2 problem notes on Bach B flat trumpet - intonation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by PeteH, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. PeteH

    PeteH New Friend

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    2 problem notes on Bach B flat trumpet - help needed, please

    I'm just getting back to serious playing after a long while and am noticing that my d (_OO) and e (OOO) within the staff are much flatter than I'd like. It's a great horn otherwise: 61,000 series, professional grade, Bach B flat. Great response. Great, dark tone. I purchased from Luther Didrickson while I was at NU. Bob Reeves valves alignment 20 yrs ago, with pads replaced a couple yrs ago. I generally play a 1C or 3C mouthpiece. My valves have been sticking so I'm planning a valve job. I need the valve job regardless, but could valve wear have caused it? Is there a fix for this? ANY SUGGESTIONS WELCOME! Thx.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Normal out of tune notes for a Bach, so your valves aren't at fault. Your time off may have simply "cleaned out you ears," so that you have stopped hearing the out of tune notes as normal, and therefore "in tune."

    You might notice that your Eb (O_O) is flat as well. As long as they represent the third of a chord, no problem. If you wish alternate fingerings to correct them, then try (_O_) with third slide extended for d, (_ _ O) [with maybe a tad bit of first slide extrended] for E, and (O_ _) for Eb [no slide needed, Bach's third slides tend to be a tad bit too long anyway].

    Welcome back, and thanks for wanting to play in tune!
     
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    I've heard that the mouthpiece can cause this too. The way it fits in the receiver and the gap to the lead pipe.

    I have also heard that changing the length of the mouthpiece messes with tuning. My Monette mouthpiece is shorter than my Bach.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    When we practice enough, we become one with our instrument, just like if we invest in relationships, the blemishes become insignificant.

    My suggestion on the Bb is just to practice more. Just like all of the pro orchestra trumpet players got used to their out of tune Bachs decades ago, you will get into the flow.

    There is a mechanical solution however. Take your horn to a really good tech and have them turn it into a tuning bell. Push the tuning slide all the way in and then tune with the bell. Magic happens.

    If after 6 months or so, you still have an issue, getting the same mouthpiece with a larger throat makes the intonation less "locked in" by decreasing the efficiency of the resonant system. This is a common solution for the Bach Strad C trumpets.

    I don't like the sound of alternate fingerings as much.
     
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  5. PeteH

    PeteH New Friend

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    To all, thanks for the input so far. FYI, I'm "back in shape" enough to know this isn't an embouchure or lack of practice problem.

    Vulgano is correct reg the E flat as well. Agree that the traditional/obvious fix is alternate fingerings, but the attacks justs aren't as clean.

    I find it difficult to believe that a tune-able bell would be a fix for these problem notes, plus I like my bell intact on a Bflat horn.

    B151M - I listened to your Arutunian - nice! The mouthpiece/leadpipe thing interests me I actually have a Monette mp. It is shorter, and it does correct these notes significantly. The reason I don't like to play it it is b/c for me the attacks aren't as crisp. I also find it fuzzier in the low registers. You don't sound like you have these issues - which Monette mp do you use?

    Anyone else have a suggestion here? Any other shorter mouthpieces?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  6. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Mezzo Piano User

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    As always with Rowuk, I Love it! :thumbsup:
     
  7. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Pete, as much as this may appear stupid, check how far out is your tuning slide. The more you pull out, the flatter these naturally flat note will be on your trumpet. This is where the tunable bell may be useful. Please look around, there is a recent thread on the board about tunable bells.
     
  8. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Thank you foe the complement. I'm not an expert on this. Most of what I've learned is from reading here and at TH. The shorter mouthpiece somehow changes the distance between the overtone series. It doesn't have to be a Monette. I just noticed one day at a rehearsal that my mouthpiece is shorter than a Bach. I was at ITG and playing a Schilke Picc. The high F was out of tune. I asked the guy from Schilke why that was happening and he said that they would have to get the right mouthpiece combination for me and the horn. I couldn't use my mouthpiece because I only had a trumpet shank with me.

    Little things mean a lot. There was a post a while back with pictures where someone took apart a Bach trumpet that didn't play well and posted every day as he put it back together. He has the trumpet playable but not soldered and it played. When he soldered it together it played poorly. Then he described how moving the braces just a little changed the playability drastically. I think this is why the tunable bell works. I guess it could wreck the trumpet too, although I have only heard positive results from that change.

    If it were me, and wanted to keep the trumpet, I would go to a place like Dillon Music where they have sales people that actually can play and a repair guy that's not a hack and they have a huge supply of mouthpieces. You might be ably to fix it with a mouthpiece change or maybe by adjusting the receiver so the gap is correct.

    I play on a B15M Prana. for just about all my playing. When I'm the most in shape and playing at my best, the airy sound doesn't happen. If I get really tired or don't practice for a while it does.

    Just as a side note, I stopped playing Bach because of the tuning. When I bought my first non Bach, I didn't know it could be fixed.
     
  9. TrumpetMonk

    TrumpetMonk Pianissimo User

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    Are there any other common out of tune notes on a Bach? What about above the staff?
     
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    A face-time issue; the Monette "slap-back" mouthpieces may help.

    If you want to "fix" a Bach you are in the same class as people who wish to "fix" a Porsche. Both can be tweaked, but at high expense. Your real options are to seek a horn that is in tune and gives you the sound you want, or to learn to play in tune with what you have.

    Sorry, but I don't see any other options!
     

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