Intonation, a reality check.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by turtlejimmy, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I thought I was finally playing pretty well in tune (10 mo.) until I got one of these:

    KORG TM40 chromatic tuner.

    Whoah! :shock:


    I've tried checking this before, but the guitar tuner I have does not sweep smoothly at all, has technology to "click in" to certain notes (open guitar strings) and is basically worthless to check your intonation with a wind instrument. My teacher has one of these KORG tuners and told me to get one.

    No, I'm not very well in tune yet, but I think this is a great machine to help to do just that. The needle sweeps fluidly in real time with whatever fluctuations in pitch you are giving it, so you can see, visually, if you're landing on your notes or not. Long tones can be finely "tuned" in, with some concentration, to make the needle stop moving ..... and it's finally easy to find the keys of songs on the stereo. The non-Korg guitar tuner sometimes just does nothing ..... whereas the Korg follows the music very closely (or tries to).

    Great tool!:play: Just wanted to share.

    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  2. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    nice, bet there expensive though..... I've got a guitar tuner and its pretty pants I have an app on my phone which works much better! :)
     
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    No, they're not cheap. Mine was $40 at the music store. Worth every penny.

    Another way to get in tune with long tones, according to my cousin who plays the shakuhachi flute, is to use an electronic piano and put something (like a book) on the sustain pedal. Then you can get continuous drone tones to play to and fine-tune with.

    Turtle
     
  4. craigph

    craigph Piano User

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    That's pretty unusual. Why does your cousin play shakuhachi? Didn't know people outside of Japan would know about them at all.


    reedy, what app do you recommend as a tuner?
     
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Hi Craig!

    Yes, he plays several of them (different keys) and buys them from a "master" builder here. He takes two of them with him every time we go vacationing in Mexico and, when we're there, he's usually sitting in with one of our musician friends there, at restaurants. He plays every morning (it's like a religion with him) for a few hours. Even on holiday! The sound is incredibly ethereal. I've seen it attract women (just the sound) from blocks away .... they sometimes show up wanting to know what it is.:lol:

    He never travels without his shakuhachis .... even though he also plays guitar, piano, bass, just about anything with strings (except violin), all sorts of Eastern instruments ... sitar, sarod, ud ..... and others that I can't even keep track of. He owns a recording studio here.

    Turtle
     
  6. craigph

    craigph Piano User

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    Interesting story TJ.
    Here's some trivia for 'ya. Apparently women don't play the Shakuhachi (or didn't in that past? I don't know for sure). So if someone talks about a female playing the Shakuhachi it ... well ... um.. well this is a family oriented site right ... it has sexual connotations.

    I did a search and it seem Amazon is selling that Korg tuner for $21.90.

    Amazon.com: Korg TM-40 Large Display Digital Tuner and Metronome: Musical Instruments
     
  7. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    The best way to learn to play out of tune is to practice while watching a tuner.

    Think about that for a minute...

    Groups play in what I call situational tuning - there are intonation tendencies with any musical group (and within groups of like instruments), and additionally, different chords require "favoring" certain notes to produce the correct group intonation. Diligently learning to play notes dead center on a tuner will almost guarantee that you'll have trouble playing in tune with any group you play with.

    A tuner can be helpful in evaluating horns and mouthpieces, but your ear is your best friend when playing in an ensemble.
     
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Thanks Craig. I knew my music store was expensive ..... ouch.ROFL


    Yes, the history of the Shakuhachi is really fascinating .... My cousin has told me some of it. Apparently, it's connected in a very direct way to the Samurai warriors ....

    Turtle
     
  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Dale,

    Right. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. My goal is to play in tune while I'm practicing, without any chord references, like I get when I'm singing. I go to lessons and I'm asked to bang out songs and scales without any chord references ...... a capella. I want to be in tune while I'm doing this. So does my teacher.:lol: That's why he told me to get it. Sorry, I'll take his word over yours.

    Turtle
     
  10. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    new york
    Dale is correct. While playing in ensembles you can leave your tuner at home. Using your ears is the best way to determine sharp/flat/right on.

    However, when practicing alone (as you say you are) using a tuner is VERY valuable. It's a necessary tool. Many good strobe tuners can be downloaded for free if you use a smartphone or iPhone/iPod.

    So, you're both right!

    Tony
     

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