clear upper register articulation

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bubba7753
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clear upper register articulation

Post by bubba7753 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:38 am

I am looking for ideas on how to achieve a clear crisp articulation in the upper register specifically around A natural and up.

All help is appreciated
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Burgerbob
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Re: clear upper register articulation

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:28 pm

I've been working on this a lot lately.

For me, it really came down to three things-

I was much too open in the oral cavity and aperture

My actual articulation was too heavy

and I was trying to use too much/too slow of air at the start of the note.

It's all about light and fast up there. Speed up the air! I almost feel a (good) burning sensation at the chops because they are so focused in when I'm doing it right.
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bubba7753
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Re: clear upper register articulation

Post by bubba7753 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:31 pm

thanks for your guidance. how do you speed up the air?
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Burgerbob
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Re: clear upper register articulation

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:54 pm

bubba7753 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:31 pm
thanks for your guidance. how do you speed up the air?
A smaller space will make the same amount of air move faster. Usually this is from a vowel or tongue position behind the chops.
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Pre59
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Re: clear upper register articulation

Post by Pre59 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:18 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:28 pm


It's all about light and fast up there. Speed up the air! I almost feel a (good) burning sensation at the chops because they are so focused in when I'm doing it right.
The higher notes aren't like playing high on a Trumpet, where there's a mass of air resistance to contend with, there is resistance but much less on the Tbn. It's also about micro movements and balance, and this where it gets contentious, aperture. I think of it as a combination of aperture and driving a car with a "stick" gear change. Trying to get up an incline in the wrong gear and with the wrong amount of throttle doesn't work.
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Re: clear upper register articulation

Post by baileyman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:51 pm

Is it articulating A and above or just getting the notes to sound without blowing your brains out?

To get the notes you'll need a smaller space defined by your tongue. More toward the EE than the AH.

To articulate, you'll need a tonguing motion that does not disturb the smaller space. Plenty of tongue styles temporarily add to the space and the pitch collapses. Here's my experience: For a tip of the tongue style, it is in that A neighborhood when it begins to interfere with pitch. At some higher pitch the tongue tip just does not work at all. What I find that does work is to simply collapse that space to the roof of the mouth in a flat all at once tonguing, then reverse and return to the same space shape, and the note continues. (There is no collection of vowels and consonants to describe this.) This motion works from there up to as high as I can play. (The same collapse style also works lower, but with a very emphatic beginning, not suitable for legit, but often useful in a big band or solo.) This being said, you may experiment and find a totally different solution.
Pre59
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Re: clear upper register articulation

Post by Pre59 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:05 am

All my flexibilities and range ex's are all practiced without any tonguing whatsoever. I not suggesting that there could be a tonguing influence that I'm unaware of. But I'm not aware of it..
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Re: clear upper register articulation

Post by aasavickas » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:08 pm

What I work on is work on taking the tongue out of the equation first.

Try this out and see if it helps.

Do lots of natural sluring/glissing around up there to get comfortable. Play some Borgodogni up an octave or in tenor clef if that is too high for you. Then work on some quiet easy air starts. If the A gives you a hard time. Try playing it with air only starts. Also, let the air to stop the note. Then don't move anything. Do an easy nose breath and re air start the note. Do this 10 or 20 times in a row. Your chops will find their way to the set up that works for your face. When I am really well set up for a note, there is almost an articulation sound of the lips blowing open. It is a really nice clean start to the note. No fuzz or air or football shaped sound to it. The trick is to not move anything. The air blows the lips open. Then when the air stops they close exactly in the right spot for that note to start. Do some reps and you will hear it clear up. Also, play it quiet and easy.

Basically the idea is subtract variables. Take away the tongue and air(still blow obviously, just make it very easy and soft).

Now that you have the embouchure set properly for the note and you feel comfortable, put a little very light easy articulation on it. And there you have it - a nice clear articulation on a high note.

Side note: Check that you are buzzing the correct pitch. Then make sure your slide is in the right spot. Every horn is different and each partial is different. Some of those higher notes might not be where you think they are.

Side note 2: Tongue strike target: In general, the lower you are playing the closer to your aperture you probably need to tongue. So down in the pedal range you might be touching the tip of your tongue to your lips, depending on your individual anatomy lips, teeth, etc and your embouchure type. When you play higher your tongue will probably hit higher in the mouth. Also, down low you probably need to articulate harder and up high much lighter.

That is the general tendency, experiment and find what works for you, but in general, this is the tendency to get you started.

Part of what makes high playing so hard in general, and specifically, high articulating so hard, is that your tongue shape and oral cavity shape are a large part of focusing the air. Also, the partials are much closer together and your aperture is smaller. So there is much less margin for error. A miss placed tongue or overly aggressive tongue can throw off the whole delicate balance out of whack. That is why I spend a bunch of time playing with no tongue up there so that my tongue learns what it needs to do in order to play the note comfortably.

Side note 3: Air Problems. In general, for low notes think lots of volume very slow speed(probably slower than you think. You hear this big fat sound and think they must be really pushing some air. Not so). Up high, small volume and fast speed. Many of my high note issues early on were caused by too much volume of air and too slow up high. So keep that general idea in mind and experiment to find what you need to do to get your individual face to make the sound you want.

I feel like that explanation rambled, and covered too many aspects of playing but that is why good high playing is so tuff.

Let me know if it doesn't make sense.
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