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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Playing the high C 200 times in the General forums; Originally Posted by Fadista I just read that Louis Armstrong could play the high C 200 times straight! Is doing ...
  1. #11
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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    Quote Originally Posted by Fadista View Post
    I just read that Louis Armstrong could play the high C 200 times straight! Is doing this some sort of exercise?
    Actually, my comment was very much part of the topic. Louis Armstrong had serious lip damage towards the end of his career which many historians believe to be why he started singing more. To be germane to the topic, Louis Armstrong was a phenomenal player and has inspired 1000's of trumpet players however did not have proper technique. The lack of proper technique caused serious damage to his trumpet playing career and therefore is probably not the person to look for when considering effective trumpet exercises.

    To make it short, OP asked if something Louis Armstrong did was a exercise, instead of just retorting with no, I showed an example of why it may not be a good idea. Sorry I didn't know I needed to be so frank to make my point.
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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    I'm 76.......almost 77 and I can play the Brandenburg Concerto. Freddie and Pops were great creators, their chops at the end in no way diminished their gifts to music.
    I am amazed that there is any mention of their difficulties.
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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    Louis Armstrong had serious lip damage towards the end of his career which many historians believe to be why he started singing more.
    -------------------------------------------
    Near the end of his career, Louis had a serious heart condition. This had a big impact on his performing. In fact, on Ken Burns Jazz series, Louis was interviewed late in his life and he sang Sleepy Time Down South. As I type this, I'm getting goosebumps from just remembering that small snippet. As for singing late in his career, Louis was singing back in the 1930's and all I can say is damned, what a musician. When we hear singers today, it has its roots that start with Louis. Louis basically invented the modern singer format. When I was a kid I didn't care much for him thinking that his music was too easy or not Maynard-like enough. Now I know just how immature my ears were at that time but that's okay, my ears grew up. All I know is there might be people out there as good as Louis was, but I've never heard anybody better.
    As for 200 high C's, Louis made it musical. High C is just a note. Most of Louis' bread and butter was in the normal register.
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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    Quote Originally Posted by shooter View Post
    correct me if i'm wrong, but i think he's trying to say that you could damage your chops if you try the feat of playing the high c 200 times over and over.
    exactly!


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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    sorry this might not be in tune with the thread --- but YES, a lot of what Louis Armstrong did was play very fluidly -- other than Doc Severinsen, I would say Louis Armstrong was probably the most influential trumpet player when I was a kid (1970's) -- I was NOT introduced to Maynard Ferguson until my friend Phil in High School (1980's) loaned me a cassette of Maymard --- of course, my band teacher (a trombone player) QUICKLY concluded that -- Maynard was detrimental to my playing chops -- and also concluded that "anything above a High C -was NOT necessary in either is concert band, or his Jazz band!!!

    I never really pursued "seriously" any notes above High C, until my comeback 5 years ago!!!! --- but you have to do it correctly, or you can actually damage your lips, embouchure, and also get highly frustrated,

    here is a clip of that song Dr. Mark mentioned -- and a much younger, thinner Louis Armstrong --- and there are really NO HIGH NOTES, but there is a lit of great music.

    Louis Armstrong - When its sleepy time down south (1942) - YouTube
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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    OK, just for the hell of it, I just went in the other room and played 100 consecutive high Cs without warm-up. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

    OP, first off, it's not a matter of 100 individual notes. Think of ONE long tone interrupted by the tongue. For whatever length of time it would take you to play 100 consecutive high Cs, can you play one long-tone high C for that length of time (sneaking a breath here or there if you need to)? Do you have the embouchure muscle and air support? That's all there is to it. You have to have that. If you don't, forget about the number of "individual" notes. (**n.b.)

    So, in a broader context, your question about this "feat", for you, is not the goal of playing 100 high Cs in a row, but first in developing the proper air and embouchure support needed and that kind of support is also needed to do any kind of trumpet playing. Chicken or the Egg.

