Problematic E above High C

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by zoowarlord, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. zoowarlord

    zoowarlord New Friend

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Hello, just joined today. I've been playing for about seven years, Four of those spent playing lead trumpet, and have used 3 different mouthpieces, Shiklie 14, Marcinkiewicz E9.1*Shew 1.5, and a Bach Megatone 3C, and am currently using the Marcinkiewicz although i do love the bach. In my entire history of playing, i have had a very strong problem with my accuracy in playing E above High C. I can almost never hit the note the first time, even with plenty of mental preparation and hearing the note beforehand, and can never play the the note in a run, it will always come out as a high F instead of an E. I am aware that this could be due to my relative inexperience as a player, but I do not believe that it is due to a lack of range, because i can clearly and accurately play Eb, F, F# and G. So, I know that you guys will have some advice for me, as to any way I could change either my playing hardware, my playing itself, my breathing etc [i have a mostly normal 1/2 top lip 1/2 bottom lip embrochure] in order to fix this problem, or to tell me somethign i could practice to make this note come out. Thanks in Advance!
     
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    This is most likely software, not hardware problem. It may be breathing, tongue position, over-tonguing, embouchure control or ears...or combination of all the above. We all have the so called "breaking point" (or at least most of us do - for me this is concert f#).
     
  3. zoowarlord

    zoowarlord New Friend

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Hm... so it seems that high E is simply a problem note for my current playing, thank you. Currently it feels like there is a smaller "window" for playing that parcel than for playing any other, and that the surrounding parcels are sort of invading the space for playing E's, making playing them much more difficult. That's just how it feels to me, although it might sound ridiculous to anyone else. Because you seem knowledgeable on the subject, are there any ways you know of that could help me play this note easier? Possibly a change in breathing habbits or tonguing that was effective in helping your problem with F#? Thank you again
     
  4. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Two quite reliable test for whether a note is earned or not:
    1. Flutter tongue
    2. Play without attack (or also known as "breath attack")
    If you cannot play the note in question with the above articulations then either you are applying too much pressure or the tongue level/position is wrong...or your breathing is not efficient enough.
     
  5. zoowarlord

    zoowarlord New Friend

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Thank you, I was able to play the note without an attack, still not as easily as an F but much easier than with tonguing, so i believe this signifies a tonguing problem?
     
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Did you do the flutter thing? It is difficult to make a precise diagnosis on the internet, but sounds as you are overtongueing, though it is a mystery to me why would you overtongue only on E...Why don't you post a video with some scales? You did not say anything about a teacher...Do you have one? If yes, why not asking him?
     
  7. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

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    Jul 26, 2008
    You have got some really good advice already,
    but if it had been my horn, I would have tried
    other valve combinations than 0, that is; I
    would have tried 1+2 AND also tried 3 just
    to see what it does to the horn . . .

    If you cant play the E with another valve
    combination, maybe this tells you something!
     
  8. doubleg

    doubleg New Friend

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Toronto
    I have the exact same problem.... once you get up into that register the harmonics are so close together its harder to get some to speak compared to others... One thing that has worked for me is playing all my high E's with 3rd valve only, it seems to slot better.
    try that
     
  9. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    It could be as much a mental problem as it is a physical one, you think the high E is a problem note so you over tense your embouchure to play it and now the E won't center. I know it's easier said than done but try to relax, there isn't that much space between the Eb,E, and F,try playing melodies up to the E slurred and tongued softly then at a mf or f volume, at the beginning it should be easier slurred , so get the feel for the E ,you could also practice scales, arpeggios, and lip flexibilities exercises up to the E all done softly, the key word here is softly.
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    What Nick says is very much worth investigating. Also, I use to have the same problem. I found that it was a mental block. Once I got past the stigma of it I was ok. I would become apprehensive when I would see that a dreaded note (E) was coming up in the music.
    We sometimes build ourselves up to fail. Just an idea. Try using valve combination 12 instead of 0 and when you play it, let it rip.
     

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