How to get easier, louder, and clearer high notes?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mctrumpet98, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    Thanks to all for the advice. Please keep posting any other advice by the way, everything helps.

    @Al Innella, what kind of melodies would I play? Would I play Arban's exercises or Orchestral Excerpts or what?
    @applebrass, Those videos were great by the way, really helped me understand how things work.

    One more thing, for Grade 7 exam in a few weeks time I have to play Sonata Breve by Takacs. It's quite a blow, and I have to finish with one loud and and clear high C. The problem is that about 50% of the time that note comes out as a Bb, and even when it does come out correctly 4/5 times it comes out soft, and there is no brilliance in the tone like with my other notes. I believe one of the reasons why this happens is because I am not used to pitching up that high (most of the time I only have to go up to an A/Bb, not a C) and this song requires me to play up to a C#. I do get those notes sometimes, it's just more of the time I don't, and it frustrates me to have such an anti-climax at the end of a brilliant piece.

    What could I do to try and improve this? Would it be the same as what has been said above?

    Also, in regards to pedal tones, I can usually go down to a low A, but I find it hard to get any lower than this. How much should I practice my pedal tones?
  2. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    The three keys to the upper register:

    1. Keeping the inner vibrating flesh inside the mouthpiece supple at all times and in all registers.

    2. Plenty of air support as a habit in all registers.

    3. Having exceptionally good luck by being naturally gifted. Chops able to sustain a very small aperture without stiffening or otherwise losing the capacity to vibrate*

    * See Brisbois, Ferguson, Faddis, Anderson ("Cat") for reference. Also search: "Anyone with a solid usable Double C by age fourteen"...
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Forget turning your playing around in two weeks. It is not possible - especially over the internet.

    High notes require synchronizing body (chops, breathing, body use), mind (decent concept of music) and soul (understanding the art form). This is acquired through years of training, preferably by a good teacher. No teacher means more years of trial and error.

    We are creatures of habit. Habits are built by hundreds to thousands of repetitions, or chemicals. There is no chemical for the trumpet except for the drug of dedication.

    Pick only pieces that you can play today for the audition.

    Forget internet advice. Without knowing if we are dealing with crappy breathing, crappy body use, weak chops, tin ears, we have no way of offering you a two year program to get better.
  4. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
    I don't warm up. I warm out. I have found that if I start my warm up low, my chops get set and I find it harder to play higher. Just food for thought.
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Hi mctrumpet98,

    You asked what kind of melodies should you play. Play anything you want .It could be Arban's ,orchestral, or any popular song you like. I find a simple melody without a lot notes works best. It sounds like your choice of music might be a little too high for you. I consider my usable or playable range a 4th or 5th below the top note I can hit.

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