Re: High register playing

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Posted by Roger Lewis on October 18, 1999 at 17:50:04:

In Reply to: High register playing posted by Daryl on October 13, 1999 at 21:15:25:

You're doing some good things already, but you may want to examine some of the
theories you're working under. Personally I do not use smaller mouthpieces as a development tool (and try to avoid it whenever I can) - when you develop your "tuba" embrochure you educate the soft tissue of the lip and establish a slightly
more dense tissue where the mouthpiece rests. I believe that when you switch to a smaller mouthpiece you are moving these "calloused" areas into the soft tissue playing surface
in the center it may cause you to develop a double buzz. The harder tissue will
vibrate at a different frequency than the softer tissue. Just my experience
with doing that.
Other high register exercises that I use - Rochut trombone studies - in the octave written, down one octave and down two octaves (often changing at random during an etude). The Remmington trombone warmups (the original short version) in the octave written (a lot).
A wor d of caution - when you work extensively in the high register, the old wives tale that is out there is that you lose your low register. This is incorrect. What does tend to occur is that you attack in the middle register becomes a little squirrely, but don't panic and start adjusting everything. It will return to normal fairly quicklt on it's own.
As to your goal of an A or B flat for comfort, Mr. Herseth's philosophy was that, to have total security he needs to be able to play comfortably a perfect fourth higher than he will ever be required to play in his parts. I think this is an excellent goal.

Good luck in your endeavors, and keep practicing. High register is not a physical thing - it tends to be a state of mind. (You might want to get with a really strong player and examine how he makes things work in the high register. Air speed over force always works best.

Roger Lewis

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