Why can't I play any higher? advice

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This is a very dumb statement that has NO basis in fact. It takes 6 months for the uninitiated to get used to a mouthpiece. Switching in less time just confuses the face muscles even more! Most of the time the problem is software - our breathing, face and brains. A decent daily routine is the solution.

    Forget hardware. Get a decent routine and some lessons from somebody local!

    Practice is the answer - there is no other!
  2. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    A balanced practice routine is the only way to progress on the trumpet.Rushtucky has a nice one laid out for you.Try not to dwell on your upper register right now,this has to come with maturity through practice.Picking a solo thats a full 1 1/2 steps above your present range is unrealistic,not to mention frustrating.Also you might want to try a Bach 3c,the bach 7c and 3c are almost identical size wise,the 3c rim is less sharp and I find it must more comfortable.Remember slow and steady wins the race.
  3. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Now that you have all the "facts" and advise from us "experts", write everything down in outline form, sort it and see what answers come up the most.

    It is going to be hard to do it on your own, especially with all this information you are probably in overload. Try to find a good brass person to help you. If you can not afford a private teacher, go to the main music store in your town and ask to speak to a brass technican, specifially one that works on trumpets. Most of them have degrees in music and are versed in the instruments they work on and many play in groups on the side. If they can not help you they may know of someone who could and will help you out of the kindness of their heart.
  4. GoodMusic@PA

    [email protected] Piano User

    Aug 7, 2008
    Practice Practice... Do chromatic scales going up until you hit your "squeaky note", then you no what your goal is, keep doing the same exercise, don't start too high, maybe a middle g, and every week, set your goal to where you want to go, it's a good way to build your range slowly..:-)
  5. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    lol rowuk, i have a new respect for you... you really are a great mod, and a great horn player, it seems like you make sure that NO one gets unhealthy info, thanks rowuk
  6. Artemisia

    Artemisia Pianissimo User

    Jan 24, 2009
    Well, first of all thanks a lot for calling my statement dumb. You obviously didn't read it properly. Here I say it again: First of practise the higher notes - IF YOU REALLY DON'T GET ANY BETTER AFTER A WHILE, TRY ANOTHER MOUTHPIECE, BUT FIRST PRACTISE YOUR PRECIOUS ARSE OFF AND DO YOUR BEST TO REACH THE HIGHER NOTES BEFORE YOU CHANGE THE MOUTHPIECE.

    The user with the higher notes problem just might have the wrong mouthpiece - I know what I'm talking about. I've been messing around with a crap mouthpiece for a long time - now that I've got "the one" that curiously seems to be made for my lips everything works perfectly. But I really tried to get along with the former mouthpiece until somebody (somebody really precious in my life, btw) told me that all this effort is just useless because the mouthpiece I was using simply isn't the right one for me. He took a look at my lips and gave me one of his mouthpieces (after rummaging for a suitable mouthpiece in his mouthpiece collection, ;-) ) and when I played with it for the first time I almost flinged my arms around his neck and danced with joy.
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Before you waist a lot of time and money, your equipment is fine, all the scales, long tones and lip slurs might not work unless your embouchure is correct for you, you really should try to find a teacher who understands different embouchure settings , meanwhile practicing won't hurt, one more bit of advice when selecting a solo piece ,find one to showcase your strengths ,not your weakness' I would rather hear an easier solo played well than a harder solo played poorly.
  8. DubbaCTrumpetMSU

    DubbaCTrumpetMSU Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 29, 2006
    Ft. Worth, TX
    For the record, you didn't say that exactly initially.

    For a beginner/advanced beginner...trying a ton of mouthpieces can be more harm than good, especially without a teacher.

    Second, you have no right to speak to Rowuk like that. He's dead on right--this student needs a teacher, not an equipment change. Not that I need to defend him, but I will--I'm sick of people on forums having no respect whatsoever...especially for people who know their stuff. I've had to play double C's before, and I can do it on many mouthpieces, just like is mentioned with Adam Rapa. It's not the equipment, it's the setup. He needs a teacher and a mentor that can guide him on a routine to strengthen his embochure and that will bring the high register. :grouphug: Now just calm down and go practice.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
    Labidochromis likes this.
  9. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Wow...this thread really got heated up. I just pulled out a fire extinquisher to cool things off. As I stated earlier, it is not going to happen over night. The one thing that we all agree on is that you have to PRACTICE...and practice a lot(resting in between exercises so as to not damage your chops) practice consistantly and work with the basics. There are a lot of books and theories out there and for the most part you will be waisting your time. Recommendation (repeated) and this is just MY recommendation:

    Long tones everyday. Practice using the mid scale and also chromatics
    Slurs. Enough can not be said about doing these.
    Scales. Everyday! Know all the major scales like the back of your hand
    Range Study. Start at low C and go to high G the first week. No further.

    Second week go from low C to high A. (slowly with ease)

    Third or Fourth week go from low C to high B (do NOT strain) if you can
    not make it, back of and continue working to A. Do long tones from low
    C to high A. Be patient.

    When you are comfortable attempt low C "slowly" progressing to high C.

    Do not strain and put a lot of pressure on your mouthpiece. Let your embouchure that you are developing do the work for you. Say "M", buzz and let the air do all of the work.
    Yes, you will have to apply some pressure, but the upper register should come naturally and with ease. Soon you will be slurring from C to C and not even thinking about it.

    As for mouthpieces, this is personable. Most of us use somewhere around the 3C (At least I think)[qualified statement]. After your solo I would look into a "possible", note I said possible change. Go to your local music store and try out their demos. Do not get a shallow cup. You will do yourself an injustice.

    Now I will sit back down in my chair and let someone slice and dice my comments....

    Peace to all and "may the force be with you".
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You are welcome. I believe that recommending a hardware change without personally knowing, hearing or analysing the player is stupid. Messing around with mouthpieces does not fix anything and can make a lot worse. Intelligent decisions on hardware need experience and not luck.

    I teach and have a lot of experience with this dumbness destroying the consistency of otherwise decent players. That is why I get worked up about it. The only answer for high chops is intelligent practice!

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