Soprano playing

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Soprano_saes, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. Soprano_saes

    Soprano_saes New Member

    Hey,

    Does anyone have any advice or can recommend any books which help improve the higher register of soprano players! I've been playing Sop for about two months now and am well pleased with my sound, but am unfortunately haveing difficulty with maintaining the higher register.

    Anyone have any advice?
     
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  3. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    A pin?........
     
  4. Griffin

    Griffin Active Member

    I'd recommend Charles Collin's Advanced Lip Flexibilities book.
    It will take time to build up the strength in your chops, but its the best thing for stamina.

    Good Luck
     
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  6. Adrian Horn

    Adrian Horn Member

    Use whatever you would use on the Bb Cornet. Arban, Collins, Quinque ... any good method book that you are used to and just practice as you would on the Bb but on the Sop instead.

    How is your range on the Bb? if you can only just get top C on the Bb then you will probably struggle to get higher than a G on the Sop. Even though the instrument is smaller, the vibrations you have to set up for a G on the sop are the same as the vibrations you set up for a C on the Bb.

    I would say that if you are going to play sop regularly, your Bb cornet range should go up to a pretty solid F above top C.
     
  7. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Try listening to the late Brian Evans CD.
    Should help you with the such ease that is played by him.
    For me the GREATEST SOPRANO PLAYER EVER.
    R.I.P :Brian Evans.:clap:
     
  8. dickyg

    dickyg Member

    I'll second that. Charles Collins flexibilites are designed to extend your register gradually and towards the end of a breath phrase. You probably need to get someone (who knows what they are doing) to check that you are breathing properly and using your diaphragm. Singers also focus their upper 'head' register by imagining the sound being generated from their forehead. This might sound like 'bull' but it can help to stop you 'reaching' up for higher notes.
     
  9. daveredhead

    daveredhead Member

    With ref to another thread elswhere, am on a lighter vein,
    Advice is Join S.P.A.S. and Tonk it out
    Good luck, relax and enjoy the beautiful instrument.:clap:
     
  10. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

  11. Fendall

    Fendall Member

    My Experiences

    Hi there,

    Everyone is different physiologically, so all I can do is relate my recent experiences in overcoming range difficulties, and you might be able to take something from it.

    1. Mouthpiece Choice. I have played an E flat trumpet with a cornet mouthpiece since 1983. Early on, I switched to a Denis Wick 5B mouthpiece, as it gave a fat round cornet tone to match the solo cornet sound. I managed the upper range quite well, but never too well after a few pieces (incidentally, when I was on B flat cornet prior to 1983, I struggled with my range on that!!), but I got through test pieces etc.
    After a long break from banding in the 1990s, I returned and found that all the soprano parts demanded C's and D's, which I just found impossible. My blind loyalty to my mouthpiece had restricted me, so I tried a Denis Wick 'S', and it made a good solid difference without sacrificing too much 'cornet' tone.

    2. Band fitness. After many years as a 'lone trumpeter' I came back to play for band concerts, and found that just making it through a band practice was an incredible achievement. It started toughening me up again, and I rediscovered a fitness I hadn't experienced for many years.

    3. Mouthpiece buzzing. I then discovered that all that time sitting in rush hour traffic could be used to buzz away on my mouthpiece, often to any music playing on the stereo. That meant I got an extra 20 minutes a day, and my lips got a nice leathery toughness to them. I found applying a bit of chapstick straight after that (or any practice) also helped to avoid dryness and cracking. I haven't 'read the manual' on mouthpiece buzzing, so I just do it the way I know how.

    4. Attitude. My return to banding was really daunting, especially when I was playing straight into the back of the British Open solo champion (Alex Kerwin), so I played very timidly to start with, only playing louder when I knew I could play it right. This 'pussyfooting' style wore me out in a bad way (and undermined my confidence), and sight reading does that also. So, once I realised I was getting fitter, and my range was better, and I was good enough again, I took the "give it heaps" attitude. I didn't worry about when my lip would give out, but started assuming it would last all practice - and as long as I am putting in reasonable practice (20 -30 minutes a day), I find now I can get all the high notes at the end of a practice, and importantly, the end of a performance.

