Advice on Hitting High Notes?

ttf_anonymous
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_anonymous » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:25 am

I'll be performing a solo in a few months where I have to hit a C one octave above middle C (Image Image) a few times, sometimes jumping up and down the octave in one beat (Image Image ->  Image) I can hit the note, but not consistently and not easily. It sounds like I'm struggling and takes a few seconds before I can sustain it. Any tips on how to get the note consistently?
ttf_BGuttman
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_BGuttman » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:34 am

My favorite high note exercise was posted by WaltTrombone.  It's the Remington "Security in the Upper Register" exercise.  It takes time and effort but you can use it to get easily to the F above that C.  Important: don't try to get ahead of yourself and give yourself some rest if you flub a note 3 times.

Another exercise I've done is the Arban Interval exercise or as a variation, playing a scale in octave leaps (F-F, G-G, A-A, etc.).

Always start from what you can do easily and work toward where you need work.
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Post by ttf_peteriley » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:48 am

Hi Chris,

I'd also recommend:

http://www.hip-bonestore.com/Build_Your ... hbm188.htm

It comes with some great play along tracks and it's really helping me. The author is a professional trumpet player and did his PhD (in part) on exercises to increase range.  In fact, you can read his thesis here:

http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cg ... sertations

There's some interesting stuff in there (although at least some is probably trumpet specific), but it isn't a substitute for his book.

Pete
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:50 pm

I'm going to disagree with everybody here.

I don't think you should do any of those exercises unless you do them correctly.

No exercise will build range on its own; you have to have an idea what you're doing and why you're doing it, what correct mechanics are and how they build range. 

The difference between correctly and incorrectly can be subtle.  (Not for me, I usually do them blatantly wrong!)
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Post by ttf_anonymous » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:32 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 15, 2017, 12:50PMI'm going to disagree with everybody here.

I don't think you should do any of those exercises unless you do them correctly.

No exercise will build range on its own; you have to have an idea what you're doing and why you're doing it, what correct mechanics are and how they build range. 

The difference between correctly and incorrectly can be subtle.  (Not for me, I usually do them blatantly wrong!)

Agreed.  After years of bad habits and incorrect playing, I'm finally making serious progress after taking a couple of long distance lessons from Doug.  Good teachers are critical to correct learning.

--Andy in OKC
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Post by ttf_crazytrombonist505 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:45 am

Quote from: afugate on Mar 16, 2017, 05:32AMAgreed.  After years of bad habits and incorrect playing, I'm finally making serious progress after taking a couple of long distance lessons from Doug.  Good teachers are critical to correct learning.

--Andy in OKC

Agreed!  Image
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:09 am

Quote from: peteriley on Mar 15, 2017, 10:48AMHi Chris,

I'd also recommend:

http://www.hip-bonestore.com/Build_Your ... hbm188.htm

It comes with some great play along tracks and it's really helping me. The author is a professional trumpet player and did his PhD (in part) on exercises to increase range.  In fact, you can read his thesis here:

http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cg ... sertations

There's some interesting stuff in there (although at least some is probably trumpet specific), but it isn't a substitute for his book.

Pete

Thank you for posting that thesis!

Relaxation and compression seem to be the key elements presented.

Although one instructor seems to get the bulk of the cheer leading around here, there are others who are excellent as well!!!! Glad they are around! Different ways of accomplishing the same end goal are always welcome.

...Geezer
ttf_afugate
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Post by ttf_afugate » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:21 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Mar 16, 2017, 06:09AMAlthough one instructor seems to get the bulk of the cheer leading around here, there are others who are excellent as well!!!! Glad they are around! Different ways of accomplishing the same end goal are always welcome.

...Geezer

Different teachers for different areas of expertise.  And, each teacher connects differently with each student.  It pays to have more than one source.  But it also pays to have a good idea of which teachers excel in which areas.  For example, a great technical studies teacher may not be a great embouchure mechanics teacher.  (That was true in my case.)

