Improving Intonation

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    One lesson with a great teacher could probably solve this more quickly than 10 years of trial and error. As Manny noted there are equpment and playing based problems. If your equipment is OK (something that we cannot analyse over the internet as there are lemons even with pro horns) then it is a playing problem that could be breathing, ear, embouchure or any combination of the above.
    With all the recommendations given here, you could spend weeks, months, years searching for something that a teacher could point out in 1 hour!
    Playing in tune starts with a stable playing concept on reasonable equipment and the necessary amount of "ear" training. If one of the factors is deficient, you can always twist the other 2 to compensate - the results are not "optimal" however.
  2. trumpethack

    trumpethack Pianissimo User

    Jun 1, 2006
    Get a tuner that can play a drone, or an electric keyboard, or something that plays a constant pitch. Put it on a C. Sing a C. Is it in tune with the drone note? When you can do that as easy as can say your name, play it on your mouthpiece. Then go to the trumpet. When this all becomes very easy start expanding to more than one note...

    Improving intonation starts with a lot of work without the trumpet first...

  3. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    This is great advice! I did a lot of singing with the TuneUp product and found that unisons were challenging for me at first (any drone pitch will work). After a while (several days of singing in the car on the way to work), I found that I would sing the unison and it would just be dead on from the the very beginning. It was like I would fall into a deep, comfortable groove that my ear had led me to, and I could sit there as long as I wanted (previously I was slipping slightly above or slightly below the pitch somewhat randomly, and "dead on" was nebulous concept).

    I attribute this pitch improvement to forcing my ears to do the work instead of my eyes (i.e. "seeing the pitch" on the tuner). Once I spent enough time challenging my ears to "do their job", I found that improved intonation transferred very quickly to the horn.

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