What range should I have going into high school?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Satchmo, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Satchmo

    Satchmo New Friend

    Sep 1, 2011
    I'm in 8th grade right now, 1st chair, been playing for 2, almost 3 years and I want to know what range I should have when I go into High School. Right now, I can hit a solid A above the staff every day. On good days, I'm able to hit a solid C. I've hit a D and E once or twice.
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    If you have a solid High C-D when you LEAVE high school that would be better than most.

    The key is to be a solid player in that range.

    There will always be someone that can play higher/louder than you. You may have someone that can rip high G's, or DHC's... just let them. Focus on fundamentals and being the better player. I had great range and high chops in high school, but was never the best player.

    I promise that you won't see too much music written above a high C until you start playing lead trumpet on some pro-level big band charts.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  3. Satchmo

    Satchmo New Friend

    Sep 1, 2011
    Thanks. Well actually, in my band class, I'm playing high C's and pretty complicated things. But yet, at MPA's we still get superiors. :-)
  4. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    if you were my student I would keep you doing clark & arban... and start developing a repetoire of college audition literature. You don't have to major in music if you don't want to but you CAN get some scholarships to pay the bills! Hindemith, Haydn, Hummel, Neruda, Goedicke, Kennan, etc...

    For range work, do Colin flexibilities (back half of the book) and clark chromatics (#1, #5, #9)

    Don't worry about range at your age. Your body is still growing and you are getting stronger every day.
    Worry about becoming a better player. Range will take care of itself. The range you already have is adequate.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Satchmo, things like range and endurance will improve automatically for you if you continue to focus on the basics: breathing, sound, intonation, articulation and rhythm. Learn to connect notes together. Only when these are "hard-wired" are specific range-building exercises of any use.

    Even if you end up last chair as a freshman in high school, you can still play with excellence and elegance. That is much more important than range.
    SteveB and mgcoleman like this.
  6. Satchmo

    Satchmo New Friend

    Sep 1, 2011
    Thanks. Thats a lot of good info.
  7. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    +1 on everything everyone has offered already. Don't worry about being what I refer to as the "band room mouse" - hear it squeaking some of the time but never hear it on stage. Maintain your focus on the basics/fundamentals/repertoire.

    I'll bet somebody yells at me for doing this, but I work mainly with students of this age and I know the question will stand until a target or something more concrete is offered:

    Wherever you are right now with your range, make sure you "own" it. No mouse tricks - ownership means you can nail it everyday and do so in a highly musical manner with your best technique. If that's A, good. That's what you own and that's your range. Your target for each year while in high school could be something as simple as one semitone per year in range (owning it, not just squeaking). That would yield ownership in the C-D area upon graduation from high school.

    Okay? So there's a target for you (a fairly respectable target, by the way). Getting there, however, is achieved by following all the sage advice offered up by the good folks above.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The word "hit" needs to leave your vocabulary. We are not construction workers with hammers. We are artists with "air brushes".

    There is no set "range" that we can quote. We have no idea what you need when auditioning for a band chair. My experience has been that when I am impressed with the level of PREPARATION of a student and impressed by their ability to really sing a song, high notes don't matter much. Make what you have beautiful. The rest comes to those that move with the music instead of trying to conquer it!

    As far as range goes, your bladder should be big enough that you can play a whole rehearsal and still make it to the toilet afterwards without wetting your pants (there is actually a long story behind this comment - for another day......).
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Sounds to me you are painting a solid range already. I mentor a highly competitive Middle School (7th and 8th grade) Jazz Band, and you are already at the upper 5% of range if you can "paint" a steady C. [Love the air brush analogy]. Work on breathing, phrasing, dynamics and rhythm at this stage, that is a key focus at this stage. Another neat technique we use at the Middle School band I mentor is to start the day off with a classic recording from a big band, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, etc, then critique it to discuss techniques or skills that the students heard in the piece. We then vote on the one technique for the day, and then incorporate that goal into our rehearsal. In my 4 years of mentoring, not once did I hear the goal of range brought up. Bladder control did come up on occasion, NO KIDDING! So it sounds to me you are right on track. So go forth and mind your Pee and Q's.
    mgcoleman likes this.
  10. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

    Sep 29, 2010
    I remember those days! Range range range range range....trust me. It's not worth it if you do it the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. If you become "that guy" that can squeeze out high notes before and after rehearsal...cool. Some people will be impressed. Most wont be though. Think about this real quick. Who would you rather listen to: a very lyrical trumpet player with great tone? OR: A mediocre trumpet player with decent tone that can once in a while (inconsistently) push out an exciting (but probably flat) F above the staff?

    I tell you this, because I was "that guy" for two years. I discovered I could hit some notes above high C....and it went to my head. Next thing I knew...it was all I was known for in the band. When I finally calmed down and started to focus more on great tone, efficient playing, soloing, technicality, and SOUL....I didn't get to use it as much because I was "needed" for the lead part in "Satin Doll" or "Mueva Los Huesos"

    What I'm getting at is this: Focus on the most important parts of trumpet playing, and range will come naturally. And when that range comes, MASTER IT! Don't get exclusively caught up in high notes. A lot of high school students do...especially when they listen to Maynard or Arturo.
    Be a great player all around (which includes great range)!

    I hope that something I said helps you.
    Good luck with high school, have fun and make it count!
    mgcoleman likes this.

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