SERIOUS Range Deterioration - I'd really appreciate any suggestions

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by surfingmusicman, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    quote "I started gaining serious ground every few weeks. As of about two or three weeks ago, I was consistently playing double C’s and higher as part of my daily warm-up, and my playable range was flirting with double G’s (two G’s above the staff). I even hit a triple Bb once (three Bb’s above the staff). It wasn’t loud, but it was there. "end quote

    I'm not a high note specialist, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to consistently play double C's as part of a warmup. It sounds to me as though you've strained and/or exhausted part or all of your embouchure. It's always interesting to me when people have these problems and somebody tells them they need to get back to basics and that helps them. This should send up a big red flag -- somewhere you've gotten away from the fundamental principles of playing and screwed yourself up. This high note technique and regiment sound to me like they're screwing you up.

  2. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    consistantly playing DHC is utter stupidity. Its like driving the car at rev limiter the whole day, and than wondering why the he** did the car broke down
  3. smokin valves

    smokin valves Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2011
    I think the problem may be linked to the "honeymoon" sitution some players find with new mouthpieces. the new technique works at the start and then as you use it more and more it becomes less effective. i certainly haven't heard of the technique before. also, sometimes (usually on piccolo trumpet) i experience periods where i have a drop in register and can barely play a high g, whereas normally i have no touble playing the michael haydn.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    It does sound like you've strained a muscle perhaps. That sounds like too much too fast as far as your progress. Slow progression is usually the approach preferred by most teachers (NOT players ;-)). You may have slipped into a bad habit because the rest of your face is trying to catch up with what you're doing and it just said, "NO"! Accelerated accomplishment is not always good. There was a local landscaping company that just went out of business because it grew too fast. It could not keep up with the growth and provide reliable consistent service like it did at the beginning. The guy was the cat's meow and he just wouldn't say no to anything (expanded to too many areas and ignored his base clientele). He ruined his reputation because he wasn't willing to grow slow and wanted it all yesterday (read GREEDY). Many players are greedy for the upper register (although there isn't tons of music written up there. Most of what we hear players playing is 8va!)to their own detriment. It may be cool to blast DHC's + in warmups, but it sounds like you're paying the piper now. rest and go back to a "normal" set-up with your chops and be PATIENT! :D
  5. RustoleusMaximus

    RustoleusMaximus Pianissimo User

    Feb 1, 2008
    I apologize for not breaking up my reply in smaller paragraphs. I'll try not to let it happen again. Now more to the OP:

    Concentrate on practicing Clarke's Technical Studies (which Jon Faddis recommends for building range); Colin's Advanced Lip Flexibilities etc. I personally use Claude Gordon's Systematic Approach because it breaks things down into 52 weekly lessons. If you practice technique correctly, then your range can build naturally over time. Clarke's Technical Study number one will build your range if you play it softly, 16 times in one breath and expand all the way up to the last exercise. By playing this exercise as Clarke states, you are forced to use air compression etc. It is also basically LONG TONES as you are playing each exercise 16 times in one breath. Furthermore, you could play exercise number 12, then 11, then 13, then 10, then 14, then 9, then 15 etc. that is a technique many of Bill Adams students use (so I have been told by several) Thus, you are playing something somewhat higher ... then lower and so on.

    I use a metronome and rest as many beats as I have just played with EACH exercise. Remember, you are BUILDING your chops, not destroying them !!

    The biggest obstacle is learning how to support the air with enough force to elicit really fast air compression. Probably most have the strengthen corners (embouchure) to play high; however, they don't realize the force or support needed to attain the fast air compression necessary.

    Frankly, we are ALL individuals. Everyone doesn't wear a size 12 shoe. It's no different with mouthpieces. Find a mouthpiece that affords you with great tone FIRST and stay with it. I wouldn't let anyone (regardless of their status) tell me what equipment to use as YOU must determine what is comfortable for you.

