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I have no range. :(


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AlexA15
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Location: Windsor, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:28 am    Post subject: I have no range. :( Reply with quote

Hey, I'm kind of worried about my range. I haven't got a very good one. I can just about play and hold a C above the staff. Which isn't that great. And it doesn't sound very nice either. It's very... bright, loud and "in your face". Not what I'm going for.

I'm VERY terrible with practicing. I PLAY every day but I can't motivate myself to grab an Arban book and do some solid technical practice. Is there anything that helps you build not only your range but also technique with incorporating a melody as part of an exercise? As I'm 15 and aiming to get into a music university I'm kind of wanting to improve my range up to an F/G above the staff and getting my technicals + lip endurance/flexibility sorted!

Any books/studies or exercises you would recommend? I'm into jazz BIG TIME. If there is something out there that would help me improve my harmony and improvisation skills and sort out all of the above I want to know about it!

Thanks a lot!
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jiarby
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you have a problem... and it ISN'T your range.

You state you have a goal of going to a music school but then also say that you don't practice

Quote:
I can't motivate myself to grab an Arban book and do some solid technical practice.


Quote:
I'm kind of wanting to improve my range up to an F/G above the staff and getting my technicals + lip endurance/flexibility sorted!


Then you also say that you are REALLY into improvisation and jazz...

Quote:
I'm into jazz BIG TIME. If there is something out there that would help me improve my harmony and improvisation skills and sort out all of the above I want to know about it!


****NEWSFLASH****

The #1 thing you can do to improve your improvising is learn how to play your trumpet!

That means the fundaments skills... intervals, scales, lip slurs, patters in EVERY KEY... and for jazz: EVERY MODE of evey key

Music is made up of all these things. If you can't play them then your performance will suffer along with your audience.

#1 Goal: Learn the horn! That used to be called "paying your dues" or "putting in your time"...

#2 Goal: Learn the tunes (standards, real book). Scales, changes, theory, turnarounds, melodies... all of it. It is a life long learning thing. You are NEVER done.

If you want to be a trumpet player then you need to realize that your job is 95% practice and 5% performance. If you don't like practicing then you need a new career path.
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swthiel
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: I have no range. :( Reply with quote

Warning: Preachy response follows ... sorry ...

AlexA15 wrote:

I'm VERY terrible with practicing. I PLAY every day but I can't motivate myself to grab an Arban book and do some solid technical practice. ... As I'm 15 and aiming to get into a music university ...

IMO, this is a problem.

How do plan to develop the proficiency you need to enter a conservatory without dedicating focused time to technique?

Why do you think that technical material is non-melodic?

Do you think you'll be able to graduate from a conservatory of music without "practicing"? ... without spending some (actually, from my friends who have been there, "some" = "a LOT") time really learning the instrument?

Playing songs is fun; I like working from the Korak books of transcribed vocalises and sometimes retreat to that when I'm not preparing anything for performance and have spent too much time on sound or technique exercises. These vocalises help my musicality, but if I did nothing but these, it would really limit what I could do.

Bottom line: you need a "balanced diet" of technical and melodic work in your routine.
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AlexA15
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me may not be on the same page here with regards to what I mean by 'technical'. The harmony's and scales&modes are fine I know all of them more or less perfectly as well as 7 theory.

If you talk about playing time I play every day for around about 2 hours. Not because I have to but because I want to and love doing it. Thats just going through the stuff I already know and trying out new things.

I was hoping you could give me methods to make practicing exercises as enjoyable as playing.

Thanks.
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VetPsychWars
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlexA15 wrote:

I was hoping you could give me methods to make practicing exercises as enjoyable as playing.


Practicing exercises IS playing. I play the same boring fundamental stuff day after day because it makes me a better player overall.

The joy comes from playing some music and finding you can play it much better than you could before because of your practicing.

Incidentally, while your practice does need to include exercises like in Arban, there's no reason you can't play other stuff in between.

Tom
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AlexA15
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VetPsychWars wrote:
AlexA15 wrote:

I was hoping you could give me methods to make practicing exercises as enjoyable as playing.


