changing pitch of notes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by oldgit, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. oldgit

    oldgit Pianissimo User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Basingstoke, England
    with a bit of time on my hands over the break have been just playing with the trumpet, making sounds.
    Have found when playing lower C and G i can move the pitch/tone by relaxing and tensing my lips. can also do this to a more extreame amount below C, and lesser amount above the G.
    Now i am really enjoying this and feel its helping me take control over the horn.
    my questions are

    1. should i be doing this, will it help or hinder my progress
    2. does it have a name

    Unfortunatly due to a change in finance i will now not be able to take lessons so have to go it alone.

    Just a reminder i have only been playing for 8 months and am 52 with no past musical ability, (my kids say that i still dont have any!)
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    It sounds like you're bending the notes. This is a good thing to do. Also, you can find the center of the sound for your horn by bending the notes.
    The center of the sound is where the sound and horn vibrates the most.
    I bend notes all the time.
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    It's easier on some trumpets, like Martins. I have one from 1924 that requires you to bend anything that might otherwise be adjusted by a ring or trigger, as it doesn't have any. People tell me that, back in the early 1920's it was common to have to "lip down" on the notes you now can adjust. My private teacher, when I showed him this trumpet, said that, in his opinion, everyone should learn how to adjust by "lipping down" so they always have an option when playing.

  4. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    The trumpet I learned on (the Getzen) didn't have a 3rd slide ring, so I automatically bend the C#, for instance. Also, when I tune, I'll bend the tuning note down and relax until it comes back up. Otherwise, I tend to bend the note up or down without meaning to and it will be off when I start to play. I can easily lip the Getzen down a full half step, but the Bach horns both slot harder, if you know what I mean.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Note bending is a great low-impact way to gain strength if done correctly. This involves starting from a well focused secure note (one that feels resonant and stable), then bending. Otherwise, one will simply learn to play like someone trying to play the trumpet for the first time.

    Before getting into bending, I would suggest the following exercise: play a note with the trumpet, then remove the mouthpiece and match the same pitch with the mouthpiece alone. Then, while playing the same pitch on the mouthpiece slowly re-introduce the mouthpiece into the trumpet while maintaining the pitch. This is real difficult at first, but gets easier with practice.

    Once you've gotten good at this, play a fingered note, say an f, match it with the mouthpiece, and introduce it back into the trumpet without fingering the note.

    Hard to do, but worth a couple minutes worth of "trying the near impossible" each day. The rest of the time should be spent making music.

    Have fun!
  6. oldgit

    oldgit Pianissimo User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Basingstoke, England
    Thanks for that, very hard to do but will persist. managed to get close to the C. The F that made me laugh out loud not very close to that one!
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    When we play on the resonant center of the notes, the trumpet does most of the work, our endurance and tone quality go up. When we bend notes with our chop strength, we have to work hard to make the trumpet do something that it does not want to. This can, if used with common sense, give us an opportunity to build more chop strength as well as an additional "tone color" in our palette of available sound.

    Very important is that you have the breath support to allow the tones before bending to be solid and resonant. If the breathing is weak, bending will get the player up to pitch, but at a very high musical cost.
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Thanks for that post! I was beginning to think it was impossible to get a lipped down note to sound as good as the rest (on the Martin where I have to do it). I was getting ready to either have a 1st slide trigger installed on the trumpet or sell it ... it was so frustrating. Stronger breathing, that's the answer I needed but it never came up in lessons because I don't play the Martin very often. That really does help! Still a long way to go but that's encouraging.

  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    My King Silver Flair has a 3rd valve slide -- so I use that to get the F below the low F#, but sometimes I have to bend that note a little (depending on how tired, lack of concentration or something) --- I have some success with pedal notes and bending -- but I can't seem to do the F or G in the staff ones.
  10. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Many older pro horns requireed bending notes because many came with only a 3rd valve slide intended for use on c# and maybe D. I know 2 of my Bach Strads from the 70s did not have a 1st valve slide. Nor did my 50s and 60s Olds Supers -pro horns. I think the manufacturers assumed that when notes were out of tune but close (unlike C# which tends to be considerably sharp), the pro would handle it with his lip and do so without even thinking about it. It was just part of playing.

    In our day of not even having to walk to the TV set to change the channel or roll a window down manually on a vehicle, the manufacturers assume they have to provide every "luxury." I am wondering when horns will come with an automatic spit valve opener (water key in polite terms).

Share This Page