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Extreme register getting weaker?



 
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number juan
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:49 pm    Post subject: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

So I don't know if it's just in my head, but I could swear my register above a double G is getting weaker, while my range up to that G is getting stronger. It was never super amazing, but I remember being able to play a respectably loud and clear Bb, and an audible double C, but now even an A is a barely, even when the G right below it can be easily screamed at full volume. It might not seem like much of a problem, and in most classical playing it isn't. But as a college music major, who's established himself as a lead player in the time I've been here, I'm getting music that's starting to push my limits, and I want to be able to perform. Even in jazz, my professor is asking me to play a double C# at the end of our closer, and while I can squeeze it out, it's nowhere near where I'd want it to be.
And it's even weirder cuz just a month ago I was actually expanding, being able to slot Es above double C.

So does anyone have any idea what's going on with that? Or any ideas to get a stronger extreme register?
In case it helps, I'm currently playing on a picket 3c with a #25 shank thingy
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible that the opining in your embouchure is openinig a bit in favor of tone and the range is lowering a bit w q result of that?
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Is it possible that the opining in your embouchure is openinig a bit in favor of tone and the range is lowering a bit w q result of that?

--------------------------
I agree with the above being a possibility ... (and I have NO experience in the high range being discussed.
Lip formation and control is a delicate 'blend' of many factors that can be in competition with each other.

Probably the most important factor in being able to 'produce the pitch' is making certain the the lips are CAPABLE of vibrating at that pitch.
Unconscious actions about 'tone quality' or 'loudness' might prevent the lips from doing their basic vibrations.

Reacquire the 'squeaks and squeals' of those notes, and THEN refine making them playable.
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either you've been overtraining or fallen into a sloppy usage of your embouchure. Meaning that your upper lip is somehow pinned in between your upper teeth and the mouthpiece.

The answer is always found in physics. A study of "The Stevens-Costello Triple C Embouchure Technique - Embouchure Self-Analysis" would definitely prove helpful. I bought 2 copies last year of the second edition from Allen Colin at *Charles Colin Brass Publishers.
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bach_again
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might be over-blowing a bit... try backing off, re-establish this range softly, octave slurs etc... you shouldn't have to "scream" a high G, makes me think you are potentially working a little too hard. The harder you work up there the more it'll fight you - at least that's my experience! Good luck, and consider a lesson with someone like Bryan Davis who can really set you straight. Cheers!
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trumpetjordy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s a legitimate concern Juan… I’m your huckleberry;)
Have you been rehearsing and playing primarily in large rooms lately? Large halls? Sometimes this can backfire on our playing. You’re a lead player Juan. It’s only natural and instinctual that when you walk into a big beautiful concert hall, you want to fill it up! Fill it up with sound. Who wouldn’t? to play mp here would almost be an insult to the hall.

Go back to your favorite small practice room today. Even a closet or bathroom would work. A small enough room that playing at full volume will hurt. Small rooms force us to play softer and regain our balance. It doesn’t matter so much what you play, but take the time to listen to yourself and carefully contemplate HOW you are playing. What changed? How are you playing differently now than when you were blasting double C’s? Direct reflection into a window or computer screen 🖥 is wonderful also.

My best guess without knowing you or your playing is that your embouchure roll-in has started to unconsciously come undone and possibly another of your player compression techniques as well. That’s ok. It happens to the best of us. The good news is that this will probably Not require 10 extra hours in the practice room this week. You’ll just need to flip the switch- how was I playing when my double C’s were like butter on pancakes? Let’s go back to that👍

I’ve actually just finished a new comprehensive upper register course for my website. You would like it. You won’t need it though🤣 …I hope you don’t need it. If you do need it then here it is. Best of luck “Juan!” Ha ha
https://www.learnleadtrumpet.com/the-power-player-trumpet-course/
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

number juan wrote:
So I don't know if it's just in my head, but I could swear my register above a double G is getting weaker, while my range up to that G is getting stronger. It was never super amazing, but I remember being able to play a respectably loud and clear Bb, and an audible double C, but now even an A is a barely, even when the G right below it can be easily screamed at full volume. It might not seem like much of a problem, and in most classical playing it isn't. But as a college music major, who's established himself as a lead player in the time I've been here, I'm getting music that's starting to push my limits, and I want to be able to perform. Even in jazz, my professor is asking me to play a double C# at the end of our closer, and while I can squeeze it out, it's nowhere near where I'd want it to be.
And it's even weirder cuz just a month ago I was actually expanding, being able to slot Es above double C.

So does anyone have any idea what's going on with that? Or any ideas to get a stronger extreme register?
In case it helps, I'm currently playing on a picket 3c with a #25 shank thingy

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you actually have had the notes as strong as you say.