--Andy in OKC
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:37 am

Quote from: afugate on Mar 16, 2017, 06:21AMDifferent teachers for different areas of expertise.  And, each teacher connects differently with each student.  It pays to have more than one source.  But it also pays to have a good idea of which teachers excel in which areas.  For example, a great technical studies teacher may not be a great embouchure mechanics teacher.  (That was true in my case.)

--Andy in OKC

Bottom line is to seek out the one(s) that helps you the best. A caveat though is to not get confused over different approaches. So it's probably best to have a wide separation; such as one for the mechanics of playing and a different one for self-expression, if one doesn't do it all for you.

P.S. I take your snipping out the lead thought in my statement in your quote to focus on the other to mean that you agree with that first point. lol

...Geezer
ttf_timothy42b
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:25 am

Quote from: afugate on Mar 16, 2017, 05:32AMAgreed.  After years of bad habits and incorrect playing, I'm finally making serious progress after taking a couple of long distance lessons from Doug.  Good teachers are critical to correct learning.

--Andy in OKC

A good teacher is optimal.

In the absence of one, playing next to somebody who plays well can be extremely helpful, in fact a lesson in itself.  Sometimes even if he/she can't explain what they're doing, if you're next them and hear how they approach high notes you can kind of get the flavor of it. 
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:49 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 16, 2017, 07:25AMA good teacher is optimal.

In the absence of one, playing next to somebody who plays well can be extremely helpful, in fact a lesson in itself.  Sometimes even if he/she can't explain what they're doing, if you're next them and hear how they approach high notes you can kind of get the flavor of it. 

Agreed on both points!

Something I have tried and use from time-to-time is to switch to a too-small mouthpiece for a couple days to get the feel of hitting higher notes. It seems to then transfer my ability to focus my aperture and air stream to my normal mouthpiece. But this isn't for someone who might get "messed up" by switching rims, even for a couple days.

...Geezer
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:58 am

Quote from: peteriley on Mar 15, 2017, 10:48AM



http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cg ... sertations

There's some interesting stuff in there (although at least some is probably trumpet specific),

I just read that.  I'm not sure if I'd seen it before or not, memory isn't all that reliable.  Some parts seemed familiar.

At any rate, IMO a beginner should NEVER read it online.

He/she should print it out, use a scissors to cut out the yoga breath section that requires abdominal tension, and throw it away.  Then read the rest. 

I'm not saying there isn't any value in that section, but the idea of compressing air through abdominal tension is probably going to set a beginner back years. 
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Post by ttf_tbathras » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:27 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 16, 2017, 07:25AMIn the absence of one, playing next to somebody who plays well can be extremely helpful, in fact a lesson in itself. 

I love setting next to someone who is better than I am - it brings my playing up.  It is so simple, yet so effective.

Note: It's the most effective for me when that person plays the same part or at least the same size horn and similar part; i.e. I get more from setting next to another bass 'bone (which is very infrequent) than I do a tenor
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Post by ttf_crazytrombonist505 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:38 am

Quote from: tbathras on Mar 16, 2017, 08:27AMI love setting next to someone who is better than I am - it brings my playing up.  It is so simple, yet so effective.

I'm the same way! It is so nice to have someone who is better then you playing on the same part with you.
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:51 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 16, 2017, 07:58AMI just read that.  I'm not sure if I'd seen it before or not, memory isn't all that reliable.  Some parts seemed familiar.

At any rate, IMO a beginner should NEVER read it online.

He/she should print it out, use a scissors to cut out the yoga breath section that requires abdominal tension, and throw it away.  Then read the rest. 

I'm not saying there isn't any value in that section, but the idea of compressing air through abdominal tension is probably going to set a beginner back years. 

What makes you state that; experience, advice received or independent reading. Sorry, but your say-so ain't enough.

