Reply To: Trumpet Range

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The student that can get to the A should be able to at least get to a C before too long. Tell that student to keep working to get 1/2 step higher each day (move on only when it is nice and solid). Keep TONS of air going – aim for a full sound, not necessarily a loud sound. I would work with scales and chromatics with them.

The middle schoolers are doing well to have an F already. That was about where I was in 8th grade. Their goal for this year should be A above the staff. Same advice for the first student above.

The student that can play E, but uses too much pressure will need some help. What can they play without using a ton of pressure? If it is not too far off, then it may not be something to worry about too much, but if they can only get to something below a C, then there is some concern here. I still think tons of air is key here too (imagine the force of Niagara Falls through a straw). Try having them hold the trumpet with the left hand flat (like you are shaking someone’s hand) or some way else that they aren’t going to be tempted to cram the mouthpiece to the back of their throat. I would only do that a few times just to see where they can play with little pressure. Like I said before – let the air do the work, not the lips. Her goal for the year should be relieving the pressure, but work towards a G or A above the staff.

Here are some exercises I use with my students. These are borrowed from Greg Wing, trumpet professor at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Obviously your students won’t be able to play these all the way through now, but it is something to work toward.

Clarke Technical Study #1

Click to access 2%20Clarke%20s%20Technical%20Studies1.pdf

Expanding Scale

Click to access 8%20Expanding%20scales.pdf

This link is a simplified version of some of the above exercises. Perhaps this would be something you would consider having your students practice daily (in addition to their other music).
20 minute daily routine

Click to access 20%20minute%20routine%20revised%20Fall%202008.pdf

Most of all – the key here is patience. Playing higher on any brass instrument is a lot like conditioning your body to run a marathon or lift 500 lbs. It takes baby steps to get there and a whole lot of patience.