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trumpetchops
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:35 am    Post subject: I need some help. Reply with quote

I'm 60 years old and have been playing since 6th grade. I have always been a strong player. For most of my life classical stuff.

I can play from low C to E above high C without resetting. No pressure or gripping the trumpet. At F the sound stops. Why?

I have had times where I hit an F or G big as a house. It's rare but shows that I can or have the ability. Just doing something wrong.

I asked a lead player and he said I need to pivot. From what he said on how to do it I can't figure it out. I thought not changing is a good thing but I'm open to change.

Any ideas? Pivot or anything. I have a mouthpiece for all around and another for lead. I really don't think it's equipment.

Thanks,

Joe
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KRELL1960
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: I need some help. Reply with quote

trumpetchops wrote:
I'm 60 years old and have been playing since 6th grade. I have always been a strong player. For most of my life classical stuff.

I can play from low C to E above high C without resetting. No pressure or gripping the trumpet. At F the sound stops. Why?

I have had times where I hit an F or G big as a house. It's rare but shows that I can or have the ability. Just doing something wrong.

I asked a lead player and he said I need to pivot. From what he said on how to do it I can't figure it out. I thought not changing is a good thing but I'm open to change.

Any ideas? Pivot or anything. I have a mouthpiece for all around and another for lead. I really don't think it's equipment.

Thanks,

Joe


Your obviously a great player, i've listened to your recordings, it sounds like your not "getting the knack" , coordinating all the things that make high notes work. tongue Level, lip compression and air, equipment, etc that get these notes to sound. How often do you play above High C ?
I would bet that Pops from Bbtrumpet.com would be able to help you in short order, a lesson might be in order. Wayne Bergeron still takes lessons, lol.
I have found my way above high E by using the Bill Adams approach. His ascending scale exercise goes to High G and i play this exercise as part of my warmup everyday that i use the horn. I have never played DHC, but don't even try to go up there. with my very limited practice and playing time, the G is enough.

you will figure it out i'm sure, i did and i'm just a hack that plays R&B at bars and private parties.

good luck,

Tom
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I have found that causes high notes to shutoff is:

1. Incorrect air
2. Too much tension in the chest
3. Too open of a chop setting
4. Too much tension in the lips

The problem is how to correct those things feels differently for different players. Given you are already an advanced player it’s critical you take the right approach, and for that you need a “chop doc” like Pops. He can listen to you on Skype or in person and tell you want you are doing sub-optimally and how to fix it.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because you expect it.
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veery715
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
Because you expect it.
This answer suggests to me that perhaps Joe should try hypnosis. Seriously.
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trumpetchops
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veery715 wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Because you expect it.
This answer suggests to me that perhaps Joe should try hypnosis. Seriously.


If this is true, why does the note come out sometimes?

I would guess that this could be the problem:

3. Too open of a chop setting
4. Too much tension in the lips

As suggested, the problem is how to fix it.

Too open of a chop setting was also suggested by my friend the lead player. I can't think of a way to test for it or, how to fix it.
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Walter Bone
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried to break that wall buzzing into the mouthpiece?
If can manage to do that go back into the trumpet and try to do the same thing you just did.
I find it's a good way to do troubleshooting, even if obviously buzzing doesn't translate directly into making notes on the trumpet.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetchops wrote:
veery715 wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Because you expect it.
This answer suggests to me that perhaps Joe should try hypnosis. Seriously.


If this is true, why does the note come out sometimes?

I would guess that this could be the problem:

3. Too open of a chop setting
4. Too much tension in the lips

As suggested, the problem is how to fix it.

Too open of a chop setting was also suggested by my friend the lead player. I can't think of a way to test for it or, how to fix it.


What worked for me was to have a slightly more rolled out lip setting. This allows more of the supple inner lip flesh to buzz which takes less effort and yields a bigger sound. That said, contact Pops: www.bbtrumpet.com
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTJ wrote:
What worked for me was to have a slightly more rolled out lip setting. This allows more of the supple inner lip flesh to buzz which takes less effort and yields a bigger sound. That said, contact Pops: www.bbtrumpet.com


What works for me is a different version of the exact same concept. Specifically, rolling the lower lip in to raise the buzz point further up the inner top lip into flesh that is easier to buzz.

Whether to roll out or to roll in depends on your personal physiology.

I also agree that Pops is an excellent source of information and could probably diagnose your exact issue in one skype lesson.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
INTJ wrote:
What worked for me was to have a slightly more rolled out lip setting. This allows more of the supple inner lip flesh to buzz which takes less effort and yields a bigger sound. That said, contact Pops: www.bbtrumpet.com


What works for me is a different version of the exact same concept. Specifically, rolling the lower lip in to raise the buzz point further up the inner top lip into flesh that is easier to buzz.

Whether to roll out or to roll in depends on your personal physiology.

I also agree that Pops is an excellent source of information and could probably diagnose your exact issue in one skype lesson.


