Problems getting above a top C

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by TuTuKu, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    I've been having problems getting higher than a top C on Cornet (2 ledger lines up). I can play anything upto and including the C confidently and without straining, but it just feels like there's barrier at the C that means I can't get any higher! On good days I can squeeze out a C# but D is a no go area (actually I lie, I've got it once!)

    I have been trying for yonks and I'm not making any progress, it's not a major problem as Ds aren't called for much in a 4th sect band, but it's just something that niggles at me as it's only a semitone up from a C#, and all that comes out when I try to play it is air! I'm playing on a DW 4, this shouldn't stop me from getting it should it?

    Has anyone got any suggestions, or any good exercises that might help?

    TuTuKu xx
  2. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    There was quite a long discussion about this HERE

    I don't think that there was any final agreement but there's quite a few ideas.
  3. Martin Hall

    Martin Hall Member

    Charles Colins advance lip flexibilities should sort you out in a couple of weeks!!!!

    Good book for other advantages too!!!!!
  4. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    DW4's aren't great for areas 'above C level' but I guess it's possible. What I'm about to impart isn't advice, merely relating my own experiences.
    When I had lessons at school, my then teacher, (a regular in the Ted Heath band) advised me thus. Start your warm up by setting your embouchure and playing middle G for 12 seconds. 4 seconds rest, then G sharp, 4 seconds rest then onwards and upwards chromatically, breathing through your nose and not altering the embouchure at all until the corners of your mouth ache to the point you cannot go any higher (not putting more physical pressure, though!). I usually start to begin to feel the musicles aching at around top A/Bb. Then put instrument down for 15 minutes, then start again as normal.

    It did work for me but different things work with different players. If 'roddy' is around and watching this, I guess he'd be able to offer far more useful info then me! ;-)

    I also find that using 2nd valve for top C sharp and open for top D is more secure to hit and better in tune but again, it's not advice, but it works for me.
  5. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    I would recommend that you go to see a good teacher for a couple of lessons. A good teacher will be able to point out what you may be doing wrong and also advise you on what you need to work at in order to achieve your goal.

    I'm talking from experience, believe me! Just looking at an Arban or a Charles Collins at what you think might work won't necessarily do the trick. You need someone to tell you what to think about, how to approach the exercises etc. I had my first lesson in March/April after a couple of years of none, and the improvement in my playing just after one lesson was dramatic.
  6. fitzy

    fitzy Active Member

    Just blow up to a top C and without thinking about it put your first finger down! Hopefully that will be a D................
    Also playing double octave chromatic scales up to a C at a fast tempo and then putting the C# on top, then the D and so on helps me when I have to do high stuff.
    (I know it sounds stupid but you are probably thinking about it too much and have convinced yourself that its too high)
    Playing lots of low stuff helps too. Maybe get hold of a sop and see if you can get an A on a smaller bore instrument????????????
    (Someone is going to rip my thoeries to shreds as soon as I look away!)
    Go get some lessons!!!
  7. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    Send a message to my brother Mike Jones (Welshmike on here)..he has been playing Eb's and F's above top C for years on a denis wick 2 mouthpiece... :shock:
    I don't know how he does it...but he does it really well..
  8. Roddy (Emb-Enh), got me above a top C on my first lesson - and this was done "with ease" - most important.
  9. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Alternate fingering can help sometimes...i nearly always play C# on 2nd valve and owt above that open (apart from F), mind this is on euph so i don't know how different it is on a cornet.

    What I do to play above C is to "sing" towards the higher notes, (i.e. buzz and hum, kinda like if you were harmonising) sometimes it means clipping an enharmonic note on the way up but nearly always I can get the note, C to F and sometimes G is quite easy.

    The real swine lofty notes that i've found however are C# and E
  10. fitzy

    fitzy Active Member

    I hate C#'s on my sop! THey just don't want to speak! D's and sometimes even Eb's are no problem but those bloody C#'s!!!

    We just did "Chivalry" at our national championships and I had to work my bum off to get the C#'s (of which there are many) to work!
  11. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I usually find with things like this it's a case of "Oh flip... a D!" and everything tightens up in abject fear... Try to relax while you play. I had problems getting the top B in the Derry Air until I looked in the mirror and saw my shoulders go somewhere around my ears every time i got to it!
  12. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    Thanks for all your replies, I think part of it may be a mental block, I'll have to kid myself into playing it!

