The High Notes

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Elwood, May 17, 2014.

  1. Elwood

    Elwood New Member

    I'm retired and have been playing Tenor Horn for just over 3 years. About 18 months ago, I was moved from 2nd to 1st Horn. Recently, our Solo Horn player has had to stand down and I've been given the opportunity to fill the vacancy. Having tried this position for a couple of weeks, I'm finding the upper range quite tiring on the lips. Playing a high "G" is still a bit hit or miss and high "A" is totally unobtainable.

    My question is. How can I develop the upper range of notes? Is it practice, technique, or both? Would a change of mouthpiece help in this? I play a Besson Sovereign ( a Lottery one, I believe) and use a 2A Heritage mouthpiece after changing from a DW 3.
  2. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    From all the searches on google, this looks to be one of the better ones. It is by a Trumpet proffessor, for the trumpet, but should do equally well for Tenor Horn :)
  3. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Two main things:

    1. Air velocity (wha tthe trumpet professor said about tongue level is part of this)
    2. Embouchure stability - you need to have tight cornets and probably can't get those from playing. Isometric exercises will help build this up.

    Practicing playing quietly in the mid register will seriously improve your control and stability.
    Hymn tunes, etudes etc.

    In my experience mouthpiece will make no difference to range. It may help with sound, intonation or stamina, but I can't play any higher on a very small mouthpiece than a very large one. That might be because I do a lot of free lip buzzing and mouthpiece buzzing.

    Interesting point about all brass instruments: the instrument is really your mouthpiece. If you can't make a clear sound and play in tune on the mouthpiece alone then its unlikely you can do so consistently with it fitted to the instrument.

    I went through a total chop rebuild ten years ago and it transformed my playing. It was like going back to being ten years old and unable to play much for three months. I had a good teacher help me through it. Well worth the time finding someone to help you.
  4. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Were they popular in the 60s with mini-skirts???? :D
  5. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    "corners" sorry.

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