P.S. Perhaps we should keep in mind that the paper referenced in above posts was done at the University of Miami.  Image

...Geezer
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:26 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Mar 16, 2017, 08:51AMWhat makes you state that; experience, advice received or independent reading. Sorry, but your say-so ain't enough.

My experience is mostly with singers and choir directors.
My observation is that with beginners any guidance other than take a deep relaxed breath leads to at best confusion and at worst catastrophe.  If the advice is correct (rare!) then it is misunderstood.  I have an example in mind right now but this is public.  Come to think of it, he's not computer literate, I'll risk.  There's an alto with a nice sound who took him seriously when he kept insisting on support from the diaphragm.  Sure enough, she's tightened up, and now she has a tension tremor on every pitch. 

Specific to the article, he talks about compression.  Trumpet players use the word two different ways, to refer to air pressure and lip to lip compression.  He is talking about air pressure, produced by abdominal pressure. 

ran out of time, more later. 
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Post by ttf_vegasbound » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:29 am

Have a skype lesson with Doug Elliott!
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:33 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 15, 2017, 12:50PMI'm going to disagree with everybody here.

I don't think you should do any of those exercises unless you do them correctly.

No exercise will build range on its own; you have to have an idea what you're doing and why you're doing it, what correct mechanics are and how they build range. 

The difference between correctly and incorrectly can be subtle.  (Not for me, I usually do them blatantly wrong!)

Yup. What he said ^^

I recommend getting really solid in the mid to lower range. Build that base as wide as you possibly can, and the high notes will be more stable.
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:39 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 16, 2017, 10:26AMMy experience is mostly with singers and choir directors.
My observation is that with beginners any guidance other than take a deep relaxed breath leads to at best confusion and at worst catastrophe.  If the advice is correct (rare!) then it is misunderstood.  I have an example in mind right now but this is public.  Come to think of it, he's not computer literate, I'll risk.  There's an alto with a nice sound who took him seriously when he kept insisting on support from the diaphragm.  Sure enough, she's tightened up, and now she has a tension tremor on every pitch. 

Specific to the article, he talks about compression.  Trumpet players use the word two different ways, to refer to air pressure and lip to lip compression.  He is talking about air pressure, produced by abdominal pressure. 

ran out of time, more later. 

Okay, that is the big caveat I see in the "compression" approach - letting tension creep into the torsal and headal areas, which would do more harm than good. But I'm having a very hard time making the "compression" approach - in and of itself - bad. It's how it's misused. So yeah. If it's employed, then best under the watchful eye of a great instructor.

...Geezer
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Post by ttf_bonenick » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:14 am

Tongue position also adds the to compression's creation. On all brass instruments.
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:08 pm

Quote from: bonenick on Mar 16, 2017, 11:14AMTongue position also adds the to compression's creation. On all brass instruments.

I think that tongue position is important but I don't think it has to do with compression per se.

The air in your mouth is under extremely low pressure.  In fact in part of the cycle the pressure is so low air can move backwards.

There is no reason to think tightening abdominals causes your air to be more pressurized.  What will happen if you tighten your abs but don't let the air squirt out, your diaphragm will have to move down to resist the abs pressure.  And if your rib cage doesn't open up when the abs tighten, you can maybe cause a hernia. 

Also, the Indian guru who wrote that yoga breath book never existed.  It was forged by a Chicago lawyer.

What I think your tongue does is alter the shape and size of your oral cavity to make a resonance chamber at the right frequency.  I used the singular deliberately, I think it may be a Helmholtz resonator rather than supporting overtones but could be wrong. 
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Post by ttf_cigmar » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:24 pm

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 16, 2017, 12:08PM
What I think your tongue does is alter the shape and size of your oral cavity to make a resonance chamber at the right frequency. 

