Cornet Mouthpiece to improve high register?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Cornet23, May 9, 2015.

  1. Cornet23

    Cornet23 Member

    I've been a cornet player for years, but always struggle with tone in the high register, and getting anything at all above a G on top of stave. Really, I know I should probably try another instrument (baritone, perhaps) but I love the cornet in general, and would hate to have to give up on it.

    I am playing with a Denis Wick 3B mouthpiece at the moment, but was wondering whether anyone had any advice with regards to perhaps trying a different mouthpiece to see if this can help a little.

    I am admittedly a little out of practice, too, but am getting back into it slowly but surely. I did always have these issues even when in practice, but I was sitting on a third cornet seat so it didn't matter. Now, my technical ability (tonguing, fingering, tone in lower register) is all much better, and if I were able to play higher I would be comfortable on our front row.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Try taking a look here - no need to change your mouthpiece - this did wonders for me.
  3. Feel My Rath

    Feel My Rath Member

    I'm a bone player but the theory should be the same. I aim to play with minimal pressure at all times, which will mean a lot of practice at first but it will be worth it in the end. The aim is a stronger embouchure which will be a lot more efficient in the long run. I'd particularly work on scales, arpeggios, long notes, and lip slurs. The lip slurs in particular should help you build range.

    Generally speaking, a new mouthpiece would be a short term solution with an obvious honeymoon period unless what you use now just doesn't work for you at all, but from what you say, you are happy with tone and articulation down low, so it just sounds like a range-building exercise to me.
  4. Cornet23

    Cornet23 Member

    Thanks to both of you. FMR you're right in that I think I need to put time into it.. I was kind of hoping for comments along the lines of "woah, nobody can play high notes on a 3B, I know one that will add four octaves" haha. I get very impatient. But I know if I ever want to hold a better seat I need to get it sorted, because it really is only my register that lets me down.. it's annoying!
  5. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    If anyone says this (the latter bit especially) distrust them

    Do you have a teacher?
    Have you asked them about it?

    Any "quick fix" for the upper register (don't think of them as "high" notes - puts a mental block on them) should be treated warily - a decent, solid upper register takes time to develop.
  6. Cornet23

    Cornet23 Member

    I don't unfortunately. I took lessons for 8 years when I was at school, then took 5 years out and now trying to get back into it. I was thinking maybe I should get some lessons but I feel a bit silly doing that at 24! I know it shouldn't bother me!
  7. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    I have had a few adult students (a couple of long-term and a few more occasional) and there is nothing to feel silly about. From experience, my adult students tend (huge generalisation) to work harder than many of my younger ones. They understand that progress isn't immediate and won't happen without putting in the effort.
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    I approached the principal trumpet of one of the big orchestras who lived in the same town as me. For a modest fee he gave me a complete chop rebuild. Became much more efficient. Solid to a top G on any mouthpiece. Don't need to breathe as often either due to the increased efficiency. Took three months (of sounding like a ten year old beginner) so I did it over the summer.
  9. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Check out teachers who do online lessons: I've been taking lessons every few weeks for a few months now on SKYPE, and it has made a hell of a difference. Apart from learning new techniques, and whatnot, the two biggest benefits are: 1) it cuts out all the chopping and changing that I used to do...shifting the mouthpiece around to see if it helps, etc. and not sticking with anything long enough to let it take hold...with a teacher, he just tells you "do it this way", and you do and you stick with it; 2) it keeps you focussed and honest: I practice a set routine now, instead of flitting through exercise books, and I practice regularly so that I look less of a fool by the time the next lesson comes around. I no longer feel the need to work my way through a practice book (like Arban), focussing instead on the exercises that I have been set. Give it a go, and see for yourself.

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