    5. Experimenting. I bought a piccolo trumpet last year, and practiced it up, and even did some recordings. It opened up a whole range of notes I never imagined. In concerts now, I even play the piccolo instead of the E flat for some pieces so that I can plant notes as high as 'super G' (for B flat, D for soprano). Regular practice with this increased my confidence and expectations, and the same notes flow easily from the E flat (not with the same ease as a piccolo obviously). I also swap mouthpieces for certain items to suit the style.

    I don't know if my thoughts will provide any magic bullets, but I throw them out there as it may help someone
     
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  13. markyboy

    markyboy Member

    Sorry Adrian but I would have to disagree with those comments.

    Playing a Soprano Cornet and a Bb Cornet are two totally different things. If I was to pick up a Bb Cornet I would be lucky to be able to get a Top C, but a Top G on a Soprano is not a hard note to get for anyone really. Surely the mouthpiece being used makes a massive difference? The 'vibrations set up' as you call them for the top F on the Cornet are much much harder than the Top C on the Soprano Cornet (IMHO).

    Its all about creating a new ombruchure with a Sop mouthpiece, and doing lots of lip studies (as you quite rightly pointed out).

    I'm not suggesting that you made any negative comments, but many bands struggle to find Soprano Cornet players and if someone reading what you had said may have thaught 'Well I cant get a top F on a Bb Cornet, then I've no chance of making it as a Soprano player!'

    A classic example of this is the young lady playing Soprano for Melthem amd Meltham Mills Band (Laura Maynard) or 'The Magificent Miss Maynard' as 4Bars rest called her after she won Best Instrumentalist in the Yorkshire 2nd Section last weekend.
    Laura only went onto Soprano less than a year ago because the they couldn't get a player from another band, no-one else would play it, so she bravely volunteered.

    'Her of her piano playing was some of the best heard all weekend' said Iwan Fox who does know his stuff despite some of the other comments made about him, by other people on other threads lately.

    I've notched up a few years playing Sop and what you can do on a Bb Cornet doesn't always relate to what you may be able to do on a Soprano and vice versa,

    Cheers Mark
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2006
  14. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    Hi there,
    Everyone is different physiologically,

    ABSOLUTELY - I COULD'NT AGREE MORE. [MY CAPS ARE FOR EASE OF COMPARISON READING - I'M NOT SHOUTING! : ) ]

    all I can do is relate my recent experiences in overcoming range difficulties, and you might be able to take something from it.

    2. Band fitness. After many years as a 'lone trumpeter' I came back to play for band concerts, and found that just making it through a band practice was an incredible achievement. It started toughening me up again, and I rediscovered a fitness I hadn't experienced for many years.

    MANY PLAYERS WHO USE AN EFFECTIVE RATHER EFFICIENT WAY OF PRODUCING EVEN A SIMPLE LINE OR PHRASE OFTEN FIND THAT THE MPC ON FACE TIME OF BRASS BANDING VERY TAXING.

    EFFECTIVE PLAYING IS OKAY FOR SHORT BURSTS WHERE THE RECOVERY TIME IN BARS REST IS VITAL.

    EFFICIENT PLAYING REQUIRES MUCH LESS MPC OFF FACE TIME AND IS NOWHERE NEAR DEPENDANT ON THE BARS REST BEING ADEQUATE.

    IT IS POSSIBLE , HOWEVER, TO HAVE PLAYERS WHO ARE DEEMED MORE TALENTED/PROFICIENT WHO ARE EFFECTIVE PLAYERS RATHER THAN EFFICIENT.

    ALTHOUGH IN THE LONG RUN EFFICENT PLAYERS [those who produce their pitches with the least amount of overall effort] HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF MAKING LONG TERM PROGRESS WHERE AS EFFECTIVE PLAYERS ONLY MANAGE A LITTLE PROGRESS WITH LITTLE OR NO HOPE OF MAKING GREAT STRIDES IN LONG TERM PROGRESS.

