Range before tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Kantza, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Kantza

    Kantza Pianissimo User

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    I was wondering, why is it that lots of teachers prefer range before tone?
    I see students being forced to play higher notes while their middle register isn't even sounding decent.

    Why would you force them? Tone isn't something that you suddenly have, we all need to work on this.
    Not having a decent tone says that something isn't working the right way (isn't it?), then why would you try to play higher when you still have problems in the middle register.

    Or do teacher see increasing range as "development"?
    I'ld prefer to have a smaller range with a decent tone then a bigger range with a not-so-good tone...

    regards
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The teachers don't force them. How can you force kids to do anything? Take their cell phone away?

    The kids WANT high notes. Because so many kids get a bad start, range is something special. If the basics were better payed attention to, we wouldn't have the issue!
     
  3. Kantza

    Kantza Pianissimo User

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    Ok, that's a fair question but not really what I'm looking for.
    I'll try to formulate it differently.

    Why is it that teacher prefer to work on range then to work on tone?


    edit: I'm not saying all teacher are the same, certainly not...
     
  4. Sidekick

    Sidekick Mezzo Piano User

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    I was going to suggest that it is to do with the Grade system (1-8) that we use here in the UK to establsih how students (especially kids) are progressing. The Grades take in music with progressively higher notes with Grade 8 being up to "High" C. I suspect that playing higher notes is therefore perceived to be progression, in the belief that the tone will come of its own accord.
    I was going to say that and then I realised that I have no idea whether the same system is in place around the rest of the trumpet playing World.
     
  5. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

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    The "I can hit HIGH C!!!" declarative is an easier to define statement to tout one's personal accomplishment...takes a more careful and discerning ear to distinguish the better tone.
    I remember half a century ago gleefully yipping "listen how high I can go!!!!" I don't recall as a kid the least thought about quality of tone. I never had a teacher to provide guidance, so wasted a lot of time getting somewhere that I could have gone past more quickly.
    A caring and thoughtful teacher....what a treat and treasure!
     
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    As a slight aside, I see albums of (evidently) popular music from Disney shows and the like arranged for Flute or Clarinet or Alto Sax or Trumpet etc. Invariably these will be labelled Easy, or Moderately Difficult, or Difficult - you get the idea.

    Unfortunately the categorization of degree of difficulty seems always to be based solely on the note values - slow = easy, and fast = difficult. There is no consideration of playing range for the beginning trumpet player. Undoubtably these editions are assembled and categorized by pianists or guitarists with no idea of what they are doing to the young players.
     
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Your sound is your greatest asset.

    If you have a good sound, people will want to listen to you – No matter what you play.

    If you do not have a good sound, nobody will want to listen to you – No matter what you play!
     
  8. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

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    Exactly!

    And quite frankly I am not very enamoured with screaming high notes even by pros. I prefer to wallow in the middle where melodies richly float not the stratosphere where one cannot breathe and live.
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I'm just a 3 C guy, C on the ledger below the staff the one in the 4th space in the staff and the one on the second ledger line above the staff. IMO that covers most parts written for trumpet / cornet among the world's music.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I disagree with the premise. If so many teachers were working on range, we would statistically have a bunch more kids with range - but we don't. We have, just like throughout history some successful talent, some successful hard workers and especially in the 21st century on the internet a lot of talkers!

    I think what there is is a distorted perception of what is training for range and what is training for good sound. To me they are identical. The big relaxed breath, the continuous reduction of tension in the body, intelligent daily routine, learning to listen, preparation for the next job at hand, small steps are all common to becoming the consummate trumpeter.

    Maybe teachers talk more about range than sound to keep the students interest. In that case, if the student believes it, we already know how it is going to turn out..........

    Crappy sound is the result of crappy playing.

     

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