how to practice intonation... ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Fredde, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Fredde

    Fredde Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Do you have any good ideas or exercises that you recomend?
  2. Glenn_Magerman

    Glenn_Magerman New Friend

    Aug 18, 2007
    Hi Fred,

    we were just talking about a topic on the Thompson Books, they're really good warmups imho, and there's also a play along cd, so you got to tune in!

    I think playing with some play alongs is really good.

    I also did Maggio for example with a tuner,

    and play etudes on mouthpiece or berp alone! I think this will give you the most...
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Hej Fredde!
    For intonation studies, I recommend throwing the electronic tuners away. They can only tune individual notes and never give a usable indication of intervals!
    There are 2 methods that I use, the first is to play duets with somebody much better than you are (student/teacher for example). The second is to generate a tone like a low c in the bass clef electronically(with a keyboard or computer for instance) and then play scales in the normal trumpet octave while listening to that tone. This works very quickly! You can even play a b major scale on top of that low C - it still works although I would consider that advanced ear training.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  4. Harold Zinno

    Harold Zinno Pianissimo User

    Jul 17, 2007
    Lets throw in a few of "jakes" psychological approaches to blowin the horn.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Singing, as much as I hate it (seriously--I went for a B.A. instead of a B.M. so as to avoid class voice!) is the best way to learn intervals, followed by mouthpiece buzzing. With the intervals firmly established, a great way to practice intonation is to grab a good trumpet playing friend, sit down and play some long tones. Let your friend play a low c, and play an f above that. Move the f up and down (using slides whenever possible) until you start to hear "resultant tones," which create annoying buzzing sounds in your ear. Listening carefully, you'll hear a pedal f produced. Doing the same with a c and a g, a pedal c will be produced. If you can get the resultant tone in tune, then your interval is perfectly in tune. Try this using a bunch of different notes (two notes that are part of a major arpeggio work best) and discover what resultant tone comes out (yes, there is a pattern to be discovered here). Over time, you'll discover certain tendencies (the 12 combination wants to go down, for example, and the same E that is perfectly in tune in E major is too high in C major), but most of all, you'll learn what resultant tones sound and feel like. If you hear these while playing, you'll be playing in tune. Have fun!
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Yes, playing with other people or groups that play in tune is the best way. Listen and adjust as you play with them. You can practice with a tuner all you want, and center every note on the dial, but you'll be out of tune with everyone when you play with them. There's tuner tuning, and then there's performance tuning. Two different things, and guess which one's more important?
  7. tjtrumpet

    tjtrumpet Pianissimo User

    Mar 22, 2007
    There is a wonderful book that came out about 14 years ago, I think it's called "Tuning Boot Camp" or something like that. I don't remember the author.

    It explains all about Resulting Tones and how intervals in a chord need to be adjusted, which direction they need to be adjusted (lower or higher) and by how much (in semitones). Sometimes it's a very small adjustment (Perfect 5th should be raised 2 semitones from the root), and some surprisingly big (minor 3rd should be raised 16 semitones from the root).

    It came with CD that didn't have the greatest sound examples on it. Hopefully it's been upgraded.

    I always played very well in tune before getting the book (since loaned out & never returned), but after reading it & doing the exercises, I now play just about as perfectly in tune as anyone could hope to.
  8. TheRiddler

    TheRiddler Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2006
  9. tjtrumpet

    tjtrumpet Pianissimo User

    Mar 22, 2007

    That's the book. Easy to understand explanations, easy to do exercises. It'll open your ears and make playing in tune one of the easiest things you can do.

    I'm only familiar with the book for individuals, no experience with the one for ensembles. I have no doubt it's equally as wonderful.

    Thanks for the link!
  10. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    For me a huge jump forward was to record myself and then listen.

    Use some kind of music minus one and play a concerto. Go back and mark the part when you are out of tune. I would put an arrow over the note up or down. When you go back and play it again it will sound funny to change the pitch but listen again.

    The next thing that helped me was to play something on B-flat trumpet and then play it on C-trumpet or D trumpet. You will start wondering which trumpet is right.

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