Are you comparing these notes played under identical circumstances? That double C might sound a lot more impressive in the practice room than it does when there's a whole band there.

If you're genuinely getting different results than you were before, something about the equation is different.

First - do you keep your mouthpiece and horn cleaned regularly?

Apart from that possible variable, the horn doesn't change. It's something *you're* bringing to the equation. Swollen tissue, air, tongue/mouth cavity, teeth alignment, adequate lip intrusion between the teeth, focus of the muscles - *something* you're doing differently.

You'll find on any note to play louder your teeth need to subtly open more. Try playing say a G or C inside the staff. Try to play louder but deliberately don't allow the teeth to open any farther - I think you'll find you won't be able to play louder with good resonance.

Also what you're describing is a fairly common sticking point - right around an Ab, A. That G comes out fine, notes above it become more problematic.

Personally I'm not enthusiastic about your director wanting you to play notes you don't really have in your back pocket. Whatever you play should be in the range you *know* is going to be there. If you're fretting about "Am I gonna get it? Am I gonna get it??" you don't own the note and you're probably not going to get it. If it comes out at all it's going to be obvious that you don't own the note. It should just be another note in the chart, you shouldn't be fixating on it the whole time, distracting you from putting your best effort into the rest of the chart.

Putting up video would be useful. Maybe two octave ascending scales starting on first space F then moving up a half step as high as you can with good, solid sound and then see what happens when you hit your limit and try to go above it.

Hopefully you're familiar with the Stan Kenton chart "Maynard Ferguson" - and if you're not you need to become familiar with it. Listen to the opening bars when it's just Maynard by himself - about the first 9 seconds. *That's* owning a double C (and the F, G, A leading up to it).

Anything else is "you're working on it."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBRF6Td6hJE
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number juan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
number juan wrote:
So I don't know if it's just in my head, but I could swear my register above a double G is getting weaker, while my range up to that G is getting stronger. It was never super amazing, but I remember being able to play a respectably loud and clear Bb, and an audible double C, but now even an A is a barely, even when the G right below it can be easily screamed at full volume. It might not seem like much of a problem, and in most classical playing it isn't. But as a college music major, who's established himself as a lead player in the time I've been here, I'm getting music that's starting to push my limits, and I want to be able to perform. Even in jazz, my professor is asking me to play a double C# at the end of our closer, and while I can squeeze it out, it's nowhere near where I'd want it to be.
And it's even weirder cuz just a month ago I was actually expanding, being able to slot Es above double C.

So does anyone have any idea what's going on with that? Or any ideas to get a stronger extreme register?
In case it helps, I'm currently playing on a picket 3c with a #25 shank thingy

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you actually have had the notes as strong as you say.

Are you comparing these notes played under identical circumstances? That double C might sound a lot more impressive in the practice room than it does when there's a whole band there.

If you're genuinely getting different results than you were before, something about the equation is different.

First - do you keep your mouthpiece and horn cleaned regularly?

Apart from that possible variable, the horn doesn't change. It's something *you're* bringing to the equation. Swollen tissue, air, tongue/mouth cavity, teeth alignment, adequate lip intrusion between the teeth - *something* you're doing differently.

You'll find on any note to play louder your teeth need to subtly open more. Try playing say a G or C inside the staff. Try to play louder but deliberately don't allow the teeth to open any farther - I think you'll find you won't be able to play louder with good resonance.

Also what you're describing is a fairly common sticking point - right around an Ab, A. That G comes out fine, notes above it become more problematic.

Personally I'm not enthusiastic about your director wanting you to play notes you don't really have in your back pocket. Whatever you play should be in the range you *know* is going to be there. If you're fretting about "Am I gonna get it? Am I gonna get it??" you don't own the note and you're probably not going to get it. If it comes out at all it's going to be obvious that you don't own the note. It should just be another note in the chart, you shouldn't be fixating on it the whole time, distracting you from putting your best effort into the rest of the chart.

Putting up video would be useful. Maybe two octave ascending scales starting on first space F then moving up a half step as high as you can with good, solid sound and then see what happens when you hit your limit and try to go above it.

Hopefully you're familiar with the Stan Kenton chart "Maynard Ferguson" - and if you're not you need to become familiar with it. Listen to the opening bars when it's just Maynard by himself - about the first 9 seconds. *That's* owning a double C (and the F, G, A leading up to it).

Anything else is "you're working on it."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBRF6Td6hJE


I haven't responded to this thread in a bit
I've taken a lot of what has been said into consideration and have just been working on it.
I'm still not back to where I want it to be, especially in a big room or auditorium, but it's getting there again.
Here's a snippet of our most recent jazz concert.
Not the best because of how cold and large the auditorium is, and this was already our closer, but it's something.

https://youtu.be/u-kVSpSYehQ
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

number juan wrote:

Here's a snippet of our most recent jazz concert.

