Ledger Line Syndrome

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by schleiman, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Jiarby, thanks for that, I can totally see a teacher doing that. :) Richtom, thank you very much for the Chicowicz Long Tone Studies mention. I will look into them. I know my air column needs work and that is where most of my focus is right now, because my natural inclination is to get really tense as I go up. So I'm really trying to focus on taking nice relaxed breaths. When you talk about sound concept, how do you work on this? There are a few player who's sounds I absolutely adore and would love to emulate. I really love Haken Hardenberger's sound, Tine Thing Helseth's, Maurice Murphy had an awesome sound. Is it just a matter of listening and trying to emulate?
  2. rockwell

    rockwell Pianissimo User

    Dec 6, 2011
    Have you thought about a little shallower mouthpiece?
  3. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I've been following your thread with interest. I am a comebacker, too, now 16 months into my return to trumpet playing. Patience and perseverance are keys to success. You've received some great advice from fellow TM'rs with wonderful experience and insight. There is probably nothing new in what I write, but for what its worth...
    - If you believe you have done a thoughtful job of trumpet/mouthpiece selection, be careful about messing with it. Waffling in this area and flip-flopping around will probably delay progress and cause confusion.
    - As others have written, if you want to play in the upper register with confidence you have to practice there. I am not sure how detailed this plan must be, but I work on all of my range daily. I play major scales with eyes closed and listen carefully to my sound. I make sure there is plenty of breath support and play each note across a dynamic range from soft to medium loud. Most days I am strong all the way up to my present upper limit, other days not so much. But I do not obsess about it when I cannot play the high note I am presently developing.
    - I think one thing I have learned since beginning my comeback is that there are no single routes to success associated with particular equipment combinations or method books. I practice in Arban's exclusively for technique improvement simply because it was the one I had, but I do not do this slavishly. Page 61 of my 1982 edition (magenta cover) has been really useful to me in the area of your concern, and I modify it freely in order to focus exercises on my weaknesses.
    Patience, perseverance and thoughtful practice have been the keys to the improvement I have experienced. Best wishes to you in your efforts!
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Getting up to a high C is A LOT DIFFERENT than owning it. If you owned the high C, you would have been able to play the ledger line as written. When you can start on the note with tonal accuracy, play it at pppp or ffff iwth tonal control... that is owning... THAT takes a lot more time.

    My finding is once you try to WORK to achieve notes at a higher range, you then start to OWN the notes below.
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA

    can't say it too much better than that --- also Evan, I just want to iterate one more thought. WHEN YOU REACH THE HIGH C --- then what? there are higher notes, will you be satisfied with the High C? I say NO, and you will want the high D, then E, then F, then G, etc. AT SOME POINT you reach a mountain that is hard to conquer. My suggestion is to ENJOY THE TRIP, and go at a pace you can sustain!!!

    Hello - I am Kingtrumpet, and I am obsessed with one note higher than I can usually play, life is tough, it is ONE DAY AT A TIME --- last night, I fell off the bandwagon and tried to hit a double High C ( I could not get there, couldn't even squeak one out) I did manage a decent High G, but even that wasn't repeatable with any accuracy ----today, I thank you for your help, I WILL TRY VERY HARD TONIGHT - TO NOT TRY TO HIT HIGH NOTES!!!! I will try to get back on the bandwagon and make DECENT SOUNDING NOTES AND MUSIC -- thank you for your understanding!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL
  6. dorkdog

    dorkdog Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2012
    I second this. And the part about owning the note. If the note isn't comfortable to play it won't be comfortable to hear.
  7. dorkdog

    dorkdog Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2012
    OK, so let me get this straight - and I read the post about which C is which... I play middle C and it is on the third space and it's actually a Bb? So when you folks are talking about Fs and Gs you all are working about an octave and a half above where I am struggling for ownership?

    That seems like a whole lot of work - no worries though. I wonder, though, how high the average starting trumpet player can play when they first take the horn out, have a lesson or 2 and start messing with it?

    I have a long way to go. There's not much you can play with a range of 1 ocatve or so is there. Am I alone in being limited this much as a newbie?
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    yep. 4th line is a high G (concert F)

    nope... we have all been where you are. keep practicing. get a teacher if you, it will chop alot off the learning curve.
  9. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Most of the popular music of the last 100 or so years does not go out of the stave, this gives you a lot of choice.

    Regards, Stuart.
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Among we trumpeters some confusion seems to arise IMO when we mention "middle C" whereas in full orchestra the conductor recognizes such ONLY as the note on the middle ledger line (the only line) between the treble (G) clef and the bass (F) clef. Too, I know some of us now look at our music scored for the Bb trumpet part and call the third space of the treble clef a C which would would only be true if we were referring to such as the concert key that deep in our memory from early childhood in elementary school (here in the U.S.) we were instructed that the spaces were FACE. That seemed OK for our voices (inclusive of males before puberty) whereas the VOICE parts of music are also scored in the concert key.

    Most tuners are non-transposing from the concert key. To compare to a concert key for the note C we now play a Bb as it is scored on our Bb music parts which have already been adjusted or transposed for our Bb instruments to correlate to that memory we learned in elementary school. More confusion as it now looks like we are playing two semi-tones lower in concert keyed music, but the reality is that we are playing two semi-tones higher. Yep, concert keyed music with a signature key of C now has 2 sharps in Bb music. Ou la la!

    I liked the "speak" where we trumpeters referred to the C on that ledger line below the treble clef as C1, the one in the third treble clef space of our Bb music as C2 and the C on the second ledger line above the treble clef as C3 and C4 as the elusive Double high C we all wish for on music scored for Bb instrument parts
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

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