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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Why can't I play any higher? advice in the General forums; Originally Posted by kcr09 So I started playing trumpet in 4th grade. I am now in 12th grade. Just recently ...
  1. #31
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    Jan 2009

    Re: Why can't I play any higher? advice

    Quote Originally Posted by kcr09 View Post
    So I started playing trumpet in 4th grade. I am now in 12th grade. Just recently my school got a new band teacher, who is a fantastic trumpet player, and he watched me play and told me I have a "round embouchure". Ever since he told me this, I have practiced everyday trying to play high and all I can get to is an A. I want to go to at least a high C because I'm working on a solo that requires it.

    Anyway, if it helps, here's a little more info:
    I play on a 7C mouthpiece (should I try another one?)
    My trumpet is a Conn 22B (do I need a better horn?)

    Any advice would be great. Is it my mouthpiece? My horn? My round embouchure?
    I had that problem for a while, but found a way to improve my range dramatically fairly quickly. In short, play scales. I know that can sound kinda boring, but it helps. Play the chromatic scale, or your favorite scale. Go as high up as you can, and then hold that note. Make sure you are in tune and have a good tone. There is absolutely no use in playing high unless it sounds good. I can play a double high C, but it sounds so terrible there is no point to it. Do this everyday, probably during your warm up, and every few days or weeks (depending on how fast your muscles strengthen) you should be able to play one note higher.
    After all that, and after every practice, warm down. Play down below C and some pedal tones if you can. If you get all high notes without warming down, your sound will be very bright and you will likely play sharp. Your muscles are contracted, so you need to loosen them. It's just like working out. Do that and by summer you can probably play an F above the staff.
    If you have any questions feel free to message me; if I know anything about trumpet, it's range.

  2. #32
    Mezzo Piano User
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    Dec 2006
    Ft. Worth, TX

    Re: Why can't I play any higher? advice

    Sorry, George--but even just browsing forums and reading the attitudes of fellow trumpet players drives me crazy sometimes because of the lack of respect. I don't mean to create drama, but when someone needs to be told off, I really don't mind doing it. I'm only 23, but I'm saddened by anyone that doesn't respect someone else-I ran into the same issue on TH, except it was someone twice my age that was acting like a 10 year old. I just don't do well with people that disrespect others, especially if that 'other' happenes to be someone like Rowuk, who does nothing but give out great advice here, and is a great mod. And for the record, I think your advice is spot-on..that's exactly how it should be done.

    Last edited by DubbaCTrumpetMSU; 02-25-2009 at 03:29 PM.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Why can't I play any higher? advice

    This post is not meant to disrespect anyone on the thread, and I am only speaking from personal experience.
    Sometimes, a different mouthpiece can help. I personally play on a 3C and a 5B Bach mouthpiece. I personally see that I have a better high range on the 3C. By better, I mean it feels easier, I don't get as light headed, and the tone is better. When I play on the 5B, it feels more difficult and I get head aches very quickly.
    Practice is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to getting a better high range, but sometimes a new mouthpiece can help along the way. Of course it is going to mess you up for quite a while and you shouldn't do it before any sort of performance, but if you are looking far ahead (say a contest this time next year or maybe just in the Fall) it may be a decent idea. A player wants and needs to be relaxed while they play. If he/she is so busy compensating for an uncomfortable mouthpiece or trumpet, it is going to sound like it. A comfortable mouthpiece is a key part to the puzzle of sound and high range, but practice will get you further than a new mouthpiece.
    I hope that made some sort of sense.

  4. #34
    Pianissimo User Rushtucky's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Re: Why can't I play any higher? advice


    First and foremost, thank you for the compliment. Second, in someways I can see your point. This forum is to exchange ideas and to assist others. Since I am a little more that twice your age (please do not take that wrong-I try to be politically correct,sometimes) I do not let comments get under my skin so easily.

    Everyone has different ideas and concepts on pursuing and achieving a goal. Hitting high C for some is easy and for others it is a challenge and takes time. My approach is one that I have developed over the years and find successful with my students.

    This thread has seemed to cool down somewhat, hopefully and we can all go to our respective corners, wait for the bell and come out swinging again.

    As they used to say when I was back in college: "Peace brothers".
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    "It is not necessary to understand music;
    it is only necessary that one enjoy it"
    Leopold Stanislaw Stokowski

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