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Author Topic: High note articulation  (Read 4260 times)
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HoldenWelch007
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« on: Aug 10, 2017, 01:36PM »

Hi guys I've been playing trombone for almost 3 years now and I've really been expanding my range and flexibility. I've had successful progress, I feel, when it comes to accuracy with high register notes, but I sometimes feel as if my articulation isn't as clear. Has anyone had a problem like this before and if so how did you go about dealing with it. I practice fundamentals  thoroughly everyday, and I'm sure with further development it will clear up. I was just curious if there are any syllables out there that might make it easier.

To clarify. The high register I'm talking about is up to the D four ledger lines above bass clef staff. More specifically in the B flat partial. Thanks guys
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 10, 2017, 01:43PM »

The Tee (Dee, Hee, whatever) often helps.  It shrinks the oral cavity to better resonate the upper register.

If you have the Hunsberger version of the Remington Warmup Exercises he expands on the "Security in the Upper Register" exercise to help with notes up to the F above your D (Remington stopped at Bb 4 lines above the bass clef).
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HoldenWelch007
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 10, 2017, 02:27PM »

Alright thanks! I don't have that book but will definitely look into getting it👍🏻
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Bjroosevelt
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 10, 2017, 05:26PM »

I'm just the dad of a young student...but I have recently gone through a very long experience purchasing a new horn for my son and getting the proper mouthpiece for it....which we have finally done. 

I have noticed that the size of the mouthpiece he uses has a giant impact on how cleanly he can articulate the high notes.  What size mouthpiece do you use?  And what is the bore of your horn?
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Bob Riddle

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« Reply #4 on: Aug 10, 2017, 06:21PM »

There are many books,methods that will help with all kinds of development.(My favorites at the moment are the Michael Davis books available at many website stores and at his website, Hip-Bone Music.com . The important thing is to start slowly and give yourself time to develop.Very few players are such naturals that there are not at least a few bumps along the way.

Good Luck!

Bob Riddle
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stealthheartocarinaZ
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 11, 2017, 04:47PM »

I like to play the note after a lower note to practice hitting the pitch. I can hit pretty high on a chromatic scale, but it's harder to switch from low to high when it's unfamiliar. I know this isn't exactly what you were asking, but I've learned that being more familiar with a note helps strengthen the muscles around your mouth, making it easier to articulate notes. I don't know - this is just my opinion.
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 11, 2017, 04:52PM »

I like to play the note after a lower note to practice hitting the pitch. I can hit pretty high on a chromatic scale, but it's harder to switch from low to high when it's unfamiliar. I know this isn't exactly what you were asking, but I've learned that being more familiar with a note helps strengthen the muscles around your mouth, making it easier to articulate notes. I don't know - this is just my opinion.

If I get the gist of your post, it is a little easier for me to hit intervals squarely on if I can sing the notes in my head as I am playing them.

And I guess I didn't! lol

...Geezer
« Last Edit: Aug 14, 2017, 01:13PM by Geezerhorn » Logged
sabutin

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« Reply #7 on: Aug 11, 2017, 07:06PM »

Hi guys I've been playing trombone for almost 3 years now and I've really been expanding my range and flexibility. I've had successful progress, I feel, when it comes to accuracy with high register notes, but I sometimes feel as if my articulation isn't as clear. Has anyone had a problem like this before and if so how did you go about dealing with it. I practice fundamentals  thoroughly everyday, and I'm sure with further development it will clear up. I was just curious if there are any syllables out there that might make it easier.

To clarify. The high register I'm talking about is up to the D four ledger lines above bass clef staff. More specifically in the B flat partial. Thanks guys

The tongue has many functions...especially in the higher ranges. It is hard...if not nearly impossible...to use the tongue as both an articulation device and as an air stream-directing device in the altissimo ranges.

Sorry, but there it is...

It's a different world above C# in the 10th partial.

It can be done, but at what expense to the lower ranges?

