What does high playing feel like for you?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mkmtrumpeter, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Playing high is like playing low ,it's one of the things you learn how to do, as far as playing lead in a big band it takes a lot of endurance , phrasing and being in sync with the drummer , playing in tune, tone projection , and making it sound exciting even when you don't.
  2. KGillespie

    KGillespie New Friend

    Jun 2, 2009
    I'm having the hardest time on high notes, I find too hard keeping my sound flowing when I play at a high register. I guess that's nothing that practice cannot fix.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Almost EVERYBODY has trouble with the real upper register. That is because they have no concept about what to do there and are just trying to HIT high notes. If we do not have a concept of making music in some register, it won't work. That's why whining about the stratosphere is STUPID.

    The best way to get there is to listen to those playing the music that we want to play. That is how we tune our EARS. At the same time we start to hone our trumpet skills, one note at a time, taking no shortcuts with pressure. Sometimes one more solid note can take 6 weeks! We resist every urge to beat our faces up knowing that only INTELLIGENT practice moves us forward. We jump at any chance to play with better players, even if that means LAST CHAIR.

    We practice our scales diligently with a metronome honing our GROOVE. After hundreds to thousands of repetitions, we too acquire skills that are envied by others.

    It is NOT the method, it is our diligence and intelligence that gets us there. Clarke is every bit as good as "Double C in 37 weeks" if we use it correctly.
  4. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico

    Thank you. Playing lead is about setting the the tone and feel for the band. It's a big responsibility, you have to know how something is supposed to go and be able to communicate that to the band-by leading. Sound, intonation and time are crucial. That's why in a traditional big band set up the lead trombone and lead alto are in front of the lead trumpet player, so they can hear and react to him/her.
  5. mkmtrumpeter

    mkmtrumpeter New Friend

    Jun 17, 2009
    All too true... when you hear a "high" note as part of a musical phrase, you're far more likely to make it sound like a part of a piece of music. Just trying to hit "high" notes only creates tension and frustration.

    As far as complaining about the stratosphere, I find it better to think of "high" notes as being "far away" notes. If you think "high" you just end up with a tight embouchure and poor air flow. Thinking "far away" leads to good, powerful air and a more relaxed approach, or at least it does for me.
  6. aerotim13

    aerotim13 New Friend

    Apr 24, 2009
    Rolla, Missouri
    This makes me afraid. I don't think I'm ever going to play and try to imitate taking a dump at the same time. I don't care if it would make me the best high-note-player who ever was, that one time I really "let loose" would be the end of me :-o
  7. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    Here is one idea.

    I studied a little with late, great Don Jacoby (Jake) at North Texas State. He helped me through an emouchure change. at the time I couldn't even play an f on the top of the staff. He got me thinking of high notes as Being Farther in Front of me rather than higher up. When you blow for higher notes, your air needs to move faster, not higher. Don't point to the sky, point out in front of you.. Jake used to point to different walls in the room and tell me to blow past the wall to get my range higher. By thinking of blowing farther out rather than higher up, your lips and other parts of your body tend to do less restrictive things, creating fewer bad habits.

    Seemed to work for me, and I was playing well past double c in a matter of a week to 10 days... NOT..

    I was joking about that last part. ;)
  8. crazyandy88

    crazyandy88 Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    Hey Mary Kate! Good to see you here! There is another post here http://www.trumpetmaster.com/vb/f131/secret-playing-high-notes-46705.html
    that I found really really helpful. Rowuk is dead on about just playing what you want the music to sound like. You really have to just let go of the physical and just strive to make beautiful music. I hope your summer is going well and I will see you in August!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009

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