Trumpet – One of the more challenging instruments to play if the trumpeter doesn’t have guidance early on in their developmental years. There are a lot of myths, confusion, and misinformation surrounding playing trumpet high notes. I’ve heard (and have been told) stay away from the high notes because it will wreck your sound, wreck your lip, give you a jazz tone (what ever that is), or will make you lose flexibility and control.
There is nothing further from the truth if the trumpet player approaches trumpet high notes with logic and not impatience. What gets most trumpeters into trouble is either when they venture into this territory alone, or start taking advice from those that really don’t understand what makes the trumpet upper register happen in the first place.
I for one, was a player who was left to their own devices in the beginning, and then getting advice from all the wrong voices! I was 25 years in before I finally started receiving information that was a bit clearer and helped me on my path to success. By doing it “wrong” for so many years, I had to force myself to learn what was causing me to miss… some of the things that I’ve learned were as follows…
Smiling thins the lips – causing ANY amount of mouthpiece pressure to stop the vibration
Most players pinch or roll their lips in vs. using the airstream to speed up the air
It is FAST air that creates a high note – there is no reason to strain
Playing too loudly (or attempting to play higher notes too loud too soon) will nearly guarantee failure!
Keeping the lips in a small aperture setting (see above) like playing softly will greatly aid in high notes!
If you are a trumpet player who is really frustrated with attempting upper register notes, please visit BRASS PLAYER SOLUTION for more information that can help resolve these issues!