3rd valve tuning slide: when?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Can someone explain when the 3rd valve slide should be used?
    I know it is used to bring certain notes into tune. Does every trumpet have notes that need this compensation? Should one make a habit of using that slide, or is it possible to get by without it? Someone teach me everything I need to know about that particular tuning slide. And while we're at it, if a horn is equiped with a 1st valve slide triger does it take the place of the 3rd valve tuning slide, or are both engaged?
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    You use third valve tuning slide when you play low C# and D.
    You can use 1st valve tuning slide and third valve if you have small hands and can't get the 3rd out far enough.

    Remember, each tuning slide only affects the piston it is attached to. If you pull the 3rd valve slide and play an F, it won't affect the intonation.
  3. Mr. Stomvi

    Mr. Stomvi Pianissimo User

    Nov 14, 2003
    Generally speaking

    Any 1,2,3 valve combinations (i.e. low F#, C#) - extend 3rd valve slide approx. 1 inch

    Any 1,3 valve combination (i.e. low G, D) - extend 3rd valve slide approx. 3/4 inch

    Any 2,3 valve combination (i.e. low G#, D#) - extend 3rd valve slide approx. 1/2 inch

    Extend only 1st valve slide approx. 1/2 inch on first line "E" and 1st line above staff "A"

    That should get ya started

    Seth Moore
  4. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    That's the general rule, and that's how it usually works. Did I say usually?ROFL Some British makers have found a way to change that :bravo:

    Andy Taylor:


    Taylor Chicago Bb Trumpet / Cornet - (eBay item 110184342953 end time Nov-03-07 14:30:00 PDT)

    Leigh (Eclipse trumpets)


    A slide which detunes the whole trumpet tuning....Useful idea especially for jazz players. Leigh did not put on the standard equinnox a ring or a saddle, but I guess that this would not be that difficult...
  5. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    haha I bet that would be fun to play
  6. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Does this mean that all trumpets are out of tune on those notes?
  7. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Not necessarily. Most trumpets tend to have flat middle E and E flats, low D and C sharp. Some of us use false/alternate fingerings to solve this issues. For example: bottom E is always flatter when played by 3 valve then if played by 1-2 valve. Higher trumpets (like C, D, E flat and F) tend to demonstrate more intonation problems especially with middle E, E flat and D which makes many of us use 1-2 for E, 2-3 for E flat but as they often get a bit too sharp sometimes we need to lip them down, or better to move those slides in order to tune better the above notes. In addition to that, if your lips get tired because you had a difficult program, because of embouchure problems some notes like high A may get sharper, where again these slides get very useful.
    Some trumpets may have better intonation then others, but all of them with no exception have low C and D flat out of tune.
    Hope that this helps, crow.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The third valve on EVERY trumpet is a comprimise! If we make it exactly the same length as the 1st and second slides together, it is too short to be used in combination with those other valves. If we make it the correct length for use with the first valve (1+3), it is a bit too long for use in combination with the second (2+3)valve. The same goes for the first valve too. If it is a perfect one step lower, it is a bit too short to be used in combination with the other valves.

    The technical explanation:
    a Bb trumpet has the correct length for the pitch Bb. If I add enough pipe to play an Ab, I now have a trumpet in Ab (the same as pushing the first valve down).
    To lower a Bb trumpet to A, I need to add a certain length of pipe (like pushing the 2nd valve down). To lower an Ab trumpet one half tone, I need a longer 2nd valve than with the Bb trumpet.

    Trumpet builder have discovered that putting rings or hooks on the 1st and 3rd slides covers most of the usual problems. Baritone horn and tuba builders add extra valves to solve intonation problems. This is because of the distance a slide would have to move to "solve" the problem.
  9. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Thanks to all. I don't know how proficient I will get with intonation compensation, but I will definately be using the 3rd valve slide on low D and C#, and any other note using the 3rd valve that is out of tune..................crow

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