Troublesome High E

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by spirithorn, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. spirithorn

    spirithorn New Friend

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    Mar 3, 2005
    North Carolina
    Hi Manny -
    This is my first post to this forum. I am a 54 year old "serious" amateur player. I enjoy (really) daily practice, and play primarily in a church setting. My question involves trouble getting the high E to "speak". The high C and D are not problematic, and the high F even seems easier than the E. Is this commonly a "difficult" note? Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thank you for you time.
     
  2. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

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    Dec 14, 2003
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    are you by chance playing on a standard 25 37 bach strad? the high e has been very iffy on every standard bach I have ever played, including my own, and I have heard reports of this from others with the same horn. I find that I need to push more air into the horn for high to get it to speak, but it is possible.
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Hi, and welcome to the forum. I hope you enjoy the hang. It's a very nice group of people, mostly.

    If you can, in your next practice session, go up to the E and manage to hang on to it try to find the center, the place where it rings true. Observe whether the note is sharp or flat. Once you figure out where the pitch center is, every time you go for that note, go to where you remember the center to be. You won't have any more trouble with it but you'll have to deal with the intonation. You'll just have to know that it's sharp or flat. If you go mouthpiece hunting, test that note and the one that lets you play it in a ringing center with good intonation is the one you'll want to buy.

    ML
     
  4. spirithorn

    spirithorn New Friend

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    Mar 3, 2005
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the quick replies. This will be in answer to both.
    To musicalmason: No, I'm not playing the 25 37 Strad currently. I've played Blessings (both the ML1 and the ML1 lightweight), an LA Benge, and a Yamaha Heavywall (6345 HII). Currently using a GR 64MS piece. I had the same problem with the E on all of them. The Blessings are probably similar to the Strad in construction. The only horn I've played that seemed to have an easier E than the above was a Schilke B1. Unfortunately, I didn't own the horn.

    To Manny:
    I'll definitely give that a try. My problem (on all the horns I've played - see above), is just that the E seems to be in a very narrow "slot". My tendency is to overshoot it, and hit a flat open F or even F#. But holding it to really listen to the center is something that had not occurred to me.
    Thanks.
     
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Spirit,

    Something else that occurred to me (see, I really think about you guys!) is that there's yet another little test if you decide to try a different mouthpiece that increases the size of the target. That's what makes the upper register more accessible, the size of the target you have up there.

    Play a high C and give it a nice natural vibrato. Do the same with the chromatic notes that follow until you get to the E. If you don't have as much wiggle room on the E as you did with the other notes that are close by then there's your problem, just as you said: the slot's too narrow.

    Good luck,

    ML
     
  6. spirithorn

    spirithorn New Friend

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    Mar 3, 2005
    North Carolina
    Thanks, Manny -
    I'm not at home, but I can definitely say that a natural lip vibrato is not a problem on C, C#, D, and maybe the Eb. The "narrowness" of the E will make that a problem, in my experience. One concept you introduced is new to me: I would have thought that "slotting" was a function of the horn. But if I'm hearing you correctly, the mouthpiece can affect this also? A person on another forum suggested the alternate fingerings 1-2, or 3 for the high E. But, intonation problems notwithstanding, the alternates don't seem to help. I am curious, though, about the idea that a mouthpiece would "increase the size of the target".
    Again, thanks for your time and input.
     
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    I am not a fan of false fingerings and don't use them on any of my horns so I don't advocate them. The idea of using 1/2 or 3 on high E makes my flesh crawl.

    A good mouthpiece will help the slotting. Don't know what the physics behind it are but I know it will.

    ML
     
  8. spirithorn

    spirithorn New Friend

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    Mar 3, 2005
    North Carolina
    We agree on that, Manny. The idea of false fingerings for the high E makes my flesh crawl as well. But you surely know how we amateurs are... we'll try anything at least once if another player suggests it!
    For the kind of playing that I do, the arrangements seldom call for a high E. When they do, I usually miss, for reasons described previously. So it's not a frequent problem but, as a matter of principle, I'd like to be rock solid up to F, whether this occurs in performance of not. My rather simplistic theory is, if I'm solid to the F, then the C's and D's that are usually called for will seem easier, since they are not my upper limit.
    Also, like most players who have been at it for any length of time, I have tried a bunch of mouthpieces.... from 6A4a's to 1 1/2 C's. Having tried all that, I tend to prefer a basic piece toward the larger end. And for me, articulation and, now that you mention it, "slotting" seems better with a larger size. Did you have any specific mouthpiece parameters in mind with regard to enhanced slotting?
    As an aside, I have heard that Bud Herseth used a 7C at one time. Is this true?
    Again, thanks.
     
  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Spirit,

    I tend to dance around the subject of mouthpieces since I prefer Monette products and am a stock holder. So, I'm loathe to state my preferences in a strong way as I would hate to be construed as a shill for the company. I usually only do so in response to a direct question or a challenge or outright false information.

    Having said all that, I'll say that agree with your concepts about having a range that is above what you need and preferring to play with the largest mouthpiece you can get away on.

    Yes, I have heard the same thing that when Bud first began he played a 7C and I believe it to be so. I'm pretty sure he didn't stay on it too terribly long, though.

    ML
     
  10. spirithorn

    spirithorn New Friend

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    Mar 3, 2005
    North Carolina
    Okay Manny. Here's a question that will truly reveal my ignorance on the subject: Do Monette mouthpieces work for other than Monette horns? Because I most certainly cannot afford the latter!
     

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