playing sharper the higher i play

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by reedy, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    In my experiences I've found that too large a mouthpiece will cause the player to over tense their embouchure and go sharp.
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Since this implies that you can sustain the high notes, the question is why you can't change the pitch at all. If you were 'pinching' them, they would be of very short duration. So, part of the question is, can you 'lip' any notes to change the pitch? If you can bend notes in the lower register, try to focus on how you do that (moving your jaw, changing tongue position, changing lip tension, etc) and then try to duplicate that on the high notes. Even if you can't pull them down into tune, it will help you better understand what you are doing differently on those high notes and then work to correct that issue.
  3. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    Put the horn on a table so it will be slightly tilted while it's sideways. Don't touch the horn with your hands (in other words, don t keep in place with your hands), and try to make sound without the horn moving away from you. Primitive, but very effective. Once you got that it will refrain you from getting too tense at higher notes.
    No matter which height you play at, the tone can be soft/sharp depending on how tense your lips are, how much force you use to get the sound.
    To get the high notes softly, you still have to put your lips together as much as possible, but your lips have to be in a relaxed state, If you get too tense, you'll lose control over it and the sound will be sharp :(
  4. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    thanks guys, im working on it, with the mouthpiece suggestions, im origanly a cornet player so used to larger mouthpieces and ended up on a shilcke #20 qhen i 1st got my trumpet, but have decided i want more of a bright 'trumpet like' sound so started on a shilkie 14A4 and have been playing this for a few months and really like it, im getting on with it really well apart from a bit of sharpness....

    and yeah i can bend the notes flatter with the tunner, im gonn ahave to practice this and see if it helps me hit them in tune :)
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    14A4A is a specialty mouthpiece - no wonder that your intonation went north upstairs. The trick is not trying to drop the upper register with that mouthpiece, it is rather supporting the LOW register to bring it up in pitch.

    That would not have been one of my preferred choices when coming from the cornet. If you like the rim, a 14B would have been bright, but not so radical.
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Could be bad or misadjusted horn, an unsuitable mpc, bad playing habits, lack of a developed embouchure or a combination of all four. The only way to find and fix the problem is with a good teacher. Someone who can see and hear you play and check your horn or mpc for problems
  7. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    well ive played on a number of MP's over the last few years, and on trumpet i have used a shilkie #20, a bach 2.5C, a bach 5C and now my 14A4, im playing on a bach Omega which is in really good condition, i havent had a teach er in about 6months or so :( which has led me from passing my grade 8 to now ive got no chance, but im still ok (ish) as ive been practising pritty much every day and mainly things out of books: aurban, clarke, vizzutti, colin's lip flexability and the casuro, but im starting uni in about 2 weeks time so hope i can sort a teacher out there
  8. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    Rowuk is right about higher notes usually tending to go flatter as you rise.

    Playing notes in the upper register require ALOT of air. It's possible that you are not supporting the note, this will cause it to sound weak, which might in turn cause it to go sharp. Alot of players that I see that can't support them tend to tense their face, and tighten their lips to produce the sound. This is an very bad habit that will cause it to go sharper.
    The trick is to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. Practice breathing exercises on a daily basis. Breathing drills will help not only with upper register playing but also with middle and lower range too.
    Learn the sweet spots on your horn. Play a note and hold it out, then bend the note downwards taking it down far enough that it wants to move to the parsel. Then bend it upward until it wants to move to the next parsel above that note. You'll notice some where in the middle it seems to play "louder" even though you didn't use more air. That is the sweet spot. I recommend doing this for every note. I do it everyday as a warmup.

    Hope this helps
  9. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    thanks SpiritDCI08, i shal give it ago, to be honist i think i manage to support the air and i can play relitavly high with quite alot of air volume speed and volume most of the time, but i do tend to push the MP on my lips a little to much and end up with a nice red ring.... so thats another thing im trying to sort out aswel
  10. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    I don't mean to be argumentative, but high register actually requires less air. It is more about efficient air use (compression) and efficient embouchure...

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