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Problems slotting Bb



 
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Danny C
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Joined: 17 May 2020
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 1:37 pm    Post subject: Problems slotting Bb Reply with quote

For a long time now I have found it completely impossible to play a double Bb. I have no trouble screaming G, G#, A, B, and C, but Bb just wont slot. When I try and play it I either play a the note above or below or I get a a terrible growling tone. I thought for a while that it could be my trumpet or mouthpiece, but I found that I still have the same problem when playing only on my mouthpiece rim.

Any help is very appreciated

Thank you

EDIT: forgot to mention that I also tried every other valve combination with no luck...
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me it's the B. Doesn't matter what horn, MP, or fingering. On those times when I can't get it to lock I often find success by half halving.
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least it isn't the G# below. That's the second most common cut-off point. The first being the high D cut off b.

Excessive arm pressure and too much volume can contribute to cut-off points. Another thing seems to be embouchures that pooch out or pucker into the mouthpiece. These tend to clog up the bottom of the mouthpiece somewhere above the high G. Esp when heavy arm pressure is used.

Reduce your arm pressure by practicing with the horn valve casing resting only on your left palm. Do not cheat by wrapping a finger on the third valve hook. Start on some open tone in the middle register and practice ascending. Work both on extending your range AND increasing the volume on those high notes that you already do have. As new tones develop from your increasing chop strength? Practice opening these up the same way.

Make up exercises. Try not to add any arm pressure once you do go back to holding the trumpet regularly. This palm practice technique is explained in the Stevens-Costello book available from Charles Colin publishing. An excellent read by the way.

Those who switched over to the Stevens system did not get cut-off points. They simply can't occur on this system if the technique is applied as directed.
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soulfire
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same problem for years. That double Bb was my bane, along with the A below it and the E above DHC. I was able to slot an A using 2, but I never could find the right fingering for that Bb back then, same as you. Really, there is no trick, you just have to work it out. Do some soft arpeggios, hold that top note out and try to get it to fall in place by manipulating your chops up there at a mezzo-piano volume. It will slot eventually. I was able to get all 3 of those notes to slot in their "proper" fingerings with that method plus some free lip buzzing to build my muscles up a bit more.

The guy who I learned that method from was actually Zach, a great high note player and super nice guy who goes by DHCZach on Youtube. He used to frequent this forum, but I haven't seen him around for awhile.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please don’t shoot the messenger, but here goes...

Going back over ten years ago Trent Austin showed up at our Arlington workshop with his Yamaha Bb, I believe it was a YTR-6310Z. He was able up play double A and B natural no problem, but first valve Bb was challenging to center. I remember after measuring for alignment the average deviation was off by .007”. After performing a PVA Trent play tested his trumpet again, and what do you know? His double Bb was a full and centered as the neighboring double A and B natural. Not that I’ve ever had notes above F , it was nice to witness someone that could now play in the extreme high register with less difficulty that before the PVA. Confirming again that deviations greater than + or - .005” can make a difference.
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soulfire
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Becker wrote:
Please don’t shoot the messenger, but here goes...

Going back over ten years ago Trent Austin showed up at our Arlington workshop with his Yamaha Bb, I believe it was a YTR-6310Z. He was able up play double A and B natural no problem, but first valve Bb was challenging to center. I remember after measuring for alignment the average deviation was off by .007”. After performing a PVA Trent play tested his trumpet again, and what do you know? His double Bb was a full and centered as the neighboring double A and B natural. Not that I’ve ever had notes above F , it was nice to witness someone that could now play in the extreme high register with less difficulty that before the PVA. Confirming again that deviations greater than + or - .005” can make a difference.


I love my YTR8335RGS and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. But I absolutely believe it could be our horns. Interesting that you specifically mention Trent was playing on a Yamaha. I'd be curious if the OP plays on a Yamaha. Maybe double Bb is just a Yamaha thing.
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Danny C
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

soulfire wrote:
James Becker wrote:
Please don’t shoot the messenger, but here goes...

Going back over ten years ago Trent Austin showed up at our Arlington workshop with his Yamaha Bb, I believe it was a YTR-6310Z. He was able up play double A and B natural no problem, but first valve Bb was challenging to center. I remember after measuring for alignment the average deviation was off by .007”. After performing a PVA Trent play tested his trumpet again, and what do you know? His double Bb was a full and centered as the neighboring double A and B natural. Not that I’ve ever had notes above F , it was nice to witness someone that could now play in the extreme high register with less difficulty that before the PVA. Confirming again that deviations greater than + or - .005” can make a difference.


