(Not so) high C

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

  1. ewanmains

    ewanmains Piano User

    Jun 9, 2009
    Kilmarnock, UK
    Hi John,

    Apologies if my post came across in the wrong way. All I was trying to say is that, when our playing is efficient and properly executed, that we shouldn't have to worry about range - the range comes naturally as we progress (I'm sure your teacher will be saying the same if you ask them). Range shouldn't be something that we 'work up to' or set as a goal as mentioned in your original post. (IMHO)

    I've always seen range as a 'side-effect' of correct and efficient playing. Relax, and enjoy the learning process with your teacher and the range will come. Your teacher will keep you playing pieces that will gently stretch your abilities and as time goes on, the C will come. It will take time though - it may take 6 months, it may be 2 years, but the notes will come when they are ready.

    Hope this helps in some way.

    Ewan :-)

    (P.S. the only reason I refer to the note as just a C is that I've found in my teaching and in my own learning, that calling them low C, middle C high C, double-high C, triple high C etc, can sometimes lead to a psychological block - if we think of the notes as all the same, there's no 'stigma' attached to them. A double high C becomes just another C like the rest of them, but again eveyone is free to call the notes what they want, just as long as it makes sense to them.)
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    My trumpet tutor gave me a little routine to practice.

    You pick any note and play it 5 times. Each time removing the trumpet from the face, to simulate playing the first note in any piece. If any mistake is made, start again. If played perfectly 5 times move onto another note and repeat the exercise. Only need to spend 5 minutes or so on the routine, but it can be quite interesting if you decide to start in a higher register.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I should just let this thread go as it has, but it has an edge that I'm not very happy with and that is referral to certain method books, not that there is anything particularly wrong with these method books, but I believe that the time to go for them is when your own teacher/tutor suggests such. Your own goal of a C on the second ledger line above the staff is very realistic as will be all you'll need for an estimated 90% of printed music. To the one suggestion of playing softly, I'll add to initially play slowly with your attention to tonal control being most important. To this end, I have a warm-up regimen of chromatic scales from C on the ledger line below the staff to your goal of a C on the second ledger line above the staff, although at times I'll add the C# on the top. When, and if, I can accomplish this phase of my warm-up readily at various speeds (tempo) and volume, I feel I'm ready to play most songs.

    Admittedly, I'm a comebacker after a 44 year lapse then at age 70 and am now 77 years old and still playing, having persevered past various major health and dental issues in this comeback. Too, I now play piccolo trumpet, cornet, trumpet, F mellophone, euphonium and sometimes a tuba and I mostly sight transpose piano music to accomplish this.

    Above all, may I suggest that you enjoy playing the trumpet and music the remainder of your life, as I now do.
  4. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    You sound like me a couple of years ago, step one get some range step two play some songs. Recently I haven't been having much range issues. I think what surprises me is really how little effort it takes to get those notes if everything is coordinated(embouchure, jaw, tongue, throat stomach), and I practice precious little these days. Consistency is something I still struggle with, those partials are very close together.
  5. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Where it's at!
  6. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    This is going to sound trite and silly but my first bandmaster and teacher was an ex Neller Hall instructor and I believe worked with the great Mr Mortimer and Mr Sargent at various stages of his career used to tell me "take care of the low notes and the high notes will take care of themselves." with 20 20 hindshight I get this get your technique sorted and the range will come as your strength increases. I like Schlossberg for this as some of the excercises (if used properly) push you without you realising it. Also Clarke either four or five I can't remmeber which but it is the one based on 2 octaves of a major scale.
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Maybe you could start enjoying these pieces by transposing them (by sight!) down into a range you're comfortable with. Once you can play them with ease, take them up a semi-tone, and see what happens. I find that when I try this, I'm concentrating so much on the new key, I don't have time to worry about which line of the stave is coming up. As often as not, the note just comes naturally.

    It's also excellent training for thinking in chords and intervals rather than just following the little tadpoles.
  8. Needs Practice

    Needs Practice New Friend

    Oct 14, 2012
    San Jose CA.
    I too am a beginner and can relate to the OP. Owning the high C is an objective of mine for the same reason, but my discipline has been not to try for it, but to work up to it over time in accordance with my teacher's instruction. I surprised myself recently when I completely overshot the G in an exercise and produce a beautiful, clear and sustained high C. But darn it - do you think I can do it again? No way. I sometimes squeak it out - but do not own it. However having once hit and sustained it with good tone, I know that I will get there in time and with practice. The lesson is to forget about high C and focus on practice. To twist the words of John Lennon, the high C is what happens when you are making other plans.
  9. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    Lots of good advice already, I will add one important thing:

    Long tones.

    Do them all over your range, low and high. If you have the top space e, do long tones on it. Make it the best e you can. When the e is full and solid, the f will come. And so on up the scale.
  10. Shadrack

    Shadrack New Friend

    Jan 5, 2013
    NYC area
    Welcome to trumpet playing.

    I studied with some awesome working professional horn players in NYC for a few years and remember setting range as one of my goals while my instructors methodically pressed me with various exercises from Schlossberg and Arbans. I remember my instructors saying that what we were doing actually builds range and good technique. One called lip slurs "sit ups for trumpet players" and "slotting (placing the horn in the palm of your hand and slurring open notes until they squeak and working down too for about ten minutes a day)" lifting weights. You don't want to be a "5 minute hero" one instructor used to say alluding to pressing too hard to play high notes and blowing your chops quickly. Taking breaks were also impressed upon me.

    I can comfortably play fat "C to F" above staff for very long periods of time since high school and credit disciplined lessons. Good luck.

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