S.
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 14, 2017, 01:07PM »

(https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264517131_Trumpet_Playing_3D_Tongue_Motion_Analysis_Performing_Science)

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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 14, 2017, 04:19PM »

I wonder if the shape of the individuals upper palate is a major factor. I never heard of the idea of tongue shaping to aid the higher tones before reading about it on this forum.  Since then I've experimented with arching the tongue and it's not benefitted me in any way. But, I do drop my tongue to aid the production of the lower tones, that is, until I reach a lower break around low G.

I use lip trills from 6 up 2nd or 1st position (avoiding Ab in 1st), starting with C to F in 6th as my higher note maintenance. It's aperture and air for me..
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 14, 2017, 04:41PM »

I agree. That pedagogical concept drove me nuts a while until I reasoned that beyond a certain point, the tongue is arched up as much as it can be and no further arching is possible. And yet, there are still higher notes to be hit, so there is yet another level of technique to apply on top of it all.

Besides that, if the tongue is used on the attack and even if the attack it up at the upper teeth gum level, the tongue isn't arched as much as possible to start off a high note. So there is a pedagogical gap in simply stating "arch your tongue for high notes". Maybe that is just a beginner's meme that takes them up to, say G or so above the staff. After that, it's another ball game and a lot of players figure it out - in time.

...Geezer
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Bob Riddle

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« Reply #11 on: Aug 15, 2017, 06:45PM »

You can also try a tongue forward position in the upper register .Placing the tongue wherever you normally attack the note.Hold the tongue in that forward position and begin to articulate quarter notes.You will find the force of the air aids in the attack( when the tongue is placed at the base of the top teeth).When the tongue is placed against the bottom teeth and held there,a different thing happens for most players.The attack begins to occur from the top of the tongue (some people call this dorsal tonguing).The thing I notice is with the tongue in a more forward position there seems for me to be far less effort in the middle to upper register.It does take a little bit of time to develop speed ,but once this is practiced most students find their tonguing speed and accuracy increases.
 This just another approach.One that works quite well for me.YMMV.
Bob Riddle
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 15, 2017, 10:09PM »

Yes Bob, that is exactly how it works for me too. I say dorsal tonguing. :)
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Pre59

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« Reply #13 on: Aug 16, 2017, 05:29AM »

Strangely, I can hit a clean  on all three of my horns, but can't get either the E or the Eb between that and the  . It's weird. No amount of experimentation has brought me any closer to hitting those two pitches as cleanly as the high C, D or F+.

Odd.  :cry:

You can get good clean E in a b3rd position and an Eb in a b1st. Also above the Eb is an in tune Gb, and in a b2nd above a D thereís an F. The D and the F in b2nd was in common usage back in the day, this may just be a small bore thing?



It's a different world above C# in the 10th partial.

S.

I think that there is a kind of logical sequence going on, it just that it hasnít much to do with the Bb one..
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sabutin

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« Reply #14 on: Aug 16, 2017, 10:08AM »

You can get good clean E in a b3rd position and an Eb in a b1st. Also above the Eb is an in tune Gb, and in a b2nd above a D thereís an F. The D and the F in b2nd was in common usage back in the day, this may just be a small bore thing?

I think of them as flat positions a 1/2 step lower than do you, myself. Why? Because that way they are more in place with the natural overtone system on the horn. For example...if you go up the partials from say 4th partial G in 4th position, it's B, D, a quite flat F, G, A, B, a sharp C, and a D. (Roughly speaking, of course. Every horn/m'pce setup is slightly different.) In a "musical" sense, it is much easier to hear the next four partials above the 12th partial D as "E, F, F# and G," and in point of fact when singing the 8th through 16th partials using overtone singing, that's exactly how they sound. Like one of the supposed "bebop scales," a major scale w/a #6/b7 added. Like G A B C D E E#/F F# G.

Just sayin'...

