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Can only play up to Double G# ---need help with A and above


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LeeC
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to be a party pooper but are these replies gags?

The High G# and A can be a very difficult note for a lot of trumpet players. With due respect to Tom (whom I admire greatly) I truly believe that the horn itself does not play a major role in the matter.

Ditto the mouthpiece. Except that mouthpiece selection may make the upper register easier to produce in general.

Here are couple of conditions:

1. Seamless lead players (rare) who can play up to and above Triple C without any noticeable gaps nor tonal quality changes other than a reduction of audible harmonics. What dat mean? A young person can only hear up to 20,000 cycles per second. That's approximately a concert E Flat ABOVE quintiple C. Did the math, you can check it. It is also an unplayable note. No one in brass history claims to have hit it though Roy Stevens was quoted as having something between a Quad and a Quint.

Kinda doubt the quint though...

The higher you play the fewer overtones are audible in the sound. These overtones are still there but aren't noticeable to the human ear.

Anyway these seamless players will give you the G#, or an A anytime of day or night and have no trouble holding the note a constant pitch.

2. Seamed lead players. Much more common. These would include:

A. People who simply can not (except through excruciating physical exertion) play a given high note.
The common one is the G#. Another is the A natural. Oddly enough they play pretty well below thse notes. may even amaze their peer group 'stuck" below the High D.

B. People with flexible seams. Or seams so far up that it doesn't really matter all that much. Example of that would have been Maynard Ferguson. Occasionally he recorded some solid enough E's above Double C. However most of the time his tone quality went scrambled above the Double High D. Another example, oddly is Doc Severinsen. This is noticed in the flat DHC he hits on the famous Youtube video. Now Doc does have a DHC in his bag however he's probably gotta be all warmed up to pop it.

A seamless player could pop a DHC on COLD chops and maybe even a Triple C at will. That's if he's really in good shape.

Cause of 2A above: Not sure but I'm betting that this is related to a "maxed out" upper lip. The best way for me to define this is through analogy or metaphor.

You know those Hi Fi stereos with a volume control that allows you to feel a "detent" in the exact middle of the dial? OK compare that to your upper lip. Here's what i think it does:

As you ascend above a High C your upper lips gets blown like hell into the mouthpiece cup. Especially as you reach the High F. You may even "bottom out" a tad in the process. At around a High G (if you have that note) it reaches a point where the center of the lips it is inclined to "tip" a bit too close to the bottom of the mouthpiece cup. The High G holds steady as a rock. You may even be able to blow the hell out of it.

So now you increase the air pressure and adjust your embouchure muscle compression to ascend a little higher. But guess what? At THAT point is where the air pressure you've built up should produce a High G#. Unfortunately your upper lip displaces itself from the pressure and may contact too much of the mouthpiece bowl bottom. You get no sound on the G#. So you blow even harder and harder. Maybe you still get nothing or the A natural comes out.

Again: These embouchure types are analogous to the volume knob on your stereo: It has a groove at a certain position. The tone "locks" there and doesn't want to move up!

But try for the life of you the G# won't blow at all. Either get an A or B Flat which is three times harder to blow than the G. Or no G# or any sound at all.

Sound like YOU? Betcha it does!

Cures?

Soft playing of upper register high notes and backing off the arm pressure. Try to consciously prevent your upper lip from penetrating too deep into the mouthpiece. Soft playing allows this to happen.

I like the "palm" technique: Shifts your upper register control to your outer facial muscles where it belongs. Am sure Tom would agree that Mr. "Armstrong" can reduce your range significantly.


Prototype of a High G# cut-off point player:

Often a receded jaw player whose upper lip is more prone to penetrate the mouthpiece by physical design.

Likely to be a cat with a good usable upper register that is envied by some of his peers.

Picked up a pedal tone book in his teens and within a month or so started to blow some seriously LOUD High F's and G's. However he couldn't play them soft.

Depended upon a significant amount of arm pressure and loud blowing to pull off his high notes.

Couldn't play a High G# to save his life.



Other tricks; Shallowest mouthpiece you can blow. Again: Avoid too much lip penetration in the upper register.

Lastly: Embouchure change to Roy Stevens or some experimental hybrid. A hard road for some. Maybe most.

How do i know the above?

I'm the guy in the bold print above. Have seen it on so many other decent lead players that it is more the rule than the exception.

I both overcame the High G# ceiling on my natural chops and learned a Stevens-Costello "hybrid". Two of then in fact although the second is still an infant.

