Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?



  • Decades ago and even today, students are required to play all twelve major scales two octaves. How many can play all twelve major scales with the arpeggios? To play all twelve major scales and their arpeggios, it requires the person to play the;
    C#/Db scale two octaves
    D scale two octaves
    Eb scale two octaves
    E scale two octaves
    F scale two octaves
    Wouldn't it be great if this website was the one that actually advocated this directive (which is found in almost all All-State requirements for trumpet)
    What I've found is that adjudicators will pick the scales that only go up to high C and often exclude the C#, D, Eb, E and F scale which requires the person to be able to play (lyrically) at least five notes above high C. For some reason (and I don't know why) someone long ago said or used the term "High C". That term has been a mental barrier for thousands of people. One has to wonder if the term "High C" had never been coined, how much easier playing all twelve major scales two octaves would be? Is High C the ultimate goal to be achieved in the minds of young trumpet players and as such, making anything above high C considered freak show notes or only performed by people with "special God given skills?" **



  • Great idea. I am good on two octave scales. Now trying to get all the modes of all the scales bit by bit over two octaves but there are only so many hours in the day... and with this Covid-19 duty time is a factor.



  • @Dr-Mark said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:
    One has to wonder if the term "High C" had never been coined, how much easier playing all twelve major scales two octaves would be? **

    With half dilution by a good Vodka added to Hi-C, playing is REAL easy!



  • You know Dr. Mark, I find working in the modal scales really helps incorporate finger patterns that can always be retro fitted into a pattern with any improv solo (as long as the right modal pattern is chosen in the right key).



  • @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    Now trying to get all the modes of all the scales bit by bit but there are only so many hours in the day

    Gary, If you know all the major scales, you also know the modes by default. D to D in the key of C major is a Dorian. D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D. Think about what is flatted to make this sound Dorian? It should be D,E,F#,G,A,B,C#,D so two notes are flatted, F and C when using the C scale as a base. What scale has two notes flatted? Bb. So, just play the Bb scale but start on C. Just pretend to play the note Bb.



  • @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    You know Dr. Mark, I find working in the modal scales really helps incorporate finger patterns that can always be retro fitted into a pattern with any improv solo (as long as the right modal pattern is chosen in the right key).

    You sure got that right. Many famous jazz heros had a penchant for particular modes and scales



  • @Dr-Mark said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    Now trying to get all the modes of all the scales bit by bit but there are only so many hours in the day

    Gary, If you know all the major scales, you also know the modes by default. D to D in the key of C major is a Dorian. D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D.

    You are so right, but to me its a mind set issue to actually make it sound modal and not just another scale. Does that make sense?



  • @Dr-Mark said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    You know Dr. Mark, I find working in the modal scales really helps incorporate finger patterns that can always be retro fitted into a pattern with any improv solo (as long as the right modal pattern is chosen in the right key).

    You sure got that right. Many famous jazz heros had a penchant for particular modes and scales

    Woody Shaw comes out first in my mind as being exceptionally gifted at doing this. I once asked him for lessons when I lived in NYC to teach me his modal concepts... unfortunately he turned me down as a student.



  • @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    You are so right, but to me its a mind set issue to actually make it sound modal and not just another scale. Does that make sense?

    You are so right and what you are saying is an important lesson for those who are struggling with modes. One has to get the sound of a Dorian in their ears, otherwise they will play the notes but they will lack a connection with the song and when that happens, the person will often play some of the notes a little out of tune because they are not "settled" in the ear. The mode isn't familiar to them.



  • @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    Woody Shaw comes out first in my mind as being exceptionally gifted at doing this. I once asked him for lessons when I lived in NYC to teach me his modal concepts... unfortunately he turned me down as a student.

    Heck, you should have come to me. I would have shown you how for free. Well.... maybe for a beer or two.



  • @Dr-Mark said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    Woody Shaw comes out first in my mind as being exceptionally gifted at doing this. I once asked him for lessons when I lived in NYC to teach me his modal concepts... unfortunately he turned me down as a student.

    Heck, you should have come to me. I would have shown you how for free. Well.... maybe for a beer or two.

    🤚 🤕 Silly me! Why didn't I think of that at the time I had you on that stage with me! HOWEVER, my consolation prize WAS getting those two beer coasters from you with some modal changes to dial between, yes? So in a way, the beer did find it's way to communicate some concepts.



  • Why is it called High C?
    Because it is related to the lowest note of the same name and can be a system which relates to all brass instruments. System: Low X, Middle X, High X, Double High X. I've personally found it less ambiguous to often just define a note as X-above the staff, X above High C etc. But even using that system, High C seems to be a universally known designation.

    Why are notes above High C looked upon as harder than the High C itself?
    It seems that for many, it's not really arbitrary. There seems to be something acoustic that makes a High C a barrier. So, it is truly harder as you go above that.

    • I would agree, though, that some embouchure formations going to Double High G and beyond is not a problem, but I don't think the average player has found that special embouchure formation for themselves.

    Would life be a little simpler if it wasn't called "High" C?
    I think so. I had a good friend who was a first-call L.A. studio player (Kenton, Herman, Akiyoshi, et al) who did not conceive of, or call, playing "higher" but "farther out". Maybe it's not the most accurate substitute word, but the concepts there that the notes are not to be thought of as higher.

