Moving up the register

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by KindofBlue, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue New Friend

    Dec 22, 2012
    Forgive me for asking what is probably a very elementary question. As you move up the range do you adjust your embouchure (i.e move your lips in relation to the mouthpiece)? Do you blow harder?

  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Opinions/techniques differ - I have heard some players have a "lower register setting" and an "upper register setting", but also that some players have a single setting which works for them.

    I wouldn't say you "blow" harder exactly, but you do need to support higher air pressure without undue strain to play higher notes. For beginners this is often by mashing the mouthpiece harder against the lips which can cause some damage if excessive. There are TM members who can explain this better than me, and high notes are a frequent discussion topic here, so you could try searching for posts which might help you.

    You said in your first post you are a beginning player - so I would personally recommend you first get your middle and lower notes sounding right and listen to your teacher as your embouchure strengthens.

  3. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Most great players claim that they don't move their embouchure at all when they play. Physically/scientifically this is not true, but it's a benchmark. Ideally you want your embouchure to move or "adjust" so little that it feels as if it's not moving at all.

    Ideally, you want to try to "keep your lips the same" and just focus on the air. If you consciously go "okay, time to play a high note" and tense up your muscles, you'll tighten up too much and not sound good. As you go higher, try using less air but higher air pressure. Trying saying "eee" as you play.

    To go a little more into depth: to produce a note, you need air and resistance. You blow air from the lungs, and the lips resist the air which causes them to vibrate and create a pitch. To raise the pitch, the lips need to resist the air more. People accomplish this in a variety of ways - pucker, roll-in, etc. In order to maintain the same dynamic level, you will also need to increase the amount of air pressure. If you don't increase air pressure, the sound will get softer and thinner as you ascend until it cuts out.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  4. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Usually people try to minimally adjust as they ascend (a slight tightening there, tongue raise perhaps) in combination with the air. Blowing harder won't help raise pitch on it's own, and sometimes hinders. Best of luck
  5. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    I don't like the idea of "blowing harder." Overblowing has been an obstacle for me. What is necessary is a well coordinated combination of increased air support and change of shape. Often the change of shape is accompanied by a slight downward shift that can show as a different horn angle. Look up Greg's mystery to mastery vids, he explains it in words in the way that has been the easiest for me to understand and translate into action.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Blowing harder without a developed embouchure will just produce this eerie, awful sound of just air going through your horn and no note! The best way to move up the register is a half tone at a time. If your top note is a high C, the next note you go for is a high C#, not a high G. Chromatic ascension is a tried and true method to develop range. It takes time, patience, and intelligent practice. All three of these seem to be an impediment for a lot of players (I need patience and I need it NOW!!). And yes, you do make moves in your lips, but, the goal is to make the movement almost imperceptible, just tiny little adjustments that become a part of muscle memory and second nature. I watched a guy trying to do the "pivot" system one time and it was hilarious. Looked like a bobble-head trumpet player and it sounded as bad as it looked.
  7. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Doesn't seem to have held back Vizzutti or Phil Smith.

    If using some pivot either of the horn or the head works for you, do it.
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    That's actually one of my favorite videos when one says not to make any movement in the mouth. I guess I should clarify that movements shouldn't be exaggerated.

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