Increasing range (beginner)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by snazzypadgett, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. snazzypadgett

    snazzypadgett New Friend

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    Oct 13, 2009
    Hello, I've been playing my trumpet for about 3 months, and I'm making good progress, I can play the low E all the way up to the Eb almost two octaves above, but I have questions about playing that high.

    I understand not to rush my range, and I'm not, I play long tones and am achieving a better and more resonant tone each week. However, I am pretty stuck on the Eb. It is difficult for me to hit, and I typically need to play a slurred scale up to it to get it to resonate.

    I also get tired very quickly, in a minute or two, of playing those Ebs. My embouchure weakens and air slips out of the sides.

    Is it really just a matter of continued practice? I've been stuck at the same level on this Eb for two weeks now...
     
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    May 11, 2009
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    I have been stuck on a note for a lot longer than that. So, don't become too impatient. Range improvements take a lot of practice over a long period of time. You will improve so don't worry.
     
  3. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    If you've gotten from a low E (I take it you mean the note on the bottom line of the treble staff) all the way up to the high Eb (the one above the high C) in only 3 months, then you've advanced way too fast in my opinion and it's no wonder you get tired after a couple of minutes.

    We are dealing with muscles here, and muscles need time to develop properly. And not only to develop properly but to learn how to interact properly with each other to produce a good trumpet sound. So you are pushing your muscles way beyond their capacity, and you are likely to do some serious long-term harm to your embouchure if you don't back off and do some serious "body building" exercises in the middle and lower registers before trying to get up into the stratosphere.

    You should be doing a lot of long-tone work and playing a lot of slow-moving music to develop proper breathing habits and to build up your tone. You should also be working on tonguing exercises and technical (finger-coordination) exercises, all in the lower and middle registers, right now.

    When you get up towards and past high C in only a few months of playing, its like trying to run a marathon when you've only been running short loops around your neighborhood.

    Patience and proper practice in an organized manner to build up the foundation are what's required here. High notes will come in time, and when they do come they will be there to stay, with volume, accuracy, and good tone. But without a foundation, you'll just end up another frustrated trumpet player unable to play what you want to play.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The best way to increase range is to practice more. With only 3 months on the horn, it probably is not even significant what you practice as no habits are really built. We have thousands of posts on this. Search around a little and you will find what you need.

    I teach breathing, long tones, slurs and easy tunes to beginners first. They develop naturally and without stress that way.
     
  5. sleepingdancer

    sleepingdancer New Friend

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Budapest, Hungary
    If you can really hit Eb above the high C in only 3 months, it is something like a miracle to me, so BE PATIENT. It took me 3 years to reach High C.
     
  6. snazzypadgett

    snazzypadgett New Friend

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    Oct 13, 2009
    Hahaha....no. Let me make this clear. I was talking about the Very low E, the lowest note on the horn. Up to the Eb above the Bb that is used for tuning.

    Yes, I agree with you guys, I would prefer to take a methodical route and have great tone over playing lots of / high notes quickly. I play long tones a lot and have gotten all of the notes I can hit to ring very nicely, and that's fun to me.

    The Eb I'm referring to is a very common note, so I would like to be able to play it soon. I'm being patient, and from what I've gathered, I should just keep practicing without thinking too much about it and it will come. Fair enough. :)

    I just wanted to make it clear that I'm very aware of the pitfalls of rushing into an instrument. I already have the advantage over other trumpet players of having no bad habits. Why not take advantage of it?
     
  7. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    If I can give you one piece of advice as a rather low level amateur, that would be to not overdo it and get plenty of rest for your embouchure. I used to practice too much and rather not intelligently. As a result my lips/muscles were always tired and I stopped making any progress in range and endurance. That lasted a long time. I have now identified where I need to stop and rest and progress is happening again.

    Whenever your sound degrades, even very slightly, you must stop and rest. You should feel like you could do plenty more when you end your practice session. In fact, you should almost feel as if you haven't done enough.

    Just my 2 cents from experience.
     
  8. sleepingdancer

    sleepingdancer New Friend

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Budapest, Hungary
    I very much agree with Phil986! I have had exactly the the same experience.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Boy are you in for a surprise. How can you know if you have no bad habits if you don't even have an Eb? :thumbdown:

    Humility is part of getting better. That is why some of us old-timers keep repeating the same things....................... :dontknow:
     
  10. ManGo

    ManGo Pianissimo User

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    Apr 10, 2008
    London
    My horns must be defective...they only go down to F# :dontknow:ROFL:play:
     

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