    AN EFFECTIVE PLAYER IS NOT THEREFORE NECESSARILY A BAD OR WORSE PLAYER THAN AN EFFICIENT ONE. HOWEVER THE PROPECTS FOR LONG TERM PROGRESS IS HEAVILY FAVOURED TOWARDS "MR.EFFICIENCY."

    3. Mouthpiece buzzing. I then discovered that all that time sitting in rush hour traffic could be used to buzz away on my mouthpiece, often to any music playing on the stereo. That meant I got an extra 20 minutes a day, and my lips got a nice leathery toughness to them.

    MPC BUZZING IS KNOWN TO HELP CLOSE UP THE LIP APERTURE OF PLAYERS WHOSE LIP APERTURE IS TOO OPEN TO BE EFFIFCIENT, AND TO HELP WITH CORNER STRENGTH.

    HOWEVER IT DOES NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE SOME PLAYERS LIP APERTURE START POINT IS TOO CLOSED TO BE EFFICIENT IN THE FIRST PLACE. THEREFORE ADDING MPC BUZZING TO THIS GROUP DOES NOT WORK.

    THIS IS WHY MPC / LIP BUZZING IS GOOD FOR SOME AND NOT FOR OTHERS. WE ALL BASICALLY HAVE A DIFFERENT LIP APERTURE START POINT WHICH WE MAY BE ADDING 'BUZZING' TO.


    I found applying a bit of chapstick straight after that (or any practice) also helped to avoid dryness and cracking. I haven't 'read the manual' on mouthpiece buzzing, so I just do it the way I know how.

    NIVEA IS MUCH BETTER THAN CHAPSTICK AT ALL TIMES. IT HAS MUCH LESS CAMPHOR IN IT. CAMPHOR IS NOT A HELP IN MOISTURISING THE LIP.

    4. Attitude. My return to banding was really daunting, especially when I was playing straight into the back of the British Open solo champion (Alex Kerwin), so I played very timidly to start with, only playing louder when I knew I could play it right.

    This 'pussyfooting' style wore me out in a bad way (and undermined my confidence),

    WHEN ONE HOLDS BACK, THE FIRST THING TO GO IS THEIR BREATHING, THEN THE LIP HAS TO TAKE AN EXTRA BEATING AS THE AIR SUPPORT IS TOO TIMID TO PROVIDE DEFENCE AGAINST MPC PRESSURE. TAKING A BIG BREATH SHOULD NOT BE EQUATED WITH ONLY PLAYING FFF.

    and sight reading does that also.


    AGAIN, AS THE PLAYER CONCENTRATES ON THE NOTATION, THE BREATHING GOES...THEN THE LIP TAKES MORE OF A BASHING THAN IS NORMAL...SAME AS ABOVE.

    So, once I realised I was getting fitter, and my range was better, and I was good enough again, I took the "give it heaps" attitude. I didn't worry about when my lip would give out, but started assuming it would last all practice - and as long as I am putting in reasonable practice (20 -30 minutes a day), I find now I can get all the high notes at the end of a practice, and importantly, the end of a performance.

    EFFECTIVE...BUT...MAYBE COULD DO WITH BEING MORE EFFICIENT....MAYBE NOT...I CANT HEAR YOU : )

    5. Experimenting. I bought a piccolo trumpet last year, and practiced it up, and even did some recordings. It opened up a whole range of notes I never imagined. In concerts now, I even play the piccolo instead of the E flat for some pieces so that I can plant notes as high as 'super G' (for B flat, D for soprano).

    THE LESS RESISTANCE PROVIDED BY THE SMALLER 'HORNS' [americanism for all blowing instruments] CAN HELP SOME PLAYERS DEAL WITH THEIR ORIGINAL INBALANCE IN THEIR OVERALL EMBOUCHURE EQUATION.

