Practicing my range ...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by AamirH, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. AamirH

    AamirH New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    Hello all,

    Just a quick question; I am practicing my trumpet and this morning, when I tried to play up to a high G (sitting on the staff) the sound would be just air and no sound, and maybe a squeak of the G, which is normal. Just now, I am playing a bit before bed and my high G is not just air, but sounds broken.

    Is this good? I mean, before I could get nothing at all, but now I get a broken G. I'm pretty sure it is my loss of air, so I am working on that right now.

    Any tips on playing high range?
  2. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE

    Go to bed and forget about it. Playing the trumpet even in the high range is all about getting the fundamentals right, preferrably with the help of a good teacher, and practice. It involves all sorts of things other than concentrating on air (although that's very important, it's just one thing of many). In my experience if you do things correctly with the best sound you can imagine your range will evolve, as will your ability as a player.


    Last edited: Oct 7, 2007
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    it is amazing-the universal obsession with high, loud and fast..........

    There are no short cuts. Solid practice of the fundementals will help you EARN a balanced skill set. The fundementals ALWAYS start with breathing and THEN add face muscles. Unlike computer games there is no cheat to download.

    The key to success is to get a qualified teacher from the very beginning! You can try to guesstimate what is good though self help, the chance for success is VERY low.

    My students generally get lip slurs (Adam routine) to build tone and high register and Clarke, Arban, Kopprasch, Stamp, Colin, Concone, Schlossberg, St. Jacome, ............ and MUSIC to help them learn what to do with that range and tone.

    The students that bring "bad habits" have as many years of "repair" as the ones that start from scratch with proper guidance. I read a lot about successful self help here at TM, that "success" is not what I generally hear when I am out in the "field" playing. That is the problem with the internet, you never really can be sure......................
  4. music4life

    music4life New Friend

    Sep 10, 2007
    I have some questions. How long have you been playing the trumpet? Do you have a teacher? What is your daily practice routine? Do you play any melodic/musical studies? Do you play in any ensembles? Do you...

    Without knowing the answers to these questions it can be tough to post a reply that will be helpful.

    I have been playing/studying the trumpet for about 20 years. Eventaully, you will build consitancy with the range of the trumpet, but even great players have bad days. I try to focus on making the trumpet sound as beautiful as possible. The word "beautiful" can be different for everyone, so try to find recordings of players whose sound you like and try to copy their sound. Don't worry about their range. Think about their sound. Record yourself and compare your sound to the sound you want to acheive.

    I think you are focusing on the wrong things right now. Camelbrass is right: "Go to bed and forget about it." Give your mind and body a break. Rest longer during practice sessions. I also struggled with what you are describing. But focusing too much on what I believed to be the "problem" lead to my sound being worse and a lip injury.

    There are many quotes from prominant trumpet players that I can insert here, but I'll not do that. Instead, I want to encourage you to play more within your range. Strive on making music.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2007
  5. AamirH

    AamirH New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    I have been playing since grade 8 or so but only started taking the trumpet seriously since this year (grade 12). I am extremely behind, I know, but a lot of people have told me I can do it with hard work and determination. I will start lessons next week. My daily practice routine on my own is starting with soft long tones and getting louder and louder and vice versa. I then start on the low C (below the staff) and go till the high C (inside the staff) in semitones: Slur, slur, tongue, tongue, slur, slur, etc. Then, to work on range, I start on a high C (inside the staff) and go up 5 semi-tones. If i squeak or cannot hit the note, I start again at the C. If i do complete the 5 semi-tones with nice tone, I move on to a C#/Db and go 5 semi-tones up. I go between these exercises and when I get a little bored, I practice my songs for band or jazz. I am first trumpet for both. Jazz has barely started this year, but I hope to have many solos. Last year i did one for Arranco (improvised) and everyone said I rocked it.
    I hope this helps, even though its a lot.

    I do have a sound i want to achieve. I love playing slow jazz pieces, last year I played a great jazz piece and for the love of god I can't remember the name, but i loved playing it. I'll show you a video of Jon Faddis that really encourages me YouTube - Jon Faddis - Jazz Trumpet. I really do think I sound like this. I'm learning how to vibrato as well, which is awesome and sounds so cool.

    Man, I'm so excited to learn all this new stuff.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2007
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    yeah, a broken G may mean your lips are tired and not vibrating equally. or your chops aren't built up enough. the real advice is true -- it takes time. soft pressure on lips, long tones, scales, lip slurs, breath control (faster air for higher notes) and small aperture - lips close, but they still need to vibrate -- open too far or not enough chop --- then you get a buzz or an air out.
    hope that helps, ken

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