Is there a such thing as a "high-note" trumet player?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rbdeli, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    Is there such thing as a “high note” trumpet player?
    Sure, there are trumpet players who are artists in the upper range or feature high note playing, but can one really be a trumpet player if all he/she can do is play high? I would argue that all of the great trumpet players with great range were complete trumpet players.

    I entered into a discussion/argument on one of the other trumpet forums about high-note trumpet playing. A couple of players stated their distaste for trumpet players like Maynard Ferguson and out of ignorance inferred that all he could do was squeal high notes. As I corrected him on Maynard’s complete range, full sound, amazing musicianship, it got me to thinking about what it takes to be really good at high notes. One thing they all have in common is great sound, even in the lower register. Ever listen to Arturo Sandoval play pedal tones? He has better tone on pedal tones than many of us do with notes on the staff. Ever hear Maynard on Danny Boy scale down from a Double C to a low G below staff? (Don’t remember exactly what it was, but amazing sound throughout)

    Calling someone a great “high note” player infers that all he/she can do is play high. I don’t think there are any great players who are strictly high note players. Nor, do I think many, if anyone can play really good high notes and not have a very solid lower range.
  2. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 10, 2006
    Claude Gordon had a theory that the lower you could play, the higher you could play. As for your question, my trumpet teacher was telling me about how in the Baroque Era, trumpet players would divide by registers and only play in their respective registers. Of course, those that played in the higher registers could probably play well in the lower registers, but for the sake of not having to jump around too much, they stuck to their zone.

    When you consider that it requires more muscle to play higher, there's no way that a person who plays well in the upper register without using bad form could be bad in the lower register, because he/she would have more control. If you can bench press 500, you can bench still bench press 50 (and probably more easily).
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I disagree with your premise. There are indeed "high note" players who specialize in playing lead trumpet. Can they play (well) in the lower register as well? Yes, but that's not their specialty. What they do in the upper register(s) is what sets them apart from the rest.

    Go listen to some Harry Connick jr. tunes off of Blue Light, red Light for example. You'll hear Roger Ingram absolutely SHRED the lead parts (double C's, etc) as good or better than anyone else on the planet. You'll also hear Leroy Jones on the 2nd book play fast, flowing jazz solos as well or better than anyone else.

    Why use 2 world class trumpet players? Because one can't do what the other can and vice versa. Roger Ingram, wayne Bergeron, etc are world-class lead/high note players. It's not a negative connotation.

    Chris Botti plays an occasional G above high C on his albums, but you'd never look to him to play the lead book in the Big Phat Band. You'd get a high note guy for that...
  4. dlewis

    dlewis Piano User

    Nov 22, 2006
    Cat Anderson played some great solos in the lower register and took pride in being an all around trumpet player. Maynard also on ocassion played great solo in the normal register. Check out the album called Blues screams no high notes just great playing:play:
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Labels are for those that refuse (or are unable) to accept the fact that MUSIC is the core and that good players have access to tools that let them get the job done. No player gets away with only high notes. Playing lead is not 90% high notes, even although those are the only ones that the immature can remember.

    Forget the labels, listen to the music, that is what counts.
  6. daniel025

    daniel025 New Friend

    Aug 20, 2009
    He plays through this whole song in his upper register. Which is truly amazing.

    YouTube - Into the Faddisphere - Jon Faddis

    He got chops of steal. Even though he plays high he has nice tone in and below the staff.. :)
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Yes, he's good and I would like to be able to hit a high note occasionally (just to show off), but truthfully, this recording is not my favorite one to listen to. I prefer some real music (which he does interject between screaming sections).
  8. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    Speaking of lead trumpets and high playing, does anyone know who was playing the trumpet in that jazz combo at the Kennedy Center Honors?
  9. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Id say in theory yes, but probably not unless you had sheet metal with a hole cut in it as a mouthpiece. Other than that Id say the closet youd ever have gotten to that wouldve been the barque era (did I spell that right) In theory yes, in actuality probably not.
  10. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    It was Faddis.

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