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What can I do to rapidly expand my range? 
 

What can I do to rapidly expand my range?

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What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    23:11 on Wednesday, February 03, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jazzbone101
(5 points)

I'm a junior in high school, I recently got the 1st part for Spain, a really awesome song for jazz band that originally featured bill watrous. My range goes up two D's above the staff, in the song there's a couple high E flats and one double A flat. I can sometimes pull off the E flats but double A flat? Not yet! Please help me our here!!!

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    10:57 on Thursday, February 04, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Erik
(218 points)

Range is tricky. There isn't a way to just increase it on command, rather it increases over time with the correct amount and type of work.

That being said, range (high and low) is simply a combination of air speed and shape, and lip shape and strength. So, if you want to play higher, you have to use faster air and put it through a smaller, tighter hole in the lips, while buzzing at a higher speed.

There are way to increase this strength, but they take time, as they are all designed to increase your muscle strength. Kind of like a sprinter. If they want to run faster, they work out the muscles that propel them forward, and it takes time.

The exercises we should all be doing work on these specific things. Anything that works mainly on air, but also in lip strength and flexibility. Lip slurs. How many do you do a day? I average 15-25 exercises each time I warm up to practice. Check out a book called "Lip Slurs" by Edwards. It's great. Pedals are another. How often do you play them? The best way to play high is to get good at playing low.

But in the end, you need to work out the muscle groups that enable upper range playing. The diaphragm, throat, mouth, tongue, lips, all of them. So, work on the fundamentals and your range will increase over time.

You want immediate results? That's harder. I would say focus mostly on air usage, and keeping the speed up without chomping down with the lips, thus blocking the air.

MOST IMPORTANT THING: All that is just decent advice, but from someone who has never seen you play. Want real results? Get a private teacher. That's the best advice anyone can give you.

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    20:26 on Thursday, February 04, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jazzbone101
(5 points)

Well thanks, I know I don't do enough lip slurs but I do have a good handle on my pedal notes and lower registers. I put this up just to get different input from other players in case anybody else had any really good tips. I actually have achieved the high E flat already, I've been doing alot of long tones and just practicing hard. The double a flats going yo be the real challenge though.

I'm also getting Lessons from my director who's an amazing trombone player and occasional lessons from a local university director who's also a phenomenal player.

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    23:10 on Thursday, February 04, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

DanTheMaster
(820 points)

Well, one exercise I've used is "fretting". It involves using the natural slurs of the trombone to increase the high range. Erik, do you know what I'm talking about? It's a bit hard to describe, and you always do a better job than I do.

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    17:23 on Saturday, February 06, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Erik
(218 points)

http://www.trombone.org/articles/library/viewarticles.asp?ArtID=201

I had never heard the term fretting, but the exercises on this website look like a specific type of lip slur. I've heard it called "against the grain", as in doing lip slurs that also involve moving the slide, which is an element specific to trombone playing, moving the slide.

If you want a great workout on Lip Slurs, check out Brad Edwards' book called "Lip Slurs". It is just what it says it is. A book full of lip slurs. I use it nearly everyday, and I often have my students play out of it as well. It has LOTS of "fretting" or "against the grain" type of exercises, and they are a great workout.

The book is set up a great way, with 3 different sections. Slow lip slurs, fast lip slurs, and lip slur etudes. It sets up specific daily routines mixing each of these 3 types of lip slurs, with lots of against the grain stuff mixed in, as well as lots of low register, including the pedal range, and extremely high work as well. I highly recommend it to any trombone player, but especially one that specifically wants to work on tone quality, power, and/or range. Enjoy!

http://www.enspub.com/tnst.htm

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    14:55 on Saturday, March 20, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

DragonnRising
(5 points)

ok.....here's a little way to cheat......change your embouchure after a breath to one more suited to higher notes. i know it's a novice thing to do, but if it's really needed....

just remember that it's easier to go down from a higher note than to go low to extremely high.

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    13:04 on Sunday, March 21, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Erik
(218 points)

That's actually exactly what you DON'T want to do. It's a bad habit. If you do it now to hit the notes, it will be nearly impossible to fix that problem later, and you will always have a weak, thin, non-flexible upper range.

Trust me, I teach for a living, and I have a few students who learned to "cheat" like that, and it nearly killed their long term ability to play properly. Don't make bad habits. Take the time now to learn it properly, with good habits, and it will pay off later.

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    13:15 on Sunday, March 21, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

krosskuntryrunne
r

well, you could just get a mouthpiece with a more shallow cup, this however will kill your muscles and make you weaker over time,

best thing to do is work on flexibility excercises, or something like scales in thirds, keep working up and up and up until you eventually get the strength you need

(might take a long time thougH)

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    06:59 on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

DragonnRising
(5 points)

well.....then....... the only way to improve your upper range is to build those muscles........and that takes a long time.

i'm just saying, as a suggestion, if you absolutely have to do it (in the case of an upcoming audition), cheat.

if you actually have the time, then go right ahead and do scales in thirds.

i've had to do this once in middle school, during a solo that my director over-estimated my abilities on....i had to lip up.

i still build my range, from low to high, it's just that i get a better sound doing the lip-up thing....

can someone please tell me of a way to get a good high-register sound quickly, without sounding thin and airy, without going for the lip-up method.

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Re: What can I do to rapidly expand my range?    10:58 on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

"can someone please tell me of a way to get a good high-register sound quickly, without sounding thin and airy, without going for the lip-up method"

No. You have to do it the correct way. If there was a way to do it quickly and sound professional then everyone would do it and everyone would sound good. How many olympic athletes do you think got there because they decided to comepte the week before the olympics? As a musician your lip muscles are like the body muscles of any athlete and they must be trained slowly and securely in a proper method. They must be streched, warmed up, trained, cooled down, and treated like any other atheletes muscles.



   

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