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Trumpet Discussion Discuss High Soft Entrances in the General forums; Manny, The bane of my playing is making high soft entrances. I'm currently doing Hebrides (Mendelssohn) and there is a ...
  1. #1
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    High Soft Entrances

    Manny,

    The bane of my playing is making high soft entrances. I'm currently doing Hebrides (Mendelssohn) and there is a pp long note towards the end held for 16+ beats (F# concert which I'm doing on a Bb, so it's a G#) which is very exposed and seems to set up the tonality for the end of the piece. It's not the time for a timid production and it's not the greatest note to hold on pitch. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes not but just about always the conductor is calling for softer and softer.

    Is there anything specific you would recommend I should work on or anything conceptually that would help?

    Your help, as usual, would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,


    Trevor

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    Trevor,

    For that lick, specifically, just pull your third slide a bit more to get you through it. That's the quickest way.

    In general, however, the key to being comfortable in soft, high entrances is a) having normally a good command of the high register because b) you must change your embouchure. If you keep the embouchure the same and don't squeeze the lips, you'll find an improvement. It's almost like you're playing loudly but you're not.

    ML

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    Thanks Manny.

    I assume that by the last comment that you mean to keep things free and easy...don't pinch.

    Regards,


    Trevor

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    Manny, how do you feel about tongue level/position?
    Addressing this via the Schlossberg exercises helped me with hitting things accurately in the mid register, but it might not be the whole answer.

    G# is a problem note on a lot of Bb trumpets. Is it not he first note in Peter and the Wolf but sFz with a mute in after 138 bars rest ?
    I seem to remember that killing me with worry a couple of times.

    [Last time I did the Hebrides it was with a very camp conductor who kept refering to it as the "He Brides".]

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    I'm not an advocate of conscious tongue level adjusting. I prefer to think of the same vowel throughout my range, low or high. For me, it's "Oo", as in "boo'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manny Laureano View Post
    I'm not an advocate of conscious tongue level adjusting. I prefer to think of the same vowel throughout my range, low or high. For me, it's "Oo", as in "boo'.
    Thats very interesting Manny.
    It was explained to me as a sort of body resonance thing, like pitching a note when whistling.
    I am not sure its the total answer.
    To be honest the change of instrument to one with more stability and better tuning made a bigger difference to my reliability with these things.

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    My favorite soft high one is in the Sibelius 2nd Symphony, in fact that whole symphony is full of traps.
    Timed breathing is my method. I focus on the intake of air and the in-time release. All one gesture.
    Wilmer
    Be sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouthpiece in gear.
    S.Suark 1951

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    Thanks guys.

    I'll have a think about all of that and practice applying it.


    Regards,


    Trevor

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    Wilmer has a good point. You don't want to inhale and then lock up your air - this will result in a lot of tension, and probably an explosive attack, which is the last thing you want on a soft entrance. You might even experiment with taking in a lot less air for a soft entrance, but only if the phrase that follows doesn't require a full tank.

    Sometimes it is helpful to me to "build" to an entrance like that. I might try to "hear" a B below the G#, then the E (fingering those notes as I go) and then finally come in on the G#. This almost always works for me, whether the passage is loud (the high As in the third mvt. of Beethoven 7, for instance middle A-D-F#-A) or soft (cornet in La Mer, etc.). My embouchure is "in place" while I do this, and actually tracks the notes I'm not playing on the way up to the actual entrance. Give it a shot.

    Jim

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    Thanks Jim,

    Actually the point that both you and Wilmer made about locking in the breath and creating tension was also made in a workshop I attended over the summer by both Keith Johnson and Micheal Laird (if you know them). So I'd have to be somewhat arrogant to ignore the advice of 4 great players/teachers.

    I like the idea of building up to the pitch before actually having to play it. Seems to take the panic out of the 'will I or won't I' delimma.


    Regards,


    Trevor

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