Yet another "range extension" question.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JPNSR, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I spend more time than most trumpeters performing is small group ensembles in the upstairs range, and do not buzz at all. I phwooooooo. I think the ability to play sustained in the upper registers goes beyond whatever vibratory method is used. Don't get me wrong, vibrating is essential, but I find that the cushion of air I have behind that vibration is key. Using that air wisely enhances the vibration and minimizes the force required to keep the vibration going.
     
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I agree and with air support behind you, the sound will happen.
     
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    "You have to go down to go up" is what I've heard. Some disagree, but lip flexibility never hurt anyone. Pedal tones, long tones, chromatic ascension, exercises and songs played 8va are all apart of extending range. Playing softly, whisper quiet, is also beneficial. Playing in the upper register isn't limited to the gifted. It's limited to those willing to work to get there. My limit was 4th space E when I started back years ago. Just be patient and persistent. NO PRESSURE! :thumbsup:
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Many times I wonder about motivation and what we should really expect for possibilities. At 69, we have VERY strong habits with all of our body motions and to bend them into shape to get "advanced" range (whatever that means) may be asking too much for the time available. I do not think that there is an embouchure secret that we can unlock at any age, but modifying behaviour becomes more difficult the more mature that we get simply because we are creatures of habit.

    Before anyone gets in a huff, I am talking about ADDING a skill at a later age. For those that built and maintained "advanced" habits for decades, a decent routine can keep our playing strong well into our 80s.

    In any case, a decent trumpet is resonant up to a high C or D above the staff and this should be possible for all with a good daily routine. I have worked with enough "senior citizens" to make a couple of recommendations:
    1) hydrate - drink lots of water - keep salt minimized!
    2) engage in moderate sports activity.
    3) set a fixed time (or times) during the day when to practice - we are creatures of habit and nothing promotes improvement more than leveraging this fact.
    4) the first practice session of 30 minutes should be gentle and designed to promote flexibilty. My "Circle of Breath" has been posted here many times. Good body use, breathing, long tones and lipslurs are key to getting proper playing muscle patterns developed.
    5) the second session can be a bit less gentle with things like articulation and more difficult technical things.
    6) a last session (or second if we only have two) should involve repertory in our useful range. We should ALWAYS practice at a speed where we make no mistakes. Especially older players have a strong battle with habits, building more bad ones is especially damaging. Habits are weak breathing, posture, technical issues like regular tongue/finger coordination.
    7) wind down after practicing. Take a hot shower, drink a cup of hot herbal tea. Do not engage in activity where the face/mouth gets further strained. We need to reduce tension where possible to break habits that prevent easy playing.

    Great trumpet playing is a lifestyle choice. I am about 10 years younger than you are but still have to deal with the same things every day. I do not drink coffee on gig days. I do not drink black tea any time before playing. I restrict salt intake on days before concerts. Sleep is my friend. Evenings before gigs, I keep my late night activities limited. I play 2 to 4 hours per day. 2 hours would be maintenance of standard range and technique on a Bb or C trumpet, the rest is for special things like natural trumpet, cornetto or extreme piccolo trumpet.
     
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  5. rufflicks

    rufflicks Pianissimo User

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  6. Furcifer

    Furcifer Pianissimo User

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    Here's the trailer where you can see what Lynn is talking about. Lynn practically has no upper lip when he talks to you, LOL, but look at him when he's just playing the visualizer. All kinds of pink lip in there! - which means he isn't "rolling in" his lips, he's "unfurling" his lips, as he terms it. It occurs to me that this is why cats kept telling me that the secret to playing high is playing low. It never made sense to me before, but now I see and hear it. It's a more similar lip position and location of the buzz (vibration) on the lips at the extreme upper and lower ranges than it is in the middle, oddly enough. https://youtu.be/lwNdFHFveFc
     
  7. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

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    Great posts guys! I'm glad Lynn's stuff was mentioned. This is what initially motivated me to attempt to increase my level of efficiency in my own playing and get that ease MF had when playing. Here's another idea to add onto gmonady's post about air usage and the embouchure setting - I wonder if the daily repetition of doing chromatic exercises or scalar exercises in the low F#-High C range actually continually trains the embouchure mechanism to function more and more efficiently. This has been my experience. Chromatic movement is the least amount of movement between notes we can get on a standard Bb trumpet and, so, we are training the movement of the lips to learn how little movement it actually takes between notes. Imagine the amount of embouchure movement of a beginner student going from C to C# has as compared to an advanced player. I think there is something key in repeating the same exercise every day to establish a high degree of efficiency in the embouchure. It's like each time we play it, our playing mechanism is learning to play it more and more efficiently. To me, Clarke's stuff is just brilliant, and there's a reason why it's stood the test of time. Doing Technical Study #1 from the middle out, slurred and tongued, or Group Three of 'Setting Up Drills', are two of my most favorite exercises for this type of training. I believe that all the coordination and efficiency you need to have outstanding endurance and facility into the extreme range up to, and beyond, double C can be developed within the range of Low F#-High C. Sure, there is also the idea of training the playing mechanism to get the feel of the higher notes (i.e. - muscle memory), but that can be done fairly easily. If you are not a jazz player, you could just do the Shew/Ingram/Minear well known glissando exercise. Or even simply MF's suggestion to transpose songs up steps in a musical manner.

    p.s. - Gmonady, besides Lynn talking about ideas related to your 'Phooowww' concept, Allen Vizzutti talks about blowing and not buzzing through the horn - I think he's the one who coined the term 'cooling the soup' when playing.
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I had the great pleasure and opportunity to trade 8's with Allen Vizzutti in concert at Gilly's with my quintet backing him up on Wayne Shorter's "Footprints". What was very memorable about that session was I chose to use my flugelhorn when Allen picked up his trumpet, to add contrast to our sounds. I started the solo on flugel and took the lines into the phooowww stratosphere. Flugels really tame what most trumpets sound as screeching at that range. The floating high notes must have really intrigued Allen as he changed over to Flugel and we were trading 8's into the stratosphere much to the pleasure of the audience. A truly unique experience. A truly amazing pleasurable experience that I put up there at the top of my trumpet playing experience (right up there with my trading 8's with Till Bronner at the Columbus ITG session).
     
  9. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

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    Nice man! Till is a beautiful jazz player.. and who can do on the trumpet what Vizzutti can? I also love using flugel in the extreme upper register, as I find it helps me make that range more musical. There are some free clips on my site - www.LexSamu.com - these were several years ago, but what I am doing is using a flugel mouthpiece with a washer glued inside it in my flugel. Right now, I have Jim New making me a couple of tops. A GH trumpet top and a GH flugel top. With the flugel top, I’ll glue a washer in there and, also, since it will be a 2 piece mouthpiece, I’ll partially unscrew the backbore from the top when playing. So what’s all this with washers and unscrewing? Well, I am big fan of late Chet Baker and love that airiness in the sound..but I’d rather not have my teeth knocked out to get that sound! So I go with the more mechanical route:-) Best, Lex
    p.s. - On a shallower 2 piece trumpet mouthpiece, partially unscrewing the top from the backbore is a great way to diffuse the sound and you get the advantage of a more high compression mouthpiece aiding in endurance and extreme upper register, while getting a small group jazz sound.
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I too love that sound, which is one of the MANY reasons I am such a great fan of Till's. He gets that airiness with a full set of dentition, on a Yamaha, with a standard issue mouthpiece. Just an amazingly sensual execution... And when Till backs his sound up to Kurt Elling, man there is not a more prettier sound one can hear on God's green earth!
     

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