(Not so) high C

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by motteatoj, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    As a relatively new player (7 months now), my primary goal, other than tone, endurance, technique, yadda yadda yadda is getting to the C just above the staff.

    Not double-high C, not FFF, etc. Just up to C above the staff.
    Why is that so important to me?
    Because it opens up a wealth of music that i am most interested in playing.
    I am a very dedicated, yet recreational player, and at 46, although happy to put in the time i need to build my chops, i want some efficiency in getting to this this range so i can fully enjoy this new hobby of mine....

    Where am I now?? Well after 7 months i can play the entire range of the trumpet up to E (top space in staff) and can squeak out an F if the planets align correctly.

    So, the question is...
    Any suggestions on methods, tips, etc to get to my goal safely and efficiently?
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    play softer...
    clarke #1,2,3 to chromatically stretch the chops up AND down.
    irons/colin flexibilities. slow and controlled. evenness and ease is the goal. Speed will come. If you can't play them slow, you can't do them fast....
    long tones. soft. really soft.

    Volume is a crutch used to overcome poor embochure development. When you apply pressure it can flatten the chops and kill the buzz, or at least thin out your sound. Then you have to pour on the air to overcome what I call the "buzz kill".

    If you can play an E, but struggle for F & G then I suspect you are not really in control of the C-D-E and using the air crutch... which eventually fails.
  3. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    C and D are fine indeed.
    i agree that the push and volume way is not the way.
    i do quite a bit of soft G mid staff as i heard this helps upper range.
    thanks for the tips, will research!
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    The green Schlossberg book is a good range builder, too. If you buy the book, follow the dynamic markings religiously. Many of the exercises will exceed your range, so just work the parts you can realistically get to at first. You'll find that it won't take long to attain a few notes higher than you're used to.
  5. Joe44

    Joe44 Pianissimo User

    Apr 21, 2011
    Upstate Ny
    Practice. Practice a lot. Practice smart. Wait a few months ;-)
  6. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    I have found that the absolute best method for expanding range is the James Stamp "Warm-Ups" book. One thing that Stamp does that many others don't do is that he pushes the low register as much as the high register, and he emphasizes a continual stream of air. I would highly recommend using this book as a form of warm-up, and the range will come naturally.
  7. ewanmains

    ewanmains Piano User

    Jun 9, 2009
    Kilmarnock, UK
    Don't worry about range and never, ever set 'range' as a goal. Decent range/sound/volume comes naturally from good, well rounded playing habits. Working solely towards one specific goal like 'range' is a very destructive (non-constructive) thing to do.

    At this stage, don't ever use forced lip/arm pressure to attain higher notes as it'll do some damage to your muscle tissue which will take time to heal as you don't yet have a quick recovery ability.

    +1 to Stamp, Caruso and the rest - also, pick some tunes!! Remember it's music that you're playing and not just exercises!

    (P.S. I prefer not to call notes low C, middle C, high C etc. - it's just a C. If I need to point out the octave, I'll use C4, C5, C6 and so on.)

    Good luck & remember - don't force it! :-)
  8. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    WAIT AND PRACTICE. If you move upward too fast, you can impede your further progress - I know, because I did it myself, and it hampered me for at least two years. So keep within the range you are comfortable with, don't squeak too often, and focus on building endurance and tone quality. High C will follow automatically.
  9. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    Thanks to the folks who understand what I am asking, I will check out the references you cited.

    Just to be clear.....I am not wanting to force anything, or get to not so high C (I will call it what I like) in an unnatural amount of time.

    I am just asking for some focused exercises to maximize practicing so that I can play the music i would like to play.
    Being focused and efficient does not equal 'pushing it".

    I have a great instructor and take weekly lessons, and we work together on assignments, however, I am a bit of an anomaly for most instructors as i started playing at 46 (not a comeback) and so we work to what i want to achieve together. I am not a kid who just wants to play higher, I am an engineer, and want to approach my practices systematically and with great care and focus.

    Again, thanks to those that understood my request.
  10. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Check out the Mystery to Mastery clips that are linked here on the site. Greg puts it in words better than most. If I have only on piece of advice, it would be this: do not play on strained lips. No matter what, don't do it. Recognize the warning signs (degraded sound, difficulty to slot, inability to hold the note, out of tune flat) and respect them. Not doing so will set you back again and again and can prevent progress altogether.

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