Intonation Frustration Part II

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by sdgtpt, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I found that a lot of intonation issues are mostly due to ear training. Being in jazz groups where you're forced to improvise and read odd intervals commonly has forced me to listen, whenever I improvise I have to listen and hear the pitches I want before I play them, and thus forcing me to learn intervals, and has greatly improved my intonation. There is still much work to do on my intonation, but it's come a long way in the past couple of years.
  2. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    My intonation has made huge improvements over the past year or so as well. I think it's largely due to the fact that I'm simply just listening to what comes out the bell more. (I'm becoming very aware of that lately). Further, I am listening more for ring AFTER I finish a note or phrase. Sometimes (especially if I'm near cymbals, a glockenspiel, hanging pots or timpani) it's really easy to hear.

    In a more live room, that's easier to do than in a carpeted, insulated and acoustically panelled practice room where sound is swallowed whole. I noticied this in particular this past summer, working the Ballerina Dance in a recital hall. I was using a C borrowed from a freind (really sweet Bach), and it was live enough in there that I could hear the chords on the arpeggio sections. Really helped me identify where things were on the horn.
  3. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    Fantastic ear for tone

    A few weeks ago the princpal trumpeter of our local Symphony orchestra dropped by my house to try each of my 30 trumpets and cornets.( Check out my collection ). As I always store my horns with the tuning slides pushed full in, he pulled them back out to suit himself. I checked him with my Korg tuning device and found him blowing a perfect Bb after each slide adjustment. He was doing this from memory, as, he normally plays a Bach Strad. C trumpet. I was much impressed. Because of singing Bass in the local Spebsqua barbershop chorus for many years I don't have a problem staying in pitch, once started with a pitch pipe, but, what Mike did amazed me.

  4. sdgtpt

    sdgtpt New Friend

    Dec 3, 2004
    Let me be clearer than in my original post...

    I want to be able to hear subtleties in individual pitch. I want the imaginary SLOTS to be stronger in my ear so that I don't just hear the intervals, but that I hear the correct distance between center to center, and to then be able to consciously control the size of the interval based upon the function of the interval. I want to be able to purposely play a fifth a little farther apart than I would say a major third, or whatever.

    I can hear chordal tuning in the ensemble and with another player, but when i am working on individual arpeggios and things I can't hear them in context since I am just sitting in a room by myself.

    I just don't hear quite that acutely yet, but I know that the day that I can hear it... I'll end up being miserable until it's absolutely fixed.

    So maybe it's good I can't hear it yet, how happy would I really be then?

    Any ideas on this?

    PINT-O-MURPHY'S New Friend

    Feb 4, 2005
    get with a piano, or a tone generator. there is a "tuning CD" that just has like 3min each of sustained notes. if you're using the generator, put a fundamental note on and play simple things like chicowicz exercies with it, trying to put each note where it belongs in relation to the root. This assumes that you know what these qualities(maj 3rd, min 3rd, perf 4th tritone, perf 5th, etc..) if not, maybe this is what the main issue is, in which case a piano is imperative.

    get with a piano. start on C or something, and play intervals. play a C and the G above it together, and listen to that buzz a perfect 5th makes. Then hold down the sus pedal, and bang a couple of 8ves ofC's real loud, and then sing a middle G over it, and recreate that sound. then play it. then, start to work through ALL the intervals. (what does a real maj 2nd sound like? tritone? all of them. etc..)
    then once you have that going, play scales with the fundamental going. Clarke No.2 with the drone has helped me a lot personally. just my opinion. give it a shot.
  6. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    I think the key to what you're talking about is to stop thinking about it so much. :lol: I know that sounds overly simplistic, but let me explain.

    Clearly, you're already aware, intellectually, of where notes in a chord are "supposed" to go (i.e. 5ths, M3rds, etc.). You are correct, though, to realize that this is supposed to happen automatically.

    Simply practicing scales and arpeggios with your ears geared toward an even, full, ringing sound will do wonders for intonation automatically. In fact, you might try recording yourself playing these things so that you can put aside, for now, all attempts to "control" what you're doing. Just play with a great sound. Then go back and listen to what you've played. I'd bet you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how well in-tune you're capable of playing.

    At the very least, you'll gain insight as to how "letting go" actually INCREASES your control of the instrument. The mind tells the chops what to do. Working with drones, tuners, etc. is all very useful; but only if you can then put it all aside and just play. Your hard work has taken root, whether you realize it or not. Now practice getting out of the way, and let the sound go.
  7. sdgtpt

    sdgtpt New Friend

    Dec 3, 2004
    If I had a nickel everytime I've heard this...

    I know you are exactly right and maybe what I need is a simple little post it note on my music stand to just remind me of this....

    What a hard thing to learn how to do... care less :-)

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