That’s why it’s so hard to help someone on an internet forum. Exactly how we get there feels different for different players.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest practicing slowly enough to really feel what's 'happening' with lips, embouchure, tongue, etc. when the high notes get played well. And then continue slow practice with that good 'feeling' to develop it into your regular / habitual method. Increase the speed as long as the feeling remains and the notes are working.

It seems that high playing is largely done by 'finessing' the lips, embouchure, and air - NOT by brute strength. That finesse skill needs to be learned.

I think many teachers do not explain or emphasize this adequately.

Jay
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MF Fan
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact you have a relatively low effort high E and occasionally stumble into solid high F's and G's tells me your air is fine. Impossible to diagnose your specific barrier without seeing you play, but here are couple of things to try:

1. When sitting on a solid E, make a slight shift in pressure to your top lip then going for the F. Make it a very minor shift. If that doesn't work, try moving the pressure to the bottom lip.

2. Sitting on the solid high E, push your jaw forward slightly when going for the F. That might happen automatically when shifting more pressure to the top lip but can be done independently as well.

Nothing magic here, just a few minor adjustments that can make a difference for SOME people.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here’s what often works for me when I hit that “shutoff”:

I try to visualize “focusing” the airstream, while keeping the aperture round and backing off on the volume a bit, and remembering the fact that the note is a higher frequency will help it project and carry without excessive volume.
Doesn’t always work, this certainly is not a 100% solution, but often times it does help.

Brad
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:11 am    Post subject: Re: I need some help. Reply with quote

trumpetchops wrote:
I'm 60 years old and have been playing since 6th grade. I have always been a strong player. For most of my life classical stuff.

I can play from low C to E above high C without resetting. No pressure or gripping the trumpet. At F the sound stops. Why?

I have had times where I hit an F or G big as a house. It's rare but shows that I can or have the ability. Just doing something wrong.

I asked a lead player and he said I need to pivot. From what he said on how to do it I can't figure it out. I thought not changing is a good thing but I'm open to change.

Any ideas? Pivot or anything. I have a mouthpiece for all around and another for lead. I really don't think it's equipment.

Thanks,

Joe



You're doing fine Joe! Please believe me. Your chops are damned near exceptional. Especially for your age. When in our sixties, guys like me and others have had to adjust for tooth loss and related concerns.

"Need to pivot"? WHAT DOES HE KNOW? I'm sorry but whenever I see advice lead to confusion like what you have? It surely gets me upset.

Joe,
One of the many useful matters brought up in Maynard's clinics was his statement,

"Use the system with the fewest rules"

Brilliant thought. Okay the concept of a "pivot" comes from Dr Donald Reinhardt. TH has a whole forum devoted to his teachings. If you want. Go there and judge for yourself. And while I had always admired the man? I never liked Reinhardt's use of the very term "pivot". Because for starters it isn't even what most people think it is. I have it on good authority from one of Dr Reinhardt's best noted living students that the "pivot" has nothing to do with any angular motion of the instrument.

Rather it has to do with the tendency of trumpet players to either "pull down" while ascending. Using the mouthpiece to slide the embouchure down a bit towards the chin. Or to "push up" the same flesh while ascending. He called these the "two pivot classifucations". Only I can't remember which one was what. But here's another important clue,

Doc Reinhardt was not a high note playing trumpet player. In fact he wasn't even a trumpet player. His ax was the trombone. I have never utilized a pivot to ascend or descend over my whole career. in fact I have a young student whom I'm teaching lead playing to. He just learned how to blow some fantastic G's/High C. And shows the capacity to play double C's!! I'm very excited for him. But?

He does not "pivot" at all.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Joe,

Almost every player experiences the same thing you do near the top of their range - a good, full power note and then the notes above it, if they can be played at all, have nearly no power and are very, very inconsistent. And then if they can be played at all, it is usually when the player is absolutely fresh and not fatigued at all. There's a reason for this and it is a simple one. When you play that full-power E you are blowing as hard as you can (creating the most air pressure you are capable of creating). If you can't create more air pressure, you can't play higher. It is that simple. Well, not quite. The coordination of the tongue level (up and forward tongue arch) is required, too as is decent embouchure mechanics. But in my experience, anyone that can play notes above High C with consistency and good sound has the tongue level and embouchure parts of the equation mastered (it's the play who cracks an attempted High C and gets the Bb below it instead that isn't arching his or her tongue correctly for the high notes).

Do the Claude Gordon Systematic Approach exercises (even just stay on Lesson Two Parts One and Two) for six months *every day religiously, along with 15 to 20 minutes of Irons each day and a Clarke Study each day, and I'll be very, very, very surprised if you are not nailing F's, and maybe F#s and G's with ease.

Best wishes,

John

* If you miss a day each week of practicing the SA exercises, it won't hurt (and might even be good to have a day of rest), if you miss two days a week that are not in a row they'll probably still work, if you miss three days a week or two days in a row they might work, but if you miss more than that each week it becomes a one-step-forward-and-one-step-back situation.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

While there are indeed players who don't use enough air, I wonder if that is more of a beginning player issue? You have got me thinking on all this so I am about to think out loud and hopefully provide some useful discussion points. For those who may not know, John Mohan is the real deal so don't take my ideas over his.