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I think that there is a kind of logical sequence going on, it just that it hasnít much to do with the Bb one..

I am coming to much the same conclusion, Pre59. I beginning to think the various "breaks" that aren't completely in line with the Bb harmonic series are dictated by a combination of:

1-One's own physiognomy, include the resonance chambers of the chest and throat/mouth. (Very adjustable, this soft machine. Learning harmonic singing will teach you that. Quickly.)

and

2-The harmonic tendencies of the mouthpiece. If you take about 98% of all of the common (and even not so common) tenor and bass tbn. m'pces...at least the 100+ that I own...place the rim so that it is airtight on your palm and blow over the receiver as if it is a transverse flute or a bottle, you will almost invariably get an E7-ish/F7-ish note. (Maybe a tinch lower or higher, but not often.) That is...a note 3 octaves higher than 8th partial F/E on the horn. That is the mouthpiece's "pedal" tone...the lowest note that the it can produce with no input other than transverse air. It is not likely a coincidence that the most troublesome ranges for most tromboneists are somewhere around 2nd partial F/E, 4th partial F/E, 6th partial F/E and 12 partial F/E. I say that they are troublesome because they are the most common places where...in my own experience and for the many students that I have taught...we run into unconscious "shifting" mechanisms in order to be able to traverse through them in both directions. The shifts begin to come a little lower or higher, but the problems start there because they are naturally very resonant notes on the m'pce. The further away ones gets from them...in either direction...the less the m'pce likes it. We play the trombone so far below that range that as far as the m'pce is concerned all the notes we play are "fake" tones. Like the notes below the pedal range on a trombone, they don't lock very well, so it is relatively easy to play any note that you want to play on the m'pce. The horn provides the centering, provides the partials.

Once one begins to understand the three "logical sequences" involved...the horn's harmonic system, the individual body's harmonic system and the harmonic system of the m'pce...then begins a whole new way of understanding what is going on.

Bet on it.

I'm just getting there myself. A little late after 40+ years of trying to figure it out, but...what the hell. I do keep trying.

Check it out yourself.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 16, 2017, 10:56AM »

Sam, I get what your saying, but re my positions, I've just practiced them until they work and I'm pretty sure that my nomenclature is correct with my set-up. The high D and the F I got through observation of others playing it, and the E in flat 3rd I found by trial and error because I couldn't find a stable one elsewhere. Having got a clear high F in (my) b2nd, the logical place for the F Sharp was just a small shift upwards, as was the shifting up from the D to get the Eb.

I haven't spent any time on G yet..

I'm just getting there myself. A little late after 40+ years of trying to figure it out, but...what the hell. I do keep trying. S.

Me to, I've just turned 65 and am keener than ever to crack this Tbn thing..
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 16, 2017, 12:21PM »

Sam, I get what your saying, but re my positions, I've just practiced them until they work and I'm pretty sure that my nomenclature is correct with my set-up. The high D and the F I got through observation of others playing it, and the E in flat 3rd I found by trial and error because I couldn't find a stable one elsewhere. Having got a clear high F in (my) b2nd, the logical place for the F Sharp was just a small shift upwards, as was the shifting up from the D to get the Eb.

I haven't spent any time on G yet..

I'm just getting there myself. A little late after 40+ years of trying to figure it out, but...what the hell. I do keep trying. S.

Me to, I've just turned 65 and am keener than ever to crack this Tbn thing..

I dunno...I have found these positions by slurring up from secure notes below in a given position and moving the slide until they feel right, then using those positions in performance. I have found them also to be in accord with the overtone series that I can sing (as overtones...in just intonation rather than equal temperment, of course) up past the 16th partial.

