hello! come back player

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    Trumpet 007

    Hello there, I am a comeback player of 3 years after a 25 year break! Things are coming back slowly and I am enjoying playing every day. I can play comfortably to high C now but my problem is playing over this. I play in a local big band and sometimes the parts call for notes higher. Some days I can hit an Eb but I have nothing over this! Any tips for an old dog well recieved!


    Welcome back.
    Have you been back on your horn for 3 year now? (After 25 off.)

    Either way, get with a teacher and take some lessons. Play your horn regularly with devoted intent not to develope poor habits. This may seem obvious but you would be supprized how we tend to go the route of picking up habits that hinder our playing abilities long term.

    Keep playing with others and absorb their good abilities and share yours with them (talk trumpet stuff and geek out with them). Pick all the musicians brains and learn what you can…

    I know this site is called trumpet range, but don’t stress about your range. Slowly work more and more in your upper register… Pushing your limit systematically and it will come.

    You asked for tips, this was probably not exactly what you hoped for but without playing next to you or even hearing you it is hard to incapsulate what to do.

    Here is sort of routine I use when I have little time:

    Set a metronome at 60 (do not watch it but rather listen to it) use it at this tempo for all 3 sections.

    1. Long tone/note bending/range system

    Start on your C in the staff. With a breath attack play:
    C(2 beats) B(2 beats) Bb(2 beats) B(2 beats) C(12 beats) …all in one breath…
    Repeat this, only this time use no valve to change pitch.
    After each “set” slur through all octaves of starting note (for this one it is C)
    I will play through pedal and extream register. Push yourself but not hurt yourself and insure you are using your embouchure correctly (this is where a good teacher comes in hand).
    in order to play this correctly in one breath you must be as efficient as possible with your air. Lip aperture must be slightly touching only pushed open by a steady stream of air. Use the breath attack to help you feel this.

    Continue this system chromatically B Bb A, Bb A Ab, etc etc stop after G F# F

    2. Tonguing system

    Start on G where we left off previously. Metronome still @60 …
    4 beats each play: quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes, sixteenth note quintuplets
    Do it again only this time “K” tongue.
    Do it a 3rd time using double, triple and triple/double combination for quintuplets.

    Do this “set” chromatically down to C below the staff. Remember to always listen to the metronome but do not watch it, time should be heard and felt internally but not watched.

    3. Flexibility system

    Slur from low C to G in the staff: quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes, and sixteenth note triplets. Only go as subdivided as you can stay in time but always push your limits… Even if you can only get one beat at a time until you are able to accurately play 4 beach in time, each subdivision consecutively.

    Play through this set chromatically down to low F#.

    Well I tried to write up a little routine … There it is, if you have question or if I am unclear (I am positive of that)… Feel free to say so or ask for clarification.
    It’s not the end all be all just a little work out

    Red Bank Kid

    This sounds like a great routine, ZW. Thanks for sharing. I like how you focus on chops, good air and tongue rather than just one thing. I think a lot of routines tend to ignore one or other area, usually the tongue, and focus too much on air or flexibilities.

    I will try this today. I haven’t experimented much with note bends. But I did notice in practice recently that keeping the air moving through the aperture without increasing the amount of air (so not spreading the aperture, just increasing the air velocity) really helps in the upper register.


    I’m glad you are trying it out. As for the lip bends you may have some trouble going a whole step down … So try a half step the first time ( C , B , C instead of C , B , Bb , C ).

    Listen to the tone or sound… Try to avoid getting an airy sound, it will probably get airy but try to keep your lips as close as possible. This will help prevent an airy sound as much as possible.

    -Yes your observation about the focus and speed of air having to do more with upper rage than the amount of air is spot on. The amount of air deals more with volume/loudness.

    Just stick with it, and remember these are all just exercises not musical Etudes. It’s like going to the gym to work out, not playing a game with the team or performing an ballet ice show.

    Let me know how this all pans out for you.

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