C Trumpet Intonation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MahlerBrass, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Have you tried practicing C along with a CD that provides pitch for you, such as the Walter White long tone cd or Jim Thompson Buzzing Basics?
  2. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I actually haven't tried that, I first noticed the problem when listening to the recordings of myself doing Don Juan where it becomes WAY evident that there are some intonation issues. I'll definitely be trying a lot of the above mentioned suggestions, thanks a lot guys!
  3. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    I liked the comment about being sure to play centered regarding the pitch.
    In the upper register, many have a tendency to "pinch" a little and in the desire to play higher notes, they also play on the high side of each note.

    I have my students "bend" long tones above and below the centered tone and this makes them very much aware of where the purest, fullest tone quality resides.

    Regarding the particular problem of being able to play Bb, Eb and piccolo horns in tune but having trouble with the C...

    Might want to check for a leaking valve or slide. A serious air leak can affect pitch tendencies of a horn. Isolating it as a horn/intrument mechanical problem or it being the player is important.

    I would also advise having another player play the same horn (hopefully someone experienced on C trumpets) to see if they have the same problem.


    Bill Dishman
    *** I have to remind myself to play my Bb once in a while (each week) so I don't forget how.
  4. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 24, 2004
    I struggled with this issue for years. There are definite intonation situations around C#-D-Eb, (upper staff), with most C horns. I was into a "vintage Martin Committee acquisition" period a few years ago -- before the prices went up dramatically. I learned the C Committees (all of them) are terrible with the intonation issue -- virtually impossible to re-engineer (the tuning slide cannot extend far enough to flatten the offending tones). I later acquired the "replacement" model C horn (the "Custom" C, when R.M.C. and then Wurlitzer took over Martin), which has a 1st slide trigger ... Voila! -- "problem solved" (to quote Ross Perot). I have since acquired a vintage Cousenon Monopole C Trumpet (has the looong Eb/D-type narrow bell) with a 1st slide trigger (and an "under-slung" 3rd slide throw-ring); this horn plays very well in tune. Both of the above horns do require a mastering of the 1st valve trigger, which becomes automatic after a while.

    When I go back to try my other three C Trumpets (one is a "custom-shop, high $$ horn), without the 1st trigger -- the same old problem is there ... even more egregious.

    Robert Rowe
  5. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Nice to know that I am not the only one!!!!! :lol:
  6. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

    Nov 2, 2003
    i always get that naughty feeling when i play my Bb!!! :evil:

    the C tuning problems i always have are 4th line/space D & E. i've never played a C that didn't require me to use alternate fingerings for those to really make them tune-in to what else is going on.


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