Beginner tuning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 12345, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. 12345

    12345 New Friend

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Hey, guys.

    I just started playing less than a month ago and I'm doing all right, but I have trouble playing consecutive notes in tune. I can set the main slide and all, but I still need to work on adjusting my embouchure and using the third slide for fine tuning while playing.

    I'm just wondering if it would be a better idea to concentrate on that almost exclusively right now or to just keep moving along at a steady pace and try to hone that as I go.
     
  2. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

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    Most tuning troubles are minimal with a decent instrument (anything that is name brand will work for a beginner, i.e. Bach, Yamaha, King, Conn, Selmer, etc...) and a strong (correct) embrochure. You only need the third slide for the low D and C#. It's always a good idea to focus on your weak spots, but you have to keep progressing over all or it means nothing. Good trumpet playing is the ability to combine several skills (breath control, finger dexterity, etc...) to play music. Remember "In you're not improving, you're falling behind."

    If you have a private teacher, he (or she) can keep you on the right track. If not, my advice (which is the same advice I got from my teacher) is to play long tones at the beginning of each practice. 10 min. tops. Start from G (no valves down) make sure that the note sounds good. then go down a half step to F# (2nd valve) and make sure that sounds good and is in tune, then down by half steps to F, E, Eb, and so on. Continue to blow the same as you do this. The biggest mistake my friends and I had was changing the air stream to go up and down. Check with a piano (well-tuned or digital) or other reliable pitch source for the interval. Or use an electronic tuner if your ears aren't as well developed yet.

    Also don't try to go too high too early (meaning as high as you can go without tensing up in the throat). I bid thee good fortune in thy endeavors towards more skillful trumpeting. (Just read some Shakespeare last week):p
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    You say you've only been playing a month? Are you taking private lessons? are you in a school band program? How do you know that you are out of tune? When I start a beginner, they are usually in the 6th grade give or take a year. At that age I will adjust their tuning slide for them Then I play the exercise for them so they can see and hear how it done. Then I have them play it with me. Then I have them play it by themselves. I really don't feel the need to talk about tuning during the first several months. By playing for them and with them, they start to hear intune all by themselves. By the end of the third month they can play very well in tune with me. In order to first learn how to play in tune you have to play with someone who plays in tune. When I think they are ready, I'll teach them how to adjust their tuning slide themselves. If you don't have some to play with that plays in tune, find some easy play along song books with CDs. Cds are perfectly in tune. remember,if you've only been playing a month you are not going to have much control over your lips. this can take several years to develop. It will not come fast.There are NO SHORTCUTS to learning to play any musical instruments. your ear is the best guide. If you start doing funny stuff with your lips you could learn some real bad habits. The best thing you can do is find a really good teacher. make sure you have a quality instrument and mpc. There is a lot of junk out there from India and Pakistan and China, etc.

    Bob
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    12345,
    you need to learn to blow consistently before focussing on intonation. Without real developed breath support, you are only twisting your face around and that is BAD news. Long tones and slurs will get your breathing turned into sound.
    I would not mess around with any tuning aids before a teacher declares your breathing "adequate"!
     
  5. 12345

    12345 New Friend

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Well, I'm not in band and I can't afford private lessons right now. I usually keep my electronic tuner on when I play, that's how I know I'm not always in tune. That, and I sometimes play along with my Standard of Excellence CD.

    I've got a Selmer Bundy from... the 70's, if I'm not mistaken. It looks like it's in decent condition, even though it's got a tiny ding or two. And the end of my mpc's shiv is kinda messed up. I don't know how big a part that plays in the intonation and such.

    But anyway, thanks for the advice, everyone. I've been working a bit on my breathing, but it hasn't really been a huge part of my sessions. I guess it should be.
     
  6. tfresh1

    tfresh1 New Friend

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    Jun 23, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Get some help from someone. Don't assume that you can't afford private lessons...ask for help. See if the band director at your school can help you out (occasionally...don't expect free lesson from them) or if they can refer you to one of the top high school students. I don't see how you could learn to play the trumpet just on your own without a teacher or model or coach or anyone to help guide you. It's almost like trying to learn to speak Japanese by reading a book. If you don't hear the language being spoken, you're not going to know what it's supposed to sound like.
     
  7. Mason

    Mason Pianissimo User

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    Oct 7, 2008
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    I didnt tune mine, but mine still sound fine?
     
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    You've only been playing for a month? Into nation come with time on the horn! you have to develop your lips. your lips are weak and undeveloped. Assuming you have a decent horn and mpc you will get better over time. The trumpet takes the longest to develop the lips of any instrument. TURN THE TUNER OFF!! It will drive you crazy!!! Don't worry about your intonation. It will take care of itself over time. You need to find a GOOD trumpet teacher and take a few lessons to be sure you've started correctly. There are a lot of ways to do it wrong and still get a sound. it will have to be a one on one because they have to see you play. You CAN NOT just read about it.

    Bob G
     

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