    OVERALL EMBOUCHURE EQUATION:
    Mental game / body - relaxation / breath in-take [inspiration] / air delivery [expiration] / open throat [glottis] / oral cavity use / jaw + teeth opening / tongue control / lip set point / lip sensitivity + feel / aperture control / correct equipment use for the style / mpc pressure / resonance [all dynamics] / projection [all dynamics] / sound analysis - conceptualisation / stylistic musicality, integrity /
    audience communication. / CO-ORDINATION of ALL aspects mentioned previously. //


    IF YOU ALTER THE CO-ORDINATION OF THE VARIABLES LISTED ABOVE, CHANGE WILL OCCUR, BE IT GOOD OR BAD.


    Regular practice with this increased my confidence and expectations, and the same notes flow easily from the E flat (not with the same ease as a piccolo obviously). I also swap mouthpieces for certain items to suit the style.

    SWAPPING MPCS IS OKAY AS LONG AS IT'S AN AID TO GETTING THE SOUND YOU REQUIRE. IF A MPC IS USED AS AN AID TO RANGE THEN IT MAYBE AN INDICATOR OF POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS THAT COULD BE MADE TO THE OVERALL TECHNIQUE.

    ONE SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RANGE ON ALL MOUTHPIECES REGARDLESS OF THE DEPTH OF THE CUP. IF THIS IS NOT THE CASE THEN IT GENERALLY MEANS THAT THE PERSON IS USING THE CUP VOLUME [SHALLOWER] TO SUPPORT A TECHNIQUE WHICH COULD BE MORE EFFCIENT.

    I don't know if my thoughts will provide any magic bullets,

    NOR DO I KNOW, IF MY THOUGHTS WILL PROVIDE ANY FOOD FOR THOUGHT EITHER MR.FENDALL - BUT- AS LEAST WE'RE TRYING RIGHT?! : ))))))))

    but I throw them out there as it may help someone

    YEP ME TOO : )

    BY THE WAY..OVER THE YEARS --I'VE PLAYED:

    CORNET / SOP / Bb TPT / C TPT / FLUGAL / TROM / Eb TN HN / FRENCH HORN / PICC / EUPH / BARI ..

    HERE'S SOME TIPS WHICH MAY LEAD ONTO MAGIC BULLETS....

    =================SNIP===========================

    TOP TIPS…

    Air is the most important physical aspect of playing. It is of ultimate importance in establishing all facets of performance. Breathe correctly – deep, full, relaxed, using an OH sound as if yawning – before every attempt.


    After inhaling, immediately turn the air around to begin playing.
    TIMED BREATHING - 'intake on '4' --out on '1'

    RELAXED ABS to allow the AIR in!

    Airflow is the necessary element for sound, control, dynamics, register, etc.

    AIRFLOW is the key to AIR COLUMN SUPPORT

    Allow the air to flow through the horn; let resistance and airflow balance into a harmonious, symbiotic relationship. JOINED UP BLOWING!! [as in joined up writing]

    CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN NOTES ....dah dah dah [not daht daht]

    Do not blow “hard” – blow “freely”, like blowing a flute.

    Let the air do the work. FREE RIDE on the airstream

    The quality of your playing depends on the quality of your airstream.

    Maintain total relaxation in muscles that aren’t directly involved.

    AIR + RELAXATION = SOUND!! Big, fat, pure and focused.

    Focus your sound to a point out in front. As you ascend, focus further out.>>>PROJECT!
    [follow through as in golf swing]

    Lips stay formed but relaxed until the air hits them. Do not present tension. This allows the embouchure to find its own center of vibration.

    The embouchure should respond to the air, not vice-versa, and not to the mouthpiece.

    Play naturally. Do not manufacture an embouchure. Do not LIP/JAW manipulate while playing.

    The only job of the lips is to vibrate – fully, freely and relaxed.

    The strength of the embouchure is in the corners, which also focus the aperture. The middle stays loose as possible to respond easily and fully to the airstream. [soft centre]

    Get the feeling of playing away from your teeth to release pressure and maximize vibration.

    Always aim for the core of the sound – the center – where airspeed, lip tension and wavelength are matched perfectly, to achieve maximum resonance. CENTRED INTONATION

    Keep perfect time to synchronize muscle movements.

