upper register problem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by D_MaN, May 10, 2009.

  1. D_MaN

    D_MaN New Friend

    Apr 11, 2008
    I have been playing trumpet for 5 and a half years and have been on first chair all throughout school (currently doing unit 3 4 vce music)but i have no upper register. I cant hit a high c consistantly. The last 3-4 years i have been doing roughly 1 hr of practice a day and up to 3hrs in holidays.
    Will range come eventually or is my umbrochure not right for trumpet?
    Any advice is greatly appreciated!!
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Perhaps look at the Cat Anderson threads on TM, they will help you to develop the chops and technique.

    Also have a look at the Nick Drosdoff U-tube lessons for explanations; really helpful.
    YouTube - Hi Gear Lo Gear

    BTW it is with quality practice, and listening to good music to get the sound in your head first; or it just will not happen. When it does happen it will move quickly. Keep swingin'

    BTW it is with practice, and listening
  3. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    5 1/2 years at an hour a day and no high C. Then you either have a miserable teacher, are doing something seriously wrong or you are not seriously practicing (we can "play" for an hour, but practice to get better is something else).

    Before you get your hopes up for a quick fix, that amount of time, with those results mean that you have developed habits that have to be "unlearned". New habits will have to replace them.

    The fastest (and most fun) way is to get a good LOCAL teacher and stop messing around. If that isn't possible, then I can't even guess about your chances for success.

    In any case, do a search on circle of breath, start playing lots of long tones and lip slurs.

    Tell us what you fill that hour of practice with. That may give us some clues about your chances and how to help.
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi D MaN,
    Chances are as you go higher, you apply more and more pressure on your lips.
    This can be very frustrating since you practice on a regular basis.
    There's an old saying" Practice makes perfect"
    Unfortunately this is incorrect.
    The correct version is:
    "Perfect practice makes perfect"
    You need to understand that its the SPEED of the air due to tongue placement that causes the air to speed up which causes the high notes.
    Try this:
    Whistle a scale and notice how your tongue makes the oral cavity smaller as you go higher. Next, pick up your trumpet and play a scale. Notice how your tongue helps change the notes by making the oral cavity smaller. All you're doing is speeding up the air.
    There's a site called "Tongue Arch and Hiss" you ought to read.
    What I tell students when they start using excessive pressure is to "think whistling while they play", this usualy helps.
    Pay attention to your tongue and soon you'll know what a particular note should feel like in your mouth.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    the speed doesn't change dependent on the tongue and the oral cavity does not change size as the tongue can't articulate if it has created a seal closing off part of the oral cavity. Only the size of the aperature determines how much air moves and ultimately the speed. I used to use the analogy of a thumb over a garden hose to represent what happens with the tongue. That is incorrect, as the aperature comes AFTER the tongue. Our tongue arch could perhaps represent somebody stepping on the hose.........................

    As there is non linear backpressure from the mouthpiece horn, we have more resistance for higher notes. This would kill any "speed" advantage.

    Actually much less air flows for high notes. That is why we can hold them out much longer than low notes!

    I think the tongue perhaps changes the turbulence in the oral cavity and that changes the efficiency of the airflow which influences how the lips are blown into vibration. I have found NO real supporting data supporting any fluid dynamic influence that the tongue may have. I do notice when I say "Teeh" (more tongue arch), that the airflow seems to hit the upper lip more, whereas "Tooh" (less arch) hits both lips more equally. :D
  8. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    As a comeback player in my 50's, I had the same problem for 20 years until I found Bob Odneal's "Casual Double High C". Now at 71 I have put on half an octave in my range in 6 months and going up.

    Talk to Bryan Brewer, I think he plays with the Eaglehawk band.

    Regards, Stuart.
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  9. D_MaN

    D_MaN New Friend

    Apr 11, 2008
    i usually practice in 3 30 min sessions the sessions consist of 30min arban technical work, 30min pieces and 30 min of scales and lip slurrs.
    I did have an issue with pressure but taking my little finger out of the ring stopped and tooth marks in lips.
  10. backtotrumpet

    backtotrumpet New Friend

    May 9, 2009
    Markie is right on - I just came back after 12 years and figured this out. I also practiced hours in school, years ago, and never could get the upper range that I desired.

    Heres the trick - it does not take much pressure on your lips. I remember jamming that trumpet to get a high C and bruising my lips - this was 100% wrong.

    It is all about air support and using your tongue to shape the air (at least for me - but I am no pro). For me it almost feels like I am opening and using throat muscles - but after a week of practice, I realized it was the back of my tongue shaping the air support needed to hit the high notes.

    Work on shaping the air using the back of your tongue and tons - I mean tons of air support from your diaphram.

    Do not jam the trumpet as this restricts the air and will not produce the full tone - a little pressure might be needed, but not much.

    Thats my advice - but it took me years to simply figure it out - hopefully it comes quicker for you - don't give up!

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