Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

How and what to teach and learn.
Post Reply

Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Bb5 (two octaves above tuning Bb)
1
2%
A5
0
No votes
Ab5
1
2%
G5
1
2%
F5 (top line of the treble clef)
12
19%
E5
3
5%
Eb5
6
10%
D5
12
19%
Db5
6
10%
C5 (the note the opening motif of Blue Bells goes up to)
9
15%
B4
0
No votes
Bb4 (octave above tuning Bb)
5
8%
A4
1
2%
Ab4
3
5%
G4
2
3%
Gb4
0
No votes
F4
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 62
harrisonreed
Posts: 1027
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:08 pm

What is the top note that you can cleanly articulate and play for a few seconds? Assume you've warmed up and are maybe near the middle of a concert. Let's assume you've even got reference pitches, so you know what the note should sound like before you play it. Not fatigued. Not cold turkey.

I am asking to get some data for some etudes I want to write.

I'm guessing that the range will be mostly between Bb4 and F5, but who knows?

Try not to lie? :good:

It'd be good to know in a post what you picked, and what your experience is playing.
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 1089
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:28 pm

Db. Bass trombonist playing tenor all too regularly. D is still a nemesis note.
PaulT
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:55 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by PaulT » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:41 pm

Ab 4, if that is the Ab above the staff.

I'm an older player returning to the instrument after 30-year layoff. So far, Ab 4 is the highest note I have had to play for any band or lesson piece (Bordogni), which is good, as that is the highest note I count on playing. I can play up to C on warm up scales but I sure wouldn't try hit it halfway through a concert (unless I had a lot of cover ;) But, no problem, we got trumpets for those high notes.
johntarr
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by johntarr » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:08 pm

I picked Db 5 because that’s the note I can almost always play. The D & Eb are usually available but I can get spooked and not hit them sometimes.
hyperbolica
Posts: 846
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:31 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by hyperbolica » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:55 am

I got lucky with high range, it comes naturally . Honestly I'd give up some upper range to gain other more critical skills. No one really wants to hear a trombone play over F5 anyway. I mean, there's a practical limit to what you want to do or hear on trombone.

D is considered the highest note polite composers write for players they like. F if you really want to demoralize someone. I've never seen anything written above F, except by Christopher Bill, and he's a ________ (we can have another poll to fill in the blank). Sadist. I might go with sadist.

I went in to my first lesson with John Swallow and played a high F. He yawned. "That high F and a dime and you can get yourself a cup of coffee.". Of course a cup of coffee was a dime back then, which told you how much he valued a high F from a cocky kid who couldn't read or play in time.
harrisonreed
Posts: 1027
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:07 am

Looks like you did not vote for F5 though... What did you end up picking?

I'm interested in knowing where the majority of people top out and who they are for academic reasons.
hyperbolica
Posts: 846
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:31 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by hyperbolica » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:26 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:07 am
Looks like you did not vote for F5 though... What did you end up picking?

I'm interested in knowing where the majority of people top out and who they are for academic reasons.
I picked D5 because according to your criteria I probably could have picked A5, but that just seemed silly and pretensious. Just because I can play stupid high doesn't mean I'm not pretty average or below in most/all other ways.

I dropped out of music school after 2 years, played 4 years in a Navy band, changed fields to engineering and have been a dedicated amateur for 30 years, except for 10 I took off for my career. I live now in a musical backwater of sorts where we try to make our own musical opportunities.

I play with at least 3 other guys who have equal or stronger high ranges (and 3 of us also play bass) , and I'm the only one under 70. The ability to play up to and over F5 is not that uncommon, or that useful when it comes down to it.
Last edited by hyperbolica on Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
harrisonreed
Posts: 1027
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:36 am

That's pretty incredible!
User avatar
TimBrown
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:50 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by TimBrown » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:55 am

I'm an elderly student, having picked up the trombone very, very late in life. Please don't write any etudes above the good old-fashioned high-school high Bb! IMHO, it isn't necessary to write for everyone what perhaps some guys can do well. If it's too "low" for those gifted folks, they can play it up an octave. I believe etudes should be all about developing musicality in various key signatures, in various time signatures, at various tempos - al la Arbans. Remington and the like are for range development.

