Join HI-YR-BY-A-THIRD today!

What is HI-R-BY-A-THIRD?

HI-R-BY-A-THIRD stands for How to Increase Your Range By A Third

This is a new support group just for high note wimps like me and it begins Today!

• If you are tired of having other trumpet players laugh at you when you miss the high note at the end of your solo, join our group.

• If you have lost jobs because of your limited range and want to play in a higher chair in your section, join our club.

• If you are envious of the other players who are able to perform a full octave above you with less effort, join our club.

• If you….oh well, you get my point.

HI-YR-BY-A-THIRD was formed today for the ultimate challenge of getting our range up a third in a reasonable amount of time.

Each person is different and their eventual improvement will vary. Some will be able to advance in a short amount of time while others will have to continue working longer. There is no way to forecast how long this will take, hence “a reasonable amount of time”.

I practice regularly to keep in shape for calls and have leveled off on my high range at F# above high C. For most situations this is adequate, but after knocking on the door to “G” for a while, I decided I needed to do something to get the G started. And that was when I remembered the Claude Gordon book Systematic Approach to Daily Practice. While at North Texas State, (University of North Texas) I worked on this book and eventually was able to play a very thin “Eb” above double C. I remember that day for I wrote the date down on the page I was playing.

The required text for this course will be Claude Gordon’s Systematic Approach to Daily Practice and all students in this class must have this method in order to be part of the project. If you can borrow one, that’s even better.

Class begins today and will run as long as there is interest and “class participation”. In order for our class to begin today, I have included your first assignment which can be downloaded below. Also included below is your practice sheet for documenting your progress.

IT IS IMPARITIVE THAT YOU HAVE A COPY OF THE TEXT, FILL OUT YOUR PRACTICE SHEET AND CONTACT ME THROUGH THE COMMENT BOX BELOW THIS POST SO THAT I CAN KEEP EVERYONE INFORMED AS TO THE PROGRESS OF THE CLASS.
I AM COUNTING ON YOU TO JOIN OUR PROJECT AND ALL YOU NEED TO DO TO IMPROVE YOUR RANGE IS A LITTLE TIME, REGULAR PRACTICE AND SEND IN YOUR WEEKLY REPORTS TO YOUR TEACHER. ALL LEVELS OF PLAYERS ARE WELCOME.

I would like to make a challenge to all my trumpet playing readers.

If you would like to join me in increasing our range by a third (or more), follow the instructions listed below and we will see how far we can increase our ranges together.

Here is how you can be part of this inspired and group motivated army of high range wimps, like me……

How to Increase Your Range by a Third project (HI-YR-BY-A-THIRD)

• Purchase (or borrow) the book- Systematic Approach to Daily Practice for Trumpet

• Leave a comment on this post indicating that you would like to join in with others on this project (names will be kept confidential)

• Check in once a week and give us your progress

• Submit any questions or comments on this venture

Our next few posts will give you some advice on why Systematic Approach to Daily Practice works, how it should be used, what to expect and what to be aware of as you increase your range.

As long as we have class participation and questions from the class, this should be fun and productive for all of us.

Question from the back row:

“Professor, will you be letting the class know how you are progressing”?

Response; “I think that is only fair……….

Download Practice Sheet here- Practice Sheet

Download First Assignment here- CG #1 P1 (1)

28 thoughts on “Join HI-YR-BY-A-THIRD today!”

  1. I’ll try. I have Gordons’ book. HIs instruction to always finger aggressively is probably part of the reason my fingers are trashed so I’m going to try this with my left hand. I’ve been playing for 1 1/2 years and practiced diligently for most of that time with a teacher, Clarke, and Arban’s.
    Are you assigning just p. 12 or the entire assignment which includes p. 13? I play E in the top line of the staff comfortably, G for a few seconds, bA & A now and then, no C yet.
    I’ve DL’d some of your sheet music, thanks!
    This looks like a good idea as well
    Karen

    1. Welcome to the class and I think you will be pleased with your progress as we work through a few of the lessons together.

      I’ll try. I have Gordons’ book. His instruction to always finger aggressively is probably part of the reason my fingers are trashed so I’m going to try this with my left hand.

      Many trumpet players preach this concept for one main reason. By firmly depressing the valves, you are more likely to connect one not to the next. In this way there is less chance for a note to stop on you. It also assures you that you move smoothly from one note to the next. I remember taking some instructions from the great “Doc” Severinsen and he also stressed “BANG THE VALVES DOWN”. Later, I studied with the legendary trumpet player and teacher, Don Jacoby. In his lessons, he constantly mentioned that when you push the valves down, you should hear a “POP”. Your description of your fingers being trashed sounds as if you have taken the instruction a little too seriously. If you experience any discomfort or pain, your body is telling you to slow down a little. “Always listen to your body”.

      I’ve been playing for 1 1/2 years and practiced diligently for most of that time with a teacher.

