Question about Maynard Ferguson's suggested way to increase range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter3197, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Trumpeter3197

    Trumpeter3197 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2012
    For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I'm referencing what MF describes in this video Maynard Ferguson Clinic: 07. Q&A-How to Increase Range - YouTube about how to increase range. In theory it seems like it would work. But can anyone who has had experience with this exercise for range building elaborate on it? When to do it, how to do it, etc?
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    He demonstrates it with Stardust,,,use a romantic tune you know, and move it up - minor third - start moving the tune up gradually. Self explanatory.

    Love the "You only own the note when you can play it romantically - get a nice sound" Go Romance NOT Panic!!
    What need for a Quad C - to call a dog! LOVE IT.
    Nice Vid - saw it a long time ago, and worth the time to watch the Boss -

    To answer your question - MF assumes you can play, and have a favourite Ballad. What tune are you using? This is sound advice, and clear to me, cannot see how you do not understand it. Everyone move tunes up an octave, but moving it up gradually is a good way to do it.
  3. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    Even despite his natural gifts Maynard truly was a good teacher. I say "despite his gifts" because let there be no doubt about it: he was truly very gifted with natural range, big sound and endurance. Good insight into teaching however is not usually a quality found in the other naturally gifted players. About the only other world class player who well understands teaching is Doc. The only one that I know of anyway. There may be more I just haven't been exposed to their teaching concepts. The thing is that even with all Maynard could do because of his natural lip, jaw, teeth formation he still tended to push the limit of those physical capabilities. Night after night year after year, chop problem after chop problem. He STILL kept putting it out.

    And by pushing the envelope as far as he did he would tend to at least occasionally bring himself into that desperate place the rest of us are (range & endurance wise) plenty of times. He simply had to. Plus he worked with other trumpet players in his bands for what? Seven decades? So he really knew what we as trumpet players go through.

    And his advice is always solid. Is mostly about

    1. Stance

    2. Breathing

    3. Musicality

    Simple no? Yes simple in theory but not always easy. In the past couple of years or so I have forced myself to adopt the stance he recommended. I already had good breathing but it was the stance that helped my volume, endurance, confidence and sizzle.

    As far as the topic of bringing a ballad up a minor third while still maintaining the musicality? This is the best real piece of advice there is concerning range development. That even if I say were to show a kid how to develop his physics and blow a solid High F in practice (and I do this very often) that in and of itself isn't indicative of a range increase. What we do in the practice room isn't bandstand range. This is only "theoretical range". Necessary for development and eventual use in concert but not a true range increase. It is those notes we always have on the stage through the good and bad nights.

    Bandstand range are those notes which we can hit fairly accurately and with good musicality and interpretation ALL NIGHT LONG in front of an audience. That and to expect and get a repeat performance.

    I worked with a cat today who has decent range. Truth be told due to his forward jaw, dry lip natural tendencies he has in fact an easier time playing above High C than I do. However he tends to showboat and lose some accuracy on the REQUIRED notes of the lead book. It's his band so I had to play second. And this is where the difference between the amateur and the pro shows:

    The need to put out those little black dots close to or exactly as the arranger intended without sacrificing musicality.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009

    You said chop problem after chop problem. Did Maynard have chop issues?
  5. Ness

    Ness New Friend

    Nov 3, 2011
    Yeah, I've watched this before. The tips do seem to help with my playing. My best advice is when working on range, work on getting more comfortable with the notes that are just below your highest note. For example, if the highest note you can play is a D above the staff, get really comfortable playing an A- be able to play it at multiple volumes, play it in tune, do jumps up to it from other octaves without making to major of changes in embouchure, etc. Then move your way up slowly when you're comfortable. I'm no professional at all, but this has helped me out a lot in the past year or so.
  6. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Somewhere over on one of the the other forums is a first hand account from a trumpet player on the band about a particularly good sounding night Maynard once had. Upon hearing favorable comment on the bus, Maynard revealed a whole inner mouth full of open cuts under his lips and gums. The idea of anyone even being able to get a note out of the horn seemingly remote. Let alone play a marvelous performance on the most physically demanding music.

    If I had these kind of hideous wounds? would describe these matters as "chop problems". Just my own definition.

    There are other accounts referring to his chops being "cut like hamburger". The thing is that Maynard always seemed to rise above these matters. It wasn't so much that he was doing anything "wrong" or that he had "chop problems" but that the sheer physical demands presented extreme issues to his flesh. He was cut from stronger from stronger fabric than most of us.

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