    Allow the music to determine actions. When change is required, allow the music to give you direction. Do not employ a predetermined muscular manipulation.

    Apply effortless effort. Use only the amount of energy necessary to accomplish a particular task, this reserving energy for endurance, range and volume.

    Rather than controlling the trumpet with chops, pressure and lip manipulations, allow a balance of efforts on airspeed, corners and tongue level to provide security.

    The feel of playing should be one of a constant outflow of AIR-energy-SOUND focussed toward the audience.

    POSITIVE AIR --- KEEP THE AIR ALIVE/MOVING [even at quieter dynamics]

    Playing must become easy – that is, no matter how much energy we expend, we must be as relaxed as possible and waste no energy on isometric tension so that this results in a free flowing sound in ALL registers.

    Again, no isometric muscle vs. muscle tension, not in chops, neck, face, arms, shoulders.

    Let go of the embouchure as a controlling force. RIDE THE AIRSTREAM.

    Observe your playing, analyze it, don’t judge it.

    Maintain total concentration; aim for tangible results.

    Isolate problems but keep them in the TOTAL context of playing.

    To extract poor traits from playing, concentrate on the desired result, NOT on what you are trying to eliminate.

    Each note and phrase is part of a larger idea. Play in context. = JOINED UP PLAYING..

    All musical concepts must be clearly conceived mentally before they can live through the horn.

    A brass instrument is an extension of the performer – all that happens in you, is reflected in your performance.

    Range is an extension of the middle register, and is a by-product of endurance. Development of range depends on a strong foundation and systematic practice with UTMOST ease of operation of the normal register.

    The tongue is used to articulate in music just as it is in speech – to make obvious the meaning of the phrase. Let the tongue shape the various attacks to clarify meaning.

    Rest at LEAST as much as you play during practice.


    Don’t play when you’re starting to fatigue. Compensation will cause incorrect habits to form.

    Stop practicing when comfortably tired, while still playing well, correctly.

    Practice until the task is mastered – completely under your control and easy to perform.
    Mastery will build confidence.

    brass instrument playing is a highly refined physical skill, as well as a musical art.
    Train physically as an athlete, but play from the heart as an artist.

    Just going through the exercises or studies won’t develop abilities. You must know what you are trying to improve upon and how you are going to achieve it. Have goals and a plan for reaching those goals.

    Performing on any instrument is a matter of growth, not push-button technology. Strive to build and mature gradually, consistently.

    Remember that the ultimate goal of all skills and techniques is to make music. Apart from that, all your efforts are in vain. Communication, from performer to listener, must be the end result.

    =======================SNAP=========================


    roddytpt@aol.com
     
  15. Fendall

    Fendall Member

    Wow, you make it sound like I just wrote a manual!
     
  16. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    MARK WRITES:

    Playing a Soprano Cornet and a Bb Cornet are two totally different things.

    IT DEPENDS ON THE PLAYER. FOR YOU IT MAY FEEL LIKE THAT. FOR OTHERS IT MAY NOT.

    ITS ALL ABOUT HOW EACH PERSON COPES WITH THE DIFFERENT RESISTANCES PROVIDED BY THE DIFFERENT INSTRUMENT BEFORE THEM. SO YOUR BOTH RIGHT. FOR YOU. : ))))))))


    If I was to pick up a Bb Cornet I would be lucky to be able to get a Top C, but a Top G on a Soprano is not a hard note to get for anyone really.


    THIS MEANS THAT THE RESISTANCE PROVIDED BY THE SMALLER 'HORN' IS A HELP TO MOST PEOPLE WHO GENERALLY HAVE A TOO OPEN APERTURE.

    THE SMALLER HORN IN EFFECT CAUSES THEM TO BLOW SLIGHTLY LESS AIR MASS WHICH IN TURN ALOWS THEIR TOO OPEN [TO BE EFFICIENT] APERTURE TO WORK SLIGHTLY BETTER.HENCE IT FEELS EASIER TO BLOW THE SMALLER HORN.