I tend to agree with Tim.  I believe this is basically what occurs during a whistle.  The tongue alters the shape and size of the oral cavity (as Tim stated) to create the desired pitch on the whistle.  Taking that one step further, one could theorize that if one whistled the exact pitch one was attempting to play on the horn, you would discover the exact position and shape the tongue should be in to optimize the playing of that particular pitch, as far as the tongue goes.  Understood, there are many other factors involved.

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Post by ttf_bonenick » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:16 am

I am not a great theory maker, but thus I know:
You want to get all your registers in place? Breathing and embouchure is not enough. You need to find out how your tongue works. By putting you tongue up you restrict somewhat the air passage and create air stream that has greater speed and succeptible to create higher frequencies. It somewhat counteract with the pressure created by lips and mouthpiece. Don't forget that this way you need less quantity of air, not more.

I hope I made it clearer now...
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:55 am

Oh. So now everyone is poo-pooing the concept of air column support.  Image

...Geezer
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Post by ttf_afugate » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:26 am

At risk of hijacking this thread...

Quote from: tbathras on Mar 16, 2017, 08:27AMI love setting next to someone who is better than I am - it brings my playing up.  It is so simple, yet so effective.

Note: It's the most effective for me when that person plays the same part or at least the same size horn and similar part; i.e. I get more from setting next to another bass 'bone (which is very infrequent) than I do a tenor

A few years ago, I was asked to help out in the beginner room at our local university trombone day.  In the same room was another trombone player assistant that I had never met.  Our job was play along with the kids and to help model correct playing.  From the moment the other guy picked up his horn and played, I started panicking.  His sound was glorious!  From that point on, every time I played and every note I played I tried to match him.  One of the hardest mornings I've ever had playing my horn.  And it was mostly notes in the first year range of player capabilities.

Fast forward a year later and I found out that he took over the open second chair in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.  Image

Philip Martinson.  Great player.  Great sound.  Great guy.

--Andy in OKC
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Post by ttf_cigmar » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:27 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Mar 17, 2017, 04:55AMOh. So now everyone is poo-pooing the concept of air column support.  Image

...Geezer

You can support the air all you want, but if the other parts of the puzzle aren't in place or working properly, it ain't gonna happen.

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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:33 am

Quote from: cigmar on Mar 17, 2017, 05:27AMYou can support the air all you want, but if the other parts of the puzzle aren't in place or working properly, it ain't gonna happen.


I have no argument with that. I've never stated that the other components are not important as well. Never.

...Geezer
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:42 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Mar 17, 2017, 04:55AMOh. So now everyone is poo-pooing the concept of air column support.  Image

...Geezer

No.

At best, everyone minus one.

(but I don't think I'm the only one on this)

I am poo-poohing the idea that tightening your abdomen will automatically give you high range. 

There was a time when the standard wisdom was to tighten your gut as if to take a punch, and that's how you were supposed to play.  That isn't universally common wisdom any more, but to a beginner "you must support" means exactly that. 

What it really means is ........ well hardly anybody talks about it specifically enough to know what it really means.  And there are all sorts of variations like wedge breath and chest breath for different ranges. 
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Post by ttf_davdud101 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:49 am

Do (we) trombonists talk about compression differently than trumpeters do? Or are there two kinds? (I've heard it sometimes referred to the valves, and other times to the air/tongue system)
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Post by ttf_afugate » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:52 am

Paul Stephens is one of the players that Augie Haas cited in his dissertation.  He also happens to be a classmate of mine.  I've heard him speak on multiple occasions about the concept of the wedge breath.  Paul doesn't say its the key to playing in the upper register.  He says its the key to getting the correct sound of a lead trumpet in the upper register.  It's whats needed to get the "sizzle" or "burn" that cuts through the band.

From reading the dissertation, I see that repeated from others as well.

--Andy in OKC
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:52 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 17, 2017, 05:42AMNo.

At best, everyone minus one.

(but I don't think I'm the only one on this)

I am poo-poohing the idea that tightening your abdomen will automatically give you high range. 

