Intonation exercises

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kakeflekk, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. kakeflekk

    kakeflekk New Friend

    Oct 27, 2011
    Hello. I have played trumpet for a couple of months, and practice a lot. Hit my first C above the chart today :) I mostly do lip slurs and long tone-type exercises, and also just playing, improvising blues etc. I have listened to some recordings of my self, and my intonation isn't very good. It isn't always bad, and it isn't REALLY bad - but bad enough that I feel like I need to improve it. Can anyone give me any exercises to help this?
  2. kakeflekk

    kakeflekk New Friend

    Oct 27, 2011
    Also general ear training exercises would also be welcome.
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Google "ear training exercises". The best advise I can give is that you play along with music that is in tune. If it sounds off, then you know you have to work on it. Proper breath support and body posture is also important. I lip a note as sharp and flat as possible. This helps me find the center. Most importantly, it takes time to develop a good ear (all your life!!) so be patient.
  4. kakeflekk

    kakeflekk New Friend

    Oct 27, 2011
    Sometimes I find it hard to hear that I'm off when playing, even though I hear it instantly when I listen to it afterwards.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Well, TRY to play off on purpose! :D That's why I mentioned lipping over and under the note so I can find the center. That's also why it's called training. It takes years to develop a decent ear, not just a few practice sessions.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Find another person to play duets with. That will develop your ear quickly.
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    I like Veery's idea... Especially if that person you're doing duets with is an accomplished player. Good intonation happens faster with a good teacher.

    Recording yourself gives you a very clear picture (sometimes too clear). I'm doing it more often now to get acquainted better with the sound that's out front of the horn (never been there in person when I'm playing:dontknow:).

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I don't know of anyone who got better intonation using a standard tuner. I also don't know of anyone who DIDN'T get better after playing with ensembles.

    Intonation is your pitch as it relates to another. Without another pitch at the same time as you are playing, it is hard to know what is right.
  9. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    I really like playing along with a drone. Play your scales, Clarkes, etc, with a drone, go slowly and pay attention to each note.

    Duets or small ensemble (quintet, etc) playing is great, too.
  10. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    That is too true. It is a very common misconception that because you play in tune, your intonation is perfect. I am not saying it is bad, and it may still be good but not as good as it should be. I hate to bring marching band into this but I guess it is a necessary evil. In marching band we do not always have a tuner available, so to tune the band, the first chair players tune to a certain player, usually woodwind for obvious reasons, then they tune their section. However, at state we DID have a tuner and found our ENTIRE band was a good ten cents sharp, but when we played you couldn't tell because we had good intonation so we still sounded in tune together. That's is why a drone may help you tune your notes by yourself but wont do any good in an ensemble. This also proves how imperative it is when doing intonation exercises, you need a buddy (or 162 in my case). My advice? The Arban book has many very nice duets if you don't have 162 friends just hanging around.

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