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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) More questions on high range?
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trb420
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« on: Jun 05, 2017, 04:15PM »

1. Everybody says "work on your low range to improve your high range." I know practicing in the low register helps build air support, but I fail to see how this helps high playing, but not that I don't believe it doesn't. How exactly does this aid in high range development?

2. I have a fairly decent high range, as a function of getting the notes to come out and sustain. But they are airy and forced. How can I work on making them seem more relaxed and resonant (please don't say to work on my low range without an explanation!!!  >:()

Thanks!
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 05, 2017, 04:31PM »

1. Everybody says "work on your low range to improve your high range."

No, "everybody" doesn't say that.

There are lot of things you can work on, but the important part is a proper diagnosis of what YOU need to do - not somebody else.
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 05, 2017, 04:41PM »

Here's a case where a good teacher is a great resource.  Somebody who is intimately familiar with your playing and can make cogent recommendations.

I can tell you to use the Remington "Security in the Upper Register" exercise until I am blue in the face, but it won't help you a jot if you are doing something wrong.

Doug is an excellent resource via Skype or if you are going to be near one of his travels.  But he's not the only guy out there.  There are good teachers everywhere in the country.  Pay for a lesson or two with one.
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 05, 2017, 06:23PM »

1. Everybody says "work on your low range to improve your high range."

I believe this originates as a misstatement or oversimplification of a range-building book of (trumpet) exercises by Claude Gordon.

I haven't seen it since college but I recall a lot of it was about gradually expanding low range and high range at the same time.

There may be a trombone edition.
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 05, 2017, 11:13PM »

I thought I had a great high range and then I shifted the 'weight' to my corners and air support, instead of tensing/rolling my lips. Now my upper register is more resonant, and I can last longer. Can't play quite as high, but it doesn't hurt anymore!
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 06, 2017, 01:35AM »

Do you mean everybody in the bandroom?  ;-)

There is a pretty common advice to expand the range both up and down wards.
I like that myself. However to play high you got to practice high. How? Isn´t intersting how differnt players embouchure work in different ways? Some players do practice low and it works combinated with high music practising, some other players pracrice low, and it is actuallly just not good for them the they do it, but they continiou because they believe "it is good to practice low". It certainly can be, but not allways.
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 06, 2017, 04:24AM »

I suspect that the advice given about low range meant specifically developing pedal notes range. Playing pedal notes with a good sound and in a control manner may force a player to put more flesh in front of the mpiece, which usually results in more vibrating mass and better embouchure control. This should give you more consistency and better control, possibly few extra squeaks, which eventually leads to musically usable tones, notes.

In trumpet world, the so called palm exercise seem to help. I don't know how to translate this for a tbone, but anything that reduces the inward pressure applied to the lips through the mouthpiece or the instrument, and forces you to use more compression from your faces muscles more is probyb         
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Matt K

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« Reply #7 on: Jun 06, 2017, 07:02AM »

I believe this originates as a misstatement or oversimplification of a range-building book of (trumpet) exercises by Claude Gordon.

I haven't seen it since college but I recall a lot of it was about gradually expanding low range and high range at the same time.

There may be a trombone edition.

I believe this may be correct. There are a lot of band directors in my region that say that and many of them learned brass pedagogy from trumpet players if they aren't themselves trumpet players. 
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 06, 2017, 07:56AM »

I believe this originates as a misstatement or oversimplification of a range-building book of (trumpet) exercises by Claude Gordon.

I haven't seen it since college but I recall a lot of it was about gradually expanding low range and high range at the same time.

There may be a trombone edition.

+1. Sounds plausible and legit. There is nothing wrong in expanding, but the question is whether we move towards more efficient set up, or just augment pressure and tension.
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 06, 2017, 08:08AM »

"Systematic Approach to Daily Practice for Trumpet: A Fifty-two Week Trumpet Course Designed to Develop a Register From the Second C Below Low C to C Above High C"

I love stuff with clear goals and time frames and schedules like that!

Why haven't I bought that book and got with the program?

I guess I've never been sure the world would still be here in 52 weeks.
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 07, 2017, 04:00AM »

I practice my bass trombone from the Teele book every day.  My high range began to improve when I began practicing the high range.
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 07, 2017, 04:19AM »

2) Fast air.

...Geezer
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 07, 2017, 07:57AM »

It seems to me in my practice that working on low range does not necessarily benefit the high range. 

However, the process of acquiring new or better low notes seems exactly like the process of acquiring new or better high notes.  And you don't get so quickly tired down there. 

The process is as sabutin say, try everything and use what works.  It the low register, some unexpected lip movement, use of muscle (that one to the chin for instance), tilt, etc. may help that next note happen.  Who knows?  Gotta try. 

Doing the trying in the high register seems to require much more muscular effort, at least until results show up and things get much easier.  But the process seems to be the same. 
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 07, 2017, 08:13AM »

It seems to me in my practice that working on low range does not necessarily benefit the high range. 

