Trombone High Register and Stamina..

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BrotherBone, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    Anyone got any good suggestions for improving my upper register and stamina up and around there?
    Never had this problem on Euph lol, could blow anything outta the sky but with less resistance on the trom im finding it more difficult...

    Thanks in advance...

  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I'm surprised that no-one has stepped in here to help! During the last few discussions about embouchure, production etc. I began experimenting with a few of the ideas and one site recommended bringing the lips closer together further reducing the aperture. Works really well without disrupting your chops setup. Try buzzing then bringing the lips together in the centre! After getting used to this, you can finely adjust to control the change in pitch! Any opinions on this method?

    here's the link ...

    and another to give more detail (correspondence based advice) ...
  3. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Don't like the sound or thought of that one personally....
    bringing the lips together surely would slow air flow down and sound production would be thin.... could be different on trombone but the thoery should be the same with whatever brass instrument you play I woulda thought......

    There's one thing I would say.... Practise.....
    Don't force the notes out... push the air through the instrument and keep the embourcher open... sit or stand up straight so you can use your stomach area/diaphram properly... It's not gonna happen instantly, so patience is also extremly important! :)

    But other than that... I'm a percussionist and drummer at heart... so what do I know ;)

    Good luck :)
  4. lewis

    lewis Member

    Be careful!

    Hi Benn, the most important thing to do is not to just practise the high stuff! It is a case on practise I do agree there but only practising high could 1) upset the rest of your register and 2) completely knacker your chops out! A great book to get is Circuit Training by Peter Gane (Warwick Music ), if you have time to get through this book a couple of times a week you will definitely notice the difference all over the instrument not just up high!
    Another good exercise (which isn't quite so time consuming) is to hold the trombone so your left hand is positioned with thumb on the join of the bell and slide sections and your first finger placed on the bell (i.e. you are supporting the trombone not holding it!). This should take all the pressure off of your chops, you could obviously still cheat and push the instrument on but that's not going to help. Now just do some simple lip flexibilities working upto the very high register, it should be much harder and don't worry about making a good sound in the upper register. Try and do this everyday and again you should notice the difference when you hold the trombone normally again, but I do suggest strongly getting hold of Circuit Training, good book!
    Gook luck.
  5. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    I had the opposite problem - on Euph my high register was (and still is) a struggle (although much less now on Baritone) - I think that they forgot to add the high notes at the Factory when they made my Sov!!
    When I played Trombone (albeit a fairly small bore King model) I had no trouble at all playing ridiculously high notes well.Even on a Conn Bflat /F i was able to soar the heights with relative ease.No idea why , although I suspect an underlying diaphragm / embouchure fault.
  6. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    few suggestions from me:

    lots of scales up the whole register, bottom to top, and down again. If you can get the bottom solidly the top comes more easily.

    Long notes

    Practicing (the whole register) with a mute/duster in the bell, thus increasing stamina

    start in 7th, slur up to a harmonic below the high note, stop, restart at that note, slur up then back down. then move to 6th position etc. try it again with a higher note.

    try it just on the mouthpiece/lips

    Above all, you need lots of support from the diaphragm, don't tighten up the lips just keep the corners of the mouthfirm, and remember to relax.

    I also find that when playing in a group it really helps if the people below you are giving you a solid and in tune base/bass (2nd tromb etc), this means you can just sit on top.

    Finally, for a quick fix, try playing Eb bass for a bit, then move back to tromb, you'd be surprised how easily the higher notes come!

    What instrument/mouthpiece are you on?
  7. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    Currently playing...

    a Conn 88h Bb/F Large Bore, currently on a wick 5bl whilst i wait for my 6bl to come back form Alarich Knight (having backbore removed, 3000th of a mm off the throat, and the rim flattened). It may only be a temp problem with not having the resistance i had on the euph to blow against, not sure, but i could do with getting a decent practice routine sorted anyway, really want to take my playing alot more serious.
  8. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    Its in the mail to me as we speak =) thanks man
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  10. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Things that helped me...

    1. Get some of those old grade 1 and 2 studies out and play them up an octave. This should help pitch and stamina in the upper range.

    2. Play arpeggios into the upper range. Scales tend to just be a bit of a squeeze (at least when I was doing it) whereas arpeggios actually help pitching up high.

    3. Get a Denis Wick practice mute, and play a lot of long low loud notes. This should help with the stamina, and also opening the throat and air speed, which will in turn help with high notes.

    4. Play in front of a mirror. If you see your shoulders going up, tell yourself off! If you see your face looking like you may be constipated, tell yourself off! You should be relaxed if you're going to play those high notes!
  11. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    Thanks Lynchie...

    Bit worrying looking at the time you posted that message! Although I suppose thats early evening for us students aint it ;)
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I don't know whether you have looked at the links I gave you, but two things have struck a common theme which might be part of the problem. Both the author of the book you have ordered and the writer of my original link comment heavily about the Pivot System of playing. I wonder if the sudden inability to hit the top register has got anything to do with the angle of the mouthpiece when it comes into contact of the lips. Playing trombone compared to euph. may create a physical difference because of how you hold the instrument and may affect results! Only a thought ... and better to keep things as simple as possible. Worst thing to do is practise on a technique that is fundamentally wrong, as the problem may worsen! :-?
  13. Highams

    Highams Member

    I agree with Brassneck, I found this when trying out a few things on trombone and could not get anything above top G!

    It even happens sometimes on my old euphs when I play them as the leadpipes are all in different positions.
  14. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Thanx for your support! Working out range and embouchure problems is just as bad as trying to improve another's golf swing by phone! :-?
  15. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    THanks for this continued help guys, so what in your expert opinions would be my best course of action from here to begin to try and rectify the situation...

  16. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    What kind of 'high notes' are we talking about here?
  17. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Don't try anything that is too drastic a change! One thing to do is try and position the trombone so that the mouthpiece placement is similar to that as you are playing euph. If you never had a problem before it is likely that it is something as simple as that!
  18. bumblebee

    bumblebee New Member

    have you tried any of my suggestions from saturday?!
  19. BrotherBone

    BrotherBone Member

    Yeah Bumble, Been remington'ing my way for 4 hours every day lol, its helping. I think im just impatient lol.

    Scrape, we're talking more regularity, security and better clearer / firmer sound on say top c's d's and e's
  20. bumblebee

    bumblebee New Member

    If all else fails, the front row in my band suggest screwing it on. It works quite well for them!

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