Practicing exercises IS playing. I play the same boring fundamental stuff day after day because it makes me a better player overall.

The joy comes from playing some music and finding you can play it much better than you could before because of your practicing.

Incidentally, while your practice does need to include exercises like in Arban, there's no reason you can't play other stuff in between.

Tom


I never thought of it that way, thanks!
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jiarby
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Play your exercises musically.... add dynamics, mix up articulations, tempo changes, etc...

Charlier Etudes are challenging, technical, and also melodic and lyrical. Fun to play.

And... Rich Wiley at Boptism Publishing has a TON of technical AND Jazzy books that would be great.
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MichaelM2
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've already heard it. There is no easy answer. The people I play with that are really good dedicate themselves to practice. The more you practice the better you get. I doesn't necessarily have to be a long practice but you do need to focus on improvement and being better than yesterday. All the good people I know practice the stuff they can't play, not what they can, and a lot of their practice sessions don't sound great, but their performance is. There is no secret to success it begins and ends with practice.

Good Luck, Mike
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no trick for playing high. Building range requires a systematic approach, applied consistently, just like any athelete who want to get bigger, better, faster, stronger.

You'll save yourself a lot of grief by taking at least a couple of lessons from a pro who can show you what YOU need to do to get to your goals in the most expediant way possible.

If you can't see yourself into lessons then I recommend the Method books by Allen Vizzutti. For a do-it-yourself method I found it uniquely helpfull.
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AlexA15
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Location: Windsor, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to have lessons. I think they would help me do the things I need to do in time and focus me on ability.
I currently have lessons with a guy called James Fussey - he's a great trumpet player one of the best I've seen. It's only once a week for like 45 minutes, so not a huge amount.

Any teachers anyone could recommend in London/Windsor area?
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veery715
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could give you a magic wand you could wave and ZAP! you'd be great. But there is no magic wand.

I think you need to look at your attitude. You cannot go skiing until you learn to but on your boots, put on your skis, stand up and walk on them. The basic "boring" exercises you don't want to practice are like putting your skis and boots on and standing up. You must be able to do them in order to move into the fun territory. Yon cannot fly down a hill without putting your skis on first, and you cannot achieve mastery of your instrument without practicing those boring exercises.

Approach those exercises telling yourself you won't be happy until you can play every note, every phrase, perfectly. The right intonation, dynamics, articulation, every single note needs many things done right. If you do not accept anything but your best effort when doing this, it cannot be boring. Repetition is what gets the skills into your fingers and muscles and chops so that you can use your brain to do the rest - making music. Make it a challenge and you will be glad you did.

No matter how long you live, there will always be more to learn about playing the trumpet. If you make LEARNING your goal, and focus on the journey of LEARNING, then you will always want to do the "boring" stuff. And, with that as your attitude, it will no longer be boring. Every note you play, every single one of them, is important. Show your gratitude for being able to spend your time playing trumpet by playing every note the very best you can. Music is a GIFT. Thank your creator for the gift by playing it with all your heart.

You CAN motivate yourself. You MUST. No one else will do it for you. Making excuses about not being motivated is immature. If you know you want to play your horn into college and on to a musical career, then forget that you are 15, grow up and start acting like an adult. Excuses won't cut it. Embrace your dream, and then do the work.
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swthiel
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other points, which I should have made earlier.

I split lead in an amateur big band. My range isn't all I'd like it to be, but my biggest limitation isn't that I don't have a strong G (which I don't), it's my reading and precision. These are problems in part because I've practiced a lot from F# below the staff to C above the staff -- scales, lip slurs, etc. -- but not so much for C# and above. Even the territory between G and C is less reliable because I haven't spent as much "technical time" there.

Don't think of the upper part of your range as being somehow different from the rest of your range. Do the Clarke exercises up to your highest note of the day, even if the book stops before then. Transpose some of the "Art of Phrasing" melodies up a fifth.

All the stuff about playing the technical studies musically is also true and valuable. There are very few things you might practice that can't be done musically (the only exception I can think of is Caruso).

