HELP! "Top" Db on euph sounds rubbish!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by matty1986, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. matty1986

    matty1986 Member

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a wee bit of advice.

    I've had a couple of test pieces in the past where i've had a "top" Db above the stave and have a really horrible time pitching it.

    I have no trouble with the surrounsing notes, and have tried multiple valve combination (1+2, 2, 2+4, etc). I've even sat with a tuner to make sure I am pitching the note right. But not matter what I do, the Db always sounds a horrible note. It's not just the euph I play, as i've had this problem on different makes.

    Is there anyone else out there that has/had a similar problem, even with a different note, and how did you overcome it.

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated. I've got a solo line in a concert on Saturday for a new band and i'm bricking it about the one chuffing note!!

    Thanks in advace all!!
  2. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Get yourself a copy of "How Brass Players Do It" , which is full of flexibility exercies which if worked through should help with playing comfortably in this register.
    There are other books too, such as The Charles Colins Advanced Flexibilities.
  3. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    It's not a very nice note. I use 2nd valve as it's the most in tune for me. Keep practicing, mate, it's the only way!
  4. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Have you tried using 1st valve and lipping down ? It might work if you're playing it flat on the other fingerings.
    Long term you need to work your range up higher so that the "lower" notes are more comfortable.
    I found very useful - it increased my range considerably.
  5. matty1986

    matty1986 Member

    Thanks all.

    I've got a copy of how brass players do it. Dog eared and battered from many years of use (or misuse).

    My range isn't bad,,I am comfy and confident going up the the F above,,it's just this particular sounds that gives me jip.

    I'm playing is on 2nd valve at the moment,,just have to keep practicing and get used to the sound I suppose!
  6. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    You're not alone mate, it's an awful note on a euph. I tend to use 2nd valve if it a sustained note (better for the tuning) but it's more secure on 1st&2nd so will use these if it's perhaps a crotchet or shorter. The only 'advice' I can give is to just keep plugging away at it.
  7. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    You'll not go to wrong with the 2nd valve. All my pupils are taught to use this!!
  8. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    What is it about the sound that you don't like?
    It seems that the note is "comfortable" ie. in your range, and you haven't mentioned it being out of tune..
    Perhaps playing the note in context - plenty of scales up and around it might help ?
  9. pienbeans

    pienbeans New Member

    Do you think of it as a Db? Is it in your mind, perhaps? Why not think of it as C sharp or does C sharp sound as bad if you are playing in sharp keys?
  10. adrian90s

    adrian90s Member

    What instrument are you playing?

    The band trumpet was a Besson 967GS and this produced some awful high notes, so I changed to a Sterling Virtuoso things have now changed dramatically. High Db is still not as good but it is easily pitchable, strangely higher notes (up to F) are easier, and also any valve combinations can get the note!
    The instrument change came after a succession of high note testpieces (Northern lights, Isiah40 etc.) for me, old Besson 967's could'nt hack these pieces. I play on a Wick 4AL.
    Within blue empires is also a challenge, ranging from pedal 'A' to top 'F', we are certainly challenged these days.

    Adrian (yorks Imps)
  11. zak

    zak Member

    Hi Adrian,
    Are the Imps going to the English nationals???? I had heard an unconfirmed rumour they were not?? Hope you are by the way as the banding movement needs all the bands it can get!!!

    Good luck if you are there


  12. matty1986

    matty1986 Member

    I'm playing on a wilson 2960 TA.

    As for tuning of the note,,i've sat with a tuner,,that say's it's good and in tune,,my ear thinks it sounds horrible.

    To me,,it sounds almost like it's being flutter tongued. Maybe the harmonics are so close in this range that it doesnt take alot to make it unstable.

    Someone said is it in my head.....quite's been an "issue" note for such a long time maybe i'm mentally making it sound worse than it is.
  13. adrian90s

    adrian90s Member

    Hi Shaun,

    It'll be lonely on stage if we're not , no one has said we are'nt. We are rehearsing as much as I have ever done. Hope to be proping up the bar after a job well done at last.

  14. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    Sounds weirdly euphemistic... or should that be euphoniumistic? ;-)

    Anyway, I know a lot of Euphoniumists that have trouble making this note sound perfect...
  15. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    And don't forget to have a nice cup of tea...:)
  16. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Coffee for me every time!

    I was recording Mahler 7 last week (on the euphonium part) and the orchestra had to stop to retake because I cracked the top C#. Got it 2nd time though!
  17. brassfanatic

    brassfanatic Member

    I know, I've had the same problem. 1+2 feels as if your not actually pitching a note, you can get the high C below it or the high D above it, but for some reason it's almost impossible to pitch that note.

    Just keep trying with alternative fingering I guess. You'd rarely come across it anyway.
  18. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    when faced with "dances and arias" years ago I had similar probs.
    Eventually got round it by buzzing the note all day long just on the mouthpiece. I could feel the note getting cleaner by doing this and it really made a difference when playing the note for real.
  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Embarrassing! I feel your pain... Bass trombone is so much safer - you know it makes sense... ;) [Well, Franck Dm symphony, Hary Janos, Petrushka, etc., etc. aside...]

    On Sovereigns I find that 2+4 for high C#/Db and 4 for high D gives a much more usable tone quality, provided that you don't play it too brutally, in which case it goes a bit French horn. Made the opening of the cadenza in 'Brillante' work a lot better for me.
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    [Too slow on editing to add this to my previous post...]

    What set-up do you use for the Mahler 'Tenorhorn'? In the absence of an actual original instrument, I might personally think of using one of the new breed of big fat baritones - dunno if this would be acceptable in a major orchestra, though?

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