There was a time when the standard wisdom was to tighten your gut as if to take a punch, and that's how you were supposed to play.  That isn't universally common wisdom any more, but to a beginner "you must support" means exactly that. 

What it really means is ........ well hardly anybody talks about it specifically enough to know what it really means.  And there are all sorts of variations like wedge breath and chest breath for different ranges. 

You've corrupted the concept into a freak show.  Image

...Geezer
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:01 am

Quote from: davdud101 on Mar 17, 2017, 05:49AMDo (we) trombonists talk about compression differently than trumpeters do? Or are there two kinds? (I've heard it sometimes referred to the valves, and other times to the air/tongue system)

Sometimes with trumpets it's hard to tell what system they are talking about.  I think they most commonly are talking about air, and I think they really believe it is higher pressure air moving at the same speed, which makes no sense to me but does to them.  But sometimes they seem to be talking about lip to lip pressure around the aperture, and like you say sometimes they mean valves.  So I dunno.

I think trombonists mostly mean aperture but sometimes air as well. 

Our demands for range aren't as great, are they?  If you can play to a high C you can play at least 95% of what you'll run into; if you have a double high C that's about 125%.  A lead trumpet might work an equivalent octave higher. 
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Post by ttf_harrison.t.reed » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:09 am

It's obvious that the answer is to buy a different mouthpiece.
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Post by ttf_bonenick » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:13 am

I wasn't necessarily speaking about "fast"air. Because is difficult to prove anything about it.
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:23 am

Two quotes from a trumpet forum:

QuoteI was taught as part of the closed lip technique
 (to buzz 15-20 minutes a day, lips only). I was told to do it to build the right compression muscles fast. Faster than playing. At first it was boring and almost nausiating..and it still is(ha ha)...but I do it every day.

 The greatest benefit I've gotten with it as a warm up prior to a performance to define that center compression spot...gets lips ready to buzz.

Clearly talking about lip to lip compression.

QuoteMost commonly I'd expect that to mean that the valves are still in good condition, rather than overly worn.
 In that sense, the valveslides (which are effectively sealed) hold compression well - that there aren't air leaks in the valveblock (or slides) and the slides will produce a "pop" noise if you pull them out without depressing the valves.
 If the valves are very worn (which some might even prefer) then the air will leak out from the slides around the side of the valves, generally you get much looser slots and potentially less reliable action when that's the case.
Clearly talking about the horn compression.

I looked for one that talked about air but didn't find it yet.  I'm sure I've seen it though. 
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:32 am

Who cares what trumpet players do anyway, unless we are doubling. Point is, what - if anything - can we take away for our own use. I believe air column support is one thing, although we could argue over good vs freakish air column support and what possible caveats there may be - such as tension in places where it is counter-productive.

I agree with Andy that a sit-next-to is sometimes just as valuable as a good lesson.

Oh, and haven't we ALL gone the new mpc route! lol

...Geezer
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Post by ttf_BGuttman » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:46 am

The constant "new mouthpiece" is a bad idea.  You wind up like the trumpet players with a passel of mouthpieces trying to select the one that best covers a particular part.  I can just see it.  You ask the conductor to stop the ensemble while you swap mouthpieces for a particular note Image

Emory Remington discovered that more resistance makes the upper partials easier to play (maybe he got his idea from the French Horn).  So his "Security in the Upper Register" exercise starts in 7th position where the partial that includes high Bb is easier to find (it's E) and works to shorter and shorter horns.  You suddenly find that you can't hit the note in that partial, so you try to use the lip compression that seemed to work a half step lower.  Others use a gliss from 7 to 1 on that partial.

Denis Wick (Trombone Technique) talks about a smaller aperture for higher notes and a larger aperture for lower notes.

I've also read somewhere (maybe Fink "Trombonist's Handbook") that lowest notes are blown straight to the aperture of the mouthpiece while higher notes are bounced off the wall of the cup.  The higher the note, the closer you "bounce" toward your lips.

