Not another 'expanding your range' thread!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ALWilts, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

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    Hi masters

    I know I've only been back on the horn for 2 weeks now but there's something that's bugging me..

    If I play a song I'll struggle to hit anything over a top space E. If I do manage to hit it, it sounds rather messy and often I'll split the note. On the other hand, if I play a solid E, and work my way up chromatically I can now hit a B quite comfortably and it sounds wholesome (much to my delight).

    I know the latter example gives me more time to set my embouchure and think more about how I'm playing rather than what I'm playing, but is there a specific exercise that I can do to work on getting it right in a different context?

    Many thanks,
    another comeback player who probably needs a little more patience..

    edit: I should also say that the more tonging that is involved, the harder it seems to be to hit the higher notes.
     
  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    Practice
     
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    A couple of Arban exercises I've found useful at improving flexibility and pitching are:

    Ex. 32 Pg. 34
    Ex. 50 Pg. 22

    There are many others (particularly in the intervals section) but for me, these two were rubicon tests.
     
  4. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

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    Dennis, most of the advice on this forum is more practice (and quite rightly so I would agree, especially in this instance!).. I'm just looking for ideas and exercises that I can practice that might help me use my range.


    Thanks Seth, I'll have a look now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    You claim to own all of the symptoms of Armstrongs disease.

    The solution is breathing and body use therapy - Big breaths just under the hyperventillate limit. Practice after a shower to experience relaxed. Then comes a high dose of quiet long tones with the mouthpiece and then the horn (only easy notes with no strain or Armstrong compensation). Then a steady diet of lip slurs (Arban, Irons, Schlossberg - it really doesn't matter). Then 15-20 minutes of easy tunes like from a hymnbook. I prescribe this treatment at least once a day, better twice. No additional range builders or LOUD playing.

    Seriously, when your range "stops" at a specific note, it is pressure that is your enemy. Well, you may be your own enemy, but not having consistent good breathing, body use and a solid daily routine forces you to compensate with an alternative that at least works a bit - arm pressure. You can't just cold turkey removing pressure, you need to build soft skills, then pressure disappears by evolution, not revolution.
     
  6. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    for me what helped was to play the music I had to play. I picked the horn back up and almost immediately joind a community band, so getting back in shape was just learning the music I had to play, one piece had a bunch of high C's. I did fine but now we have a break and I'm trying to hit Arbans pretty hard and I think it's working so that is how I mean about practice. I'm focusing on scales, slurs, intervals and all the "airs" they just all are nice to play and the lower parts on those that apply are challenging
     
  7. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

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    Thanks for the advice rowuk. As I'm so early into my comeback, sorting out a routine is pretty difficult.. I just want to cram as much in as possible every day! The worst part being, after 5-10 minutes of good exercises, when your chops start to give out, you want to prolong putting the horn back in its case as much as possible, so it's easy to go back to bad habits to keep playing!

    I've been looking for some easier pieces to play and I never really thought about hymns, so that might help me a lot, especially after all the long tones and slurs. Thanks again!


    Dennis, congrats on getting back into a band! I've got a show with a guy on keys and he's heard I've picked up the trumpet again and asked if I can play a few songs on that instead.. It's in a months time and I don't feel that I'll be anywhere near ready to perform!
     
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Playing a Bb instrument from a hymnal requires transposing vis playing 1 1/2 steps higher and adding 2 # to key signature. Otherwise it really messes one's ear for the correct sound of a Bb trumpet. That said, I've been sight transposing such for so many years, that I've lost count, starting from duets with my mother playing the piano with both of us reading the same music me standing on her left and me looking toward the right still with my instrument turned as far towards the left as I could. I can now put her music on my stand as she's dead now.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    As part of the daily routine, hymns don't have to be transposed - it is a good brain stretcher though. The difference between Bb and C is one whole step If you have a C notated, you play a D......
     
  10. ALWilts

    ALWilts New Friend

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    I've been playing from my real book that I use on keys a bit (only the lower songs mind..) and I've been sight transposing.. It's something I carried on doing through my university course so I'm not too bad at it. It can be a bit of a mental challenge when you think 'that's a high note' and you have to pitch even higher!
     

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