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Author Topic: Advice on Hitting High Notes?  (Read 15266 times)
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chris1030

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« on: Mar 14, 2017, 06:25AM »

I'll be performing a solo in a few months where I have to hit a C one octave above middle C ( ) a few times, sometimes jumping up and down the octave in one beat ( ->  ) I can hit the note, but not consistently and not easily. It sounds like I'm struggling and takes a few seconds before I can sustain it. Any tips on how to get the note consistently?
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 14, 2017, 06:34AM »

My favorite high note exercise was posted by WaltTrombone.  It's the Remington "Security in the Upper Register" exercise.  It takes time and effort but you can use it to get easily to the F above that C.  Important: don't try to get ahead of yourself and give yourself some rest if you flub a note 3 times.

Another exercise I've done is the Arban Interval exercise or as a variation, playing a scale in octave leaps (F-F, G-G, A-A, etc.).

Always start from what you can do easily and work toward where you need work.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 15, 2017, 10:48AM »

Hi Chris,

I'd also recommend:

http://www.hip-bonestore.com/Build_Your_Range_for_Trombone_p/hbm188.htm

It comes with some great play along tracks and it's really helping me. The author is a professional trumpet player and did his PhD (in part) on exercises to increase range.  In fact, you can read his thesis here:

http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1536&context=oa_dissertations

There's some interesting stuff in there (although at least some is probably trumpet specific), but it isn't a substitute for his book.

Pete
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timothy42b
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 15, 2017, 12:50PM »

I'm going to disagree with everybody here.

I don't think you should do any of those exercises unless you do them correctly.

No exercise will build range on its own; you have to have an idea what you're doing and why you're doing it, what correct mechanics are and how they build range. 

The difference between correctly and incorrectly can be subtle.  (Not for me, I usually do them blatantly wrong!)
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 16, 2017, 05:32AM »

I'm going to disagree with everybody here.

I don't think you should do any of those exercises unless you do them correctly.

No exercise will build range on its own; you have to have an idea what you're doing and why you're doing it, what correct mechanics are and how they build range. 

The difference between correctly and incorrectly can be subtle.  (Not for me, I usually do them blatantly wrong!)

Agreed.  After years of bad habits and incorrect playing, I'm finally making serious progress after taking a couple of long distance lessons from Doug.  Good teachers are critical to correct learning.

--Andy in OKC
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 16, 2017, 05:45AM »

Agreed.  After years of bad habits and incorrect playing, I'm finally making serious progress after taking a couple of long distance lessons from Doug.  Good teachers are critical to correct learning.

--Andy in OKC

Agreed!  Good!
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #6 on: Mar 16, 2017, 06:09AM »

Hi Chris,

I'd also recommend:

http://www.hip-bonestore.com/Build_Your_Range_for_Trombone_p/hbm188.htm

It comes with some great play along tracks and it's really helping me. The author is a professional trumpet player and did his PhD (in part) on exercises to increase range.  In fact, you can read his thesis here:

http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1536&context=oa_dissertations

There's some interesting stuff in there (although at least some is probably trumpet specific), but it isn't a substitute for his book.

Pete

Thank you for posting that thesis!

Relaxation and compression seem to be the key elements presented.

Although one instructor seems to get the bulk of the cheer leading around here, there are others who are excellent as well!!!! Glad they are around! Different ways of accomplishing the same end goal are always welcome.

...Geezer
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afugate

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« Reply #7 on: Mar 16, 2017, 06:21AM »

Although one instructor seems to get the bulk of the cheer leading around here, there are others who are excellent as well!!!! Glad they are around! Different ways of accomplishing the same end goal are always welcome.

...Geezer

Different teachers for different areas of expertise.  And, each teacher connects differently with each student.  It pays to have more than one source.  But it also pays to have a good idea of which teachers excel in which areas.  For example, a great technical studies teacher may not be a great embouchure mechanics teacher.  (That was true in my case.)

--Andy in OKC
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 16, 2017, 06:37AM »

Different teachers for different areas of expertise.  And, each teacher connects differently with each student.  It pays to have more than one source.  But it also pays to have a good idea of which teachers excel in which areas.  For example, a great technical studies teacher may not be a great embouchure mechanics teacher.  (That was true in my case.)

--Andy in OKC

Bottom line is to seek out the one(s) that helps you the best. A caveat though is to not get confused over different approaches. So it's probably best to have a wide separation; such as one for the mechanics of playing and a different one for self-expression, if one doesn't do it all for you.

P.S. I take your snipping out the lead thought in my statement in your quote to focus on the other to mean that you agree with that first point. lol

...Geezer
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timothy42b
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 16, 2017, 07:25AM »

Agreed.  After years of bad habits and incorrect playing, I'm finally making serious progress after taking a couple of long distance lessons from Doug.  Good teachers are critical to correct learning.

--Andy in OKC

A good teacher is optimal.

In the absence of one, playing next to somebody who plays well can be extremely helpful, in fact a lesson in itself.  Sometimes even if he/she can't explain what they're doing, if you're next them and hear how they approach high notes you can kind of get the flavor of it. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 16, 2017, 07:49AM »

A good teacher is optimal.

