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The Fallacy of Extreme Range Criticism


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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When talk turns to a "gigable range" above double G (4th ledger line above the staff), exactly what gigs are being referenced? Even Maynard spent at least 99.99% of his time below double G.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
When talk turns to a "gigable range" above double G (4th ledger line above the staff), exactly what gigs are being referenced? Even Maynard spent at least 99.99% of his time below double G.


We aren’t really discussing gigable range above High G (4 ledger lines). I don’t think anyone who has posted here wants to devote the time to maintain that range. It’s more about how consistently and correctly playing those notes above High G/A (4 ledger lines) in your daily routine is a big help to making that gigable range more efficient to play.
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gabriel127
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

epoustoufle wrote:
gabriel127 wrote:
Your giggable range is your range. If you can't play it on a gig when called upon to do so, then you can't claim it.


OK let's hear your pianissimo high C after 25 minutes rest in a cold church. Can't nail it, can't claim it right?


Right. What you're describing is not really that difficult, especially if it's not the first note that you have to play.

Aside from that, I've played in a lot of church services for a lot of years and never encountered a composition that began with a pianissimo high C.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm sorry but this thread is upside down. The criticism mentioned here found its cause in the way a few posters here considered people without the strong drive towards the (importance) of the DHC and beyond, as losers, poor suckers, liars, incompetent players, maybe even as some form of patients. This is not exaggerated, it's the only possible conclusion after reading their posts.


I’m sorry, but that is just not the reality. There is MUCH more criticism directed at those who value the extreme upper range. I have not ever seen anyone accuse someone of of what you claim due to their level of range. I have however seen a LOT of criticism directed at those with that range, with assumption being they are just playing squeaks or don’t practice anything else.
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bike&ed
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should clarify here that I love, love, LOVE the extreme upper register! I listened to Maynard and Cat almost nonstop as a teenager, and still love them just as much as Herseth, Satchmo, or Chet. I even love the Tastee Bros because of the purely hilarious physicality they demonstrate. I took CG and other range-building methods seriously, and got to the point where I was playing DHC up to the G over DHC on paid gigs. I've squeaked THC a few times, so there's definitely a lot to the concept of having more range than you use.

However, like several of Maynard's lead players, and even MF himself, I overused the extreme range, and ended up damaging my lip. I had to keep performing and teaching through that journey, as that's all I did for income at the time. That was NOT FUN. I also discovered that I wasn't nearly as good of a player as I thought I was (as in nowhere close to the level of the players I inadvertently compared myself to above, producing high 'notes' was the ONLY similarity). By switching my focus totally over to tone and musicality, I have become a completely different player. I can 'only' use up to 4-line G now, and have realized that those notes sound really high/loud/piercing to pretty much everybody. I've been slowly getting the extreme range back, but it's just for fun and flexibility. I'll likely not use it in performance again, as there's plenty of folks who can still do high notes better than I ever did. I just no longer have any need or desire to try to keep up with them, because...

I discovered a whole wealth of professional gigs that I didn't know existed, and now make more from performing than ever before, even though I have a much better 'regular' job now! I get to pretend I'm a serious classical player for orchestral jobs, and pretend I'm a serious jazzer on 2-4 hour solo improv gigs, and get compliments like never before. Occasionally I'll get a compliment about a high note here or there, but I don't pay it any mind. Life after the pursuit of high notes is a lot more fun. Sadly I meet many, many, many players who can’t see the forest because of that one tree…


Last edited by bike&ed on Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Croquethed
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The underemphasized subtext in this thread is how much time one has to practice and play in order to hope to get that extreme range (prodigies excepted).

If you have a day job, a family, and other obligations, and an hour a day is a reasonable amount of time you can dedicate to the horn, what can you logically expect in terms of any coveted skill, be it range, improv, articulation, etc.? Among the advanced amateurs and true pros here, how much time do you think you need with the horn on your lips every day to get the range you want?

I volunteered at a PGA tournament a couple years ago on a day that turned out to be a virtual rainout. After play was officially called off for the day about 6:30 p.m., a large number of the players went out in the tropical humidity to the practice range and shagged wedge shots until it got too dark to see. That drudgery is what lays behind the big crowds we see on weekends on TV and million-dollar paydays.

I'm sure there's an analogy there with what we can reasonably expect to come out the other end of our horns.
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RussellDDixon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Errrrrrr .... "giggable" .... makes me Giggle !! Ah, I have no answers here.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure discussing how much time to devote to range development is underemphasized here as I have mentioned it a few times. I usually devote 45 minutes a day to chops and of that 45 minute chop drill, 15 minutes are dedicated to range. The rest of my session is devoted to lead style, time, harmonic competency, and reading—with a big focus on playing with less and less tension in all I practice. If I am time limited I will make sure I keep the chops up. Not keeping the chops up rapidly leads to regression in everything.

I think the big underemphasized subtext is why I am putting so much effort into encouraging range development. I am a serious amateur. In the 18 years of my comeback, in a couple different amateur jazz bands, various church groups, community theater pits, and community chamber orchestra; I have only played with three players with a reliable High G (4 ledger lines). Two are pro players and one is a serious young college student. I have played with a few others that could play to High C/D reliably and in tune. The dozens of other trumpet players I played with couldn’t play in tune above the staff.

When you consider the second part player is the soloist with a High C/D/E, and he/she has a tough enough job handling all that, it means I cannot pass or any demanding lead tunes. And I know with certainly that if these other players would focus a little more on range, I would be able to not only pass an occasional lead chart, but I wouldn’t have to cringe whenever there is a unison section that goes above the staff. I know because I myself went from sharp above the staff to an in tune High G in just a couple of years.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bike&ed wrote:
I should clarify here that I love, love, LOVE the extreme upper register! I listened to Maynard and Cat almost nonstop as a teenager, and still love them just as much as Herseth, Satchmo, or Chet. I even love the Tastee Bros because of the purely hilarious physicality they demonstrate. I took CG and other range-building methods seriously, and got to the point where I was playing DHC up to the G over DHC on paid gigs. I've squeaked THC a few times, so there's definitely a lot to the concept of having more range than you use.