Here's the catch though: My natural receded jaw original chop set up does play above the G and can sustain the G# through eventhe DHC (although the last one is a real biatch). However the results I get from removing the High G# roadblock aren't really all that convincing. Can get a forte on the A and B flat but not the quadruple forte like on the High G. So i just get a piece of the note and move on.

In fact the thing I appreciate about removing the High G# roadblock isn't so much that it gives me an A or G# for occasional use. No it's that by removing the G# roadblock my High E's, F's and G's are much easier to produce.

Removing the High G# roadblock is also important for the Brandenburg. Can't play the A's without making the path clear. In fact the best use of those recommended exercises probably is for the classical player who wants to pop those notes on the pic once in a while.

A Jazz lead player wants to NAIL those notes. I KNOW that's what you want.

So i spend a lot of time on the Stevens-Costello hybrid. At this point it's probably more a creation of my own invention. It'll "sit" on any note from Low F# to G above DHC. Maybe not the loudest notes you'll hear but they resonate enough.

Edited: There actually is one "advantage" to a High G ceiling. Since it is so difficult for you to play above that note it makes accuracy on the High G easier. You just give it all you've got and an automatic High G pops out.

Useful mostly only for charts written in the key of G and C...
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MattyMcC
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you, Lee. I think I also resembled your prototype...

Reducing arm pressure was the key for me crossing beyond Ab, where I had been stuck for a while. My philosophy was this:

I'm putting as much energy into this note that I can...
I'll just divert some of the energy I would like to use on my arm, and use it in my breath support/control.

Been working well for me ever since.

Also, for what it's worth, I tested out a couple configurations of Curry CCaps, and settled on a combination that I felt gave me a little more definiton in that range.

Equipment: %1
Working on playing more efficiently: %99

...for me
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cb3
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:25 pm    Post subject: ok Reply with quote

To LeeC, you came up with this term "seemless players" but then didn't name any. Or maybe Stephens was it in your opinion. Is that it?
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe,

I would bet that if you listen carefully you will notice that your sound begins to change a few notes below your G#. This is the point where tension sets in. While you are able to continue on up to the G# the tension finally gets you. Practice something like Colin's Flexibility Studies and focus on keeping the same sound from top to bottom. Go slowly and rest a lot. I bet if you can get the E, F, F#, G to sound as it does an octave lower you will lock in that A in a few weeks.
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altamira_28
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW: The mouthpiece comment wasn't meant to be the end-all, be-all solution. I was basing that on the comment the OP made about feeling the air pinch off. If he gets a lead piece with a different throat (a little more closed, with a slightly shallower cup) the closed throat helps to facilitate higher notes without blasting air through the horn. Picc pieces are designed this way. They're not as shallow as a lead piece can be, but their throat is more closed to make use of the air more efficiently.

Again, I'm speaking in generalities here, but the right lead piece could bridge the gap. Will it make him a Bergeron overnight? Certainly not. But it may help bridge the gap, and once the bridge is torn down in that manner, he can attain higher notes than that A or A# past that G# with steady and healthy practice.

My two pence.
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: ok Reply with quote

cb3 wrote:
To LeeC, you came up with this term "seemless players" but then didn't name any. Or maybe Stevens was it in your opinion. Is that it?


Brisbois, Faddis are examples of "seamless" players. Evidence seems to suggest that Jon has the bigger sound between the two. At least from quotes made by Bobby Shew about Bud.

It's possible Cat Anderson was one. He sure got some power way up high too. Some folks have suggested he underwent a slight tonal change to get it though. So maybe he "shifted gears" slightly. Mild seam in other words.

I think Roy Roman is seamless and maybe Phil Driscoll.

Pat Hessions looks seamless as far up as went. He sure appears so in the comedy put on youtube. What is it? The Dave Monnete "Octaviser" gag? Funny!. Hits every major scale tone in a row from first line F to the F above DHC without resetting or significant tonal change. Indicates a four octave range with good volume. That's seamless.

Sandoval, whom I've observed in concert and listened to on a few recordings goes through a gear change. His High C to DHC range doesn't resonate as well as Maynard Ferguson's either. Though no one else really does anyway. Not even Faddis.

You'll hear a thinning of Triple notes in Sandoval's register. Not that it really matters at that point anyway. You could say that Arturo has a near negligible seam.