    So, if you don't call it High C, what do you call it?
    I've thought a lot of this and can't come up with a good substitute. It's a good system for direct communication. Perhaps the take-away from this, is not to change the terminology but, in pedagogy, to constantly reinforce in the student not to think of it as high, rather just another part of the range.



  • @Kehaulani said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    Why is it called High C?

    So, if you don't call it High C, what do you call it?
    I've thought a lot of this and can't come up with a good substitute. It's a good system for direct communication. Perhaps the take-away from this, is not to change the terminology but, in pedagogy, to constantly reinforce in the student not to think of it as high, rather just another part of the range.

    How about the first C above staff?



  • I think you need the "the" in the phrase, so one would be substituting "C Above The Staff" for "High C". It's a little wordy but it communicates both the note and the concept you want to eliminate. It would communicate what you want. I personally, would opt for brevity.



  • @Kehaulani said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    Why is it called High C?
    Because it is related to the lowest note of the same name and can be a system which relates to all brass instruments. System: Low X, Middle X, High X, Double High X. I've personally found it less ambiguous to often just define a note as X-above the staff, X above High C etc. But even using that system, High C seems to be a universally known designation.
    Yes, High C seems to be a universal but our lowest C is middle C (the closest C to the middle of the piano), C in the staff, and then C above the staff.
    Why are notes above High C looked upon as harder than the High C itself?
    It seems that for many, it's not really arbitrary. There seems to be something acoustic that makes a High C a barrier. So, it is truly harder as you go above that.
    I don't agree that its something acoustic but only because I have done no research. From what I've noticed with students, it's almost a mental block and once I convince them that high C is just another note, it seems to make the teaching and their ability to play the notes easier.
    I would agree, though, that some embouchure formations going to Double High G and beyond is not a problem, but I don't think the average player has found that special embouchure formation for themselves.
    The embouchure I advocate is the same as Dr. Brain Shook and Mendez. I form my lips as if saying "MMMM"
    Would life be a little simpler if it wasn't called "High" C?
    I think so. I had a good friend who was a first-call L.A. studio player (Kenton, Herman, Akiyoshi, et al) who did not conceive of, or call, playing "higher" but "farther out". Maybe it's not the most accurate substitute word, but the concepts there that the notes are not to be thought of as higher.
    So, if you don't call it High C, what do you call it?
    C above the staff just like I'd call G in the staff, G in the staff.
    I've thought a lot of this and can't come up with a good substitute. It's a good system for direct communication. Perhaps the take-away from this, is not to change the terminology but, in pedagogy, to constantly reinforce in the student not to think of it as high, rather just another part of the range.
    Yes, I agree



  • @Kehaulani said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    I think you need the "the" in the phrase, so one would be substituting "C Above The Staff" for "High C". It's a little wordy but it communicates both the note and the concept you want to eliminate. It would communicate what you want. I personally, would opt for brevity.
    That is an idea!



  • @Dr-GO said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    Silly me! Why didn't I think of that at the time I had you on that stage with me! HOWEVER, my consolation prize WAS getting those two beer coasters from you with some modal changes to dial between, yes? So in a way, the beer did find it's way to communicate some concepts.

    Try the triangle (augmented) C, E, Ab/G# or the square (diminished) C, Eb, G#/Ab C but play just the first 4 notes of the note that's shown on the wheel slowly and then increasing the speed. You'll get some really neat sounds. The triangle has a Giant Steps sort of sound. Just play either the first four notes of the scale for each note shown or its triad. Have fun!



  • I was never required to know every scale & arpeggio and be able to play them two octaves. I do know most of them, but can’t reliably play much above a D above the staff. That said, I wasn’t a music major and don’t play lead trumpet in a big band, am not a jazzer or commercial player, so a D is just fine for my casual trumpet playing. In other words, I don’t really care that I can’t do it. I did audition for the 3rd trumpet chair in a semi-pro symphony orchestra many years ago, and other than some excerpts, a melodic solo, and some sight reading, the only scale I was asked to play was a two-octave chromatic scale, which was easy enough to crank out.



  • Many singers call notes as they are on piano (in terms of octaves).

    The lowest note on piano being A0...the next octave being A1, then A2...etc...etc

    I don’t see why other instruments couldn’t do the same. That’s about as easy as it can get.



  • @Bob-Pixley said in Its Been an Age Long Requirement But How Many Can Do It?:

    I was never required to know every scale & arpeggio and be able to play them two octaves. I do know most of them, but can’t reliably play much above a D above the staff.

    I was required in the early 1970's in West Virginia, Dr-GO was required while in high school in Ohio, and most All-State requirements says "know all twelve major scales two octaves and arpeggios. Sounds like you have a new mountain to climb. All twelve major scales two octaves with their arpeggios. Now you poopoo an idea because you can't do it? What in the world is wrong with you? No wait! You're the fox in the grape orchard that jumped and jumped and couldn't reach the ripest grapes. Upon realizing he couldn't reach the grapes, the fox said to himself, "oh, the grapes were probably sour anyway"
    You can't do what a high school trumpet player is required to know if they try out for All-State. On a side note, why the hell do you even comment if its something you are not interested in? Here's your words; " I don’t really care that I can’t do it." Then why comment unless you wish to be a turd stirrer?


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