Question for rowuk about playing high notes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Markie, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
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    Hi Rowuk,
    I saw you were on line and if possible can I pick your brain for a moment?
    I'm a long time trumpet player with superior range. I have no problem getting up to the high notes and once there, I can play them soft or hot.
    Here's my problem. Getting up to the high notes (above high C) and playing there isn't the problem. Coming down from the high notes and remaining musical is the real pain in the butt. Any advice on how to come down from the high notes and stay musical?
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Markie,
    funny that you mention this. I struggled with exactly the same thing about 30 years ago.

    What I discovered was that I actually rolled my lips in more to play higher. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism or muscles to "roll out" the lips once they are placed. My trumpet teacher back then was a big Earl Irons fan and I was working out of his "27 Groups of Exercises" book. I found everything that I needed in there. I started with about an hour of those lip slurs every day and inside of 6 months, the problem was gone and fortunately has never returned.

    I guess that would qualify as an embouchure change - just brought on by intelligent exercizes instead of watching myself in the mirror. What I never did solve was going into the pedal register and then back into my normal range. It works for me on my Getzen 4 valved flugel, but on no other instrument. I don't need those notes, so I haven't spent much time worrying about it.
     
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
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    Thanks Rowuk,
    I'll check out Iron's exercises and yes, that is exactly what's going on with my lip.
    It's as if I use two different embrochures depending on how high I play and can find no smooth way to transition from the really high register to the normal register and maintain a musical smoothness.
    Thanks for the info!! I'll work on it and let you know in a couple of months how it goes.
     
  4. bobd0

    bobd0 Piano User

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    Jan 10, 2009
    This is a topic that interests me as well. I can play as high as I like with my lips rolled in but, as has already been mentioned, there is no way to transition back down. So I use an "unrolled" embouchure. I used Charles Colin's Advanced Lip Flexibilities to expand my range with that embouchure.

    Rowuk, my question is, when you say you played "27 Groups of Exercises" for an hour each day and that solved the problem, did you play them "rolled in" and expand your range down or "rolled out" and expand up?
     
  5. The Dutch Guy

    The Dutch Guy Piano User

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    looks like I've got the same thing going on. I just use 3 embouchures. I first noticed when I started playing piccolo trumpet a few months ago.
    1 for everyhing up to about E in the staff
    1 for E in the staff to D above high C
    1 for everything above that
     
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Hi Markie, the Charles Colin Advanced Lip Flexibilities is also a great book to work out of, I'm not sure if it's still in print but "Exploring the Trumpet's Upper Register" by Jay Zorn is also a worth a look , practicing octaves up and down tongued and slured also helps.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I just played them. As they start in the lower register, I think I was NOT rolled in. The important part was the exercize that naturally fixed the problem. I am pretty sure similar slur exercizes like Schlossberg could accomplish the same thing, but Irons was the man for me.

    All of my students get the Irons slurs as basic food. Seems to work there too!
     
  8. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

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    Is there anything for free online that is similar? Or could you maybe share here a couple of the ones you think are most important/useful?

    I have the exact same problem, and I think I could work some stuff to fix it into my normal routine.
     
  9. bobd0

    bobd0 Piano User

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    Jan 10, 2009
    First, let me say that I'm a comeback player after thirty-five years. I played trumpet for ten years from grade school through high school and beyond for a short time professionally. I'm not one to "toot my own horn" but I was considered to be a pretty good horn player.

    I began playing the baritone horn again last year and had such a good experience with that instrument I decided to once again try my old rival, the trumpet, as well.

    Trumpet was always my main instrument. I doubled on baritone. But my trumpet embouchure was always problematic. I played unrolled on a Bach 7C then an Olds 3, and after playing for ten years that way I developed a groove in my upper lip that used to be referred to as a "tit" -- where the mouthpiece left a permanent impression in the tissue. Even after thirty-five years I can still feel it there.

    When I picked up the horn again I tried to find a new embouchure style to keep the mouthpiece from falling back into that groove. I used a larger, shallower mouthpiece. I have a Giardinelli 1M and a Warburton 1M top with KT backbore. The inner rim diameters are almost identical but the Warburton cup is slightly shallower than the Giardinelli. Yet after playing in my old embouchure the larger mouthpieces still fall back into that groove. It limits my range and endurance. I have an excellent low and middle range but my high range is forced and I use too much pressure.

    So, I've been "experimenting" with rolled and unrolled embouchure in an attempt to overcome my bad habits and that permanent groove in my upper lip. I've found that I can get much better control with a modified rolled embouchure -- one where I don't roll my lips fully and where I pucker slightly as well. This also allows my lip muscles to come into play giving me more of a cusion on the mouthpiece rim. I find I have a good mid range, excellent high range, but my low range suffers.

    I have Arban's Method but, on Rowuk's recommendation, I'm going to pick up a copy of Iron's book and, from my own experience with it, Colin's book as well and work on my embouchure experiment with their help.

    I must keep my "new" embouchure, with its better feel and a strong middle and high range, yet somehow learn to use it in the low range as well. I was always taught that a brass player must use the same embouchure throughout the entire range. Switching embouchure settings to achieve range is not a feasible or effective solution.

    Any further thoughts or suggestions on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009

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