Scott Englebright attended the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of North Texas. While at UNT, Scott was featured in performance and on recordings with the One O'Clock Lab Band playing two very difficult, high-note feature tunes, "Danny Boy" (in 1994), using an arrangement written for Maynard Ferguson by Don Sebesky, and "Maynard Ferguson" (in 1995), a song originally written for Maynard Ferguson by Shorty Rogers. One of his friends sent his recording of "Maynard Ferguson" to Ferguson himself, who offered Englebright the lead trumpet spot in Ferguson's big band. Scott toured with the band for a year and a half, and recorded one album with them (One More Trip to Birdland). After leaving Maynard's band, Scott played and/or recorded with many artists in Los Angeles, including Mike Barone, Steve Huffstetter, Bill Holman, Tom Kubis, Mark Masters, Bobby Caldwell, Buddy Childers, Jack Sheldon, Chris Walden, Jim Widner, Joe McBride, and Carl Saunders. He also spent two years playing in Paul Anka's band. Scott now performs with various bands in the San Francisco area.
Regarding trumpet range and control, I would like to suggest that you play a G in the staff as clearly as possible. I believe that the aperture size has a lot to do with sound (along with air). Once you get a nice sound on that note in that register, don't
change anything ! Many teachers tell their students to press the lips
together to play higher essentially closing off the aperture. The tissue
inside the aperture is what vibrates. So, if you close that tissue off, you are
basically choking off your "reed." This will cause your sound to suffer.
Pressing your lips together will give you a couple of usable note, but
beyond that everything will progressively get tighter and smaller. Once
your aperture is set (G), blow more and more air (tightening your abdominal
muscles....blowing out a table full of candles).
Narrow=faster in physics. So, your air will be going much faster. Faster=higher. Think about
squeezing the sides of a balloon to get that squeak sound. The harder you
pull, the faster the vibrations/the higher the pitch. Don't emulate the
tension, just the speed of the vibrations. To succeed at playing music you
must have a nice sound. That's why it's imperative that you work on sound
FIRST so it isn't compromised in any way. Now, when you form your
embouchure, you don't want too much tension in the surrounding muscles. Lock
them down, but don't make them rigid (forming a fist vs tightening a fist).
Too much rigidity = bad sound. So, think about saying "Mmmmm," tighten the
corners, and blow. If you take the work from the face muscles and have them
do as little as possible, you won't have bad playing days, you won't get tired,
you won't have to use pressure, and playing will be more fun.
I think everything is easier said than done. But, with a little practice and
understanding, anyone can play anything with a little work. It's really easy
to get confused when thinking about little details. But, if you look at
playing from a distance, everything makes sense. Compressed air creates
faster vibrations. The trick is to get accustomed to blowing a lot of air
through a little hole. That's all there is to playing. Blowing through a
straw the size of your aperture may help. It's a different sensation, but
essential. As I said earlier, more = faster through a small hole (your aperture).
The water leaving your house doesn't change in any way, but the speed it leaves the hose
increases with a nozzle. I can cover 3 octaves easily by simply blowing more
air (while completely concentrating on what is happening) and not changing
anything about my head or face. So, I know it works. You just have to get
really good at blowing. You can play high many different
ways. But, what I am talking about is complete control of the upper
register and lower register. Let your air do all the work.
When I talk about playing high, I mean soft and clear to loud and clear.
What is cool about this way of playing is that if you do
everything correctly, a G in the staff feels the same on your face as a G
above high C. Your abdominal muscles are much tighter, but the face pressure
doesn't change. Now, what is also cool is that when you find the best
sounding middle G (pitch center), nothing changes in your face so the
sound of each note remains as clear as the G. It really works if you concentrate on what you are doing when you play.
When I play I concentrate on using is air speed to play. I
used to play the other way (focusing on lip muscles, tension, embouchure,
etc) and know the difference. I only got so far and could count on one or
two bad days a week. If frequency of the vibrations are predetermined and are
all that matter, how do you change pitch? You can only create so much tension in your
lips just like you can only press your lips so tight. What then? Do you put
your horn away and go home?
Doing anything to your lips limits your
ability to play. Think about it, the tension created in your abdominal
muscles is more than enough to play anything. Air creates vibrations at
higher frequencies. You can't make the lips vibrate without air. Air is
the one qualitative thing that defines what you can do on the trumpet.
Again, if pitch = smaller aperture, you can only go so small until you
close off. This, without a doubt, is a limitation. Plus, your sound will
change if your aperture changes. When I play higher, my corners get tighter.
They don't go back, down, up, etc... They just get more firm. This has
nothing to do with lip tension. I have thought about it a lot when I play.
How much tension would I need to play a triple C and the C below low C? My
face simply doesn't noticeably move when I play the two extremes.
There are many ways to play. There are also easier ways to play and sound good. I
associate with some of the best players around and the more questions I ask,
the more I find out how similar our ways of playing happen to be. I have
worked with beginners to semi-pro players and their range has gone up (sometimes
an octave) and their sound improves and their lower range gets better. I
don't believe these results are coincidental.