Yet another range question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by sinfoniantrumpeter, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. sinfoniantrumpeter

    sinfoniantrumpeter Pianissimo User

    Apr 10, 2005
    Manny and other friends,

    I have never been a person that obsesses about range, but I have found lately that my range seems to be limited and should be improved. I'm not talking about being able to scream double c's or anything, just the stuff that would be expected of a professional orchestral musician.

    Do you (or anyone else) know of any "legit" books designed to improve range? Also any techniques would be appreciated. I have two fantastic teachers (George Vosburgh and Neal Berntsen), but when it comes to range, they just say "if you want to play high, play high"....which is very, very true, but I'm not to the point where I can just play high throughout my practice sessions.

  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    The only books that I'm aware of are books like Smith's Top Tones which has etudes are in every key, major and minor. The studies are two pages each and endurance is built through putting in the time to perfect the studies. Charlier also.

    The point of these types of books is that they make you play for sustained periods of time in a register in which you normally and for the most part sound good.

    I am a fan of scales and arpeggios for increasing range but articulated. Most people can slur up to the high register but have trouble tonguing up there. Classical players need to produce a different sound in the upper register than jazz players, for the most part. All you have to do is listen to any great soloist or orchestral player playing a passage in the high register and then put on a record of a big band and the difference in job and stylistic demands are obvious. It's why a lead player's mouthpiece and a principal trumpetrs mouthpiece are different.

    So, have a very clear sense in your head that playing high is not enpugh. If you don't have a clear concept of what a classical player should sound like, if you hear all high notes alike, well, there's your problem: no accurate message being sent ot the muscles and tissue that need to be involved.

    Play those scales and arpeggios intelligently and with a thick airstream not a thin one. It's what classical players do.

    I'm not one to recommend books for high register as a rule for classical players. The best book is a good ear and a cooperative body that follows what the ear tells you. One of the keys here is to be aware of the subtle changes your face succumbs to when you aren't listening an leading the sound quality.

    One last thought: are you one of those players that breathes, hesitates, and blows after the hesitation? If so, it's not helpful to playing relaxed. The end of the breath is the start of the note.

  3. Scott Apelgren

    Scott Apelgren New Friend

    Jun 22, 2005
    Central Florida
    The end of the breath is the start of the note.


    Wow. So simple and to the point. I have always told my students that I should not hear their breath end. I like yours better! Thanks.

  4. joey

    joey Pianissimo User

    Nov 19, 2003
    Let me add to the already good information you're getting.

    Mr. Vosburgh's contention of play high to learn how to play high is good. Now here's the how.

    Take out your Arban's book. Turn to p. 191 (yes, those 150 melodies that people avoid). Every day take one of them as follows.

    1. Play as written, with your most beautiful sound and wonderful phrasing.
    2. Play up 1/2 step, keeping your most beautiful sound and wonderful phrasing.
    3. Repeat Step 2 until you're no longer able to play beautifully with wonderful phrasing.

    It won't take very long, but will keep you playing music in the upper register, which is hopefully your goal.

    Do this in addition to Manny's scales and arpeggios.

    Try to address everything both technically and musically. Scales and arpeggios for the technical; Arban's Art of Phrasing etudes for the musical.

    Joey Tartell
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    You reminded me, Joey, of how much Mel Broiles used to do that with me. That's a great way to use the Arban's. Many of those arias are transposed to lower keys anyway. It's the musical way to approach the upper register.


Share This Page