      Your history on the trumpet is relatively short when compared to most of our readers but your improvement should be faster than their improvement.

      Clarke, and Arban’s

      These are two of the best books ever written for the trumpet. Your trashed fingers may be the result of too much Clarke. The Gordon book also suggests its use but in moderation. If you continue to have finger problems as we progress, please let me know for there are fine finger exercises to strengthen your fingers which may be of help to you. Let me know after a couple weeks if you have the same problem. For now, hold and finger your instrument as you have in the past.
      .

      Are you assigning just p. 12 or the entire assignment which includes p. 13?

      For now, we will only be using the first part on page 12. Before we get into the high notes, we have to be sure that we are doing the Pedal Tones correctly.

      I play E in the top line of the staff comfortably, G for a few seconds, bA & A now and then, no C yet.

      I can assume you are talking about the E “top space” in the staff.

      Be sure to fill out your PRACTICE SHEET which was included in our last post and indicate you highest note with the date. Many times seeing ones progress is half of the battle.

      I’ve DL’d some of your sheet music, thanks!

      You’re welcome and that is why I post it.

      This looks like a good idea as well.

      I’m confident that many players will benefit from this venture. Some will be discouraged because they expect to advance their high range at a faster pace but to improve three notes in a players range is more of an accomplishment than most realize.

      Again, I’m pleased to have you in our class and we are adding more each day. I think this project will be fun as well as beneficial to all of our high range.

      The very best to you and yours.

  2. A year ago, after 51 yrs, at age 70, I started to play again just because I love music and wanted to play some while I still can. I made some good progress but keep losing ground because my business has occasional periods of long hours when I get too tired to do more than a little maintenance playing. Winter will be better.
    I have been using SA, Clarke TS and my Arban’s(ca. 1954) on a Mt Vernon Strad and 7C mp. I do a long modification of K tongue exercise(SA p 19) for tongue and strength that I have gradually expanded to include 16ths, 2x and 3x tongue, higher and lower than written. MKT escapes me.I tongue into the lips low and as I go up tongue moves up to ledge behind upper teeth.
    I tire fast G above staff and up. Top out at D# with an occasional thin E,E#. The books, especially Arban get up to C pretty early on. Should I keep going there or stay away for now? In the staff I can play for a long time though I try to stop after half an hour to rest. I have never taken pedals seriously and stopped going for high notes because they can ruin my day for my lip. Perhaps following your plan can help me get some endurance above the staff.
    Other issue is reduced lung capy, mid-range long tone at mf only about 20 seconds. Compression seems pretty good, just have to breath often. I could go on but that’s the basics.

    1. Good evening Krossi,

      Great to have you in the class and I will do my best to share some information on some of your concerns.

      A year ago, after 51 yrs, at age 70-

      It’s scary to think that you and I have combined ages of 140 year! Let me reassure you that our current age does not diminish our desire to improve.
      I made some good progress but keep losing ground because my business has occasional periods of long hours when I get too tired to do more than a little maintenance playing.
      I have found that an extra mouthpiece in the car can be a great way for basic buzzing on the way home from work. It makes the chops feel friendlier to your face. Also, it drives other drivers crazy when you stop at a traffic light.

      I have been using SA, Clarke TS and my Arban’s(ca. 1954) on a Mt Vernon Strad and 7C mp.

      Great combination of materials and equipment.

      I do a long modification of K tongue exercise(SA p 19) for tongue and strength that I have gradually expanded to include 16ths, 2x and 3x tongue, higher and lower than written.

      I got on to the K attack through the use of the Earl Irons “27 Groups of Exercises and found it to be very helpful. I can tell you why it works so well but I know it does help with the chops. Also I have found that extended periods of K tonguing tends to close your throat which is not good.

      I tongue into the lips low and as I go up tongue moves up to ledge behind upper teeth.

      This is in line with Gordon’s suggestion to articulate with a TEE articulation. The new school of thought does not hold to this practice and I will get into that later.

      I tire fast G above staff and up. Top out at D# with an occasional thin E,E#.

      Your reference to “fast” could be a long time to someone else. How much time in minutes are you talking about?

      Should I keep going there or stay away for now?

      If you are going to stay with the class, I would start on lesson #1 with the rest of us and we’ll see what that brings. For now, I would stop using the K attack or any other material other than what is in lesson #1.

      In the staff I can play for a long time though I try to stop after half an hour to rest.

      A Half hour of constant playing is too much, even for players younger than us. It is much more productive to keep your playing short and more challenging with frequent breaks than trying to play for too long a time. Once your lips starts to tire, they goes downhill quickly. A very good test of how much you should play is how you feel the next day. If you get up in the morning and want to get back to the horn, then you are doing the right thing. If you get up and feel like you would like to take the day off, you must have overdone your practice the day before.

      I have never taken pedals seriously and stopped going for high notes because they can ruin my day for my lip.

