Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by kurt17cobain, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. kurt17cobain

    kurt17cobain New Member

    I've just recently been asked to switch from flute to baritone in a marching band. I can play most of the notes on it so far but I seem to have trouble with the higher notes. Does anybody have any tipes on how I can reach these high notes. Thanks
  2. When I play my baritone, my approach is use the lip for the low notes and my body for the high notes. Two things you need for getting up there is support and confidence. If you notice, you need fewer fingers above treble C (third space). So it can get frustrating shooting for the high G and missing low (i.e. that E). Each note up to high C needs your total confidence and body support. Try a scale starting with the high G and work down and then back up. The chops will start off getting tired very quickly. But as you keep working it, those muscles will work in and it should get easier. Also try a smaller mouthpiece (maybe a 12C). It might help.

    Kenneth D. Friedrich
  3. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    To produce a decent sound in any register you should be using your diaphragm - that's where your instrument's air column starts - inside you! The diaphragm is the power house of your sound and your embouchre (chops) are the fine controls. You probably need to work on breathing and lip flex - I found that increasing my pedal register helped my upper range too.
  4. Dyddgu

    Dyddgu Member

    What they said... ;-)
    What I've found for getting high notes is, unfortunately, lots of practice, and lots of long notes. Strengthen the diaphragm, get used to what it feels like on the lips, and it eventually gets better. I have found the book "How Brass Players Do It" very useful indeed for giving structured exercises to get high (and low) notes.

    By the way, welcome to the best instrument in the band! :D
  5. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Ooo, shockingly inaccurate advice, and from a PhD student as well… you don’t use your diaphragm, you use the muscles around it… the diaphragm is an involuntary muscle that simply gets out of the way when you breath in, and moves back in when you breath out, but you can help it push air out by pushing with the stomach muscles around it…

    Ah, I love the smell of pedantic rubbish in the morning…
  6. amgray

    amgray Member

    The phrase "Diaphragmatic Breathing" has been in common usage for a number of years, Dennis Wick, Ian Bousefield and Chris Houlding (amongst many others) are particularly fond of emphasising it.

    It makes sense to have simple, effective explanations for complex processes. The fine details of the mechanisms involved in playing (that are not under concious control) are far too involved for effective teaching.

    Lets leave the physiology to the Physiologists and try to communicate senza ego when someone requires help and advice shall we?


    Andrew M. Gray B.Sc. (Hons), Biology, York
  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Then again, you could always adopt the Maurice Murphy approach....

    'Stick it on your face and blow till it hurts'.

    Or something like that....

  8. Ive been told that clenching your buttocks gets them high notes out!
    (not that I do that - I use my stomach)
  9. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member


    They ain't called BARKING IRONS for nothing!!! :D :D :D
  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I suspect the instrument that's being referred is more like what we would call a Euphonium, as I'm guessing that the original poster is a) American and b) not using British brass band terms.

Share This Page