This year I'm an engineering freshman at Boston University and to take up my spare time and continue in music I decided to join the campus pep band and play at the hockey and basketball games on campus. So far it has been the most rewarding experience I've had at school, the highlight of which was playing at a sold out Madison Square Garden last weekend (BU may have destroyed Cornell at hockey, but everyone was there to hear the band right?). Anywho, transitioning from playing quiet and technical classical tunes to blasting out Shipping Up to Boston as loud as possible has been a little more difficult than I expected.
Bottom line? I'm comfortable up to a B above the staff, and I need to be comfortable up to an E above the staff. (please don't crucify me for using the wrong terminology here). If I try for anything above the B any one of three things will happen: 1. the trumpet says no and the note just doesn't happen, 2. I can hit the note for a second but it immediately goes flat and peters out, or 3. The note just cracks and instantly disappears.
If somehow it helps in diagnosing my problem, I noticed that oddly enough I seem to have better luck with my deeper mouthpiece (equivalent to about a 3B) than with the shallow mouthpiece I picked up to experiment with a while back (equivalent to about a 3D or 3E)
I know the unanimous answer here will be more air but I'm sure as most of you know that is easier said than done. No matter how hard I try and blow or no matter how tight I make my core to get the air moving faster the notes still come out thin or not at all. Unfortunately I do not have access to private lessons while I'm at school so I am appealing to the experts here for some sort of practice routine to build up my higher register because nothing I do seems to work. I understand the general concepts at work here, but I need some sort of routine to set myself to so I can start seeing some sort of noticeable improvement. I just need better practice methods than trying for high notes until the muscles quit and then playing lower notes until they quit even more. My eventual goal is to be able to rip the high note in "Take on Me" without sweating, but right now Ill settle for a confident C above the staff at the end of "Shipping up to Boston". I want to be able to scream with the other lead players instead of just supporting them. (For god's sake our best screamer smokes like a chimney and somehow still manages to rip up to a F or even a G..)
Thanks for your time! Unless you went to BC.