In the absence of one, playing next to somebody who plays well can be extremely helpful, in fact a lesson in itself.  Sometimes even if he/she can't explain what they're doing, if you're next them and hear how they approach high notes you can kind of get the flavor of it. 

Agreed on both points!

Something I have tried and use from time-to-time is to switch to a too-small mouthpiece for a couple days to get the feel of hitting higher notes. It seems to then transfer my ability to focus my aperture and air stream to my normal mouthpiece. But this isn't for someone who might get "messed up" by switching rims, even for a couple days.

...Geezer
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« Reply #11 on: Mar 16, 2017, 07:58AM »





http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1536&context=oa_dissertations

There's some interesting stuff in there (although at least some is probably trumpet specific),

I just read that.  I'm not sure if I'd seen it before or not, memory isn't all that reliable.  Some parts seemed familiar.

At any rate, IMO a beginner should NEVER read it online.

He/she should print it out, use a scissors to cut out the yoga breath section that requires abdominal tension, and throw it away.  Then read the rest. 

I'm not saying there isn't any value in that section, but the idea of compressing air through abdominal tension is probably going to set a beginner back years. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #12 on: Mar 16, 2017, 08:27AM »

In the absence of one, playing next to somebody who plays well can be extremely helpful, in fact a lesson in itself. 

I love setting next to someone who is better than I am - it brings my playing up.  It is so simple, yet so effective.

Note: It's the most effective for me when that person plays the same part or at least the same size horn and similar part; i.e. I get more from setting next to another bass 'bone (which is very infrequent) than I do a tenor
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« Reply #13 on: Mar 16, 2017, 08:38AM »

I love setting next to someone who is better than I am - it brings my playing up.  It is so simple, yet so effective.

I'm the same way! It is so nice to have someone who is better then you playing on the same part with you.
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #14 on: Mar 16, 2017, 08:51AM »

I just read that.  I'm not sure if I'd seen it before or not, memory isn't all that reliable.  Some parts seemed familiar.

At any rate, IMO a beginner should NEVER read it online.

He/she should print it out, use a scissors to cut out the yoga breath section that requires abdominal tension, and throw it away.  Then read the rest. 

I'm not saying there isn't any value in that section, but the idea of compressing air through abdominal tension is probably going to set a beginner back years.
 

What makes you state that; experience, advice received or independent reading. Sorry, but your say-so ain't enough.

P.S. Perhaps we should keep in mind that the paper referenced in above posts was done at the University of Miami.  Evil

...Geezer
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« Reply #15 on: Mar 16, 2017, 10:26AM »

What makes you state that; experience, advice received or independent reading. Sorry, but your say-so ain't enough.

My experience is mostly with singers and choir directors.
My observation is that with beginners any guidance other than take a deep relaxed breath leads to at best confusion and at worst catastrophe.  If the advice is correct (rare!) then it is misunderstood.  I have an example in mind right now but this is public.  Come to think of it, he's not computer literate, I'll risk.  There's an alto with a nice sound who took him seriously when he kept insisting on support from the diaphragm.  Sure enough, she's tightened up, and now she has a tension tremor on every pitch. 

Specific to the article, he talks about compression.  Trumpet players use the word two different ways, to refer to air pressure and lip to lip compression.  He is talking about air pressure, produced by abdominal pressure. 

ran out of time, more later. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #16 on: Mar 16, 2017, 10:29AM »

Have a skype lesson with Doug Elliott!
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« Reply #17 on: Mar 16, 2017, 10:33AM »

I'm going to disagree with everybody here.

I don't think you should do any of those exercises unless you do them correctly.

No exercise will build range on its own; you have to have an idea what you're doing and why you're doing it, what correct mechanics are and how they build range. 

The difference between correctly and incorrectly can be subtle.  (Not for me, I usually do them blatantly wrong!)

Yup. What he said ^^

I recommend getting really solid in the mid to lower range. Build that base as wide as you possibly can, and the high notes will be more stable.
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #18 on: Mar 16, 2017, 10:39AM »

My experience is mostly with singers and choir directors.
My observation is that with beginners any guidance other than take a deep relaxed breath leads to at best confusion and at worst catastrophe.  If the advice is correct (rare!) then it is misunderstood.  I have an example in mind right now but this is public.  Come to think of it, he's not computer literate, I'll risk.  There's an alto with a nice sound who took him seriously when he kept insisting on support from the diaphragm.  Sure enough, she's tightened up, and now she has a tension tremor on every pitch. 

Specific to the article, he talks about compression.  Trumpet players use the word two different ways, to refer to air pressure and lip to lip compression.  He is talking about air pressure, produced by abdominal pressure. 

ran out of time, more later. 

Okay, that is the big caveat I see in the "compression" approach - letting tension creep into the torsal and headal areas, which would do more harm than good. But I'm having a very hard time making the "compression" approach - in and of itself - bad. It's how it's misused. So yeah. If it's employed, then best under the watchful eye of a great instructor.

...Geezer
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« Reply #19 on: Mar 16, 2017, 11:14AM »

Tongue position also adds the to compression's creation. On all brass instruments.
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