D# alternate fingerings

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jason_boddie, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    This is my first attempt at starting a new thread. So, here we go.

    I just finished my first practice session of the day. I noticed that on the horn I am playing the Db plays extremely sharp. So much, that I have to kick the 3rd tuning slide out almost 2 inches. So, my are these:

    1. Could this be a function of my chops not being completely back after such a long time off the horn?

    2. Are the any alternate fingerings that might help that pitch?

    3. Am I just to cope, and let my ring finger get a work out?

    Thanks in advance for all the help, and I hope this was the appropriate forum for this question.

    BTW- I am of course talking about Db 4
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    There are no alternates for that note. It is too low on the horn to have many harmonics around it to give alternate fingerings.

    Kicking the 3rd valve slide out is what 99% of people do. Horns are naturally built sharp. The tuning needed to play in tune comes from our ears/lips and some slide work.
    If you have a 1st valve slide, putting that out a bit and putting your 3rd valve slide out a bit will make it so you don't have to reach so far when playing a Db, but other wise, it is a matter of your slide being out and your lips doing the rest if it is really that badly out of tune.
  3. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Thank you,

    I figured that might be the case. It has been a long time, but I still couldnt remember any alt fingerings. That explains why. I will work the slides and lips.
  4. Danbassin

    Danbassin Pianissimo User

    Aug 27, 2006
    Buffalo, New York
    Not to overload this with perhaps obvious detail, but, it is worth mentioning that a trumpet's slide-length, on good instruments, are all correct for Bb. However, when we depress our 2nd valve, we've lowered our Bb instrument a 1/2 step, and it is now effectively an A trumpet. Depressing the 1st valve -which would lower our Bb trumpet a whole-tone, to an Ab trumpet- while the 2nd valve is depressed (while the trumpet is now the length of an A trumpet) does not quite equal the required length for a whole tone lower for an A trumpet - again, the 1st valve is the length of a whole-tone for Bb.
    Many players correct their 1-2 valve combinations with a slight pull of the 1st valve slide, if their instrument is equipped with a saddle, or ring there.
    Now, with both the 1st and 2nd valve depressed, even with a 1st slide correction to make our trumpet the correct length for a G trumpet, the third valve is still MUCH too short to lower this 'G' trumpet 3-semi tones.
    Moral of the story: 1-2-3 is naturally the sharpest of all of the valve combinations, and it's good that your ear is telling you to correct the pitch. It's also a good thing that your horn has a ring that allows you to extend the length of your third slide; it's much easier to correct with the hand than it is with the lip!
    Finally, it might be of interest to read some of the front-matter in Arban's book, where he describes how pitch was corrected in the instruments of his time - as 19th century cornets did not have rings on the 1st or 3rd slide, so players developed a technique wherein they would use their right-hand thumb on the main tuning slide (some of which were equiped with a brace which doubled as a sort of slide-ring) to correct pitch.

    Happy practicing, and Happy New Year!

    All the best,

  5. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Welcome to learning the nature of the beast. We all have to do the same thing.
  6. jason_boddie

    jason_boddie Piano User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    yea, fun, fun. I tried tojust do it with my lip. But, I couldn't get it down far enough. So, I started to kick the slide out.

    Now, that I know. I will make sure I do it all the time.
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    By the way 2 inches is about right for most Bb horns. Low D 1&3 needs some adjustment just not as much. About 3/8 to 1/2 in. for most horns.

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