Fact remains that increasing range is not an overnight exercise; it takes time and effort.
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Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:58 am

Quote from: BGuttman on Mar 17, 2017, 06:46AMThe constant "new mouthpiece" is a bad idea.  You wind up like the trumpet players with a passel of mouthpieces trying to select the one that best covers a particular part.  I can just see it.  You ask the conductor to stop the ensemble while you swap mouthpieces for a particular note Image

Emory Remington discovered that more resistance makes the upper partials easier to play (maybe he got his idea from the French Horn).  So his "Security in the Upper Register" exercise starts in 7th position where the partial that includes high Bb is easier to find (it's E) and works to shorter and shorter horns.  You suddenly find that you can't hit the note in that partial, so you try to use the lip compression that seemed to work a half step lower.  Others use a gliss from 7 to 1 on that partial.

Denis Wick (Trombone Technique) talks about a smaller aperture for higher notes and a larger aperture for lower notes.

I've also read somewhere (maybe Fink "Trombonist's Handbook") that lowest notes are blown straight to the aperture of the mouthpiece while higher notes are bounced off the wall of the cup.  The higher the note, the closer you "bounce" toward your lips.

Fact remains that increasing range is not an overnight exercise; it takes time and effort.

Only a fool would advocate swapping mpcs to THAT freakish extent!  Image However, I have heard the stories about swapping out in the middle of a solo. Hey. Whatever works, but that's an extreme approach to say the very least.

I believe that control over the size/shape of the aperture to be MUCH more productive than gyrating the horn all around on the chops.

I've seen the posts where there have been claims of gaining a fifth or so literally overnight. The only scenario I can see for those claims were some fundamental flaw corrected and/or the original "high" note wasn't very high at all to begin with. It doesn't stretch my imagination very much to think of a beginning straight tenor student "stuck" on D above the staff to suddenly be instructed to blow a nice F above the staff. But going from a nice high C to a nice high F always - yes always - takes some real patience and effort.

...Geezer
ttf_ddickerson
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_ddickerson » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:43 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Mar 16, 2017, 06:09AM
Although one instructor seems to get the bulk of the cheer leading around here, there are others who are excellent as well!!!! Glad they are around! Different ways of accomplishing the same end goal are always welcome.

...Geezer

The reason one instructor gets a lot of cheer leading around here is because of his success with students. He has a proven track record that should give a level of confidence to a new student seeking corrective advice.
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:08 am

Well, we've gone down a lot of paths, and I'm not sure how much we've helped the OP.

To recap, he can play a high C but it's strained and unreliable, and he needs it solid in a couple of months.  What should he do?

What I would suggest:

A lesson would probably help.  Failing that, do brief range exercises always with sufficient rest.  Fatigue will kill your chances of expanding your range.

High range is a combination of strength and knack (some call it technique or mechanics).  I'd guess it might be 25% strength to 75% skill.  You can't get to that skill when tired, so play high but cautiously.  If you're working hard you're doing it wrong. 

Don't don't don't think about breath support over the short term.  You're more likely to do harm than good.  Yes I think it's important, but I don't think any written explanation can help. 
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:14 am

Quote from: ddickerson on Mar 17, 2017, 07:43AMThe reason one instructor gets a lot of cheer leading around here is because of his success with students. He has a proven track record that should give a level of confidence to a new student seeking corrective advice.

Maybe. But I fear we do a grave disservice to other great instructors on this Forum by largely ignoring them and seldom referring to them by name for their valuable efforts in pedagogy. IOW's; it's lop-sided.

Perhaps someone would like to start an "Instructor Recognition" thread and start giving others who have had a major influence on their playing  - due credits.

...Geezer
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:15 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 17, 2017, 08:08AMWell, we've gone down a lot of paths, and I'm not sure how much we've helped the OP.

To recap, he can play a high C but it's strained and unreliable, and he needs it solid in a couple of months.  What should he do?

