Input Please: Why Is The Tongue Used In The Upper Register?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Pedagogy' started by Dr.Mark, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    wow -- and yet, can you guys tongue notes above the staff? -- I mean up to your highest range?? ---- forgive me, but I recall it was a moderator here that once said, "if you can't tongue a note, or play the note in the high range as well as you can your other notes, then it is kind of pointless to play high notes and only be able to do long notes, or slurs" ------------------------------------------------------------ I count a note, when I can sufficiently tongue eighth notes, or triplets ------ the tongue arch does not seem to be in "play" so to speak when you do this
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi kingtrumpet,
    You asked:
    "wow -- and yet, can you guys tongue notes above the staff? -- I mean up to your highest range??"
    I can only speak for myself. I can tongue all the notes I can play up to and past dhc on a Bb trumpet.
  3. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    I can articulate as high as I can play, which is merely in the G-above-high-C area. There are ways to tongue that incorporate a tongue arch, and I'll admit I studied one such way and probably use it in the upper register.

    But I don't care as much about the "how." I concentrate on results and try not to obsess about what my tongue is doing.
  4. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Notso,
    So you studied "how" to incorporate the tongue in the upper register but you just don't care much about how?
    Sort of confusing but that's okay. Thanks for sharing.
    Just think how helpful it can be if what we are talking about is correct. A lot of people will have a better understanding of how (or at least one version of how) to play in the upper register that isn't as damaging as pressure playing and isn't based on a bunch of junk science.
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I think this is the answer I've been looking for in this post ----- can you "tongue arch" and be able to tongue at the same time?, which apparently is true -- I am right there with you though, articulation only to that G, then again --- that is kind of the design limit of the trumpet anyhow. Sometimes I think that might be good enough to impress the young ladies (although so far, they don't seem to care how high a note a trumpet player can get, but rather how well we kiss) ROFL ROFL ROFL (do I use my tongue then?? --- a gentleman like KT never tells) ROFL ROFL ROFL
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    The better question is does she?
  8. keigoh

    keigoh Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2012
    Hi everyone!
    This is certainly an interesting thread--a lot of great things to learn from it.
    So is playing high notes a lot more than simply arching your tongue and making the aperture small? You know, my band teachers have always emphasized on using the E syllable when it comes to playing high notes, but they've also mentioned that tongue arches can even affect the timbre of the trumpet sound.
  9. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Another to ponder, in whistling the pitch is controlled by the position of the tongue altering the volume of the oral cavity (Helmholtz resonance), is there a synergy between this resonance and the resonance of the horn that makes high notes easier?

    Regards, Stuart.
  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    This is support that the original post is a good post. It has generated other great questions.
    As you know, the tone we create is generated by the lips not much different than a double reed instrument. That's why brass is sometimes called "lip reed instruments". Also, are you sure that when the tongue is moved, that very small adjustments to the hole isn't being made? The amount of movement the hole makes to go from a high note to a low note isn't very much at all.
    Something to try if you can whistle:
    1. Go to the mirror and pay close attention to the hole and your tongue position as you whistle (not with fingers) your lowest clean note.
    2. Next, whistle your highest note and pay close attention to your whistle hole and tongue position.
    3. Now, whistle the low note again and stop! but keep the hole at that size.
    4. Now try to whistle the high note again but with the hole the size used for the low note.
    Does the tongue maipulate when we whistle? Yes! But I'm not convinced that the manipulation (which is similar to tongue arch for trumpet players) doesn't cause the mandible to move which adjusts the hole. Does the air inside our mouth have a resonant quality, yes, but does it have an effect on the pitch of the whistle? Not sure. I went to the mirror and did the little experiment above and for me, the hole has to change to change the pitch. Interestingly, this could be support for not only how a trumpet changes pitch but also how a whistle changes pitch. Micro adjustments made to the hole via the tongue's effect on the mandible.
    Is there a synergy bewteen the resonance of the air in the mouth and the notes being played? Maybe a synergy between the small mass of air between the lips and the mouthpiece but I don't see how a synergy would exist between the tone of the air in my mouth and the tone that I play on a trumpet. If I remember correctly, that was one of my concerns about Sam Burris'(I think that was/is their name) opinions on resonant quality of the oral cavity and the notes played. Why stop at the resonance of the oral cavity? Why isn't the resonance of the oral cavity, throat, bronchi, and lungs included? They certainly appear connected. I think when brass is concerned, Helmholtz is best described when it is in reference to what's going on inside the horn or maybe what going on inside the cup of the mouthpiece, not inside the mouth.

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