Low to high? (Ask Allen)

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Post  TheRiddle on Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:54 pm

Just like Cornyandy, I'm from the UK. Very Happy
I am nearly 17 and have been playing around 7 months now and I feel I am progressing quickly.
I just wanted to say what a privilege it is to talk to you. You're brilliant.

My question:
One area I have big problems in is going from a low passage of music immediately onto a high passage. My body can't seem to adjust from low notes to high notes straight away. I seem to have to strain to hit those notes, even if they're not at the top of my range, but near it. Do you know any way, mental or physical, that I can prepare myself to go from the bottom to higher notes?
I have to shift my embouchure from high on my lips to down low and I realise this may be a contributing factor to my problem.
I may not have phrased my question well but I hope you get the idea?

Also, if you have any other advice for the beginning-ish trumpeter, it'd be very well appreciated.
And an extra question: is playing decently all down to the player or does the equipment (trumpet/mouthpiece) play a role? Because if it's the player, why do professionals have professional instruments?

Last edited by TheRiddle on Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Meant to be Ask Allen)


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Post  Allen_Vizzutti on Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:49 am

Thanks for your questions!
You have been playing a short time. My father who taught me once told me in regards to upper register, "Be patient. It will come."
This will be true for you if your fundamentals are in place, that is, you have a normal embouchure, don't use too much pressure and a employ smooth steady air stream produced with strength but without tension. Experiment beginning with intervals that are easy for you and gradually expand the intervallic movement. That's logic. Observe and control the amount of pressure you use. Always think less pressure. Minimize pivot movement but not to the point of inhibiting yourself. Be patient. If you practice it will improve.

Pro players can play well on student trumpets. Artist level trumpets and tweeking one's personal instrument fine tunes it to suit a one's style, sound and interface / feel for the horn. Professional players also exploit their trumpets to the max in a way that less good players cannot so that small changes in design can be felt as visceral positive or negative attributes. Similarly, the characteristics resulting from expensive materials and manufacturing techniques can be felt by pros and are therefore sought after whereas less advanced players might not have the skill to notice. Example: my trumpet is fabulous all round and particularly good on the Ab and A above high C. Custom mouthpieces are similarly a natural idea. Once the design is worked out, if it ever is, it can obviously help with sound, range and consistency. Few pros play "untouched" stock mouthpieces. Hope this helps. AV

(My 'High Notes' book on this web, "The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method" in 3 parts, and "New Concepts for Trumpet" from Alfred Music Publishers contain significant text, studies and etudes on these and a zillion other subjects).

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