Wouldn't a player who can play a strong High E and can occasionally get a strong F or G have enough airpower for DHC? Isn't it more likely that their tongue arch and chop setting is holding them back? At least that is my experience. I have been over-blowing the trumpet since I came back 18 years ago.

For years I had thought of the upper range as requiring strong chops and strong air power. I thought of it like lifting heavy weights. So to play high I would set my chops firmly and then blow hard. And I had a weak upper range. Over the years I have developed a solid upper register and I got there with a focus on using the right amount of air--which is usually less than I am prone to apply.

I use the wedge breath, trying to breathe from my butt and knees so that I keep my upper chest as relaxed as possible. I also think about a slightly rolled out (for me) chop setting so my chops are not over tense, and I visualize the required tongue arch. For me there is a range of tongue arch between having it at the back of my mouth and toward the front, and the higher I go the more forward the arch goes. Too much forward arch and I shut off, too much back arch and I start to black out. If feels farther back in my mouth than I had expected, and the movement is very subtle between G above High C and DHD+.

Now I do not remotely pretend to have this figured out. I have good range but need more endurance. My strong G/A above High C starts getting iffy when we string several Basie lead charts together. If I can keep the tension out, my endurance and range are much easier. To that end my focus for the last couple of years has been playing with more efficiency and less effort.

I think that while we all have to do things the same way to play the trumpet, especially in the upper range, we all think about it and approach it differently. I think that makes it especially hard to help someone on the Internet.

I don't often hear people talk about overdoing what they are trying to teach. We can use too much air, too much tongue arch, too much roll-out, etc. When we add in our varying perceptions it gets even harder. I would bet money that what I consider "backed off air" support is "very firm" air support for someone else.

Maybe part of the playing diagnostics process should be the air pressure measurements you took in the test you reported on. If someone with a limited upper range comes in and is only blowing 2.2 PSI, they would indeed need to work on increasing the air pressure. If someone comes in a 3.5 PSI, then air isn't their problem.
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trumpetchops
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you to everyone that has been so nice to respond. I’ve tried some of the things mentioned. I haven’t had a lot of time because I’ve had gigs every night since I posted.

Something John Posted got me thinking.

"Do the Claude Gordon Systematic Approach exercises (even just stay on Lesson Two Parts One and Two) for six months *every day religiously, along with 15 to 20 minutes of Irons each day and a Clarke Study each day, and I'll be very, very, very surprised if you are not nailing F's, and maybe F#s and G's with ease. “

There is no way. I have a day job and do play out a lot at night. Maybe, I just need more time on the trumpet? No secret just practice. I don’t think so, but it’s sure a good possibility.

Going from E to F is a short distance. Something is stopping the buzz. Maybe I’m pushing because I think I’m going to miss the note? I played lead at a rehearsal this morning. I played some F’s. Why today?

When Trent was moving he had a big sale. I went to his shop and talked with him about a lead piece. I explained that I thought I would have better luck with more of a V cup. He gave me 4 to try. I was playing to F with no effort with a big sound. I came home and was so happy. I went to play with the band and back to where I was. It never happened again. So, what changed? The mouthpiece changed the way my lips buzzed and it worked. Why did it stop working? I’ve been back on the old mouthpiece now for a long time. I occasionally pull out Trents M. P. It doesn’t work. Why? It doesn’t make sense.

Mouthpieces and horns are for the most part fixed. It’s the body that changes. I need to figure out what I’m doing differently when it works and when it doesn’t. When I do, imaging what a teacher I’ll be.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe,

I had a similar thing happen with I tried a different MP a couple weeks ago. I was slightly shallower than what I normally play. Initially it was easier to play but soon I started bottoming out and losing upper range. So I am trying that cup in a smaller rim size, though most likely I will just have an MP made with my current rim in my size and then add the new cup. What often happens is that we initially play the new MP in a slightly different way than we did our old MP, but it doesn't take long to start playing the new MP the old way. Sometimes we can adapt to a new MP, sometimes not.

I REALLY recommend you contact Pops. It is extremely likely he will diagnose what you are doing now and what you need to do to correct that. It might just be all mental, and because you are thinking of F as a harder note it is.
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Last edited by INTJ on Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing up there is about finding the feel, and that's it. It's definitely not about strength or doing exercises for months on end.

Play an F arpeggio, starting at the top of the staff, at pp. Get the F above high C to respond. You'll find you can get it in your very first session as long as you're playing soft enough.

Once you can reliably play that note at pp, then and ONLY THEN can you start to open it up a little. You'll probably find that you're playing your entire range too loudly - BACK OFF and you're upper register will start to expand.

Go up in half steps for as far as you'd like. The key to that register, in my opinion, is finding the feel of each note. Once you find the feel, you understand how that register works. It's NOT about brute force.
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello
if i were you, i'd have a lesson with Bobby Shew, in person
Best
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