Am told that Roy Stevens had a really big sound on his Triple C. One of my early mentors said this anyway. A guy named Dick Olmstead whom I haven't seen in a long time. Dick said that Stevens had a powerful Triple but his range on some lower notes "wasn't as full as a downstream player".

Wish I could find Olmstead (somewhere out of North Hampton MA. last time I heard from him). This guy would be a huge resource on this forum.
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Joebaca
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you to all that responded.. This is very helpfull. I play on a Kanstul 1600 WB and i use a Monette B2 for 95% of my playing. If i have a gig dealing with the upper register i use a B2l.. Easier to play in the higher register. My gole is to get up to double C.. This is fo my own satisfaction. So , i really appreciate your in put. Trumpet herald comes through once again...If any of you are ever in San Jose, Ca. let me know...
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"My goal is to get up to double C"

Have any musical goals, or just high notes?
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbacon wrote:
"My goal is to get up to double C"

Have any musical goals, or just high notes?


It's a reasonable question however it isn't for anyone else to decide. The fact is that any given trumpet player should be allowed the tools available to get himself ALL the range he wants regardless of what he wants to do with these high notes.

The question for the ambitious high note learner is what is the most appropriate way method of getting there. None of us will agree on that.

If range is his pure obsession the main problem is: How much of it he can develop? Is his chop set up adequate for the DHC or will he be stymied lower? Will that stymie be acceptable to him?

Doesn't matter if he wants to be a big band lead player down at the college rehearsal band, join the Navy Band, go on the road or simply just to drive his next door neighbors out of their minds with loud cacophonous high notes. It's really up for him to decide.

Now granted it would be PREFERABLE for him to take a more sensitive approach to music in general. Intonation, sight reading, improvisation etc. Regardless of any range stymies he may run into. However the best high note players are usually the ones who can do more of it and have higher notes to begin with.

High note production is more of a "learned" behavior as opposed to a musical progression. There are good musicians who can't play high notes of much value. Then there are jocks who can split your ears and not play close enough in tune to land a gig anywhere.
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Joebaca
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Hey..Mr Bacon again with the great question?? Can you imagine if his name was Mr New York Steak.. Holly Lapa Balls!!!!!

I love playing trumpet. Have been doing it a long time. I play classical, jazz, latin, poruguese, brazilian etc.. and have a descent upper register.. I just love to play and find ways to keep improving. the extreme upper register is an obstacle i have always wanted to overcome.. I now have time and decided to ask for some advise. I am overwhelmed by your responses.. Thanks again to everyone...even the Dbacon
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crzytptman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sandoval, whom I've observed in concert and listened to on a few recordings goes through a gear change. His High C to DHC range doesn't resonate as well as Maynard Ferguson's

Go to Flip's website and watch the video (that's me laughing and talking about the slide). I think he's playing some excerpt, and then takes it up an octave twice. That F#-G-G#(actually overshot to B)-B-E (over dbl C) was shaking the room with resonance. Nothing small about his playing, even in that register. His pedal C could knock you on the floor, it's that powerful. On the gig that night, he finished a phrase that ended on a high A held for 2 measures that shook the club! Forget about the PA . . .
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blasticore
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee,

You just made one of the best posts I've seen here. If you don't mind, I'm actually going to copy and paste that for my own archives.
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee thanks Chris. Probably oughta sound more grateful for the nice words.

However instead i will argue with Nate (crzytptman) again. What else would you expect?

My comment about Sandoval is still basically true. We're not actually talking about volume here so much as "resonance". And this is not a diss specifically directed at any trumpet player.

Simply no one I've ever heard has duplicated the pure sound core that Maynard Ferguson had.

There is LOUD and there is "resonant". The two are different. Volume can have differing levels of overtones. Whatever Maynard was doing in the middle to upper reaches more perfectly grasped the concept of great sound compared to anyone else. At least above a certain note. I didn't care for his Low C to third space C all that much. Not on trumpet at certain points in his career. The flugel was good but all the high notes Maynard played back to back night after night may have taken a toll on his Low C-ish sound. Didn't matter.

I think you'd get the same opinion from the very people I'm describing. Which are are players LIKE Sandoval, and Eric Miyashiro, etc. I don't want to mention names any more. They're all great players in their own right but they do not sound quite so as good in tone as Maynard.

