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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) How do you increase high range consistency?
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trb420
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« on: Jul 14, 2017, 04:30PM »

Some days I can play up to high F with little difficulty, but other days I struggle to play an Bb without a ton of effort. I dont think it's an issue of endurance (on a day when my range isnt happening, resting won't make it any better). Can anyone recommend anything for range consistency?
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Full Pedal Trombonist

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« Reply #1 on: Jul 14, 2017, 05:26PM »

Make a conscious effort to form your embouchure the same way every time your lips touch your mouthpiece. Also that it is the correct embouchure. I don't know if you have an instructor.

Aside from that play all the way up and all the way down every time you practice. Scales, arpeggios... when I was trying to expand my range I just tried to see how high and low I could play each day and it increased eventually.

And also it is very important to not overdo it. Don't hurt yourself. Rest and stretch and hydrate.
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hyperbolica
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 14, 2017, 05:37PM »

Really, practice is the only thing. There is no hack. Do intervals, scales, melodies in progressively higher keys. Get a hymnal and read a hymn. Now memorize it. Next try to play it in a key a step higher. Practice articulating and slurring. The big thing is hearing the note before you try to play it, so singing or humming the melody or interval before you play it is important.
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 14, 2017, 06:02PM »

The way to do it is to perfect your low trigger and also your mid range to be extremely consistent and resonant. Then play the upper register with the same embouchure (no shifts or pinching). Play the upper register like it's middle F.

That's how you do it, literally, but how you get there is probably through 10,000 hours of practice...
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 31, 2017, 03:16PM »

The inconsistency may have to do with swelling in your lips.  As you play your lips swell, and the size of your aperature can vary.  For a lot of us the act of warming up gives us the "right" amount of swelling.  But, your lips can shrink or swell with the general state of hydration in your body, with antihistamines, and with excessive playing orlack of playing.
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 02, 2017, 03:13AM »

For me what helped was using the Louis Maggio book very simple principal but it works. Give it a try.......



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Matt K

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« Reply #6 on: Aug 02, 2017, 04:38AM »

There is a hack for lack of a better term ---- it is having someone who knows how to teach proper technique giving you frequent feedback on what you are doing right and wrong. What works for one person might not for others.  I'd been told what Harrison mentioned for a very long time from several teachers... to use my low embouchure when I play high. Eventually Doug had me do the opposite, where my set starts from the top of my range and works down.  This approach works infinitely better for me, but obviously not for everybody or everybody would be doing it.

Its just like the mouthpiece thing. If there was a mouthpiece that did everything, everyone would play it.  If there was a surefire way to get high range by doing X, people would do X!
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 02, 2017, 08:59AM »

Eventually Doug had me do the opposite, where my set starts from the top of my range and works down.  This approach works infinitely better for me, but obviously not for everybody or everybody would be doing it.


That's my approach too, based also on Doug's advice.  But it's not easy to do.  Especially if you play in the low range for long it's hard to keep those beginner habits from slipping back.  Oh, caveat.  I'd read that advice long before I ever saw Doug, and it didn't work.  Well, doh, I was doing it wrong. 

Maybe beginners should start higher.

Everybody doesn't do it, but then how many people have that high range?  Probably the same number as have solid lip trills. 

and then, people more talented than I can probably maintain two separate settings, a low and a high. 
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 02, 2017, 09:14AM »

I met a high school band director (that played trumpet) said that when he taught beginner bands, he started beginning trombone players on high F instead of mid F. I thought he was crazy, but what do I know? I know he probably had to write all his material because all publishers of beginning band music start trombone players on mid F.

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