However, like several of Maynard's lead players, and even MF himself, I overused the extreme range, and ended up damaging my lip. I had to keep performing and teaching through that journey, as that's all I did for income at the time. That was NOT FUN. I also discovered that I wasn't nearly as good of a player as I thought I was, and by switching my focus totally over to tone and musicality, I have become a completely different player. I can 'only' use up to 4-line G now, and have realized that those notes sound really high/loud/piercing to pretty much everybody. I've been slowly getting the extreme range back, but it's just for fun and flexibility. I'll likely not use it in performance again, as there's plenty of folks who can still do high notes better than I ever did. I just no longer have any need or desire to try to keep up with them, because...

I discovered a whole wealth of professional gigs that I didn't know existed, and now make more from performing than ever before, even though I have a much better 'regular' job now! I get to pretend I'm a serious classical player for orchestral jobs, and pretend I'm a serious jazzer on 2-4 hour solo improv gigs, and get compliments like never before. Occasionally I'll get a compliment about a high note here or there, but I don't pay it any mind. Life after the pursuit of high notes is a lot more fun. Sadly I meet many, many, many players who can’t see the forest because of that one tree…


This seems like an outstanding approach. I think virtually all players should work on range development (correctly) until they own 4-line G. After that it’s mainly maintenance of that, which will include notes above in practice.
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTJ wrote:
Quote:
I'm sorry but this thread is upside down. The criticism mentioned here found its cause in the way a few posters here considered people without the strong drive towards the (importance) of the DHC and beyond, as losers, poor suckers, liars, incompetent players, maybe even as some form of patients. This is not exaggerated, it's the only possible conclusion after reading their posts.


I’m sorry, but that is just not the reality. There is MUCH more criticism directed at those who value the extreme upper range. I have not ever seen anyone accuse someone of of what you claim due to their level of range. I have however seen a LOT of criticism directed at those with that range, with assumption being they are just playing squeaks or don’t practice anything else.


Then I suggest you read, or re-read, this entire thread:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=150863

It's all there, complete with fixed ideas and opinions about other players with differing opinions and goals.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would link you to the thread where the extreme upper range was criticized but it was deleted because the criticizers were so nasty. Further, I hear upper range criticism frequently in the real world, while I never hear someone who obsesses about playing escoteric bebop licks that don’t even sound good being criticized........
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course I probably missed the dust up since I avoid drama and come and go here. What happened, did Kurt Thompson show on on one of these threads?
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was watching an Arturo masterclass recently on youtube, and someone asked him something to the effect of how to play high notes, and he also dismissed it and demonstrated a a little riff where he slid around the scale very quickly. He said that the riff was much harder to do, but he gets the most compliments for his high notes. I think even the great high note players see it as one tool in the bag.

Part of the criticism is also that some folk just can't play high. This last year in a community band I sat next to a guy who was incredible but just couldn't play high (maybe up to high C on a really good day). He had accepted that he was going to be a second part player, which he did really well. I learned a lot from him about efficiency, intonation, and rhythm (which are all challenges for me). So, when someone writes "I think virtually all players should work on range development (correctly) until they own 4-line G," this probably feels insulting to trumpet players like my friend who will never get close to high G, but can play all the 2nd trumpet repertoire in several different bands, and do so musically.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HaveTrumpetWillTravel wrote:
So, when someone writes "I think virtually all players should work on range development (correctly) until they own 4-line G," this probably feels insulting to trumpet players like my friend who will never get close to high G, but can play all the 2nd trumpet repertoire in several different bands, and do so musically.


Except I know with high certainty that virtually anyone can develop that range if the apply deliberate practice to range. No one played worse than me when I came back to trumpet 18 years ago. I was just bad. Yet I didn’t quit and I eventually developed range to High G. It’s not that High C players CANT develop that range, it’s that they have convinced themselves they can’t and have stopped trying.

You could make the same argument about me and improv solos and reading. As long as I thought I couldn’t learn do those things I couldn’t. When I realized I just need to apply deliberate practice I started improving after years of stagnation.
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot is possible, but we all have limited time. I think music is a language, and like developing facility in any language there are a lot of skills to work on and most non-native speakers will struggle in some areas (reading a newspaper is different from reading a novel or a poem). Your examples of reading/improv are good ones, because those are skills that some but not all players need. We also all put our time where our interests are. Playing marches is different from pop music covers, from classical, from jazz, from church music. Very few of us need the high G.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HaveTrumpetWillTravel wrote:
I think a lot is possible, but we all have limited time. I think music is a language, and like developing facility in any language there are a lot of skills to work on and most non-native speakers will struggle in some areas (reading a newspaper is different from reading a novel or a poem). Your examples of reading/improv are good ones, because those are skills that some but not all players need. We also all put our time where our interests are. Playing marches is different from pop music covers, from classical, from jazz, from church music. Very few of us need the high G.


Time IS the key, which makes the pros that have all the skill sets fully developed even more impressive. While their actual skills are significant, I am impressed by the character of a person who would take the time and discipline to develop all those skill sets.

I decided I long time ago I wanted to be a competent lead player. And that is about all I have time to develop. My present work on improv skills is only so I will have better harmonic and stylistic fluency and thus better lead skills. So for me, 15 minutes a day working on range is vital and the criticism I receive for doing that is nonsense of the highest order.
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