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Trouble above the staff.



 
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Marco74
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Joined: 06 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:01 am    Post subject: Trouble above the staff. Reply with quote

Hello everybody, thanks for having me. I have joined this forum because I need some help about learning to play the trumpet.
I am having serious problems when I play on the high register,(mind you,high register for me means just above the staff).
The problem is not that I want to expand the high range(not for now anyway), I can reach the C above the staff and that`s enough for me.
My problem is that when I play notes from G to C above the staff I dont have any accuracy;my chance to hit the right note is more or less 50%.
Feels like the lips opening and air flow for all the notes between G and C is pretty much the same.
Now, I was hoping that you guys can tell me what kind of exercises I should do to improve regarding this problem,or any other kind of advice,like trying
different mouthpieces or something else.
Or maybe I`m just hopeless with the trumpet,like I tend to think lately.
Thank you very much for your help.

Marco.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Trouble above the staff. Reply with quote

Marco74 wrote:
My problem is that when I play notes from G to C above the staff I dont have any accuracy;my chance to hit the right note is more or less 50%.

Feels like the lips opening and air flow for all the notes between G and C is pretty much the same.

I don't know how solidly you have the notes top of staff F to high C but being able to play them is a start, you also need to develop a solid feel for playing them. Yes, being accurate is a challenge.

You're walking a physics tightrope - various factors have to come together to play any note, things get progressively trickier the higher you go. You're shooting for a smaller and smaller target due to the overtone series or partials of the instrument along with the requirements of what you have to do physically to play higher and higher.

You need to practice playing the higher notes. Play scales, arpeggios, intervals, flexibility exercises, play Clarke's and other studies up in that range, play songs that take you to those higher notes. Practice hitting specific notes cleanly and accurately. Be able to articulate them - single, double, triple tongued.

It's all a matter of conditioning your self to have facility in the whole range of the instrument.

Take lessons and practice a lot.
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Marco74
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Robert,Thanks a lot for your help.
Really appreciate you advice, I will change or add to my daily practice routine.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sound to me like your teaching yourself, so let me add this word of caution: it doesn't matter how hip exercises and books are if, fundamentally, you're playing basically wrong.

Otherwise, you just perfect your bad habits and undoing something bad on trumpet is a lot more effort and time consuming than doing it right in the first place.

You need someone who knows what he's doing to be an objective observer of how you're playing. It could be a good teacher or "just" a good player on an as-needed basis.

In any case, if you're self taught, I think you need a qualified second party.
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Marco74
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
You sound to me like your teaching yourself, so let me add this word of caution: it doesn't matter how hip exercises and books are if, fundamentally, you're playing basically wrong.

You need someone who knows what he's doing to be an objective observer of how you're playing. It could be a good teacher or "just" a good player on an as-needed basis.

In any case, if you're self taught, I think you need a qualified second party.


Hi kehaulani,
yes I`m afraid you are right,I need somebody competent to see what Im doing wrong(if any) and to help me fix it.
I did have a few lesson a few months ago but we were focusing on other things.
I cannot really afford to have many lessons, but I guess I will have to have some more, and focus on this problem.
For the moment I am doing what Robert P suggested in the previous reply.
Thank you.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marco, it's not always easy but there are ways to get some extra cash. Think out of the box.

For example, I was fairly poor but worked out an arrangement with a superb teacher, whereby I would trade handyman type work around his house (painting, yard work, etc.) in exchange for lessons. Good luck.
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Marco74
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Marco, it's not always easy but there are ways to get some extra cash. Think out of the box.

For example, I was fairly poor but worked out an arrangement with a superb teacher, whereby I would trade handyman type work around his house (painting, yard work, etc.) in exchange for lessons. Good luck.


Thank you
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't already, then you need to find graduated exercises that allow you to reliably reach the top of your useful range. You should repeat that often and with a variety of articulations and dynamics. You should endeavor to expand that range a half step at a time and not proceed further until that becomes comfortably reliable.

FWIW I start my daily playing with Stamp arpeggios downward (If you're not familiar with the book by James Stamp, I highly recommend you do so). After a brief break, I do ascending Stamp scales upward. I repeat that up a step focusing hard on...
- modest volume with good breath support, but not overblowing
- light grip on the horn that allows the horn angle to float
- minor adjustments to the way the lips interact

Later in my daily routine, I'll do similar range expansion using arpeggios and flexibility studies like Irons or Bai Lin. Doing Clarke Technical Studies up to the top of your range is another way to solidify your accuracy.

