The Elusive Altissimo...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Heavens2kadonka, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I know theres at least one topic like this, but I felt the urge to post a similar topic myself. Apologies to those sizzled vets here who will be repeating something they've already said? :D

    Some people can pick up the horn after twenty years off the instrument, and can double high C after a few months. There are those of us (myself included) that's worked for about three years on the trumpet seriously, and can hardly control anything past the C above the register!

    In fact, I know a fellow who has switched to trumpet from TUBA, and in three weeks, has a register as competent as my own, and can plink out those higher notes when he feels the urge!

    To you high note guys, have you ever payed attention to what happens to your face as you go out there? Does something CHANGE; facially, inside the mouth, or otherwise?

    I want to hear conversation about the "mouse fart" range, what they do to work that magic. DO they feel different when they're screeching instead of playing the normal compass of the instrument?

    Every single little detail, in excruitiating detail, would be appreciated.

  2. Deecy

    Deecy Pianissimo User

    Aug 8, 2005
    "Hear a beautiful, singing sound in your head a reproduce it on the horn."

    I might be mistaken, but I believe I heard this referred to as "bel canto trumpet playing". I've been trying this for some time. The idea is, I think, don't think about chops, lips, tongue, throat, etc., just hear a beautiful sound in your head, take a deep breath and concentrate on making it come out the end of the horn.
    Didn't know it could be used for altissimo playing as well. Terrific!

  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Absolutely... just think of Doc in his prime and there it is.

  4. Clarence

    Clarence Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 23, 2005
    san diego
    Yea sometimes major head trama,when .i hit those real high ones :shock:
  5. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I finally reached the F above high C tonight in practice. Cant 100% produce it at will, but I can FIND it now when I really want to. I can actually tap the F# and G above that as well.

    What worked for me is the Clarke Studies, number Two. Making every note as full and consistent as the first note produced. Half step at a time, like Dylan said. :oops:

    Thanks guys.

  6. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

    Mar 22, 2005
    I think the most important thing is to "hear it." I can play a pentatonic blues lick up to the "mouse-fart" range no problem. However, put one of those angular bebop licks in front of me and I lose about an octave. I don't know why, but thats the way it is (for me).
  7. sublmbadfish

    sublmbadfish Pianissimo User

    Jul 9, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I really feel that it is kind of mental. For example, im my marching bands show this year i play the lead trumpet part. I have a good amount of F#'s and D's and all in between. Sometimes at rehersals i have trouble getting them but this weekend at a compitition i nailed them all i think due to the adrenaline i was feeling. I just played what came to me without much thought. I really just throw air at them...if it dosent dosent happen and i back off.

    As for mouse fart...the common joke around the trumpet section is that "im playing really high...but the human ear cant detect it so i guess youll have to take my word for it."
  8. 11thchair

    11thchair Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2005
    Evansville In
    I think you can think of Doc past his prime - and it is still there. :D

    Just a thought on my part Van. You have heard me play - I'm not much higher than you. But I find the mouthpiece has a lot to do with getting the air through the horn. I find it easier to push through a thinner layer of air that a shallow cup provides. There does seem to be a limit to this also - too thin and the sound goes south. The shape of the cup seems to affect me also. I can play fairly high and clean on the Bruno that I think you tried (from an earlier post of yours) and I can go a note or 2 higher on the Stage 1. I tried a Stork LTV and could barely get high C - so depth is not the total key. Need some kind of balance.

    Take this with a grain of salt too. I'm no expert, nor can I play in the MF range. Just a couple of months ahead of you at this point - you will be higher by Christmas probably.

Share This Page