      I think you will enjoy the higher notes as they become more easily available.

      Perhaps following your plan can help me get some endurance above the staff.

      Range and endurance go hand in hand for the same muscles are involved.

      Other issue is reduced lung capy, mid-range long tone at mf only about 20 seconds.

      One thing you will start noticing is that as you increase your inhalations, you vital capacity will start to increase also.

      Thanks for your comments and I’m sure we both will benefit from this project.

  3. Another comeback player here…

    30 years ago I had a 3-octave range. After “coming back” for a year, I’m wanting to get my range back. Hopefully this program, and some intelligent practice will get me there.

    1. I understand your desire to get back to the “good old days” but sometimes that is not possible.

      I was at one time listed as “One of the premier bird artist in the Western World” but as my eye sight became more of a problem, I knew that those days were over.

      I can’t promise that you will be able to regain your three octaves, but I can assure you that you can improve your range by a third as we begin our weekly lessons. Who know, you might even prove me wrong and regain your three octaves.

    1. First you get the note, then you improve the note and then you start all over again on the next note higher.

      Then you stop practicing, you have to start all over again.

      Give me one good reason we do this.

  4. so our chops can be strong enough to get the note out and be able to move on a little higher. And when one stops particing you lose your range somewhat. I believe that is what my director said at one point i’m not intirely sure if that is correct.

    1. You are right on my man!.

      We work at it so we are not embarrassed when we perform. The Arts are worth ever drop of perspiration we shed.

      How’s your range doing? I was finally able to squeak out an anemic G today but my F and F# was solid. :)

          1. Good for you. I can report that I finally crossed over the G.

            It may seem that we are creeping along, but in truth, we are making great improvement for each half step is proof that regular practice does help.

            Keep up the good work and remember not to start changing things or over doing it.

  5. Any chance the lessons will get cleaned up and organized? I see two different “lesson 1 part2″ blogs, and I found ‘lesson 3 review’ but couldn’t find ‘lesson 3’?

    1. Thank you for your comments and I agree that there is no “One Fits All” method
      and each player should be open to others thoughts and methods.

      Your past experience is wonderful information for our reader.

      Thanks again for the information.

  6. I am a come-back player after 45 years of not touching my instrument. Two and a half years ago I started practicing because I wanted to join a community band. Now after two years in the band and playing level 5 music I need to increase my range for the more difficult pieces we play; nothing past F1, however. I can sustain a Bb below High C but have difficulty hitting notes above the staff at times in very fast tempo pieces. My endurance is not the greatest and my embouchure is still work in progress, I think! I ordered the CG book and will be interested in joining your group and working on my range.

    1. Welcome back and getting the old chops back is well worth the time and effort.

      I had a similar situation when I retired. I cased the horn for about five years and after moving to Branson, I was asked to play a recital, IN TWO WEEKS!

      It can be done and your selection of the CG book is a very good start.

      I have continued with the lessons and have been very happy with the results.

      You will find the recordings I have included are very helpful.

      Keep us informed on your progress and the very best to you and yours from the Branson Trumpet Ensemble.

  7. My wife is getting me the Claude Gordon book for Christmas. I look forward to getting started. I can usually hit a high C, but that is it currently it. I think to some extent it is a mental plateau.

    1. You will be getting a gift that keeps on giving!

      I can almost guarantee that your range will improve…..AS LONG AS YOU PRACTICE.

      I have continued my use of the book and have been very pleased with the outcome.

      I included some practice recordings in a couple of my posts which have made the practice time go by faster and also keeps me on schedule.

      As you go through the book, make sure to use these recordings, both the low and the high examples.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours and tell your wife from me, “She has given you a gift which will change your attitude towards the upper register”!

  8. I just found this website recently, and am looking to undertake this program even though I’m a little late to the party. I am a junior music major in college looking to get a good upper register (and consistent!) as well as better endurance and breath control, because I think those two go hand-in-hand for stunting my growth as a player. The CG book should be here early next week. My question though is do I use this approach with my classical mouthpiece (Bach 3B), jazz mouthpiece (CKB 3C, transitioning to a Curry 3M.), or both?

    Cheers!

    1. If you are currently studying trumpet with a teacher at your college, you need to run the CG book by him/her first. Some teachers get upset when their students decide to do things without telling them. If your teacher decides that you should not try it, I suggest you try it and don’t tell him or her for it will only improve your high range. The method will not hinder or hurt your playing if you use it the way it tells you to or any of the suggestions I have made in its use.

      Trumpet players going to North Texas State did not tell our University teacher that we were taking lessons with Don Jacoby at the same time for the same reason you need not tell your teacher you are using the CG.

      I was able to increase my range to the goal I had set and so did all the readers that contacted me.

      If your instructor agrees to let you use the method, even better.

      Use it correctly and let me know how you do.

      The best to you and yours from the Branson Trumpet Ensemble.

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