What I would suggest:

A lesson would probably help.  Failing that, do brief range exercises always with sufficient rest.  Fatigue will kill your chances of expanding your range.

High range is a combination of strength and knack (some call it technique or mechanics).  I'd guess it might be 25% strength to 75% skill.  You can't get to that skill when tired, so play high but cautiously.  If you're working hard you're doing it wrong. 

Don't don't don't think about breath support over the short term.  You're more likely to do harm than good.  Yes I think it's important, but I don't think any written explanation can help. 

Agreed, except your percentages are very arguable. Why? It depends upon what strength you are talking about. Gut-busting, bullish brute car-lifting strength? No. Strength in the extremely selective small and highly localized aperture muscles? Lots of that. Like trying to wiggle the eyebrows in different directions at the same time. Extremely small and highly localized muscle strength. And a lot of co-ordination, finesse, etc. Some of us have DNA enabling us to control some fine muscles more naturally while others of us have to work on developing the strength AND the feel of it. 

...Geezer
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_bonenick » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:58 am

I don't know about percentages, but to me, high register playing is much more about control and refined mechanics. Not brute force and blowing someone's head off.
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:17 am

Quote from: bonenick on Mar 17, 2017, 08:58AMI don't know about percentages, but to me, high register playing is much more about control and refined mechanics. Not brute force and blowing someone's head off.

No argument. But strength is also important. If strength weren't a critical factor in everything we would quickly die. How many species on this planet have gone extinct for the lack of strength to survive.

Brass wind instruments are unique. We have to practice long & hard for the proper technique to flourish and yet muscles need rest to rebuild. So there is a delicate balance. Over blow in a session and pay the price the next session or day. With pianists, not as much.

Perhaps a good discussion on playing high ought to involve how we condition our bodies in general as well as our minds. I don't know if this is beneficial to me - feel free to chime in yeah or nay - but I like to take a couple of either Ibuprofen or Tylenol after a tough session - to help reduce inflammation. This is NOT advice. 

...Geezer
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:20 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Mar 17, 2017, 09:17AM

Perhaps a good discussion on playing high ought to involve how we condition our bodies in general as well as our minds. ...Geezer

I would argue that high range is more like the athleticism of the ballet dancer than the wrestler. 
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:40 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 17, 2017, 09:20AMI would argue that high range is more like the athleticism of the ballet dancer than the wrestler. 

I think you would go far on that argument. In fact, I hope VERY far. lol

Seriously, though. Yeah. But I could argue that a world-class Olympic wrassler is going to have just as much refinement of technique to go with his strength and conditioning. Personally, I would also rather think of the ballerina.  Image

Image

...Geezer
ttf_timothy42b
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:42 am

Or maybe a dart player.

301 anybody?
ttf_Geezerhorn
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_Geezerhorn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:44 am

Quote from: timothy42b on Mar 17, 2017, 09:42AMOr maybe a dart player.

301 anybody?

Probably the Technique Is Everything, Strength Is Nothing Guys would prefer a tiddlywinks analogy.   Image

...Geezer
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Advice on Hitting High Notes?

Post by ttf_peteriley » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:58 am

Quote from: Geezerhorn on Mar 16, 2017, 08:51AMWhat makes you state that; experience, advice received or independent reading. Sorry, but your say-so ain't enough.

P.S. Perhaps we should keep in mind that the paper referenced in above posts was done at the University of Miami.  Image

...Geezer

Glad to see these two opposing viewpoints. This was a point that really intrigued me. The guy's thesis built on previous works/books published by famous trumpet players who had advocated this technique. The "wedge" or "yoga" breathing seemed interesting. I mentioned it to a couple of professional trombonists recently, and they just rolled their eyes. It seems like for the trombone you can get good-enough air support from deep breaths, pushing out the lower stomach. Perhaps the wedge breathing is for getting out that octave above the trombone range? I'm still working on getting the octave below that to sound nice Image
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