Center of pitch

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mark_Kindy, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    875
    202
    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    I had taken some time off the horn, trying to become *less* unemployed for the time being, and so was putting my time into those things
    Went to play today, noticed my sound was somewhat thin as I warmed up, and this bothered me. I checked my tuning, just for kicks, and turns out I was around 10c sharp... x.x

    So I pulled out*, and the sound instantly got fatter. I've hear a lot about center of pitch, and I've witnessed the difference in how a sound is when off-center through pitch bends, but never myself experienced such a difference in the fullness of tone. Maybe I'm listening to myself better?

    Anyone else have similar experiences?
     
  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    3,502
    2,307
    Oct 22, 2008
    Maryland
    I recently watched a video example of this with a 4-valve flugelhorn.

    The 4th valve extends the range from F below the staff down to a C# below that. However ... these notes are sharp, and the low D and C# are super sharp. To make these work, you have to pull out the 4th valve slide. Even with this, the low D and C# are still sharp.

    In the video (around 1:30 and 2:00), the player is trying to lip these lower notes in tune. As he does this, you can hear the sound being choked off.

    Disclaimer -- I'm not being critical of the player in the video. He's a fantastic player, and the Kanstul 1526 is a great horn. I'm just highlighting one of the idiosyncrasies of the 4-valve flugelhorn to complement what the OP noted.

    Mike

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRRWCTWhtEA
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  3. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    1,963
    608
    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    I cringed a little when he went down the octave. It is fairly out of tune.

    But Mark, yes. I, on the encouragement of the teachings of Dave Monette, played low on the pitch for years. My sound was alright at best, it lacked brightness and fullness. When I went out to college my trumpet professor right off the bat made me play in the center. After a few days my sound got huge and fat, but I still had that dark, hallow sound that I wanted. As for just being in tune, I'm not so sure.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,129
    9,306
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Here is a cool trick I just learned form a very wise trumpet doctor. Mark give this a try:

    Take a violin bow, and with your tuning slide disconnected from the trumpet, bow on the bell and remember that tone.

    Now, with your tuning slide still out, blow though the mouthpiece into the still disconnected leadpipe with the open tuning slide still attached. Match the tone of the bell to the buzz tone by extending out (or pushing in) the slide.

    Now mark the distance that the tuning slide is pulled out from the leadpipe.

    Reconnect the tuning slide back to the horn and set the slid length EXACTLY 1/2 the distance that you measured in the tone matching phase of this procedure.

    In so doing, you have just balanced the resonance of the left horn to the right horn and the sound you get should optimally sing on your horn. Let me know if this works for you. It has made a noticeable difference in my generating the most resonate sound for me. Each horn will be different. To date I have only bow tuned two of my horns. My 46 Martin Committee tunes at 23/32" when connected. My Olds Ambassador tunes at 1/8".

    Mark, Let me know what your Bach distance tunes at (do report the bell characteristic - i.e. Bach with 37 bell). It would be too cool to print out a table here on TM as to all the horn types and optimal tuning slide balance lengths!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,129
    9,306
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    If any of you get this flugelhorn... DO NOT have Kanstul make it with the right hand pinky ring. Mine was made without the ring so I use my entire right hand to play ALL 4 valves. The flow of runs works so much better if you can keep the fingering on one hand. To the Kanstul people if you are reading this: Please make the pinky ring ONLY an option with the 1526. Leave the ring off as the standard. This is a recommendation from a person that has been playing 4 valve flugelhorns since 1974. No ring is the ONLY way to go.

    Here is the pic of my Kanstul without the ring:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,129
    9,306
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This is not a problem for me on my 4-valve Kanstul flugelhorn. Perhaps it's because of my using the Flip Oakes mouthpiece. It plays in tune quit naturally with this equipment combination. Mike, if I have not sent it to you as yet, PM me your email address and I will send you a ballad recording that EBQ recently made. I think you will find the 4th valve utilized range I play into quit in tune and without a change in tone quality.

    I actually think the tone change this player evoked was in coming across the horn with his grip, to play a left hand 4th valve. This rocked the horn on his embouchure and I believe that did in fact effect his tonal quality. I owuld never recommend getting ANY 4-valve flugelhorn with the right pinky finger ring attached.
     
  7. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    3,502
    2,307
    Oct 22, 2008
    Maryland
    I've tried my Getzen 4-valve flugel both ways, and in most situations, I prefer using my right hand for all 4 valves.

    I've tried the same approach on my 4-valve piccolo, and also prefer using my right hand for all 4 valves.

    Mike
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,129
    9,306
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    And Mike, you can do this because you Getzen does not have the right hand pinky ring.
     
  9. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    3,502
    2,307
    Oct 22, 2008
    Maryland
    I'm pleasantly surprised, but maybe a bit skeptical. :-) Next time you're in DC, you'll need to bring your Kanstul.

    On my Getzen 4-valve flugel, from low F down to a low Eb, I need the 4th valve slide out to play those notes in tune with the best tone. I can play those notes with the slide in, but I have to lip the notes down a bit (and ultimately choke off the sound just a bit).

    For low D (2 octaves below the staff), even with the 4th valve slide out, the note is still sharp. To get the best sound, I finger the low D like a low C#, with all 4 valves down.

    For low C# (2 octaves below the staff), there's not ideal fingering. So I play it with the 4th valve slide out and all 4 valves down. This fingering is still a half-step sharp, so I have to lip it down.

    I'd love to put 2 triggers on my flugel -- for the 1st and 4th valve slides. But I doubt it's possible.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,129
    9,306
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Mike, Are you pretty good at treating trigger finger? Try Flip Oakes. From the founding member of the save the finger foundation.
     

Share This Page