    BUT...

    WHAT IF ONE COULD RE-CREATE THAT SMALLER HORN FEELING IN THE CHOPS, FOR USE ON A LARGER HORN? : ))))))))


    Surely the mouthpiece being used makes a massive difference?

    IT WILL MAKE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF DIFFERENCE TO EACH AND EVERY PLAYER DEPENDING ON THEIR NATURAL LIP SET POINT/LIP APERTURE/JAW+TEETH OPENING/ORAL CAVITY, IN RELATION TO HOW EFFECTIVE THEY ARE AS OPPOSED TO BEING EFFICIENT.


    The 'vibrations set up' as you call them for the top F on the Cornet are much much harder than the Top C on the Soprano Cornet (IMHO).

    IT DEPENDS ON THE PLAYER AND THEIR EFFECTIVE/EFFICIENT START POINT. FOR YOU - YOU ARE UNDOUBTEDLY CORRECT.

    HOWEVER WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME.

    IT IS DIFFICULT TO SEE HOW DIFFERENT [maybe higher] LEVELS OF APPLICATION/BLOWING WORK, WHEN YOUR CHOP SET UP HAS BEEN ARRIVED AT OVER A PERIOD OF TIME LOCKING YOU INTO THE WAY ONE MAYBE BLOWING AT PRESENT.

    Its all about creating a new embouchure with a Sop mouthpiece, and doing lots of lip studies (as you quite rightly pointed out).

    YOUR ARE CORRECT. ALTHOUGH LOOK AT IT LIKE THIS...
    (the numbers are for viusalisation only)

    PLAYER 1 = EFFECTIVE BUT NOT EFFICIENT - NEEDS A NUMBER '8' MPC TO BALANCE HIS SYSTEM AND PLAY WELL.

    PLAYER 1 = EFFICIENT PLAYER - HAS SUCH BALANCE/CO-ORDINATION IN HIS SYSTEM THAN IT MAKES LESS DIFFERENCE WHTHER HE USES AN '8' MPC OR AN '88' MPC.

    ALSO...

    PLAYER 1 MAY STILL BE PERCEIVED TO OUTSIDERS AT PRESENT AS 'THE BETTER PLAYER'

    BUT...

    PLAYER 2 HAS THE GREATER CHANCE TO MAKE FASTER/BETTER MORE LONG LASTING PROGRESS.


    I'm not suggesting that you made any negative comments, but many bands struggle to find Soprano Cornet players


    THIS IS GENERALLY BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE SEE THE SOP AS A HIGHER SOUNDING INSTRUMENT WHICH IN THEIR [EFFFECTIVE] EYES NEEDS MORE AIR MASS. [BLOWING HARDER]

    THE HABIT OF ''BLOWING HARDER'' IS WHAT WORKS FOR THEM ON Bb BECAUSE (GENERALLY) MOST PEOPLE HAVE A WAAAAAAAAY TOO OPEN LIP APERTURE/LIP SET POINT AND BLOWING HARDER GENERALLY ALSO MEANS MORE LEFT ARM PRESSURE / ADDED MPC PRESSURE.

    THIS BAD HABIT [EFFECTIVE BUT NOT EFFCIENT] MOMENTARILY CLOSES UP THE LIP APERTURE AS THE MPC RIM SQUASHES THE LIPS MORE CLOSELY TOGETHER WHICH RESULTS IN SOME HIGHER NOTES.

    TROUBLE IS, IT IS A DEAD END, AS ENDURANCE IS GREATLY COMPROMISED.

    UNFORTUNALTY THIS BAD HABIT WORKS FOR ALL OF US - UP TO A POINT - THIS IS THE SITUATION OF USING A BAD HABIT [MPC PREESURE] TO RECEIVE SHORT TERM SUCCESS.

    IT IS ONLY WHEN ONE WHO HAS BECOME LOCKED INTO THIS SITUATION OVER THE YEARS (red ring on lip etc) TRYS TO MAKE LONG TERM PROGRESS BECOMES ALERTED TO THE FACT THAT ALL IS NOT EFFICIENT WITH THEIR BASIC SETUP.

