MASTER OF HIS TRADE - Remembering Allan Littlemore

Issue 6082

COVID ROADMAP - Optimism at route out of restrictions

COMPOSER CAST - Christopher Bond meets Naomi Styles

BB Brass Masterclass: Brett Baker on developing the high register

Tuesday 26 January, 2021

In the latest masterclass exclusively for British Bandsman readers, Black Dyke’s principal trombonist, Brett Baker, looks upwards. Brett, a Michael Rath artist and ambassador, trombone tutor at the University of Salford, general manager of the Geneva Group and a respected teacher, conductor and adjudicator, offers advice on improving the upper register.


The upper register. This is one of the aspects of playing I get asked about the most, in lessons and workshops in the UK and abroad. I thought it would be good to write some guidance on what I have found helpful over many years of experimentation. Firstly, let us talk about what is regarded as high register for me.

On most brass instruments, I would consider anything above a top B in treble clef (top A bass clef) as being in the high register. Of course, this depends on the instrument and the level of the player. Most low brass teachers and professional players would consider the tenor trombone and baritones and euphoniums to have a range of low F# to top C in treble clef (low E to top Bb bass clef) and that the pedal range and range above the high C are considered just outside the normal range, although the development of instruments over the past 30 or so years has improved that and it is not unusual for test-pieces to contain top Ds and Es for tenor trombone, while euphoniums and baritones continue to reach higher and higher.


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