How do I improve my range?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mctrumpet98, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    Hey guys,

    A few days ago I got a new Stomvi Old Style 3C mouthpiece. I absolutely adore my tone and have had successful results with this mouthpiece. However there is one problem - my ability in the higher register has decreased significantly (I used to be able to comfortable do a double octave C scale, now I struggle to hit those kinds of notes). How to increase the middle of my range? What things can I do to really get my ability back up to hit those higher notes beautifully with this mouthpiece?

    I'm Grade 7 (Australia) and I'm going into Grade 8 next year (the highest, except for the masters' exams A-MUS and L-MUS). My exam is in 2 months or so. I can do everything I need to well, but I would like to increase my range to make sure I can comfortably play the higher notes.

    I also find that certain warm-ups can absolutely wreck any possibility I have to play higher notes, where as some facilitate them. My warm-up routine has a good balance between high note working and low note working (and of course, middle range working). They are basically lip slur arpeggios going up and down. Anything else I could incorporate to improve my range?

    Many thanks,

  2. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

    May 14, 2010
    New mouthpiece, then range difficulties... probably it will just take time to adjust to the new setup. Why did you change equipment two months before and important exam? As for specific exercises, I'm sure that other, more experienced members will chime in soon...
  3. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under

    Because I can still manage everything I need to do well with that mouthpiece - octave slurs, Arbans studies, etc - it's just I want to improve my range for my own pleasure. I'd really love to be able to hit a high D cleanly!

    EDIT: Also my tone, although I was complimented for it on my 7C, was nothing like it is now. I can now "sing" with my trumpet, something that is bound to get me more marks :-)
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    What works for me:

    1. Very mild, soft middle and lower register notes in warm up.

    2. Scales up and down to something a perfect fourth short of my last musically usable high note.

    3. A few arpeggios of loud high notes. Again staying a bit underneath the last note of my extreme upper end.

    Trying not to exert myself. Saving chops for the performance or rehearsal,

    I consider all rehearsals and concerts "practice". Using them to condition myself more than the practice room. Practice is just to iron out technique, intonation exercises and finger/tonguing challenges.

    Fill your week full of regular playing commitments. The technique you develop there is "real".
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Switching mouthpieces shortly before an audition is the BEST thing that we can do - for the competition.

    As trumpet playing is a function of habits and we need hundreds to thousands of repeats to make something non chemical a habit, you have a lot to do in the next 8 weeks.

    Think about this: if you change your playing routine, you are risking that some other aspect of your playing could get worse by audition time. No aspect of practicing is purely additive.

    I recommend that you use your 7C, stick with what has been working and make the change afterwards. Our playing is at its worst when we are confronted with the unknown. That "unknown" is everything that you do with a new routine or hardware. Make your playing secure by using what has got you where you are in the first place. Simply adding an additional 30 minutes of intelligent playing would be enough help to make your playing more secure.

    You call the shots and live with the results. My students don't mess around with stuff like this.
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I would take heed to Rowuk's advice ( meaning I agree with it)
    I am going to guess that this is a deeper cup and or bigger rim mp than the 7C ... so it's exposing your muscle weakness ... and that is going to take some time to build up .. and in the process your muscles will experience some stiffness and your dexterity will suffer in the process. Put the mouthpiece away somewhere safe until you can afford about 7 months of grow time.
  7. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Not that I have any experience about these kinds of things but changing equipment and setup shortly before an audition, seriously?
    I don't see how that could be a good idea. You may like your new tone but is the difference going to be that noticeable to judges? Is the lack of comfort near the top of your range worth the change for that specific occasion?

    If there is anything like mere weeks before an audition, you should concentrate on mind/body connection to ensure that you keep it together even better than usual when the pressure is on. Find more opportunities to play in public; seek critical audiences, perhaps even people you know dislike you;-). The physical part should be a no brainer/no factor type of thing.

    I've ne ver been to an audition but, out of common sense, that's my opinion.
  8. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    I suppose you guys have a point. I have school holidays right now (I have around 8 or 9 days left) and I'll practice as hard as I can, and as intelligently as I can. If I still can't hit a high C comfortably, I'll move back on to the 7C. Thanks for the advice :-)
  9. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Don't forget to rest as much as you play ... play 20 20 measures .... if your lips feel raw you aren't resting enough... and/or playing too loud.... and/or using too much pressure
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    If you are actually at AMEB Grade 7+ then I am absolutely astounded that you are asking these questions without already absolutely knowing the answers.

    Muck about with your set-up after the performance exam if you wish. It's a no-brainer - don't you think?
    Vulgano Brother likes this.

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