Try this, if you want to see what I mean. Play a good 8th partial G in 4th position, and then slur (no tongue after the initial attack) up through the A and B to the next partial...pretty much guaranteed to be a #C. Move the slide down until it's in tune. Then repeat that process...playing the C in the position that you found...to the D. Then do it again, only this time play the next partial above that D. It's liable to be almost smack dab between an E and an Eb. Closer to the E on most horns. I choose to use...to think of... that note as an E in #4 because it is in tune with the overtone series as it appears in overtone singing above a given note. This gives a good F in #3, a good F3 in #2 and...if you play extended positions, as I do...a fairly usable G in #1.

Now...every great high range trombonist that I have ever known groused about the 12th partial E. Their most common solution was to play in it the next higher partial...#4...where it is much more stable. That also gives a good F and F# in he same partial. Experiment through the ensuing partials. What I have found doing this...and trying to move the slide as little as possible because the partials are so close up there that excessive slide movement tends to jostle the notes towards adjacent partials..is that once you get above that 13th partial it's all pretty much chromatic until the overtones turn into microtones and then...if you can play the notes...positions do not much matter above the 16th partial. The F#5, F5 and E5 are the tricky notes, and since the consensus is that E is the trickiest one (Thank you, Dave Steinmeyer)...again no coincidence if F7-ish/E7-ish notes are the m'pce's "pedal" range...then wherever you find that E, the chromatic notes above it should be in roughly the same partials or at least the same general position in higher partials.

On my best high range horn/m'pce, I personally play the F5 in either 1st pos./12th partial or #3rd/13th partial. I try to always play the E5 in #4th/13th partial, the F#5 almost always either in #2nd pos./13th partial or #3rd position/14th partial (Pretty much the same position as an octave down in 7th partial.), the G5 in either close to 3rd position (maybe a little higher) in 15th partial or in 14th partial #2 (Again, pretty much the same as as 7thg partial an octave down, and after that the stuff is so close that I'm not really particular, although I do tend to stay in 2nd position from there on up.

So far.

Now...I am by no means some kind of high range specialist. I personally put my horns and m'pces together to play well in the main ranges, and I have found that doing so somewhat limits their "lockability" in ranges above about F. So it goes. I mostly use these notes when soloing, most often as an effect or closing note. However, having played with people like Dave Steinmeyer, Britt Woodman, Urbie Green and Bill Watrous...and having kept my ears open and asked questions while I was with them...I've learned a couple of things.

As always...just trying to share.

Use it in good health.

Later...

S.

P.S. A quick word about Eb5. The 2nd pos./11th partial is almost invariably the best place for it, as is the 3rd pos./11th partial for the D5 because it's usually way flat in 10th partial/1st position. However, getting from that 2nd pos./11th partial Eb5 to the E5 above it in #4 is quite difficult. Too much slide motion up there, at least for me. Eb5 is usually lousy in the 12th partial, too. It's never easy up there unless you have specialized in it in terms of both equipment and embouchure/blow. Have fun...

Just sayin'...sometimes you have to bite the bullet and play the E5 in 12th partial/2nd position.

Usually it bites me back.

Sigh...
 
« Last Edit: Aug 17, 2017, 01:03AM by sabutin » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: Aug 16, 2017, 02:50PM »

This is one of those band room topics, easy to demonstrate, difficult to explain in print, well for me anyway. But you're right, it's that "E" that's the important note.

I would never describe myself as a high note specialist, and I've moved to a larger m/p to open out the mid-lower areas of my range, playing out from the 3rd position*, which is something that we discussed in the past.


(*The written tbn solo in Little Brown Jug gets interesting around the chromatic phrase on bar 5-8, when played using pos 4 and 5. But that's going off topic..)
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 16, 2017, 06:31PM »

Try setting that "tongue arch" way back for low notes.  Then let it move like a wave toward the front as you move up.  By the time C in 13th partial comes up, the crest of the wave is way forward.  What happens after G?  HeckifIknow. 

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« Reply #19 on: Aug 17, 2017, 05:49AM »

 
What happens after G?  HeckifIknow. 


Have just checked on my setup and, I got a slotted G, G sharp and A in 3rd.
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