How important is it to be able to play high?

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

  1. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    The OP asked about playing high, not your definition of "strong chops." Yes, the better overall players get the jobs. Yes, upper-register playing is part of being a better overall player. But I know a couple of players who have made sacrifices (tone, accuracy, intonation, the ability to blend, the ability to play quietly) for high notes. They get high-note gigs, but not much else.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I played at my High School Alumni Band concert this weekend. They featured the usual band director Alumni with solos. So I decided to show of my craft and skills as a lowly physician/musician on the Star Spangled Banner, that was in Bb for the trumpets. The last trumpet call ended on the Bb, and I chose the one that was one step below double C. The note resonated off all the walls of the auditorium. The Band director turned to the audience that was now standing giving thunderous applause (it was an emotional ending to our National Anthum - timing is everything), and the band director said, "that was a jazz trumpeter"!

    How important is it to be able to play high? That was the only high note I played all night, that one note got me the recognition I wanted, left the crowd excited and pleased, and got me a gig to sub on Tuesday nights for the lead player for the Univ of Cincinnati jazz faculty band when he cannot make it. [the drummer for that band played with our alumni band asked for my business card and said he was giving them my name]

    I'll let you be the judge as to how important this result was. Again, it is nice to have it in your back pocket and to us it wisely.
  3. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
    How important?
    It is only important if there is apart that you want/ need to play that has high notes and no one else wants the job.;-)

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    The OP asked if playing high notes were important, I gave him an answer based on experience. Yes, it does takes “Strong Chops” to be able to play more than just high notes. My post made the point that, If your handed a lead book to perform that has some upper register work involved and can’t cover it, your going to do one of two things, embarrass yourself and the other musicians or loose the part to someone that can cover it. If you know players that sacrificed tone, accuracy and intonation for high notes that’s their problem, although not mine. My statement simply verifies that if you want to perform you need a very well rounded package that includes upper register so, Yes, in the case of performing, it plays a part. If your only ability is to disparage other posters for their opinion, then the only thing you add to a conversation like this is spam.
  5. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    I'm simply trying to encourage the OP to not obsess over high notes. Your point about better all-round players getting the gigs is valid, so there's no point in practicing nothing but high notes if your other skills aren't up to par.

    Why don't you go work on your "dubba C" youtube video?

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Why don't you go work on your "dubba C" youtube video?[/QUOTE]

    I got over that kind of stuff a Loooong time ago Cupcake...sounds like the OP isn't the one with an obsession.
    gmonady likes this.
  7. oljackboy

    oljackboy Pianissimo User

    Feb 26, 2009
    Falls Church, Virginia
    If you want to play professionally, a jazz soloist will have a solid, reliable F above high C. A lead player will have a double C.
    Range is extremely important in any form of professional trumpet playing. If you doubt this, listen to a little Salsa!
  8. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    I have had students with similar situations and the first thing you must do is explain your symptoms to a doctor who is knowledgeable about wind instrument playing.

    Excessive pressure on a collapsed lung is important enough to get a professionals opinion.
  9. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    Great story Doc! That is very encouraging. Congrats on the new gigs!
  10. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    No surprises here, Doc, no surprises here! Please note the small corrections on a couple of spellings, but just minor. And let's face it, I can't hit that note for sure! Nice story. Loved it.
    gmonady likes this.

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