Pull them aside privately and they'll probably agree with that comment.
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reply to my own post:

Here is a comparison of several great players:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMc_MyOR0dg&mode=related&search= Maynard w/Lyn Nicholson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJjVBsr3-Ms Same tune w/Eric Miyashiro

All three are great players. Maynard, Lyn and Eric.

Eric doesn't even look like he's working very hard!

But WHO gets "the sound"?
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crzytptman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAHA! I'm not really disagreeing with you Lee. Nobody is Maynard. But in no way is Arturo's sound thin. I do agree with you in the comparisons you just made. There are some guys currently playing effortlessly and accurately in the high register, but I don't dig the sound. That big, resonant sound takes some effort. It's the body energy that comes through. Maynard used effort, Arturo uses effort. Every time I hear a guy say "back off and let the horn do the work" in reference to super efficient mpc and horn, I just don't dig the sound. Guys like Maynard and Arturo make the horn work.
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crzytptman wrote:
HAHA! I'm not really disagreeing with you Lee. Nobody is Maynard. But in no way is Arturo's sound thin. I do agree with you in the comparisons you just made. There are some guys currently playing effortlessly and accurately in the high register, but I don't dig the sound. That big, resonant sound takes some effort. It's the body energy that comes through. Maynard used effort, Arturo uses effort. Every time I hear a guy say "back off and let the horn do the work" in reference to super efficient mpc and horn, I just don't dig the sound. Guys like Maynard and Arturo make the horn work.


Damn! Just when I think the fur's about to fly Nate finally agrees with me. Can't seem to count on any good pissing matches anymore...

Just kidding.

Dig the way Eric Miyashiro plays Mac park. I swear he's not even working up a sweat. Maybe he's applying the gas on the High A a bit. But his E's F#'s etc seem to appear like he's using the same energy as reading a book.

Then there was this time at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Long time ago around 1983. Maynard's band is doing the finale "Hey Jude" and all trumpet players in the band take positions off stage in the audience.

Well that's a real blow for most "human trumpet players" the F, A, C High G/F out chorus of the Beatles song. So there's this cat blowing trumpet next to my ear and he's nailing the F's and G's loud as a bell. Like a cathedral on Sunday. And guess what? He's holding a lit cigarette in his left hand while fingering the valves with his right. Talk about relaxed!

Not to condone tobacco use and of course well before the days when smoking in nightclubs was outlawed here in S/F. However the concept of keeping a burning cigarette going while playing some of the loudest high notes I've ever heard?

Well to the average trumpet player this guy would appear to be an alien being from outer space...
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joebaca wrote:
Hey Hey..Mr Bacon again with the great question?? Can you imagine if his name was Mr New York Steak.. Holly Lapa Balls!!!!!

I love playing trumpet. Have been doing it a long time. I play classical, jazz, latin, poruguese, brazilian etc.. and have a descent upper register.. I just love to play and find ways to keep improving. the extreme upper register is an obstacle i have always wanted to overcome.. I now have time and decided to ask for some advise. I am overwhelmed by your responses.. Thanks again to everyone...even the Dbacon


Which trumpet player is your biggest influence?
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AverageJoe
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hack001 wrote:
AverageJoe wrote:
Or the muffin man... Do you know the muffin man?


The muffin man?


The Muffin Man!!!
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crzytptman
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Damn! Just when I think the fur's about to fly Nate finally agrees with me. Can't seem to count on any good pissing matches anymore...

Actually, if you check the archives we probably agree more often than not. Just different ways of explaining things. As far as relaxed, I shoot for relaxed exertion. Like an athlete. Like Jordan going to the hoop, tongue out. When I finish a gig, I'm pumped up. Fatigued, but feeling good. And about the tobacco, did you catch the picture of me and Arturo with his cigar? He didn't put that thing down all night. Took me a week to get that smoke out of my system!
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Joebaca
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dbacon,

I have always admired Clifford brown, Bud Herseth, Phil Smith, Maurice Andre, Sergie N, Wynton, Roy Hargrove, Arturo Sandoval, Frank Green, Ray Vega, Maynard, Doc S, Andrea G, Adam Rapa, Wayne Bergeron, Malcolm M., Lee Morgan, Randy Brecker, Rich Armstrong , Marc Inouye, Glenn Finschtal, Don Rhineberg, Laurie Mcgaw, James Dooley,Manny Laureano, Chris Martin, Scott Englebrright, Bill Nicholosi, Ruben Campoy, David Rodrigues....

All of these great musicians have influenced me to practice , continue appreciate the trumpet and keep learning...
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