Improving Intonation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cornetguy, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

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    Any Ideas on how to improve intonation? I am doing the Buzzing book with the CD's and occaisionally use the tuner. The problem I have is when I focus on it and think about it it seems to get worse, instead of better. I wind up doing the tuning game of yanking out yards of tuning slide and am still sharp happens to me a lot.
     
  2. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Chalrie Geyer would use a pencil to hold down the key of an organ (or, these days you could use an electronic keyboard) and play scales against a drone. I think that will help you greatly. You will concentrate on actual intervals rather than trying to perfectly match a pitch in unison. I have had great success using that approach.

    Also, you can never play enough duets with other trumpeters or instruments. It really accelerates intonation awareness.
     
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

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    Sounds like I should learn the bagpipes...Then I could play duets with myself...

    ;-)

    Seriously, I use that approach too......Electronic keyboard. It gets you listening to the tone pulses too. IMHO, playing a note and looking at an electronic tuning "needle" is not a good way to learn.

    Do it by sound, not visual..
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    It is kind of strange, but when we start really listening, it does seem like everything we play is out of tune. This can happen when we've taken it to that level where we (as players playing) are hearing more than the listeners (even conductors and other players and people with better ears than ours). Try recording yourself, and make your judgments based on the recording, rather than the moment. You might be pleasantly surprised.
     
  5. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

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    i have done some drones with the noise maker on the tuner, but not for awhile. i suppose do more with that.
     
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Mike,

    That's a great idea...also because after playing the bagpipes the trumpet will sound to you like a soft instrument ROFL

    One day I was practicing in a church near Binfield, UK and a bagpipes guy came and started to play...Till then I believed that the trumpet was a loud instrument, but.....My Lord, how loud was this instrument! You can imagine it till you hear it...Probably one should live in the middle of nowhere to be able to practice this instrument. With the trumpet you may get problems with your neghbour but with bagpipes you will annoy the whole area! I can even imagine how load should be at Edinburg when you get 100 or more bagpipes playing in unisson....
     
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    CG,

    I'm a little unclear... when you say you want to work on intonation do you mean improving the intonation on your instrument or that you're having trouble hearing when you're out of tune with another instrument? To me, they're two seperate issues: one is equipment-based and the other is about the ear.

    ML
     
  8. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

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    In some ways both I have always had a hard time tuning and playing in tune with a piano, but I do pretty well with other wind players. But also at times think I am going out of tune but if I start looking at the tuner to confirm it (am I in the right direction and how much) it seems to get worse the more I work at it. (usually sharp, so I think some of may be the worry about it= more tension problem)
     
  9. Walter

    Walter Piano User

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  10. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

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    cornetguy,

    As Manny pointed out, you’re really talking about two issues here (1) alignment with your instrument and 2) “fine tuning†your ears.

    There was a topic on the TH site about “laying sharp†a couple of years ago that targets the first part of your question. When you wrote, “I wind up doing the tuning game of yanking out yards of tuning slide and am still sharp happens to me a lotâ€, this is VERY similar to the post on TH. This was my response to the original poster:

    Since you are already working with the Jim Thompson material (I use the older Buzzing Basics), you really need to just relax into these exercises, and play them fairly gently. I've written a lot about my experiences in using them (just click on the “Reference†posts under the Buzzing Book).

    When you write, “…but if I start looking at the tuner to confirm it (am I in the right direction and how much) it seems to get worse the more I work at itâ€, you are trying to tune with your eyes instead of your ears. There is a great product called TuneUp that I have used in the past which really allowed me to stop worrying about the visual feedback from the tuner, and develop my ability to lock in with what I was hearing around me.

    I hope these ideas are helpful to you!


    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007

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