High Range Methods- Traditional

I will group the “Old School” approach to improving high range as any method using traditional methods which would include improvement one half-step at a time over a period with constant repetition.

The highest note in the entire Arban Method is only a high C. Did you ever wonder why this appened.? Why was such a popular and authoritative work so limiting in the upper register? I’m not sure anyone would have the real reason for many factors affected the material at that period of time. It is interesting to read the review of  Arban’s material when he submitted it to the Pasis Conservatory’s Committee on Music Study. Their replay stated, “This work is rich in instructive advice, is based on the best of fundamental principles, and omits not a single instructive point which might be needed for the development and gradual technical perfection of a player.” The Arban Method contains three hundred and forty-seven pages and, when considering the amount of material, there is a complete exclusion of anything above a high C.

It is not to say that the cornet was not playing the notes above high C for the virtuosic soloists of that period were regularly pushing the highest limits during their solo performances. Even with today’s standards, they are considered some of the greatest high note players, and on some of the most primitive instruments when compared to what we have today. If they could play that high, why did it not reflect in their method books? Arban died in 1899 and within a relatively short time, material to study in the upper register began to change. In nineteen twenty-four Walter M. Eby published his book “Eby’s Scientific Method for Cornet and Trumpet. Within his method were some of the most humbling high range exercises ever written to paper. On the first page in his Part 4- Professional book, the first exercise includes its first high C and on page three-hundred ten you are served your first double C and further down the same page you are shown what a triple high C might look like. That must have been a real shock to the players back then! I highly recommend adding this method to your library but unfortunately, it is no longer available in stores. If you happen on a copy or notice it on sale on Ebay.com, be sure to make a bid, for it will be a sought after collectable in the future.

I can recommend a book for your study which will help with a traditional approach to high range development and it is FREE! This material was published years ago by the well known high note player Bud Brisbois. It is available at Bud Brisbois’ trumpet method Trumpet Today. While you are at this site, also download  Bud Brisbois’ Jazz Trumpet Duet book Trumpets Today. Both the method book and collection of duets (with on site recorded examples), will serve you well in your quest for just another half step in a traditional approach to high note playing.

Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.

11 thoughts on “High Range Methods- Traditional

  1. Roger

    Hello Bruce,
    The link of the methods you talked about is down, could you please send them to my email? Thank you in advance.
    Best regards.

  2. Carlos Centeno

    Hello Bruce,

    I just want to tell you that I have the 1st addition on “Eby’s Scientific Method for trumpet and cornet”. I can send you the whole copy if you like. Would it be possible that you can send me the whole copy of the 4th addition. Let me know what your thoughts are. Thank you so much for your time.


    • Bruce Chidester

      When you say “the first addition” do you mean the first addition of the complete method, or are you speaking of Part 1- Foundation and Part 4- Professional books?

      • Carlos Centeno

        I mean I own Part 1 foundation and that I can send you a copy if you like. I’m really interested in having the complete method book but I can’t seem to find it. Would you be able make me a copy or scan from first to last page of your book part -4?

        • Bruce Chidester

          Part 4 includes about 200 pages and my schedule will not allow for the time. But, If you will cover the shipping cost, I can send you my copy as long as I eventually get it back.

          Let me know what you would like to do.

          • Carlos Centeno

            Oh Really. Man Bruce that would be great. I would love that. You just made my day. I can copy the book and scan it for you. As well. We can do this via email and I can send you money via PayPal for shipping. Does that work? Can you please email me at the email I posted on your site. Hope to hear from you soon. Blessings

          • Bruce Chidester

            Your book is in the mail.

            Let me know when you get it and we’ll visit then.

  3. George Shager

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