That said, I can play a pretty nice D5 at the end of a high ballad and can squeak out an Eb5 in a high ballad (such as found in the bridge on "Wave"), after the rest. I wouldn't want to stand up in concert and do either, but you can throw high Bb's at me all day if you wish. How have I gotten up even that high? By playing up there, of course. But also by practicing Rochut & Arbans for the bulk of my practice and trying to get those "high" notes out as open and musical as possible. THAT'S the foundation. Building the foundation is what I look for in any method books I might want to add to my practice session.

OBTW, I play a large-bore horn. For some odd reason, it works better for me.

Good luck and thanks for asking!
Tromboned
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:36 am
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by Tromboned » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:13 am

I'm glad I'm not the only one with issues playing the high D5. For some reason I can play the C# below it with confidence but when I go that half step up it is unstable and I would never count on it in a performance. I was practicing Symphonie Fantastique for over a month and never got the Eb. I was not a music major in college and now I typically play in community bands and jazz groups.
VJOFan
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:39 am
Location: Canada

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by VJOFan » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:31 am

Until I read your post I was going to pick much lower than the C5 because I construed the poll to mean a can't miss note. However, if I am in a cycle of playing regularly, I will hit that C5 much more often than not and it sounds good. Higher notes are there for certain, well trained excerpts, but in the wild the C5 is my comfort zone.

I have the typical classical trombone school background: four years study for a B.Mus performance and a couple years of grad work while auditioning.

I was a principal trombone in a regional orchestra for a half dozen years before hitting my ceiling and turning to other passions to pay the bills better than I ever would with my horn.

Turned out I was a triple A player- good but not good enough.
Pre59
Posts: 252
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 2:51 am
Location: Devon UK

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by Pre59 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:36 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:08 pm
What is the top note that you can cleanly articulate and play for a few seconds? Assume you've warmed up and are maybe near the middle of a concert. Let's assume you've even got reference pitches, so you know what the note should sound like before you play it. Not fatigued. Not cold turkey.



It'd be good to know in a post what you picked, and what your experience is playing.
I can play around and sustain a high F in 1st, b2nd and 4th most days, but if I've had a couple of gigs on the trot where I've played long, loud and high sets, like this week without a rest or practice day, I would expect for the notes to be there, but not as controllable or clear.

As a kid in the '60's there was great trombone playing on the BBC, and nobody said that high notes were a problem, so they never became one.

As a party piece, before I was 16, I used to play the first section of the Handels Trumpet Voluntary in 1st position with trills.
That's not to say that I didn't have other playing issues to contend with..

My playing experience has involved mainly freelance work in theatres, hotels, ships, small group jazz, supported by playing the Bass Guitar then later the Double Bass, but I don't push the bass side anymore.

I play on a sub 2B bore horn(s) with a K&G T6B m/p.
shider
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:31 am
Location: Southern Germany

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by shider » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:31 am

I picked Bb4 in the poll and here's my context:

I'm mainly a bass trombone player since when I came out of school in 2012. I never cut the Tenor out completely.. I seldomly practice on it though. I feel for what I have to do as an amateur (I'm a mechanical engineer by profession) in my region I can do that most of the time as sight reading.. Then again: that standard is not very high in the community groups around where I live. Most 1st trombone parts top out around an Ab4 or Bb4.. I once played Solo on "Misty" in an arrangement that topped out on a C5.. Wasn't really confident at that!

