How do we play high notes???

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NickD, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Hey Nick, don't worry. I don't confuse the mechanical and the artistic. I just find that sometimes it helps to sit down and think about what is going on from a mechanical viewpoint. Then, try to relate it back to a physical/artistic viewpoint.

    For example, you gave a great example of how high notes are played from a mechanical perspective. You talked about a small amount of high speed air for a short, high note. Or, for a long 'G' up high going into a Shew wedge and really compressing the air. And you are right---air is compressible. Compressed air is air under pressure, which is what has to be happening when we are pumping large volumes of air into a horn with only a few CC's popping out of the bell.

    So, there is the formation of an air column, the shape of the air column and the pressure of the air column as the 3 variables of the air. Based on that, I think maybe Dave Monette is onto something with the integrated mouthpiece designed specifically for a single player.

    I went and did the search you suggested and I noticed something interesting. There are two approaches to artificially reproducing what trumpet players do with their lips. The first approach is to use speakers at a certain amplitude and basically, it's a pure power approach. Pour enough juice to the speaker and 'voila' sound comes out. The second approach is an artifical set of lips---much more complex, requiring some real fine tuning. Both approaches work, but for a different reason.

    Which takes me back to a question from a post some time is it that we have trumpet players who play from 'pressure' and others don't?

    It seems to me that pressure players are analogous to the 'speaker' approach. Pure power, grip it and rip! The lips can't vibrate, but with enough pressure you can get enough energy to power the horn.

    The opposite strategy is seen by the artificial lips---which requires some skill and tuning. You can play high and not sacrifice your chiops. But, it takes a teacher; it takes balanced equipment; it takes a lot of work on specific exercises over a long period of time; it takes patience.
  2. Bob Odneal

    Bob Odneal Pianissimo User

    Jan 5, 2004
    Houston, Texas
    When I was driving Maynard to a clinic that was to take place in the afternoon before his evening show he joked,

    "If we don't get there soon it's gonna be HI, MASH HARDER, BYE!" :cool:

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