I have been asked a similar question many times, here are my thoughts.
The developing of more "chops" especially in the high register is a topic that is talked about more than any other by trumpeters. I guess that's understandable because not only does it feel great to be able to play high but it also sounds so good.
The best advice I can give is that you have to do a lot of playing, the sort of playing that exercises the muscles you use to play high. Remember that like all the muscles in your body the muscles in your embochure respond to regular exercise that "pushes" them a little further each time.
The other main thing about high plaing is AIR. The delivery of huge amounts of air under pressure is what makes that big fat sound up high that we all want. You can't deliver air like that if you are tense, so you have to take in the breath in such a way that you stay relaxed and then "push" the air out with increasing force as you go up. REMEMBER, start relaxed, usually when people take a "big" breath they tense thier muscles (especially in the upper body) and raise thier shoulders etc. You must remain very loose if you are to get a really good breath and then gradually increase the "pressure" as you use the air.
The best way to feel what this is like is to blow all the air out of your lungs and then wait a few seconds until you really feel that you "need" air. Then just relax - you will get the deepest most relaxed breath you have ever had, this is the way it should feel every time you take a breath to play.
If you start playing this way you should very soon increase your range as the extra air control you'll have will make available to you a more "accelerated" airstream that causes the trumpet to go UP!
Hope this helps - be sure to let me know how you go with it.

Keep swinging
James



PLAYING HIGH NOTES AND PUTTING THINGS UP THE OCTAVE

Posted by James Isacsson on March 08, 1999

Hi James
I play in the Benowa High Bigband and Concert band and I have been doing so for almost 4 years now and I have a question.
I play first trumpet in both bands and I usually put the sheet music up the Octave, is this a good or bad thing to do in a performance?
I was told by International Trumpet player/composer Jeff Jarvis that Its not good to rush into double and triple high C's straight away, and that it's not good to play up the octave to much during a song aswell.... Is this true?
I seem to have this ability to play high E's and G's up the octave and Im only 16 years of age witha 5c mouth peice, am I a freak? cause I know this guy whos my age and has done his 8th grade music exam and he cant even reach those notes with a 3c.
If I use my music teachers (Craig Davidsons) 1c I can reach a high c almost 3 times up the octave and still blast the note out, but after I have done that I cant play anything below a high E for some reason.
thank you for listing, I acually meet u at Sydney 97 at a music convention and i recived your autograph!

thanx
James Isacsson

Dear James

The most important thing is that you sound musical whenever you play. I like to play very high too but I pick when to do it so that it sounds good. If you are finding it hard to play low sometimes then you have a limitation on your playing that you need to work on as its no good being able to play in one register and not another. It sounds like you have very good high "chops" which is great as the trumpet sounds so good up there - just use your skill in the right places and it will be a big assett as not many people can play like that.

Keep Swinging
James



HIGH NOTES ON TRUMPET

Posted by Jan-Hendrik Ehlers on March 11, 1999

Hi James,
I am a 24-years old jazz musician from Bremerhaven/Germany playing piano, banjo, tuba, and trumpet, too. I got lessons in playing trumpet since a few weeks after playing alone for 7 years.
I would like to know how you managed to reach all these high notes. I play trumpet one hour every day but can not play any higher as the "C". Are there specific exercises to get that power on my chops? How can I get them?
Thank you in advance
Regards
Jan-Hendrik
Sorry, my english is not very good.

Dear Jan-Hendrik,

I have been asked a similar question many times, here are my thoughts. The developing of more "chops" especially in the high register is a topic that is talked about more than any other by trumpeters. I guess that's understandable because not only does it feel great to be able to play high but it also sounds so good.
The best advice I can give is that you have to do a lot of playing, the sort of playing that exercises the muscles you use to play high. Remember that like all the muscles in your body the muscles in your embochure respond to regular exercise that "pushes" them a little further each time.
The other main thing about high plaing is AIR. The delivery of huge amounts of air under pressure is what makes that big fat sound up high that we all want. You can't deliver air like that if you are tense, so you have to take in the breath in such a way that you stay relaxed and then "push" the air out with increasing force as you go up.
REMEMBER, start relaxed, usually when people take a "big" breath they tense thier muscles (especially in the upper body) and raise thier shoulders etc. You must remain very loose if you are to get a really good breath and then gradually increase the "pressure" as you use the air.
The best way to feel what this is like is to blow all the air out of your lungs and then wait a few seconds until you really feel that you "need" air. Then just relax - you will get the deepest most relaxed breath you have ever had, this is the way it should feel every time you take a breath to play. If you start playing this way you should very soon increase your range as the extra air control you'll have will make available to you a more "accelerated" airstream that causes the trumpet to go UP! Hope this helps - be sure to let me know how you go with it.

Keep swinging
James



HIGH CHOPS

Posted by Dustin on March 23, 1999

I am a trumpet player for Marine Band San Diego and am the designated high note man.I can play up to a G3 but its not consistant and i can't even lip up a half step higher...What am i doing wrong?..I can use my air ok..what should I work on more/...the chops or the air and in what balance?..any ecercises would be greatly apreiciated...
thanks,
dustin wilson

Dear Dustin,

The main thing will always be the air. If you accelerate the air stream then it just has to go up. Having said that its very dificult to know what might be holding you back without being able to see you play. What happens when you attempt to go higher? Does the note stop altogether or do you just keep getting the current note? If you can give me a little bit more detail I might be able to suggest some things.

Hope to hear from you soon
James



HIGH NOTES

Posted by Sarah Hickey on May 08, 1999

Dear James
I've recently been having trouble getting high notes and anything I try has failed. Do you have any sugestions or exercises that I could try.

love Sarah

Dear Sarah,

This has to be one of the most asked about subjects in brass playing - and I know why, because its feels so good to play high!

There is some information on the frequently asked questions forum. That is mostly what I can suggest in written form without seeing you play. If you live somewhere that I am visiting then let me know via this forum and I'll try and organise to catch up with you and have a look at your playing.

Keep swinging
James



http://www.jamesmorrison.com/frm-main.htm