How important is it to be able to play high?

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

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Bubblebee has a great question.. what do you consider high? ( I am going to pass on the joke begging to be said)
    If the teacher is qualified perhaps there is more to this story ..
    Time for a doctor's visit for sure...
    It might also help to know a bit more about you and your long have you played much did you practice before you hurt yourself ... what sort of books were you working out of...
    okay I can't do it
    When I use to play in the clubs we would get complimentary drinks so playing high was pretty important if you liked a good scotch .... flame me if you must but ...
  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I responded earlier to the high playing but didn't spot the "hurt something" in your post. If you really think you hurt something, you need to mention it to a parent (I assume you are in HS) and think about a Dr. visitt-being you previously had a collapsed lung on that side. Maybe one of the MDs that participate here will post on this.
  3. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Hi Pauly,

    Let me echo what DC and others have said. It's not how high you can play. It's how well you can play.

    I also agree with Steve and others that you need to figure out some of this with the help of your doctor. There are a number of possible reasons why you felt pain. You need some expert guidance to figure this out.

  4. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Only you can determine the level of importance it is to you to play high. Over aggressive instructors who force the issue may cause harm. I hope you are well and no longer phobic of playing. Getting a checkup with a doctor is always a good idea with the onset of any pain. It may require Xrays or even Pulmonary studies, to clarify diagnosis.
    I prefer middle range playing but of course can playing high range as necessary. I prefer second part, or even third part, but occasionally, have to play first part when the principal is sick. So you can determine what your confort zone is and go from there. As stated above, it is how well you play that is important!
  5. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Get rid of that teacher and get with someone who knows what they are doing. Playing high when you have not done the ground work then you can only hurt yourself, face, and whatever else. If you are still hurting get to a Doctor. Most importantly range will come with time and practice. I have found for legitimate playing I have an excellent range and have never really tried to develop it. Instead I have worked on air and approach to the instrument. Range comes with time and proper preparation.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Per se, I'm not a "screamer" whereas if I need to play that high I'll do it on my Schilke P5-4 piccolo trumpet, still I've seldom seen music (that I've played) for usual Bb trumpet with notes higher than the C on the second ledger line above the staff and converesly no lower than the Bb below the C on the ledger line beween the treble and bass clefs. It's been so long ago that I even tried for the F# on the fourth line of the bass clef that I've quit worrying about it on Bb trumpet, whereas it's a cinch on my euphonium.

    From a teaching aspect, there is no race to become a "screamer" but I percieve such could be achieved well with a continuance of effort beyond public instrumental music schooling.

    Adamantly do I suggest you remain under the care of a pulmonary physician. I'm now 76 and diagnosed with COPD (earlier cigarette habit) and regularly continue care with my pulmonologist, Dr. Timothy B. Hart, who is such a specialist with Wake-Med Hospital in Raleigh NC 112 miles from our residence. Still, I now continue to play, primarily for my and my family's enjoyment. (Perhaps most of their enjoyment is that I still like to do something rather than be a critic of my music).
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    It really depends on you and what you want to do. Cover Maynard? Then it's important! Play 3rd chair in your community band? Not so important if needed at all. My goal is to play as high as I can musically and it still sounds like a trumpet! If you are hurting yourself when you are playing, STOP!! A good teacher and learning to relax AND LOTS AND LOTS OF PRACTICE will help you achieve that goal.
  8. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Well, everyone here has provided great advice and info as to answer the OP's "real" question. The answer is, Very Important. Just watch Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke, especially the Battle of the Bands at the end. That's all you need to know. ;) (And btw, the tunes they play actually have some very cool brass lines...not complicated, just cool.)
  9. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    I knew a very fine player with a good upper register who had one lung, he played 20 years and did just fine. Find a Claude Gordon Certified Teacher / Eric Bolvin Music Studios and Http://
    see a doctor today!!!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    high did not hurt you. There is nothing about HIGH that hurts the lungs. Look up Arnold Jacobs. He was the tubist in the Chicago Symphony and had a damaged lung.
    Your enemy is body tension that comes with doing things wrong. Google "circle of breath". That will get you closer to a relaxed approach.

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