    Shallow and Deep (mouthpiece sizes) are absolutely RELATIVE !! If you have a very small mouth and very thin lips (as I do) ... a Bach 3C is a huge mouthpiece! My Monette Prana BL2 S3 is very comfortable to my chops; however, most would classify it as a shallow mouthpiece. As I have almost zero lip intrusion into the mouthpiece, I can utilize the entire cup and not fill part of it up with lip. In my opinion, that is how so many artist are successful in playing small pieces ... zero lip intrusion and thus no "bottoming out" (where your lip swells into the cup and cuts everything off.

    Building range takes some time. Be patient, relax and enjoy the journey.
  6. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    I recently had a similar experience. I had finally learned to compress the air with my tongue arch (two years in the learning). When I finally got the knack of it, my range jumped two steps quite easily. I was so excited, I spent most of my practices slurring and trilling these high notes. After several consecutive days of doing this, my chops (corners) just crapped-out. I did not realize the strength it takes to keep things in position while the air and tongue do their work. My teacher recognized what was going on and told me to take a couple of days off. The other explanation is that some bad habit indeed creeped-in. This has happened to me as well. My teacher would say that there are no difficult problems in the trumpet, only basic ones. If something is wrong, then something is wrong with the basics. I think I have reinforced what has already been said, so it is all up to you.

    In the end, the most important thing is making music and not playing exercises to the top of your range, tempting though it may be (trust me I know).

    Good Luck

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  7. jmberinger

    jmberinger Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2007
    Long Beach, California
    Just wanted to chime in. The vast majority of the playing we do as trumpet players and musicians is in the low F# to high C range. If you are playing with an orchestra, brass group or even a stage or jazz band this is where the majority of notes will be on the page. While it is impressive, and exciting, to pop a double C it is more impressive to have a balanced tone, with many levels of available dynamics, throughout the entire range.

    Think about refocusing your musical concept to the low, mid range and work on a basic daily routine of scales and Clarke for 45 minutes a day. Then put the horn down for an hour, repeat and then close it down for the day. The range will come back with a core sound. Look at the Stamp and Poper material too.
  8. surfingmusicman

    surfingmusicman New Friend

    Nov 17, 2011
    Hey guys, I thought I’d give an update on this.

    It looks like my problems are resolved. The fix involved two main things: (1) resting, and (2) recreating the double buzz in my low register and doing the opposite in the upper register.

    Since my chops didn’t feel tired, I intially didn’t believe the posts saying that I needed rest. But I got a PM from Local 357 explaining the following:

    This made a lot of sense to me, so I rested.

    As for the second part of the fix, a big "thank you" to Volgano Brother for his suggestion in a previous post:

    So, my range is coming back again! Slowly but surely.

    Btw, I have to respectfully disagree that the technique I’m using is “complete BS.” It’s the same technique that I’ve heard about from a lot of screamers. I just never learned how to do it before.

    Also, I have to respectfully disagree that consistently playing double C’s is “utter stupidity.” Every high-note player I’ve ever read about or spoke with has said that to play high, you have to practice playing high. I’m a long shot from a Maynard or an Eric Miyashiro, but my guess is their daily practice routines include(d) double C’s and higher.

    For what it’s worth, I wasn’t solely practicing playing high. Throughout this entire time I continued a daily regime of scales, scale patterns starting below the staff, lip trills, ii-V’s, memorizing tunes, etc. So “getting back the basics” for me wasn’t a matter of gross negligence of those basics. I do, however, now include long tones in my warm up. That seems to be helping.

    Thanks again guys!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  9. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Glad you were successful. And it almost sounds like a Maggio embouchure.
  10. surfingmusicman

    surfingmusicman New Friend

    Nov 17, 2011
    Cool. I never heard of the Maggio embouchure before (or even that there were distinct schools of thought on embouchures). I just did a google search, and the embouchure I'm using does indeed sound like the Maggio one. I'm intrigued, so I just bought the book too. :-)

Share This Page