I find that this helps to make me very secure with my accuracy near the top of my range.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Practice makes perfect". I repeat. If you are playing wrong, great exercises will only perfect bad habits which you'll regret. Said from first-hand experience. Get a teacher/good evaluator.
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Marco74
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheiden wrote:
If you don't already, then you need to find graduated exercises that allow you to reliably reach the top of your useful range. You should repeat that often and with a variety of articulations and dynamics. You should endeavor to expand that range a half step at a time and not proceed further until that becomes comfortably reliable.

FWIW I start my daily playing with Stamp arpeggios downward (If you're not familiar with the book by James Stamp, I highly recommend you do so). After a brief break, I do ascending Stamp scales upward. I repeat that up a step focusing hard on...
- modest volume with good breath support, but not overblowing
- light grip on the horn that allows the horn angle to float
- minor adjustments to the way the lips interact

Later in my daily routine, I'll do similar range expansion using arpeggios and flexibility studies like Irons or Bai Lin. Doing Clarke Technical Studies up to the top of your range is another way to solidify your accuracy.

I find that this helps to make me very secure with my accuracy near the top of my range.


Thank you very much cheiden, what you said is very interesting and make sense. I`ll have a look for James Stamp.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
"Practice makes perfect". I repeat. If you are playing wrong, great exercises will only perfect bad habits which you'll regret. Said from first-hand experience. Get a teacher/good evaluator.


True, “practice makes permanent.”

Brad
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dershem
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
"Practice makes perfect". I repeat. If you are playing wrong, great exercises will only perfect bad habits which you'll regret. Said from first-hand experience. Get a teacher/good evaluator.


Or, in the words of the philosopher "Malpractice makes malperfect".
Get a teacher. It's almost always possible.
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ryanmuckenfuss
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: Trouble above the staff. Reply with quote

Marco74 wrote:
Hello everybody, thanks for having me. I have joined this forum because I need some help about learning to play the trumpet.
I am having serious problems when I play on the high register,(mind you,high register for me means just above the staff).
The problem is not that I want to expand the high range(not for now anyway), I can reach the C above the staff and that`s enough for me.
My problem is that when I play notes from G to C above the staff I dont have any accuracy;my chance to hit the right note is more or less 50%.
Feels like the lips opening and air flow for all the notes between G and C is pretty much the same.
Now, I was hoping that you guys can tell me what kind of exercises I should do to improve regarding this problem,or any other kind of advice,like trying
different mouthpieces or something else.
Or maybe I`m just hopeless with the trumpet,like I tend to think lately.
Thank you very much for your help.

Marco.

Oh my did I have this issue! I found that long tones are your best friend, while they are mostly a tone exercise they will help you learn what it feels like to hit that note. Simply start on lets say a G above the staff, hold it for 8 counts at a piano dynamic, then move up chromatically to a high C. Make sure to hold every note at a solid piano this will strengthen your lips. Do this exercise once slurred never taking the horn away form your face, then, next rep, after every long tone take the horn away from your face and reset your lips then play the next note. This will help you retain what it feels like to come in strong on those notes. Remember, any lead player will tell you, when in doubt more air!

Happy Range Building,
Ryan Muckenfuss
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Marco74
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Trouble above the staff. Reply with quote

ryanmuckenfuss wrote:
Marco74 wrote:
Hello everybody, thanks for having me. I have joined this forum because I need some help about learning to play the trumpet.
I am having serious problems when I play on the high register,(mind you,high register for me means just above the staff).
The problem is not that I want to expand the high range(not for now anyway), I can reach the C above the staff and that`s enough for me.
My problem is that when I play notes from G to C above the staff I dont have any accuracy;my chance to hit the right note is more or less 50%.
Feels like the lips opening and air flow for all the notes between G and C is pretty much the same.
Now, I was hoping that you guys can tell me what kind of exercises I should do to improve regarding this problem,or any other kind of advice,like trying
different mouthpieces or something else.
Or maybe I`m just hopeless with the trumpet,like I tend to think lately.
Thank you very much for your help.

Marco.

