hope that helps.

    Your teacher didnt do a good job on this explanation.

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