Trumpet Discussion Discuss All them high notes in the General forums; Hi Manny,
I came across this site while doing a bit of research on the Minnesota Youth Orchestra. I have ...
All them high notes
I came across this site while doing a bit of research on the Minnesota Youth Orchestra. I have two daughters who were accepted in the philharmonic orchestra this year, a clarinetist and a percussionist. They're pretty excited.
This is by far the best trumpet forum on the net. I can't believe you and so many other professionals are willing to spend so much time to help the rest of us.
Brief history: I'm the typical comeback player.(now 55) I played in High School. Played in the SBE at the U of M ( principal trumpet 3 yrs). Spent the Viet Nam war in Omaha with the Strategic Air Command Band (1st Cornet). By then I had a young family and hung it up in order to make some decent money. I would play at the occasional wedding or funeral until I completely lost my chops. Jump 25 years. My two daughters started playing (second marriage) and asked me to play along. I oiled her up and it wasn't pretty, but the music was easy. I decided to join the Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps. I figured I could make alot of mistakes and no one would notice. I played first soprano and got my chops back pretty fast.
Problem: Playing all them high notes I noticed a problem with my embouchure. I have a thick lower lip. As I play higher, my jaw begins to close slightly the higher I go. The inside of my lower lip protrudes into my mouth between my teeth. I can play well up to High F but when I go to the 4th ledger line G, my lower lip comes in contact with my upper teeth and begins to cut off the air supply. I can play it but it's wimpy. The A is usually gone, but if I add more pressure I can blow enough through my teeth to play the B and C, again soft and wimpy, just before I pass out. (just kidding). Short of drilling a hole in my teeth, what would you suggest?
Welcome to TM first of all; enjoy the site on behalf of myself and the other moderators.
What you're doing is not unusual. You probably used to do it when you were younger but now notice it more since you're not playing every single day. My advice is for you to practice using a Hooooh (like "who") away from the horn. While you intone that, imagine that you are ascending into the upper register. If you maintain that "HooH" you'll get out of that habit and start to think of yourself as a very stable force as you ascend. The first couple of times you'll notice that you want to clamp and shut your mouth as you ascend. That's normal. Notice it and move on. Keep working at it until you notice that you're doing it correctly even when you imagine yourself playing in the altissimo register. Your surrounding muscles will ache a little but that's to be expected as they're doing something new.
The other thing that will happen is that your "stomach" will very quickly shrink since this literally knocks away all the resistance the horn, mouthpiece, and embouchure create naturally. Your aim is to dissolve that resistance so you can blow past the horn as though it weren't there.
Be well, Franz
Thanks for your quick response. It’s true I can’t practice as much as I’d like, but I keep a mouthpiece in the truck and buzz on it to the radio while I’m driving around. I’ll give the “HooH” thing a shot. By “that habit” I’m assuming you mean my jaw closing as I ascend. Correct?
Thanks again for your help. I hope I can catch you in between rehearsals at MYS.
I have exactly same problem too, but my lower lip is big... It is going behind lower teeth when I ascend and I can't do something.
and I how to get my lower jaw forward correctly?
All The Best
Mezzo Forte User
Big lips have nothing to do with it. Clifford Brown had huge lips. Byron Stripling is the chairman of the Big Lip Committee. Both could/can really play. The lips aren't the issue, it's what you do with them. Manny's comments are right on the mark.
Originally Posted by RusTrumpeter
Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.
Manny knows what he's talking about. The single most effective comment he made to me when I studied with came entirely in passing. As I was ascending above high-C, the sound suddenly shut off completely at one point.
He looked at me and quipped, "You must be rolling in your bottom lip."
And he added nothing else to that comment. We moved on to other things. But when I stopped to think about how I play high notes, it was exactly as he stated (and as it appears you're doing) -- I was rolling my bottom lip in over my lower teeth.
I worked hard on my articulations and the "hooh" or "Tooh" approach. It really helped keep the lip forward and my range has improved tremendously as a result.
I'm still trying to break the habit, and have to think about it and work on it daily to avoid a reversion to the same method I used for the prior 20 years. But it definitely works. Just trust yourself and take it as it comes....
There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who do not.
Great thread I have issues with tucking too.
Manny, besides the change in resistance how does it feel to play correctly in the upper register. Maybe some imagery to think of?
Men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues, and can moderate their desires more than their words. - Baruch Spinoza
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