How important is it to be able to play high?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hey_Pauly, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Hey_Pauly

    Hey_Pauly New Friend

    Dec 17, 2010
    Forgive me this is probably a totally newbie question. How important is it to be able to play high? I ask because a few months back I was studying with a teacher who was trying to force me to play higher and I hurt something in the left side of my chest (I had a previous collapsed lung on that side). I want to play the trumpet but I don't want to hurt myself. I haven't touched my horn since that lesson.


  2. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

    May 8, 2012
    Well, it is not important at all. There will always be someone that can play higher then you, and once you find the guy that can play higher then everyone else you give a trumpet to a stoner.

    All you need to be able to play are the notes on the page. If it is written 8va opt, then dont play it up. I think as a concert player you need to have a range to the A right above the staff. Maybe the high C, but not too often.

    Please, pick that horn up. Who cares is you can not play that high? I dont. Play with a good sound, then you wont have to play high.
    Best of luck,
    coolerdave likes this.
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Good advice from DC Al Fine. The majority of music you will play is in the staff. Get really good there. Are there people who can play super high? Yes, and they are rare-often called screamers. And, as DC says, there will always be someoone who can play higher than you. I've been playing for 45 years. Not a screamer. Played with groups Monday and Tuesday. Almost all the notes were in the staff.
  4. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Its not important at all. Play, practice, and range will come anyway. Don't even think about it that much. You'll add notes and not even give it a second thought.
  5. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    PS: And get a different teacher.
  6. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    The consumate musician will pursue whatever technique his or her instrument can offer. Is high range required to get gigs? Certainly not. Does it help? You betcha.

    What's more important is high range played IN CONTEXT.
  7. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    It's very important to hit upper register notes with authority and tact. But you don't have to be Arturo or Maynard. Playing a variety of tonal colors is needed to play good music. A new teacher might be able to break you in better instead of making you run a marathon when you haven't even trained.

    There are plenty of complicated pieces of music that don't require extreme register. Tone is just as important. Keep playing. But don't hurt yourself until you get paid to do that :)
  8. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

    May 8, 2012
    I say playing in the staff with a good tone and articulation will get you a lot farther then playing high notes "in context."
  9. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    What notes were you considering "high"? I would tentatively suggest that you should consider C above the staff as a realistic goal given plenty of time and in the medium term (1-3 years?) work carefully to G or A above the staff. As usual I may be corrected by wiser heads in this forum.

  10. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    You say you "hurt" something in your chest. How does it feel now? It takes air to play, but if you breathe right there should be no chance to hurt anything in your chest. Perhaps you take air and then hold it before you release it. That is not a good idea. Playing high is more about how you use your air and the components of your embouchure and you get there by increasing range in small increments over a long period of time, not by muscling your way through.

    I would check with your doctor to be sure you haven't injured/reinjured yourself. Then, if he says you are OK, and you FEEL OK, get a copy of Claude Gordon's Brass Playing is No Harder than Deep Breathing and work through it - especially do the off-the-horn breathing exercises.

    And a change of teacher is a good idea.

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012

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