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Trumpet Discussion Discuss range exercises? in the General forums; I've been playing high daily and doing different exercises without trying to beat my lips to death, and in my ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    range exercises?

    I've been playing high daily and doing different exercises without trying to beat my lips to death, and in my jazz band in high school we've been doing songs with lots of high D's (which is my highest note) but soon we will be doing a song with lots of high F's (the one above the one on top of the staff) Any advice or exercises I can do to play these notes? If I can't play them I can always take them down, but it's nice to have them.

  2. #2
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Clarksburg, WV

    Re: range exercises?

    Hi myshilomy,
    Developing range is often done (especially when required to do so at a young age) by cramming the mouthpiece into the lips verses methods that accomplish high notes via such elements as tongue placement and air usage.
    You might want to check out sites from people that are knowledged on this topic.
    Pops (the site which talks about tongue placement)
    Maynard Ferguson (old downbeat issues)
    A DVD called Secrets of Trumpet Playing by John Thomas is good
    For equipment, the asymmetric mouthpiece for high notes. Some people can use the asymmetric in all ranges. I can not. However, I can play high notes (G above the staff and up) till the cows come home with almost no effort with the asymmetric. I've also heard(double check to be sure!!) that if the asymmetric doesn't work for you, the manufacturer will allow you to return it for your money back.
    One last thing.
    Remember, you can play the high notes down an octave

  3. #3
    Piano User BergeronWannabe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: range exercises?

    Colin's Lip Flexibilities book really helped me.

  4. #4
    Pianissimo User Rich Wetzel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tacoma, WA

    Re: range exercises?

    I agree with Andrew on Colin's Lip Flexibilities, and...

    Without having a teacher in person to design some routines to your particular ability, generally speaking, do a good basic routine, warm up, etc, of some lip slurs, scales, and octave glisses. The glisses starting on a note you feel comfortable with, slur up, hold it 2-4 beats and back down for same. Rest as long as you played between each. Go up a half step and repeat the process. Continue up in half steps, resting between each time as long as it took you to play it till you reach your top capability that day. It is very important not to play the top note any louder than the bottom note, stay relaxed and easy, do not blast as that will defeat the purpose and actually reduce your range.

    In the end, remember playing is about the music. Being a well rounded player makes all these things easier. Make time in your daily practice to work not just on exercises, but the music you are playing, think about phrasing, style, etc... listen to great artists in recordings and live performances whenever you can. This is just as important.

    When you are done with earlier mentioned physical exercises, rest 5-10 minutes, then work on some music, play etudes, play the music you are working on for concerts, all at a medium volume, nice and easy, no blasting. Rest one minute in between each tune you are working on, do 4-10 tunes at most depending on your endurance, rest another minute or two and end with one set of lip slurs through all seven finger positions for flexibility.

    Try to be consistent and do this every day. Studying with a good teacher is something you really want to do as well.
    Last edited by Rich Wetzel; 03-09-2009 at 05:44 PM.
    Rich Wetzel
    Bach Trumpet Artist and Clinician
    "Rich Wetzel's Groovin Higher Jazz Orchestra" and

  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: range exercises?

    Clarke up an octave at pianissimo. Great for whatever ails you!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  6. #6
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: range exercises?

    Find a good teacher. I've had too fix to many students that developed bad habits because they approuched developing the upper register incorrectly I've always found it courious that when somebody wants to develop themselve in a sport or just a physical workout they go find a trainer/coach. When they want to develop as a trumpet player, they try to DIY.
    Bob Grier, An Old Pro
    Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons

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