High Attacks

Odds are that you are one of the many players who can play higher if you work your way up to a high note than if you just have to hit a high note out of the blue. You have no doubt found this frustrating, but did you ever wonder why this is the case? If you have been coming here for a while you have hopefully experimented with what I wrote about in this post. Now if you think about what happens when you approach high notes from down low (like in this great exercise), if you are playing with good connection between the notes your air will be moving freely at the beginning of the high note and your lips are probably much more relaxed than when you try to hit the note cold. Basically, you want to approach all notes as though you are already playing. That is why it is so important to not stop between your inhale and exhale and why you should not clamp your lips shut before an attack. You want it to feel as much as possible like you are just jumping in on a note that is already being played.

Besides stopping the air before the exhale and clamping the lips, a big culprit in ruining high attacks is the tongue. Many players have a tendency to pull the tongue back and up in the mouth when playing high, and they exagerate the problem in high attacks. Be aware of this and keep your tongue down and forward at all times. Think about attacks going out instead of up. Your high notes articulations should feel exactly the same as your low note articulations.


Blogger Mark McHenry said...

Good tip. I will try it.

10:58 PM, March 13, 2011  

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