    OFTEN, TWEAKING THE EXISTING SYSTEM CAN PRODUCE REALLY GOOD RESULTS. AN OVERALL CHOP CHANGE RIGHT OFF THE BAT IS NOT ALWAYS NEEDED.


    A classic example of this is the young lady playing Soprano for Melthem amd Meltham Mills Band (Laura Maynard) or 'The Magificent Miss Maynard' as 4Bars rest called her after she won Best Instrumentalist in the Yorkshire 2nd Section last weekend.
    Laura only went onto Soprano less than a year ago because the they couldn't get a player from another band, no-one else would play it, so she bravely volunteered.

    'Her of her piano playing was some of the best heard all weekend' said Iwan Fox who does know his stuff despite some of the other comments made about him, by other people on other threads lately.


    LADIES TEND (MORE OFTEN THAN NOT) TO NOT FALL INTO THE ' BRUTE FORCE ' BRIGADE AS THE GUYS DO. HENCE IT IS LIKELY THEY WON'T HAVE SO MANY PROBLEMS ON SOP AS THE GUYS DO. THE GREATER RESISTANCE / BACK PRESSURE ON SOP / PICC / WILL NOT ACCEPT AIR MASS AS MOST GUYS TRY TO GIVE THEM. THEY DO THIS BECAUSE IT WILL WORK (UNFORTUNATELY) ON Bb. SO...ON SOP/PICC-- MORE FINESSE IS REQUIRED.

    I've notched up a few years playing Sop and what you can do on a Bb Cornet doesn't always relate to what you may be able to do on a Soprano and vice versa,

    TRUE...FOR MANY...BUT...NOW YOU KNOW WHY... : )))))))

    MORE INFO...

    ======================SNIP=============================

    Range Hitting and Playing....

    I am focussing my thoughts here, on range mostly. But you MUST learn to play your entire range MUSICALLY to be able to fulfil your greatest RANGE desires.

    The subject... Hitter or Player? ..which might you be?

    "The Hitter"....
    ..these players can "squeeeeeeze" notes out up to, and sometimes above High G [DHC] ...and in fact as long as there are not too many in a day, can make it sound quite convincing on occasion.

    "The Player"....
    ..these players can really PLAY notes and phrases out above High G [DHC] ...and in fact can do this on a consistently musical basis.

    IMHO there are 8 range types..

    Number:

    1. has'nt really got much range at all .... can HIT up to high c with varying degrees of consistency etc...etc...
    2. has really got ''good control'' etc.. can PLAY brilliantly to high c [and squeeze a few more]
    3. can HIT up to high g [4 leger lines] with varying degrees of consistency etc...etc...
    4. can PLAY brilliantly to high g [and squeeze a few more]
    5. can HIT up to DHC with varying degrees of consistency etc...
    6. can PLAY brilliantly to DHC [Most Pro lead players of today ] [and squeeze a few more]
    7. can HIT beyond DHC with varying degrees of consistency
    8. can PLAY brilliantly beyond DHC....and NEVER SQUEEZE

    • Lots of players [ # 1 thru 4 ]..... mistake ''hitting'' for ''playing''.
    • Lots of players...... find getting to # 4..... a real struggle.
    • Some guys spend ALL their time ''hitting'' never with a thought to ''playing''.
    • How do you become a # 8 ? ...start at # 2 then / 4 / 6 / 8...Bingo!!!---simple! : )

    Here's the biggie....

    Most players [ # 1 thru 4 ] who mistake ''hitting'' for ''playing'' are the guys who go around saying....'' how high can you really play?'' ...what they really mean is..
    "how high can you hit?

    Hitting requires air volume ///// Playing requires air speed

    I believe that although we ARE all a tad different, the basic principals of playing the trumpet..........

    1. Use only enough mpc. pressure for the register your in.
    2. Use enough air for the register your in but support it well with the abs.
    3. Have your aperture in sync. with the above two rules.
    4. Keep the airflow steady and even for the register your in.

