Practicing softly in the middle register is the key, along with developing good breathing. Break out your Clarke book, and work on the fourth and fifth studies. softly. Also, in the Arban book, interval studies on p. 40. Play them slower than indicated...try about 76 or so. Aim to connect the lower note to the higher one with consistent, full, sound. Skip ahead to the pages with the triplet slur excercises a few pages after the lip slurs begin (46 or so). Play softly and concentrate on a sweet sound that connects register to register. Go for smooth slurs.
"Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting
Even although you can probably make some progress alone here - the best way is to let your trumpet teacher work with you an this (if you do not have one, you need one!). If you can feel yourself "tightening" your throat, there are probably enough other issues like breathing, tonguing that a good teacher can get a grip on.
To start, you should inhale deeply through the nose and immediately exhale through the mouth. There should be no point where you hold your air in. Once you can do this reliably without the trumpet, exhale producing a tone on the trumpet - again IMMEDIATELY after inhaling. Warm up without tonguing - just inhale/exhale. After you have learned to take that big relaxed breath before playing and have stopped tensing the throat muscles, you can go on to the above mentioned stuff. Many of my students understand the theory but need several weeks to break bad habits.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
I think our mind can play tricks on us. By that I mean as soon as you think "high" you get tight. I was playing in a church the other day and the organist gave me a flute part to play down an octave. I found myself thinking about the high notes even though I didn't have to play them.
I saw all those ledger lines and got tight. All I had to play was an E or an F on the staff.
Here is my advise:
With no trumpet, just breath deep. Big in slowly and big out slowly.
Have this feeling in your head. Fill your lungs completely.
On the exhale pucker your lips a little to slow the breath and give some resistance. You can blow through the mouthpiece if you want, but don't buzz.
Now that you have that feeling in your head, put the trumpet to your lips and play what ever note comes out with out trying. Do this with no valves. You should have the same feeling as with out the trumpet.
Next play chromatically down to the bottom. If your first note was low C there is not much there. Now go back up. Theoretically now you are playing with no effort and you know how that feels. That's the hardest part.
Now play something like Clark first or second and slowly work your way up. When you feel the slightest bit of tightness stop and go back down.
I think what you are doing now is: by choking off it makes the air you have move faster and that lets you play higher. You can do the same thing without the choke.
I would love to know if this worked for you if you have time to answer.
The feeling of how to play should be almost immediate. Playing high will take a little longer.
Cheap easy Vulgano fix -- it sounds like your tongue, not your throat is the culprit. Imagine your tongue as starting down below your Adam's apple and try pushing that part forward. See (and hear and feel) what happens.
"A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength
You could try imagining making an OOOO sound, or any vowel really, some recommend EEEE for high notes. It's hard to do any vowel sound with a closed throat. Then try finishing off the vowel sound with HHHH - so OOOOHHHH. The HHHH will close the throat. Sometimes it's good to know how to produce the undesired effect so as to know how not to!
Wildthing (currently mangled, suing BA)
Olds Mendez (out on loan to nephew in Ska band!)
Bach Strad D
B&H Sovereign Cornet
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