I love my YTR8335RGS and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. But I absolutely believe it could be our horns. Interesting that you specifically mention Trent was playing on a Yamaha. I'd be curious if the OP plays on a Yamaha. Maybe double Bb is just a Yamaha thing.


I play a Bach Commercial 1B, but I have noticed that when I look down my 3rd valve slide that the valve is vertically misaligned by about ten thousandths of an inch. I don't think that's the problem however since i still can't play the note on my mouthpiece. I'm thinking that it is, like you said in your previous post, that I just need to work it out. I'm not sure though.
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TrentAustin
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Becker wrote:
Please don’t shoot the messenger, but here goes...

Going back over ten years ago Trent Austin showed up at our Arlington workshop with his Yamaha Bb, I believe it was a YTR-6310Z. He was able up play double A and B natural no problem, but first valve Bb was challenging to center. I remember after measuring for alignment the average deviation was off by .007”. After performing a PVA Trent play tested his trumpet again, and what do you know? His double Bb was a full and centered as the neighboring double A and B natural. Not that I’ve ever had notes above F , it was nice to witness someone that could now play in the extreme high register with less difficulty that before the PVA. Confirming again that deviations greater than + or - .005” can make a difference.


That moment made me a believer for sure of the PVA!

I have since lost the Bb again for a bit but have decent luck playing it 2/3 (doesn't matter what horn or mpc it's just a break point for me). I also found that playing with a highly-resistant mute like a Harmon or old Practice mute (Manny Klein etc) helped me find the correct slot for it. Once I found that lane of air and proper balance in the mute it locks in a lot better when playing open.

Best of luck that Bb eluded me for a long time.
-t
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Matthew Anklan
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on the horn, I’ll use these alternates from time to time:
Ab: 1&2
A: 1
Bb: 0

All my best!
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Becker wrote:
Please don’t shoot the messenger, but here goes...

Going back over ten years ago Trent Austin showed up at our Arlington workshop with his Yamaha Bb, I believe it was a YTR-6310Z. He was able up play double A and B natural no problem, but first valve Bb was challenging to center. I remember after measuring for alignment the average deviation was off by .007”. After performing a PVA Trent play tested his trumpet again, and what do you know? His double Bb was a full and centered as the neighboring double A and B natural. Not that I’ve ever had notes above F , it was nice to witness someone that could now play in the extreme high register with less difficulty that before the PVA. Confirming again that deviations greater than + or - .005” can make a difference.


This reminds me of a conversation I once had with John Skinner about mouthpieces. He told me he never really believed in using mouthpieces to add range and could play up to DHC, but that a GR he tried did add exactly one note to his range: the A below DHC. He could never get that note to speak, but the GR he tried corrected the gap in his range.

So, this anecdote combined with Jim's post should tell you that equipment really can effect your ability to play.

Don't automatically run out and start a mouthpiece safari. I think a PVA is a good place to start, or maybe getting your horn blueprinted to put it as close to design spec as possible. After that, little tweaks here and there can make dramatic effects.
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JJMDestino
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My current horn I like 1 for Bb. My old horn I liked all three for Bb. I have found Bb and B especially hard to slot if the gap is off.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worth mentioning, for years Bob Reeves has been driving home the idea that an alignment should be done BEFORE mouthpiece selection or modifications. I agree that once you’ve covered your bases more logical choices in mouthpiece and gap can be made. For many players this is an approach that has rendered the desired results.

FWIW we can align valves/blueprint and convert shanks for Reeves Sleeves same day with a scheduled appointment. We stock the entire range of sleeves including half and quarter sizes, giving you the ability to find the gap that works best for you.

I hope this is helpful.
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James Becker
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Osmun Music Inc.
77 Powdermill Road Rt.62
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www.osmun.com

Our workshop is as close as your nearest UPS store https://www.ups.com/dropoff?loc=en_US
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Danny C
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:18 am    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

After a lot of practicing, I am now able to play the Bb. Though it still doesn't slot perfectly. I started by trying to play the notes with a practice mute; for some reason, the practice mute widened the slots and helped me to find the note. Once I took the practice mute out I was sometimes able to slot the Bb. After a lot of repetitive practice trying to slot the note by sliding from above and below I can now sorta slot it most of the time. I've still got a lot of room for improvement. I still do need to get a valve alignment. Once I do. I'll make another post on this thread of the results.

Hope this helps anyone having the same problem.
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