    .......ARE the same for EVERYONE.

    It's up to the individual to find the correct percentage and cohesion of the above principals plus taking and adding any known personal physiological variables into the final equation.

    PLAY LOW to MIDDLE RANGE TUNES MUSICALLY...THEN UP A HALF STEP LOSING NO QUALITY OF TONE OR EASE OF OPERATION!

    It's called SMART practice.........not just time crunching........or hitting high notes!

    A further thought is that some people can play squeeky type high notes quite well, even at an early age but find it difficult to turn them into proper usable notes...so... if you find yourself in this position read on and ask yourself these questions...

    • What's your sound like in the lower registers? ...good? ..then try to connect the good sounds to the squeely ones and smooth out the sound differential.

    • Can you connect the lower registers to the upper?...no?...then try to do so, but start at the middle of the low register and connect it to the low point of the high register and expand.

    • Do you do it all on one chop/embouchure or do you have multiple chop set ups for different ranges?...if you're a multiple...forget it...even if you get a good range this way...you'll at some point be put in a position where you need to connect the registers, won't be able to ...and then you'll be annoyed - so start work now!

    You would need to know most of the above questions accurately about
    yourself to be able to make a change for the better!

    Basically - to turn squeels into notes, play tunes at mezzoforte at a register which is just below the squeely stuff [decent sounding highest register] and keep transposing up a half step ONLY when the squeel has become a note. Use plenty of air support / keep the mouthpiece pressure at a minimum and go into the lower register from the high one and back up on occasion to check your not becoming specialised. This is the way to turn squeels into a proper workable / usable note.

    You can think of the whole picture in the same way as Bill Watrous mentions in his book: "Trombonisms" [my added thoughts in brackets]

    • Consistently playable high notes [within a melody] used to increase endurance
    • Sometimes playable high notes [within a phrase] used to become "Consistently" playable.
    • Occassionally "squeakable" even-higher notes [singularly played or arppeggio like.] to be practiced into "Sometimes" playable high notes.

    So of course when someone mentions to you "how high can you play?"

    ....what are you going to say? ....what is their term of reference?

    .....what tonal quality/consistency concept are you going to share to be able to compare notes on an equal playing field?

    You can't, AND be particularly accurate for one another, so stop comparing 'hit' high notes and get on and make music.

    GOOD RANGE COULD BE DEFINED AS....

    ...Not just a low loud fat sound...but,....a low loud fat sound that EASILY comes up and out into the normal or upper register under control as if nothing had happened,
    without losing lip / aperture focus in a musical way.....

    ...conversely.....


    GOOD RANGE COULD BE DEFINED AS....

    ...not just a high loud fat sound...but....a high loud fat sound that EASILY goes down into lower register under control and goes back up as if nothing had happened without losing lip/aperture focus in a musical way......


    Be Musical...if it sounds uncontrolled with poor tone,
    it does'nt count!!!

    ====================SNAP=====================
     
  17. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    In my opinion playing sop is one of the hardest jobs in a brass band and the only tip I can give you is one that I was told by a good sop player who used to help out Tewkesbury and that is that you need to put in the practice every day and keep a strict schedule don't think oh it's ok I'll practice tomorrow because you won't and all the work you put in before will have been lost.

    He gave me some exercises that Alan Morrison gave him I left them in my folder when I left the band see if you can find my folder and take a copy of them and if you could let me have the originals back that would be great

    But having heard you The only real issue is staminer and that comes from continuous strict practice every day if it is possible
     
  18. Trumpet Dave

    Trumpet Dave Member

    I started playing Sop in my school brass band it it was really really hard to get any range at first but as you play in the band and practice the parts you start to increase that range. I also found pitching really difficult but its a bit better now.
     
  19. markyboy

    markyboy Member

    Ok Emb_Enh , thanks for reading my post, but is there any chance you could go into a bit more detail in what you mean?

    (Just a little joke mate!) A lot of your points were interesting and I'm sure a lot of use to the original poster.

    Cheers Mark
     

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