Intonation, a reality check.

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

  1. hahkeystah

    hahkeystah Piano User

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    we should team up, i LOVE writing, but research bores and frustrates the hell out of me lol.
    that is a pretty interesting topic though, i've noticed what your saying, even within myself to some extent. If your playing in tune with the person next to you, it actually feels like your not playing, as well as sounding. and that might tie into it as well (vibrations of the horn, etc)
    aside from the simple fact that some people are just born with a "musician's ear"... and well.. most aren't
     
  2. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I don't know about louder, but I used to have all kinds of trouble tuning a 12 string guitar, it just seemed to sound better just out of tune to me. It took me a long time to realize that in tune there were fewer frequencies :oops: Someone took the time to tune it for me, then I was like thats so boring, but OK.
     
  3. hahkeystah

    hahkeystah Piano User

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    "out of tune" to me means something different than "colorful", i think it's important to make that distinction. the human ear can hear a difference of 2 cents, that any tuner cannot. that subtle difference can mean something sounds good, or.. well CG
     
  4. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I know what you mean, but to me two instruments playing at exactly the same pitch doesn't sound subjectively any better.

    I personally like the way a piano chord oscillates from the overtones being out of tune due to the harmonic series not being equal tempered, it gives it color and a beat.
     
  5. hahkeystah

    hahkeystah Piano User

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    thats what i mean, the slight "out-of-tune"ness adds flavor to the sound. a note with no overtones? thats what my tuner sounds like
     
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    After some experimentation on my slower jazz cds ... ballads essentially where the trumpet is way out front and prominent, so the tuner is following it more than the rest of the band .... my conclusion is this: Landing exactly on top of each note is not much of a goal to end up being musical.

    For a great test, I put the tuner on both versions of a song I really like, "It Never Entered My Mind." With Miles, (and he's on Harmon mute here) he's a bit over most of the time but also a bit under sometimes and right on top sometimes. It's a mixed bag, with a bit over being the most common intonation place. It sounds perfectly gorgeous and musical to my ear.

    The other track was Chet Baker. He's not using a mute here and his tracking is completely different. He's under most of the time, on the note a bit and hardly ever over. I think that's why, to my ear, he's always sounded a little flat on this song. Or tired or something ........ just a bit off.

    I also put the tuner on a new album I just got of Wynton Marsalis, playing ballads with his father on piano. This recording is really pristine in quality, with Wynton's every nuance available to hear. He's over most all the time, according to my tuner .... And yet, he sounds not only perfectly in tune but totally awesome. But, even the piano here looks a little over, according to the tuner ... so, I can't figure it out.

    Interesting stuff to think about. Maybe if you hit your notes "tuner perfect" every time, you'll end up sounding like one of those bots we see in videos from time to time, trying to play music.

    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  7. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I wonder if anyone is using autotune with trumpet. I know that is the thing to to for hiphop vocals these days. Might be an interesting mixing effect.

    For jazz though they tend to organize around the soloist, so if Miles is sharp, the bassist slides his finger up a bit, and the pianist plays a different chord.
     
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    That is SO true! I play in a band where only the f-horn player and I tune-up with a tuner. I stopped because while I was "in tune", I was out with everyone but the f-horn. So it sounded to the crowd like I was out of tune even though technically I wasn't. I was right but also wrong!:-(
     
  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I should also point out that these nuances are pretty small .... It's not like they're way off, according to the tuner.

    I also put the tuner on a trumpet that was included in a CD I bought in Canada, after seeing the singer/songwriter in a cafe. Great voice, lively lyrics and music, a lot of minor chords and some very moody songs. Live, she was wonderful and that's why I bought her CD. On a few tracks on the cd was a studio trumpet player, whose sound was excessively legit, completely classical, and totally out of place. (weird, weird, weird). HE was very spot on with his intonation, possibly making it sound even more out of place.:dontknow:

    Also, on some longer notes, the tuner notices that the pitch can shift a bit as the vibrato comes in, making it sound more musical.

    Right. The thing is definitely just a tool.

    Turtle
     
  10. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    As Turtle says, the tuner is just a tool.

    1: To play in tune, the tuning has to start behind your eyes.
    (You probably need a few seconds to figure that out...)

    2: Any electronic "device" plays or measure the pitch correctly at any temperature (sort of..)

    3: Any acustic "device" does not play or measure the pitch "correctly" at any temperature.

    4: Regarding "1": If you don't hear the note in your head before you play it,
    you will never be able to play it in tune.

    5: Listen to the players around you. Adjust your tuning according to them.

    6: Regarding "4": Find an unknown (for you) piece of music
    with "unreal" crazy notes, flats and sharps all over the place.
    Play the piece first time with a tuner in front of you. It might very well look
    like a metronom.

    7: After practicing the piece until you are familiar with it, then put the tuner
    in front of you and recheck.

    8: Practice more. Listen with your ears, don't listen with your eyes.

    9: Play in tune :play:

    10: Grab a beer :-P
     

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