How to get big sound in upper register

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tobias014, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    Vulgano Brother, glad you asked, as I'm currently flapping in the wind a bit on that topic.

    This reply is way longer than I intended, but I would appreciate comments and input on any and all of it.

    First of all, I'm not doing any studies at the moment, as I've been in a funk over a sore lip the last week or two.

    Sat down with my teacher yesterday and discovered that I was:

    A. Blowing too hard, and
    B. Not getting my bottom lip involved in the embouchure, so my upper lip was doing all the heavy lifting.

    So I'm kind of re-addressing all that, and this morning I had my first practice in over a week that I felt was really productive and didn't leave me with tired chops and a sore lip.

    High Register was something I was preparing to address again starting next week. I haven't put a plan to it yet.

    I've been looking around online, and have found advice on pedal tones, working the lower register, triads, and flexibility studies, but I don't have a plan of where to start or how often to practice.

    I've got Arban's but it's a bit confusing to me.

    Right now I'm scheduled to sit down with my teacher next Thursday, and I was going to broach the subject to him, but I'd appreciate any guidance you can provide on the topic.

    I've been theorizing a bit on it in my own mind, and I have a question. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week, but I never repeat a workout in any given 2 week period, as it becomes counter-productive. Things like warm-ups and cardio are the only thing I repeat.

    Is there a significant parallel to be found there in working on your chops?
     
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Muscles will react the same way wherever they are in the body...
     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Neal085, by "high C" do you mean the one in the staff and the G just above the staff? Whatever the location, if you can get the G, play chromatically down to the C. There are exercises for range building, and yeah, some guys treat the trumpet playing like a weight lifter would but they lack finesse. As far as exercises go, a good teacher can prescribe exercises in order to isolate muscle groups.

    The trumpet calls for more endurance than strength. This means that we play a lot of the same exercises 6-7 days a week, and do our best to work on a total package.
     
  4. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    Oops. Another post that got away from me. I may just wax unnecessarily verbose on Friday's.

    First of all, that seems like very sound advice, sir, and I think we're on the same page. I would fall squarely in the camp of those that tout a healthy mix of strength and endurance training over so-called bodybuilding. The lean dude that rattles off 100 pushups and runs 2 miles in 12 minutes is much more impressive to me than some mope with 24" biceps. You can take a nice glossy photo of big muscles, and...... that about surpasses the full extent of their practical usefulness.

    High C - I can usually hit the first C above the staff on flexibility exercises with little difficulty.

    However, when playing actual music, the highest note that I can nail 99 times out of 100 is G above the staff. Depending on the song, the A and B are both about 60%, and C is a very iffy proposition indeed.

    Example - I have an Etude I practice that runs up to both A and B above the staff, and I hit them every time without fail, but they are both preceded by E's and F's at the top of the staff. However, when playing Gabriel's Oboe (Nella Fantasia), you slur from a C in the middle of the staff up to A, and I miss that as often as I hit it.

    Would you have any recommendations for exercises?

    The TIQ (Teacher In Question) recently recommended the Michael Davis 15 Minute Warmup, but he was speaking in general - not particularly for high register.

    Please don't feel like you are encroaching on him by making a recommendation. I trust him, but think it's wise to expand my resources, and I keep him in the loop anyway.
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Hmmm were did we hear this before... could it have been in post #2? Could be....
     
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Arban pages 20 to 56.

    The're very cleverly written to build lip flexibility and 'lip memory' necessary for accurate centering over various intervals, and with various underlying harmonies (ie the note written is often not what your mind is anticipating)

    One exercise I made up for myself, is to play a long quiet on the stave C. Then keeping myself totally relaxed (absolutely no additional volume or mpc pressure!) I break into quick open arpeggios to high C using just soft tonguing and the corners of my mouth, gradually slowing and becoming more legato. Repeat for different different valve combinations.
     
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm loathe to prescribe anything when a teacher is involved--your teacher knows your playing waaay better than I do, neal805. I suggest the problem might be your tonguing or aperture. How softly can you play?
     
  8. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    I found out that I can play pretty softly yesterday. More so than I would have thought.

    I did long tones, tonguing, and flexibility exercises this morning with a Korg tuner for reference, and made it a point to play very softly. I was immensely pleased with how effortless and pretty the tone was.

    Thank you for being conscientious, but feel free to prescribe away! I'll bounce it off my teacher, and it may be something great he hadn't thought of. He has been supportive of other input from this forum, although he occasionally tempers it based on my current needs.

    For clarity, I wasn't the guy who started this thread. I kind of hi-jacked it inadvertently when I commented on a post I thought was helpful.
     
  9. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

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    No "A" backbore on mine? Mine's the equivalent of an immediately opening "E"? Maybe its just your crappy King trumpet ;-) ....Kidding, kidding!
     
  10. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

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    When I begin to practice- every day- I play pages 20 and 21 in Arbans straight through with no rest, religiously. Its not a lesson in "high notes," its a lesson in strength, both chops and the unconscious mind. I tried to quote this, BTW: Sethoflagos-

    "Arban pages 20 to 56.

    The're very cleverly written to build lip flexibility and 'lip memory' necessary for accurate centering over various intervals, and with various underlying harmonies (ie the note written is often not what your mind is anticipating)

    One exercise I made up for myself, is to play a long quiet on the stave C. Then keeping myself totally relaxed (absolutely no additional volume or mpc pressure!) I break into quick open arpeggios to high C using just soft tonguing and the corners of my mouth, gradually slowing and becoming more legato. Repeat for different different valve combinations."

    PS: I also add additional key modulations to the first 3 exercises.
     

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