    Regarding Louis' singing, he was doing much of that long before his career was coming to a close and it had to do with his attitude of being an entertainer rather than an artiste much more than anything.

    @DaTrump - it wasn't a matter of "frankness". It was, for me, more a matter of abruptness. I didn't have any dots that I could connect. Now I do. Thanks.



    ** n.b. I don't know the context in which you are thinking "100 high Cs in a row". If you mean, "note-rest-note-rest" then you have the addition of relaxing and resetting between notes and to what degree, if any, and that's another issue.
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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    It is my experience of intervention that others under the influence of certain drugs develop abnormal strengths, albeit they are not long lasting and the cause of physiological and psychological damage. Thus, it is my thought to avoid what or where I've no need to be, musically or otherwise.

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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Mark View Post
    Louis Armstrong had serious lip damage towards the end of his career which many historians believe to be why he started singing more.
    -------------------------------------------
    Near the end of his career, Louis had a serious heart condition. This had a big impact on his performing. In fact, on Ken Burns Jazz series, Louis was interviewed late in his life and he sang Sleepy Time Down South. As I type this, I'm getting goosebumps from just remembering that small snippet. As for singing late in his career, Louis was singing back in the 1930's and all I can say is damned, what a musician. When we hear singers today, it has its roots that start with Louis. Louis basically invented the modern singer format. When I was a kid I didn't care much for him thinking that his music was too easy or not Maynard-like enough. Now I know just how immature my ears were at that time but that's okay, my ears grew up. All I know is there might be people out there as good as Louis was, but I've never heard anybody better.
    As for 200 high C's, Louis made it musical. High C is just a note. Most of Louis' bread and butter was in the normal register.
    Dr.Mark
    I recently heard about the heart condition but there wasn't too much documentation on it so I never gave it much mind. But personally, I enjoyed him more as a singer than a trumpet player but as a musician, I can't find anyone I give more respect to.

    Dr. Mark, what do you make of the literature of Pops and the lip condition?
    "There are two sides to a trumpeter's personality: there is the one that lives only to lay waste to the woodwinds and strings, leaving them lying blue and lifeless along the swath of destruction that is a trumpeter's fury; then there's the dark side...." --Michael Stewart

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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    Thanks kehaulani,

    Can you give me some advise/exercises/tips for daily embouchure and breath development? I'm doing long tones about 30 minutes a day and slowly doing some Arbans exercises and scales daily for 90-120 minutes total practice. It's been 26 days now and I'm excited! After being away from playing for a couple of decades my range is weak but I'm not pushing it.

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    Re: Playing the high C 200 times

    Quote Originally Posted by Fadista View Post
    Thanks kehaulani,

    Can you give me some advise/exercises/tips for daily embouchure and breath development? I'm doing long tones about 30 minutes a day and slowly doing some Arbans exercises and scales daily for 90-120 minutes total practice. It's been 26 days now and I'm excited! After being away from playing for a couple of decades my range is weak but I'm not pushing it.
    Actually, I would rather not give any real specific advice. I'll leave that to more experienced teachers with proven track records, unless I read something that I consider a bit wacky - which, now that I think of it, would more likely be a post from me, LOL.

    Personally, I do think that 30 minutes of long tones are too many. My take on long tones in the traditional sense, is that they can somewhat stiffen the lip. What I do is take something like the Concone melodic studies for voice and play them slowly with expression and with as much fullness and evenness of tone as I can. In other words, somewhat of a moving long tone. And Arbans and scales for another hour to 1.5 hours just seems to me not to be balanced enough. There should be flexibility exercises, as well as something just for fun.

    Nevertheless, the reason I don't want to give you specific exercises as what you "should" do is that I have quit listening to the experts. The reason is that I had major chop problems in my first incarnation as a trumpeter and the "experts" were inadequate in identifying the simplest of reasons for that. Looking at the finger pointing at the moon, as it were. So I've come up with what has been working for me but which might not be the most conventional for others.
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