My practice, when schedule allows it, includes a big chunk of time focused on sound production, time focused on evenness of sound, scales and articulation, vocalises/lyrical stuff, and preparing material for performance.
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mikeman7
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noodling for two hours is not practicing.....listen to the posts above...
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikeman7 wrote:
Noodling for two hours is not practicing.....listen to the posts above...


One of my former teachers said that if you walk through the practice room hall and hear players that aren't sounding great - those people are actually practicing since they're working on things they're not good at.

On the other hand, one of my other instructors told me to "perform when you practice" and always try to have a good/great sound.

In a weird way, I think both statements are true.
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VetPsychWars
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy Finn wrote:

In a weird way, I think both statements are true.


I think both are true in a not-weird way, and here's why.

If you perform while you're practicing, that means also that you are practicing how you would play while performing. Certainly we can force things to happen in practice that would never come out right in performance. But if we practice as if we're performing, then when we finally get it right in practice, that means that we'll get it right during performance as well.

I've realized lately that, when practicing something beyond my abilities, if I try to make it happen, I always make things worse. If I concentrate on "letting it happen", so to speak, then I find out either that I can do it after all, or I'm not that far off.

Tom
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mikeman7
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy Finn wrote:
mikeman7 wrote:
Noodling for two hours is not practicing.....listen to the posts above...


One of my former teachers said that if you walk through the practice room hall and hear players that aren't sounding great - those people are actually practicing since they're working on things they're not good at.

On the other hand, one of my other instructors told me to "perform when you practice" and always try to have a good/great sound.

In a weird way, I think both statements are true.


they are true and not mutually exclusive. somewhat similar to the idea of "don't practice things you can already play well...."
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Shaft
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to play at a University level


Get a private teacher
Start practicing

high notes will come.




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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't practise until you get it right. Practise until you can't get it wrong.
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nyctrumpeter
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jiarby wrote:
It sounds like you have a problem... and it ISN'T your range.

You state you have a goal of going to a music school but then also say that you don't practice

Quote:
I can't motivate myself to grab an Arban book and do some solid technical practice.


Quote:
I'm kind of wanting to improve my range up to an F/G above the staff and getting my technicals + lip endurance/flexibility sorted!


Then you also say that you are REALLY into improvisation and jazz...

Quote:
I'm into jazz BIG TIME. If there is something out there that would help me improve my harmony and improvisation skills and sort out all of the above I want to know about it!


****NEWSFLASH****

The #1 thing you can do to improve your improvising is learn how to play your trumpet!

That means the fundaments skills... intervals, scales, lip slurs, patters in EVERY KEY... and for jazz: EVERY MODE of evey key

Music is made up of all these things. If you can't play them then your performance will suffer along with your audience.

#1 Goal: Learn the horn! That used to be called "paying your dues" or "putting in your time"...

#2 Goal: Learn the tunes (standards, real book). Scales, changes, theory, turnarounds, melodies... all of it. It is a life long learning thing. You are NEVER done.

If you want to be a trumpet player then you need to realize that your job is 95% practice and 5% performance. If you don't like practicing then you need a new career path.


plus one!!! exactly what he said. I'll only add, find a teacher in your area or a teacher that will help you via skype and study with him. Pick his brain and learn everything you can from him. Work on sound, music and overall ways to play the trumpet. Ask lots of questions and don't forget the most important thing, make sure your breathing right. Put it all together, set goals everyday, week, month year and long term and re-evaluate when needed. You'll be amazed at what you see, even in a month.
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michaelmullins
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone has a "working range" that is solid controlled and accessible. You are concerned with your high C and you say it isn't controlled like you want it to be. This tells me that it isn't part of your working range, it's a not that you can get occasionally or can play but not in a controlled way. I would suggest that whatever you do practice, it should be ranged around top line F up roughly Bb. you wont solidify your highest note by just grabbing at it and forcing it out. If your ability and flexibility in the range below what you are aiming for isn't good then thats the area that needs work. Ask yourself how good you really are at playing between F and Bb and then address that area of your playing. The C will follow guaranteed.
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