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Hello,

I've been having trouble on my high notes (d and higher) and I was wondering if my mouthpiece/reed setup can make a big difference in how easy high notes are to play. I am using a Yamaha 4c mp and a Vandoren V16 2.5. If you have any tips or techniques that would be great.


Thanks,

Ryan
 

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Depends A LOT on how long you’ve been playing. These notes are hard to play on soprano (some would say they shouldn’t be played at all), and the key is to keep embouchure firm but relaxed and “voice” the note properly. Do not under any circumstances bite down to get the palm key notes out.

You might try a slightly harder reed, but a lot of times the harder reed trick helps because it stands up to jaw pressure better and you
end up biting. Did I mention not to bite?

The 4C should work fine. Try different reeds first.
 

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Funny that you would mention the reed strength, in my case I found that a lighter reed is better... but that's me.

In any case: do NOT bite (+100000) !
 

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I have trouble with these notes too, but it seems to work best when I "relax into them", keeping air and embouchure consistent.
 

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I agree with the posters above that you need to voice the palm key notes and that you should avoid biting down. In addition, I've found that it's much easier to get these notes out if you make sure that the horn is more or less parallel to your face. Tilting the horn down to a more clarinet-like position makes it much more difficult to hit the high notes.
 
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