Why can't I play any higher? advice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kcr09, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. kcr09

    kcr09 New Friend

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    Feb 11, 2009
    Minnesota
    So I started playing trumpet in 4th grade. I am now in 12th grade. Just recently my school got a new band teacher, who is a fantastic trumpet player, and he watched me play and told me I have a "round embouchure". Ever since he told me this, I have practiced everyday trying to play high and all I can get to is an A. I want to go to at least a high C because I'm working on a solo that requires it.

    Anyway, if it helps, here's a little more info:
    I play on a 7C mouthpiece (should I try another one?)
    My trumpet is a Conn 22B (do I need a better horn?)

    Any advice would be great. Is it my mouthpiece? My horn? My round embouchure?
     
  2. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    What you really need is some time with a good trumpet teacher and then work hard on what he/she requires you to do. Ask your new band director if he can recommend somebody.

    Regards,


    Trevor
     
  3. kcr09

    kcr09 New Friend

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    Feb 11, 2009
    Minnesota
    Yes that would help, but I cant afford a personal teacher..
     
  4. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I played with a Bach 7C all through high school and it served my purpose. I also had a Conn "B" 1962 Victor style. Worked fine. Working to get to the high register takes time and effort and practicing the right material. My suggestion, and several that will probably follow me will have their opinions, is to a) do long tones a minimum of 15 minutes per day. Starting with the low C and working up to middle C then back down againg. Mix with chromatics. b) Do 15 minutes of slurs in itervals. (always remember to practice-rest-practice-rest) Never overextend yourself. Rest for almost the same length of time that you practice. c) Do 5 minutes of scales. Start with low C and progress to high G several times until it comes with ease. Then add high A until it comes with ease, then high B and then high C. If you do not keep climbing the ladder, you will not reach the top. But remember, and this is important, if you can not make a high note, STOP! Do not strain and bust up your chops. If you can only go to high G one day, do not strain and attempt A. Work your way down slowly and then back up to G again. Finish your routine with a series of low register long tones...like a Warm Down as athletes do after a long workout.

    If you are really looking to change mouthpieces, which I do not recommend at this stage, try a Bach 3C for comfort.
     
  5. DPCerberusBlaze

    DPCerberusBlaze New Friend

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    Feb 23, 2009
    Well, the big question here is how much time do you have until you need to perform this solo? When I was in high-school not so long ago, I don't think I remember anyone that still used a 7c. Talk to your director about it, that's what he's there for. He can probably give you better advice and observe you up close, which is always best.

    I would go with a 5c rather than a 3c since you did say that you have a solo coming up. It's a nice in-between for the 7c and 3c. Then again, if you have to perform the solo in two or three weeks, your time would probably be better spent perfecting every other part of the solo on your tried and true mouthpiece.
     
  6. lou gonzalez

    lou gonzalez New Friend

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    Feb 18, 2009
    henderson nv
    try pursing your lips in an embouchure, squeak some air through like a mosquito buzz.
    this is not a trpt buzz-it's a thin, squeally very highly pitched stream of air. compress your air stream to start it, press the air through your very tightly compressed lips. this will tire you out, so go easy. add a mouthpiece, push the air a little harder and get the squeal a little louder. you will start getting some sounds-but this isn't like buzzing, or playing on the mouth piece. your chops will start to respond after a few days/my 6th graders tried it-i was desperate, they couldn't get any compression to get above middle
    C-they worked just that. the first success was a nice E above hi C-next kid got a good solid Bb above the staff. they are all playing now, but needed the jump-start to get the feel of the air going fast, in a hard tight stream.
    have you looked at malcom mcnab.com/ Exquisite yet??? he recorded tchaikovskis violin concerto-his upper register is so relaxed, but the air is going like a rocket. check him out.
    let me know how you get along, i gotta go play now.
     
  7. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    'Yes that would help, but I cant afford a personal teacher.. '


    I don't know your band teacher personally but I'm betting that if he is anything like most of the school music teachers I know you could work something out with him. What about indexing his music library or doing his photocopying in return for a bit of one-on-one tuition?

    Regards,


    Trevor
     
  8. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    Get to working out with the pencil exercise. Get your embouchure strong. Take the pressure off your upper lip and put it on your lower lip when you go high. Get that tung so close to the roof the air hisses loudly when you pull the trumpet away and open up your lips.

    And foremost, get all that "I can't" mumbo jumbo out of your head.

    "This is supposed to be easy." _Charles Decker.
     
  9. oohhh yeah

    oohhh yeah Pianissimo User

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    Nov 23, 2008
    B.C. Canada
    You should get a 3C. When I switched to a 3C from a 7C, it was amazing. The switch happened about a month ago(i'm in 9th grade), but now I can play much better and higher, with a sharper tone. Now I can get a high C, and if I'm lucky, a D. Hope this helps. Also you should try playing a scale up, starting on the G above the staff. You can play higher when you play up a scale.
     
  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    A mouthpiece will NOT make you play higher. It is especially unwise to switch to a new mouthpiece if you have a performance coming up.

    Practice is the only answer. There are no quick fixes.
     

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