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Thread: "Standard" Fingerings in the High Registers

  1. "Standard" Fingerings in the High Registers

    I haven't really started to push above a high Bb yet because I never needed to. However, since I am graduating high school, I figure that it would be in my best interest to start stretching my range even more. So, my question is, what are the most common fingerings for high B, C, C#, and D? The other day I tried to play a high B, but between not actually knowing what fingering to use and the mental block that high B is so much higher than high Bb, I simply couldn't get the note to speak. It seems like everything up there is 1, 2, or Open.
    T.J. Davis

    Wessex Dolce
    G&W Kadja

  2. #2
    It varies from person to person, and from horn to horn. The fingerings I use on my Prestige are different from my old Boosey and Hawkes.

    Currently, I have found these fingerings to work best for me:

    B: 2 + tuning trigger
    C: 1-3
    C#/Db: 2
    D: 2 + tuning trigger
    D#/Eb: 1
    E: 2
    F: open OR 4 (depending on context)

    B is a tricky note to hit for everyone. It takes a lot of practice and focus to really center it. Once you work up the the high D/Eb range, though, it gets easier. I also use 2 for both Db and D, which might sound a bit weird, but those notes seem to respond best with that fingering. Open on D is too hard to center, and 2-3 on Db is too tubby.

    It's best to experiment around and find what works best for you.
    [I]Frost School of Music (UMiami) - BM Euphonium Performance '21

    Besson Prestige 2052 Euphonium - Greg Black NY 3.75
    Courtois 551BHRA Bass Trombone - Greg Black 1 1/4G
    Olds P-16 "Custom" Trombone - Greg Black NY 3A

  3. Assuming you are referring to standard bass clef concert pitch Bb, the common fingerings are:
    Bb - open
    B nat - 2
    C - open
    C#/Db - 2
    D - open or 1+2
    D#/Eb - 1
    E nat - 2
    F - open

    These fingerings assume the horn does not have any bracing or other nodal issues that will pull a note out of tune. No horn is perfect. Everything needs alternate fingerings at some point. The harmonic overtone series for each valve combination are so close at that high range that just about anything will work, if it avoids damping by a node and gets the note to speak in tune with good intonation and tone.

    Anything above the F loses the stability of the terminal node which is the standing wave for the pitch just beyond the bell, and higher than that, the horn becomes more of a megaphone than a resonant body.
    Last edited by iiipopes; 02-21-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  4. Sweet! Thanks!
    T.J. Davis

    Wessex Dolce
    G&W Kadja


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