Inconsistent Range Problem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Stradivarius, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Stradivarius

    Stradivarius New Friend

    Aug 24, 2005
    California, US
    Hi Manny,

    I can play high, but only about half the time. For example, one day i pick up the trumpet and after a bit of warming up, I can play up to Double F (either that or High F, I get confused), but then i again in a day or two, (I practice every day) and I can barely hit a High C or D at forte... Do you have any suggestions? I am warming up with some arpegios and by bending notes down very low, and I always take a full breath and position my tongue to the top of my mouth.

  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Well, the bad news is that I don't subscribe to your particular method of setting up to play. What you do with your tongue is antithetical to how I play. I breathe a full breath and release the tone at the very moment I reach a full inhalation. With the tongue in that position it's hard to do that. In fact, that little hesitation you have between the end of the breath and the start of the note is likely due to that positioning.

    Also, I have never done any note bending as I play in a very relaxed way and don't need to do it for the reasons I've seen described. It's not a particularly musical sound outside of the occasional jazz solo. It can sound very cool in that context but not something worth my while working on.

    If you have a keyboard or trumpet next to you I have a question:

    can you sing an F in tune? any F? (not concert pitch, just F on the Bb trumpet)

    If you can't, that's a part of the inconsistency problem at your stage of development. You need to be able to hear pitches clearly and in tune. If you haven't fully developed that ability, work on it every day until it's a part of the way you relate to playing. You'll find many aspects of your playing improved including high register.

    The good news is if you think I'm full of beans, fine, no problem. There are methods that advocate the set up you're doing and you'll find the answers you need with those that advocate them.

  3. Stradivarius

    Stradivarius New Friend

    Aug 24, 2005
    California, US
    Thanks for the advice Manny, I will try that out. As far as the note bending goes, that was only for warming up since it makes your lips feel so much better and warmed up. Thanks again!
  4. trumpetaddict

    trumpetaddict New Friend

    Sep 3, 2010
    I have the same exact problem. I guess i will take Manny's advice also.
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    and my guess is that -- you guys have been pushing the limit with the High F (that would be the F above the high C -- ummm!!! 2 ledger lines above the staff is the C).

    So I am guessing that you play the F, and keep playing it, and probably play it loudly -- then you try to do the same thing the next day. my guess is that F is the top of your range -- or near the top of "good" sounding playable notes.

    So you like the F and you like playing there --- and I think you probably over doing it!!!

    meaning that if you rest for a day or two and only go to about 80% of your range, and play softly on those 2 days off -- that F will be consistent on the come back.

    your embouchure (lips, face muscles) need a day or two of rest - to rebuild themselves so you actually get stronger. When you push the envelope everyday -- then your "chops" don't rebuild --- and you get inconsistency from mainly "tired chops"

    OK -- that is just my guess -- from not seeing you and not knowing more than you posted --- but hey -- I like my high notes also!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    My take on it is that you THINK you can play the high F, but what you are really doing is overpowering the horn to BLAST out a high F. That damages your chops just like bench pressing too much weight would do. You need to build up your strength over time so you can play in that register, not just blast in it.

    Play a Clarke technical studies exercise #2 lines 39-44 but do them in the upper register.. AND... follow the dynamic markings & repeats.. play then softly and without strain. Don't move on to the next pitch until you can play the previous one softly without strain.
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Another thing to try, is practicing soft,especially in the upper register. Use as little pressure as possible. A lot of times a player will be able to blast out a couple of loud high notes using way too much pressure. Then it takes a day or two for their lips to recover from the abuse.If you practice softly, with minimal pressure,you should be able to play the high notes every day.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The most likely cause is pinching off the air supply when straining. I bet the days you do reach this note, you are more relaxed. Use more breath support. Inhale until you have a reserve store of air, then push this column of air out using your chest muscles. When doing this concentrate on relaxing your neck muscles and don't thrust the mouthpiece so hard into you lip. Let the air column you generate with this breathing technique vibrate you lips. If you put too much pressure on the lips by forcing tighted lips to the mouthpiece, you will defeat this purpose.
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Hooray for resurrecting a thread that went untouched for 5 and a half years - almost anything could be going on with this guy's range and consistency now....IF he's even still playing trumpet at all. The last time the OP posted here was in January of 2006.
  10. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    LOL! I got suckered in... didn't even notice the date!

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