Not the best because of how cold and large the auditorium is, and this was already our closer, but it's something.

https://youtu.be/u-kVSpSYehQ

If you were to self-critique, what would you say could be improved?
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number juan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
number juan wrote:

Here's a snippet of our most recent jazz concert.

Not the best because of how cold and large the auditorium is, and this was already our closer, but it's something.

https://youtu.be/u-kVSpSYehQ

If you were to self-critique, what would you say could be improved?


The two biggest issues I have with myself are consistency and being clean while playing high.
I ironically know why those are issues for me. Range always just seemed to come to me, so I never actually worked on upper register playing. I would just do it when I had to for marching band in high school, and even while in college.
But as I advance in my playing, just being able to scream isn't enough anymore and I find my lead playing being pushed to its limits. I was always told not to worry about the upper register much, as it'll come with experience playing. But I seem to be having to improve faster than normal playing experience can get me without dedicated lead practice.
So now I'm practicing it when I can, trying not to overdue it.
But it's still so inconsistent. Some days are loud double Cs and squeaking double Es Fs and Triple Gs, and other days my A feels weak.
But oh well. If I wasn't as stubborn as the instrument, I would've quit long ago

Also, any good excersises yall recommend, I'm open to hearing
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

number juan wrote:
Robert P wrote:
number juan wrote:

Here's a snippet of our most recent jazz concert.

Not the best because of how cold and large the auditorium is, and this was already our closer, but it's something.

https://youtu.be/u-kVSpSYehQ

If you were to self-critique, what would you say could be improved?


The two biggest issues I have with myself are consistency and being clean while playing high.
I ironically know why those are issues for me. Range always just seemed to come to me, so I never actually worked on upper register playing. I would just do it when I had to for marching band in high school, and even while in college.
But as I advance in my playing, just being able to scream isn't enough anymore and I find my lead playing being pushed to its limits. I was always told not to worry about the upper register much, as it'll come with experience playing. But I seem to be having to improve faster than normal playing experience can get me without dedicated lead practice.
So now I'm practicing it when I can, trying not to overdue it.
But it's still so inconsistent. Some days are loud double Cs and squeaking double Es Fs and Triple Gs, and other days my A feels weak.
But oh well. If I wasn't as stubborn as the instrument, I would've quit long ago

Also, any good excersises yall recommend, I'm open to hearing

I was mostly referring to that snippet you posted. What do you think would make it better - both the ensemble and your part?

There are endless exercises. Long tones are good.
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number juan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
number juan wrote:
Robert P wrote:
number juan wrote:

Here's a snippet of our most recent jazz concert.

Not the best because of how cold and large the auditorium is, and this was already our closer, but it's something.

https://youtu.be/u-kVSpSYehQ

If you were to self-critique, what would you say could be improved?


The two biggest issues I have with myself are consistency and being clean while playing high.
I ironically know why those are issues for me. Range always just seemed to come to me, so I never actually worked on upper register playing. I would just do it when I had to for marching band in high school, and even while in college.
But as I advance in my playing, just being able to scream isn't enough anymore and I find my lead playing being pushed to its limits. I was always told not to worry about the upper register much, as it'll come with experience playing. But I seem to be having to improve faster than normal playing experience can get me without dedicated lead practice.
So now I'm practicing it when I can, trying not to overdue it.
But it's still so inconsistent. Some days are loud double Cs and squeaking double Es Fs and Triple Gs, and other days my A feels weak.
But oh well. If I wasn't as stubborn as the instrument, I would've quit long ago

Also, any good excersises yall recommend, I'm open to hearing

I was mostly referring to that snippet you posted. What do you think would make it better - both the ensemble and your part?

There are endless exercises. Long tones are good.


Oh lol, I overthought that so much

Tuning sounded off in the saxes. Drums started slower than our professor counted us in. I fumbled the last 3&4& going unto the long high notes. Balance overall could probably be better. No comment on trombones, I thought they sounded cool
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Extreme register getting weaker? Reply with quote

number juan wrote:

Oh lol, I overthought that so much

Tuning sounded off in the saxes. Drums started slower than our professor counted us in. I fumbled the last 3&4& going unto the long high notes. Balance overall could probably be better. No comment on trombones, I thought they sounded cool

Intonation and tightness of the ensemble overall could be improved but it's a student ensemble - overall not bad.

The big thing I was looking for you to notice is - assuming you were playing G to dub C is that you were way flat on the C - basically you played a B. If you were trying to hit B then nevermind!

You sound like you've got the raw material. Keep working at it.
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