    I just get another C on 1st if i do this, and if i try to push more air through, the note disappears altogether. It's really annoying because it's so close but just that little bit out of reach.

    Yes this seems like a good idea, I can't think of any top players in the area though really....I'm in the North East, does anyone know of anyone local? The nearest Championship sect band is Hatfield, i think, near Doncaster about an hour away from me.

    Thanks again for your replies, i won't give up hope yet!
  13. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    don't try to put more air through.. just speed up the current airstream.
  14. paddo

    paddo Member

    have you tried jimmy 5 tans?

    Jimmy Haise to all others, he's playing at cws glasgow at the moment but a top player. I don't have a conatact number for him but some one may be able to help you.

  15. cornetchap

    cornetchap Member

    Easy to say, but what does that mean? If I'm going to speed up the air I'll want to try and push it faster which inevitably means more air.

    I think what's meant is that you narrow the aperture that the air flows through and there are only two places to do this 1) in the mouth by moving the tongue towards the roof by saying eee instead of aaa, and 2) at the lips by compressing the lips together. But the answer will probably lie in a combination of the two together with what Lynchie says about not tightening up which will cause you to strangle the airflow in your throat. (Something of which I'm guilty of.)

    Compressing the lips too much will cut off airflow, as can jamming the cornet to the face as this pushes the lips together too. Doesn't stop me jamming it to my face though and that's just for G on the staff :( C# and Ds are nowt but a dream to me at the moment (not that a loose a lot of sleep over though, you understand :) )
  16. welshmike

    welshmike Member

    Interesting comments on here! I aggree with the advice on the Chas Collins method but I think mostly its a state of mind! When you see a high note its a case of "oh my God, its a top D!!! Arrrggghhh".

    The best thing I was ever told but takes lots of practise is that if you wanna play a top D try to play an E! Sounds a bit obvious but it works for me! I think also that development of your lip muscles comes with practise and age! I will never forget David King asking me why I am trying to play a top F when I was only 23! "You're a bit young yet mate" he said before he sailed up to a high G-smart a##e!
  17. TuTuKu

    TuTuKu Active Member

    That's ok then!! I'm only 17!! My trumpet friend of 17 that can squeak anything bust either be a)lying about his age or b) abnormal

    Thinking about it now, that's probably the main problem, so i'm guessing more practise in the higher register is the cure!

    I've just had a quick blow and got a few solid C#s on 2nd, and the begginings of a D. I find that if i play the note on the keyboard first it helps, just to hear where i should be aiming.

    I shall keep trying, thanks for all your help!
  18. Take great care with what you are doing here.......... I am sure that your higher register will come by building a strong high / middle range. If you concentrate only on the high notes - you will knacker your chops and end up having nowt.

    Whatever you choose to do - do it in an easy manner. Make sure that you play easily up to the higher notes - they will come in time..........

    I myself want a top D as easy as my G (on top of stave)......... but am doing it gradually under instruction from a good teacher.

    From my previous posts on this site - you may know that I dearly would love to play "My Tiny Hand Is Frozen" - that top D precludes me at the mo...........

    Whatever you choose to do - best of luck
  19. IcklePablo

    IcklePablo Member

    Playing on a DW 4 shoudn't be a problem. I use a DW 3 and an can get a top E comfortably without straining, i can get a super G, but it just a sqweel. Top E is the highest you can go on cornet if u want to give it some stick. I find that playing on a trumpet for a week really helped me. Just pound out screamers on a trumpet, then go back to cornet and it shudn't be a problem. you can really brass off soprano players aswell because you're higher an louder. Try it. it worked for me. :wink:
  20. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Well ahead of you there Andy, C#s are killers!

    Although I can sympathise. Cs for me have been getting easier for me since I changed to a bigger mouthpiece (at the beginning of the year I was rubbish at anything breahing top G! :shock:)

    Top Ds are arkward because there's actually a large range of fingering available to play it on, and knowing the best one is not the easiest to figure out for every player. Personally open is fine for me (although C#s still stall on 2nd!). Importantly, don't press your mouth against the rim too hard, just concentrate on good diaphragm support and air-speed. Think an "eee" sound, it works for me!

    Although lets be honest, as much as modern day solos like going high and all, it's not that often they go above top C, and when they do they usually have optional lower parts.