One of the main struggles of some trumpetplayers is high notes. Some are gifted, some get at it through the years. A few don’t seem to get to it and are doomed to play 2’nd and 3’rd parts for the rest of their lifes. Music teachers will suggest switching to lower instruments. A choice often too forced in my opinion. Altho many players can thrive on their new instruments, a fresh start can do wonders.
Well my first tip is just well, play a lot, and practice a lot. If you don’t have a lot of time, jsut do a few minutes on random occasions. A commercial break when watching tv. Need some break while doing work at home. It is an instant stress reliever.
My second tip is: of you are in an orchestra or band stuck on 2nd and 3rd parts, try playing music at home with high notes. If a sprinter only walks a lot, it’ll never win the 100m dash.
What to play? Lots of things, go to a music shop or shop the internet and just pick musicbooks you like, playing music is fun after all. Some solos you’d like to play but never did because you think it is too hard? Come on, pick it up. Play them, try to simplify hard bits, do it slower.
Now my public secret on getting your high notes with quite a quick result:
You start p and then do a crescendo to the high C
At the high C keep on going crescendo as loud as possible, keep on pushing on till you are out of breath.
Then go chromaticaly up
Try to have a little rest between each play.
do it at the last part of your exercise session, and preferably don’t play the next day(unless you got a rehearsal)
Don’t do it the day before a concert, or the day itself.
You’ll see in a few weeks you’ll be amazed. Normally you’ll notes easily about a quart under the highest note you played in this exercise.
Another exercise, which I’ve learned from a former teacher is the following.
Start with the high C and then try to flatten it to almost a high B. Lower your under lip gently and keep your corners of your mouth tight. Also a good support of breath, as with all playing is necessary. Go up chromatically. Play it loud with a slight crescendo as you flatten. If it doesn’t work, try it with a low C first. (it’ll sound like a bomber flying over
This exercise will make you sound far more open in the higher register.
Well those are a few of my secrets on playing the trumpet. Ofcourse these are equally suitable for cornet flugelhorn, and other brass instruments.