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Re: Improve high register

Postby Patrase » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:48 pm

Thanks for all everyone's comments.

My original thought was based on some experiences I have had. I play Bb tuba in a Brass Band for 95% of my playing time. Occasionally the conductor in the brass band has moved a horn or baritone player on to the Eb tuba part. I usually find that the player moved down to tuba doesn't use anywhere near enough air in the middle and lower registers. Their middle and lower registers are pretty awful. BUT they have fantastic high register sounds.

So I thought I could play a higher pitched instrument and then move back down to tuba and *voila* - I have a great high register just like my higher pitched band mates moving down to tuba. I have access to a Baritone and an Arbans book. I thought it would be potentially more interesting to learn to play a new instrument, that also benefits my high register playing, as opposed to playing a bunch of arpeggios and exercises. Also my wife likes the sound of the Baritone more than me playing exercises on a tuba.

I might give it a try at some point and report on the experiment. Otherwise I will certainly take on board everyone's advice.
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Re: Improve high register

Postby k001k47 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:49 pm

anonymous4 wrote:
bloke wrote: :arrow: :arrow: The only REAL way, though, to improve high-range ~SECURITY~ is to GREATLY improve the ability to HEAR pitches to be played PRIOR TO playing them. Without this, there is no target. Playing a brass instrument "by feel" (rather than "by ear") is epically frustrating, and requires FAR TOO MUCH practice time with FAR TOO MUCH trial-and-error to obtain the desired results.
IF :?: there is a "trick", then THIS :idea: is the "trick".

This isn't just a beginner problem, as I knew many music majors that could only play by feel. They would log looooooong hours in the practice room, but their recitals were pretty so-so for all that time. Private teachers, it is of critical importance that you figure out which of your students can actually read/hear music, and which ones learn their lesson materials by rote every week. Believe me, college students have a lot of time on their hands, and some of them can "fake it" for years. Also, always ask what grade they get in aural skills. Of course, everyone always passes, but if your student has a C, it probably means they can't hear jack.


Public schooling really isn't doing kids favors either, because music programs are frequently fighting cuts, and early childhood music classes are largely neglected. When I was a kid in high school, the best thing I did for my musicianship was join the choir; nearly did that in kollij instead of developing the useless tuba skill. All that tubaing was fun, though.
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Re: Improve high register

Postby Donn » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:13 am

Patrase wrote:I might give it a try at some point and report on the experiment. Otherwise I will certainly take on board everyone's advice.


I vote for option #1. Following our advice will only bring you sorrow.
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Re: Improve high register

Postby bloke » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:02 am

"Everyone's advice", here (wadded into a greasy ball), has long been referred to as the TNFJ (TubeNet Freak Jury).

I posted more than I meant to in this thread, but a summary of my particular set of posts is, "You can figure this out. It's not difficult, but you need to be able to hear what you're attempting to do."
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Re: Improve high register

Postby Slamson » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:09 pm

I think Bloke gets the nod for most effective, impactful advice, but Roger's methodology is great. I would add an anecdote - one that I'm almost embarrassed to admit.
A friend of mine had a fifth-grader who was going to start on tuba (this is getting rare, I'm afraid...), and asked me to give him lessons.
At the time I thought "hmmmm... 'Tabula Rasa'! No pre-conceived ideas about brass playing, or the tuba for that matter."
At our first lesson, I told this fellow that the "tuning note" for his tuba was B-flat3 (the one on the top of the staff), and played it for him. Not knowing any better, he struggled for a moment, and played it himself within the first 5 minutes of the lesson. Then we tackled the F below, as a "low" note.
By his fourth lesson he was nailing the E-flat and F above middle C. Remember, he was a Fifth-Grader.

The moral of the story is akin to what Roger said - there's a "gimmick", and one of the biggest "gimmicks" is to rid ourselves of the notion that the so-called "high range" is tough. Then, like Bloke said, "do it".
sorry, I don't do signatures.
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Re: Improve high register

Postby bloke » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:01 pm

I continue to over-post here... :oops:

Yes, "high tuba notes" are ~NOT~ "high notes", as Terry proved (already knowing it, obviously) to himself and (unknowingly) to the beginner.

It's "hard" to shoot thousands of feet and hit a bullseye on a target, but it's really easy to walk right up to a target and touch its bullseye with your finger. ...The analogy should be obvious enough.
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Re: Improve high register

Postby MaryAnn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:50 am

Roger Lewis wrote:Take a look at my post here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4051&hilit=High+range" target="_blank


I think it will help you.
Roger Lewis


Isn't there some way this can be required reading for all newbies?
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Re: Improve high register

Postby gwwilk » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:51 pm

MaryAnn wrote:
Roger Lewis wrote:Take a look at my post here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4051&hilit=High+range" target="_blank" target="_blank


I think it will help you.
Roger Lewis


Isn't there some way this can be required reading for all newbies?

+1K :)
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Re: Improve high register

Postby PaulMaybery » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:06 am

Maybe this is a little heady for most to wrap their minds around, but here goes:
Playing in the high register presumes all factors are a go:
Continuous air flow
Firm corners
Open oral cavity, the tongue not crushing the air way.
And of course chops that can actually buzz the desired pitch
Things such as cup dimensions figure into the equation.

BUT - there is one small factor that is very often overlooked and rarely ever mentioned.
That is differentiating between the lip tension of the corners that are outside the MP
and the lip tissue that is buzzing inside the MP.
Ideally, if the inside-the-cup lip tissue can stay relatively soft and learn to buzz, those high pitches independently, you will be surprised at how easy it is to play up high. This softness applies to both the upper and lower lips. When they are tightened too far the tone becomes strident and looses both warmth of sound and flexibility. It will also stop buzzing altogether at a certain point. If you look at the inner tissue through a clear MP you can see the difference from when it is over tightened to when it is still comfortably soft. You can hear the difference as well when you make the adjustment. The corners outside the MP certainly do need to be firm for support but that vice grip needs to stop at the rim.
At least one person on the TNFJ has suggested starting the note by blowing the air and then introducing the lip vibrations. This assures that the air column is in effect in a free and continuous motion.
It should actually be easy to play in the high register. If it is not, then certain things are standing in the way. If you care to see a good example of this, there is a youtube of Allessandro Fossi performing "Bydlo" on the F Tuba. So relaxed and sweet without any visible strain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx6Eo6liyCg" target="_blank
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Re: Improve high register

Postby bloke » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:30 am

were it only that
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