Oh my did I have this issue! I found that long tones are your best friend, while they are mostly a tone exercise they will help you learn what it feels like to hit that note. Simply start on lets say a G above the staff, hold it for 8 counts at a piano dynamic, then move up chromatically to a high C. Make sure to hold every note at a solid piano this will strengthen your lips. Do this exercise once slurred never taking the horn away form your face, then, next rep, after every long tone take the horn away from your face and reset your lips then play the next note. This will help you retain what it feels like to come in strong on those notes. Remember, any lead player will tell you, when in doubt more air!

Happy Range Building,
Ryan Muckenfuss


Thank you very much Ryan
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HornnOOb
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a thorough warm-up and resting, begin by approaching the upper register progressively - play ascending scales slowly. d,e,f,g,a,b,c. Long tones, slowly. Don't rush yourself and don't strain. Take it slow and easy. d,e,f,g, g,f,e,d then f,g,a,b b,a,g,f Slowly . . . playing long-ish tones - getting comfortable with each phase and resting between phases. Eventually, you can mix it up f,a f,a f,a e,b e,b, f,e, e,f, g,f, g,f, f,g, f,g, a,g,a,g, g,a, g,a, listen to the notes and become accustomed to accurately placing the desired note in various combinations. It will happen - be patient - go slow - listen.
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GreatRambino
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of good advice here. Thanks!
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50YrComeback
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aside from lessons, I would want to make sure that your embouchure set-up is sound. Mine wasn't and I spent a few weeks prior to my lessons wasting time. My guess is that if your are having trouble above the staff, even the notes on the upper part of the staff probably lose their quality. This is where I was until just recently. I really like the video embouchure tutorial by Charlie Porter. Just google "Charlie porter embouchure". Regardless of teacher you hook up with, Charlie's fundamentals are going to be right in line. I would even look at a couple of his other tutorials like developing high range and the "straight line" method just so you know where you are headed. I have had a few lessons but didn't get a good understanding until the video.

Hope this helps.
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:

You need someone who knows what he's doing to be an objective observer of how you're playing. It could be a good teacher or "just" a good player on an as-needed basis.


In your experience, do you think one needs lessons in person or will skype or phone lessons work? I did do some skype lessons but did have mouthpiece pressure issues yet. I suppose it depends some on the teacher and method.
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

50YrComeback wrote:
Aside from lessons, I would want to make sure that your embouchure set-up is sound. Mine wasn't and I spent a few weeks prior to my lessons wasting time. My guess is that if your are having trouble above the staff, even the notes on the upper part of the staff probably lose their quality. This is where I was until just recently. I really like the video embouchure tutorial by Charlie Porter. Just google "Charlie porter embouchure". Regardless of teacher you hook up with, Charlie's fundamentals are going to be right in line. I would even look at a couple of his other tutorials like developing high range and the "straight line" method just so you know where you are headed. I have had a few lessons but didn't get a good understanding until the video.

Hope this helps.
GaryF

I'm also a 50 yr comeback 2 yrs ago. I like Charlie Porter videos a lot and studied that embouchure video, but almost wish I didn't. I believe I ended up with kind of a too loose setup that was hard on my lips. No fault of the video, but there are still a lot of ways to play wrong. I think the long tones advice is good. Playing long tones from very soft to loud and then to soft will avoid that kind of setup I had. In addition it is very important to play efficiently where you take a big breath and can play a long tone with no extra effort than letting out the air for notes around C to E in the staff.
Also one needs some insight on the balance of force holding the mouthpiece against the lips and the lung air pressure holding the top lip against the mouthpiece. Not sure I have that perfect yet, but that what they mean by "air support". A lot of those terms can have no meaning to a beginner. Look up wisper G, which can help, and the palm exercise.
Another problem was figuring how much to practice since it is very easy to overdo it. After failing on Claude Gordon, not being ready to beat up my lips with pedals, and failing on BE after messing up my lips doing to many RI (lip clamp high note exercises). I found a daily exercise that has all the best elements people recommend. The long tones soft to loud to soft, the lip flexibilities, which help develop a set point and tongue level control, plus tounging exercises and arpeggios to develop the range to high C. It is the Edwin Goldman Daily Exercise he compiled in 1904 or so. He also edited the Arban book. I think sometime the oldest is the best. It is available in public domain since it is so old. Try Pop's site. I found it important to time the prescribed breaks between exercises very accurately and monitor progress. I gave more time in the middle of some exercises at first until I could reduce it.
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