But: since I picked up the Bass Trombone, my high range on tenor increasingly got better.. Slow and steady :good: for me it's nice to have it and never need it :shuffle:
Pre59
Posts: 252
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 2:51 am
Location: Devon UK

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by Pre59 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:57 am

TimBrown wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:55 am

That said, I can play a pretty nice D5 at the end of a high ballad and can squeak out an Eb5 in a high ballad (such as found in the bridge on "Wave"), after the rest.
Hi Tim,
Would I be right in thinking that you're playing Wave in Eb rather than in D, and playing the middle 8 in a higher octave to get the referred to, Eb?

Just wondering...

Bob.
User avatar
TimBrown
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:50 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by TimBrown » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:28 am

Pre59 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:57 am
TimBrown wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:55 am

That said, I can play a pretty nice D5 at the end of a high ballad and can squeak out an Eb5 in a high ballad (such as found in the bridge on "Wave"), after the rest.
Hi Tim,
Would I be right in thinking that you're playing Wave in Eb rather than in D, and playing the middle 8 in a higher octave to get the referred to, Eb?

Just wondering...

Bob.
PM sent!
GMB
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:46 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by GMB » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:51 pm

You didn't specify what kind of concert in your assumption. I can play an F5, probably even a decent G5 in the middle of most symphonies without a sweat but after 30 minutes of solo/chamber or even concert band playing it's a different (more precarious) story. That said, for etudes I personally wouldn't want to see anything above a Eb5 so that's what I selected. I know one of the Bitsch etudes hits D5 onces or maybe twice and the range wasn't an issue for me, just the rhythm/atonality (like the rest of the etudes).
henrikbe
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:54 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by henrikbe » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:45 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:08 pm
What is the top note that you can cleanly articulate and play for a few seconds? Assume you've warmed up and are maybe near the middle of a concert. Let's assume you've even got reference pitches, so you know what the note should sound like before you play it. Not fatigued. Not cold turkey.
I assume you mean the top note I can play with confidence? Assuming this, I voted for Ab4, but I can almost hit (and sustain for several seconds) the B4 too. But I would not (for the time being, anyway, hoping to improve...) dare to play higher than Ab4 in public, certainly not solo.

My playing experience: Played as a kid (8-18 years), then quit, and started again 3 years ago, at 39. Don't play reguarly in any bands, orchestras etc, only by myself at home. Have had some performances in the local church (solo) and with family. Try to play at least 15 minutes a day, on rare occasions I can squeeze in 30-60 minutes.
txtimmy
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:44 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by txtimmy » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:55 am

C5 is solid from my 2B all the way to the large bore horn. When I was playing much more regulary I could pick out that Eb5 from the end of "Rose of the Rio Grande" pretty easy on the 2B. These days not so much. The Db and D were always tricky for me to slot well though.
WilliamLang
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:12 pm

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by WilliamLang » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:33 am

couldn't find F6 :idk: :good:
William Lang
Professor of Trombone, the Longy School of Music
founding member of loadbang
www.williamlang.org
PaulT
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:55 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by PaulT » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:03 pm

It's over at Trumpet Herald.
sterb225
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 8:06 pm
Location: Long Island

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by sterb225 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:16 am

50 year old amateur
E5 is the note where things can be fine or weird in performance
F5 is solid in the practice room - but I think I psych myself out playing it in less familiar settings
F#5 through Bb5 are strictly for home use during warmups and exudes
User avatar
guywiththeblacktrombone
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:02 am

Re: Poll - Tenor Trombone: Where does your solid upper register end, and become precarious upper register?

Post by guywiththeblacktrombone » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:07 pm

Been playing for over 20 years (not my career). Just play in some big bands a few times a week and a few gigs a month. G5 is always there. I can sometimes get a C#6 when trying to do I'm Getting Sentimental up an octave. At the end of most of my casual rehearsals I'll play the last note up and see if I can get over the lead trumpet. It's the only fun I can have if the book sucks that day.
Andrew

Butler Lemon Drop
Yamaha 697ZBP
Jiggs 2B
Post Reply

Return to “Teaching & Learning”