how to tune a trumpet!!! help please!!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by lpuppy79, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. lpuppy79

    lpuppy79 New Friend

    Feb 20, 2010
    i have several questions about tuning a trumpet:
    1. so the tuner is supposed to be set to A440 correct?
    2. does this mean that i have to play a concert A on the trumpet to tune or can i play any note and tune while it is set to 440?
    3.which note should i tune first?
    4.approximately how much should the main tuning slide be pulled out????
    Im always flat so i know i need to have the slide pushed inwards.
    Thanks everyone!!!:D:-)
  2. abtrumpet

    abtrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 14, 2009
    That varies from every horn and every player, there is no set measurement of how much to pull out.
  3. lpuppy79

    lpuppy79 New Friend

    Feb 20, 2010
    well yah.. i just mean approximately though.
    thanks though!!:)
  4. Mamba21500

    Mamba21500 Piano User

    Feb 26, 2009
    1) generally, yes
    2) Play a C on the trumpet or a concert Bb for more accurate tuning, in orchestra, play a B for the trumpet, concert A
    3) it really doesn't matter, just play one of the above notes
    4) on an average trumpet it's about the width of the nail on a 14 year old boys fore finger :p
  5. lpuppy79

    lpuppy79 New Friend

    Feb 20, 2010
    thanks!!! :):)
  6. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Since you have a tuner, play several different notes that cover the range that your music requires. That way you can check what is referred to as 'intonation' which is the ability of the trumpet to stay in tune with itself - or your own ability to play in tune at different pitches. Also, after you have checked the open note positions, play low D (1 and 3) and C# (1,2,3). Normally they will be on the sharp side even if the other notes are in tune. Then push out the 3rd or first slide - whichever is easier for you - to see how far out they need to be to be in tune.

    Some tuners have a feature that allow you to set the key on the tuner to match your instrument. If yours has that, set it to Bb so the note displayed will match what you are fingering. If it does not have that, then remember that the note displayed will be 2 semitones lower than what you are fingering.

    As mentioned, most trumpets will need the main tuning slide to be out about 3/8 inch as a starting point but then adjust it from there to be in tune. If you play around a bit and adjust your embouchure on notes that are slightly out so that the needle (or lights) are centered, you will learn how to bring notes into tune by "lipping" them to make the adjustments.
  7. lpuppy79

    lpuppy79 New Friend

    Feb 20, 2010
  8. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Just to add to CBK about lipping If you play for a long itme on an instrument without compensators (ie third valve triggers and mobile slides) you will tend to automatically lip to be in tune. I do on my Besson cornet. But not on my trumpet, this can be fun, alway try to listen very hard on suspect notes, D at the bottom of the stave and C# just below it for example.


  9. lpuppy79

    lpuppy79 New Friend

    Feb 20, 2010
    alright... that's interesting. thanks
  10. Keith Fiala

    Keith Fiala Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Your tuning is largely influenced not by the horn but by your aperture. A constantly flat pitch is an overly large or loose aperture. By making the aperture (the hole where the air comes out) a bit smaller by pushing the corners of your mouth more toward the mouthpiece should help tuning... also sometimes thinking "MMM" can help, but I'm not 100% sold on that as it can cause too much tension very quickly and make you go the other way (sharp).

    Set the tuner too 440 Hz. And perhaps start on 2nd line G. Then work your way around the middle register. Every note should have it's own characteristic. The more you play them in tune, the more you'll memorize where they're supposed to be played aperture wise.

    That brings me to your tuning slide. Try about a 1/4 inch out... no more. Anything more than that and you're over compensating for an extremely tight aperture.

    Hope this helps -

    Keith Fiala

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