However, the process of acquiring new or better low notes seems exactly like the process of acquiring new or better high notes.  And you don't get so quickly tired down there. 

The process is as sabutin say, try everything and use what works.  It the low register, some unexpected lip movement, use of muscle (that one to the chin for instance), tilt, etc. may help that next note happen.  Who knows?  Gotta try. 

Doing the trying in the high register seems to require much more muscular effort, at least until results show up and things get much easier.  But the process seems to be the same. 

That's a nice sentiment, but it may lead to trouble. Tilting the head, the horn angle or the mpc placement might seem like a nice way to hit certain notes and maybe it is for some people. But not for me. My best bet is to keep everything rock steady as much as is humanly possible and train - over time - the muscles AND the membranes to co-operate through my entire range. YMMV! That stated, is there some movement when I play. Probably. But I try for there not to be.

There seems to also be two schools of thought on hitting higher notes. I believe one can muscle them out - to a point and then another approach must be used to go higher; that other approach being finesse. And yet it seems that - for me - I can use more finesse now on notes that used to require all muscle. So I can't help feeling that everything comes from strength and it's often the strength to be able to relax and not have to use the sheer strength, if that makes any sense?

The best bet for the OP is to follow the lead of his instructor, as I am doing.

...Geezer
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 07, 2017, 08:19AM »

"There seems to also be two schools of thought on hitting higher notes. I believe one can muscle them out - to a point and then another approach must be used ..."


That has been my experience. In music school, I had little trouble with high Fs. Now, 40 years later, my high range depends on a combination of air, chops and tongue placement and high Eb-F notes are still 50-50.
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 07, 2017, 08:23AM »

"There seems to also be two schools of thought on hitting higher notes. I believe one can muscle them out - to a point and then another approach must be used ..."


That has been my experience. In music school, I had little trouble with high Fs. Now, 40 years later, my high range depends on a combination of air, chops and tongue placement and high Eb-F notes are still 50-50.

We generally seem to "hit the wall" on the muscular approach at about high C or D - depending upon the player. After that, it's another approach that - when perfected - could possibly be used to hit those "muscle" notes easier as well.

...Geezer
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 07, 2017, 09:11AM »

David Vining's Breathing Book is very interesting.

It breaks down the whole process of how each part works and gives you simple exercises to do so you can remain focused on the breathing.

For me it has really helped open up my sound in the higher register and I'm discovering things about my embouchure as I go.

His idea on upper register is to increase the air pressure - in the way that partially covering the end of a hose with your thumb makes the water go faster and further.

I'm finding that if my lips are where they need to be then the air is doing the work for me as opposed to using excessive pressure etc.

Ross
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 10, 2017, 06:07PM »

Doing the trying in the high register seems to require much more muscular effort, at least until results show up and things get much easier.  But the process seems to be the same. 

We generally seem to "hit the wall" on the muscular approach at about high C or D - depending upon the player. After that, it's another approach that - when perfected - could possibly be used to hit those "muscle" notes easier as well.

Can you elaborate on this? Specifically the "much more muscular effort, at least until results show up and things get much easier" and the "after that, it's another approach" bits.
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« Reply #18 on: Jun 10, 2017, 06:44PM »

Can you elaborate on this? Specifically the "much more muscular effort, at least until results show up and things get much easier" and the "after that, it's another approach" bits.

I believe it involves mastering the art of employing concentrated effort with minimal exertion.

...Geezer
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« Reply #19 on: Jun 10, 2017, 06:46PM »

Sure.  

What happens with you may not be like what happens with me, but...

It's hard for me to think back to what it was like before I learned a couple things.  So let me conclude as I have before that there seem to be three basic ways to move up a partial: 1 more air, 2 contracted aperture (focus?), 3 tongue movement.  

Looking back to when the pressure would start to rise in my head starting from 7th partial G on up, I now realize I was relying on additional air, primarily, to get higher.  Eventually this resulted in a conflict between vigorous blowing and the glottis trying to resist it.  All that blowing was getting bottled up.  

A trumpet friend suggested the glottis may have been trying to perform the function of a raised tongue at the back of the mouth.  Trying this, the glottis immediately relaxed.  That was really crazy.  Then notes just happened, up to a limit, without head pressure.  

Since then it has been one implication after another, fluctuating tongue position.  In general, you can feel this off the horn by blowing through your aperture and listening to the rush of air, which has sortof a pitch to it.  Then vary your tongue as in whistling and that sorta pitch changes.  That is how I understand the higher notes now.  but the CHANGE in tongue position, vigorous change, is showing up in flexibility everywhere.  

So what I mean is that I could have, and did, do strength training in that high pressure zone, but looking back, it cannot have helped.  Much better would have been to hunt and peck for some way to get the pitch out with low effort.  Then finding a low effort path, practice it.  

I'm still looking for a reliable path for 16th partial A and above.  One of these days...

I'm sure I would be nowhere on this without working through a lot of sabutin's kindof experimental practice routines.  I'm not smart enough without a good lead.  
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