Loss of Accuracy

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jurandr, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    183
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    Feb 23, 2008
    Illinois
    About three months ago I had wonderful accuracy on the notes I played. If they were fast, they'd be a little out of tune, but I thought that much was self-explanatory. Starting about two months ago, though, I've been having a lot more trouble tuning to the band, holding a note at the same frequency for over a few seconds, and general accuracy with anything I played.
    My Private Lesson teacher said it's probably just a weird trumpet thing and to clean out my horn, or that it'll blow over eventually, but both of my school's directors agree that I'm actually ready for a step-up horn. I'm playing the yahama advantage that I got in 5th grade-which is a beginner horn- and they think I should look into buying a strad if I wanted to start getting serious in my musical career. The only problem: My family can't afford buying a $3,000 anything, and my high-school part time minimum wage job isn't going to be able to support it.
    Would anybody have any suggestions as to helping out my accuracy&intonation?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  2. Jude

    Jude Piano User

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    Dec 2, 2007
    First, have you cleaned your horn? You've been playing it for what, 5 years or so? Have you tried switching horns with your Private Lesson Teacher? How does he sound on it? How do you sound on a different horn?

    Second, if it's not the horn, PM me and I can send you the replacement copy of Chase Sanborn's Tuning Tactics he sent me when it looked like the first one got lost in the mail. He said not to bother to return it, just to hand it on to someone else who wanted to play in tune - looks like you qualify.
     
  3. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    183
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    Feb 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Thank you for the reply.


    I clean my horn every three months or so following these instructions: Trumpet Care for Musicians

    Also, I have test-driven a strad, and while the tone was a lot better, and it filled the room easier, It was hard to say if it really improved anything reguarding pitches.
     
  4. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    318
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    Dec 2, 2007
    You're doing better with horn care, then, than I ever did in school. PM me if you'd like the Tuning Tactics.
     
  5. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    Aug 14, 2005
    It sounds like at some point things were fine, then you started having these problems. Unless something on the horn was damaged or broken, I wouldn't expect even a student level horn to just suddenly start playing out of tune and causing problems with accuracy.

    It seems more likely to me that the problems have to do with your playing. Have you changed your practice routine recently? Are you in the same physical condition as before the problem started (anything going on that might effect your breathing, etc.)

    These are the areas that I'd investigate before assuming it's the horn.

    One other note...there are plenty of other horns out there that would be a step up from the Yamaha, but not cost $3000. I just bought a brand new Benge for $1400 and it seems like a fine horn....

    bigtiny
     
  6. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

    183
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    Feb 23, 2008
    Illinois
    My practice routine is about an hour a day, except for tuesday where I have private lessons and that interferes with other things going on during an average school day. As for the physicla condition, I'd say i'm okay, although I'm inside a lot more because the 9-degree weather is really nasty. The fact that I'm inside more might matter, but I can't be certain, as I didnt have any problems last year.

    As for Breathing, my lung capacity has significantly increased recently. I can hold a tone for a longer period of time than my private lesson instructor, but I'm also careful to regulate how much air I put into the horn. There is always a point where you can put too much air through a piece of metal.

    In my rather smallish community we're limited as to what sort of tumpets to get. I can place an order through the school for a discount. It's really a choice between a strad of a xeno, and I haven't had the opportunity to even look at a xeno. The local trumpet players also belive in the "trumpet chooses the player" theory, as each trumpet is made differently in some little way, and those little ways will create large differences.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
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    STOP!!!!!!!!!!!

    It is almost never the hardware. If your intonation has all of a sudden gone wacky, the chance that it is the horns fault is about ZERO. Your private lesson teacher would only need to play 2 notes and could tell you if there was a mechanical problem! There is no need for speculation on their part!

    If you need an excuse to buy a new horn, that is not a very good one. If your playing has problems, a new horn will not solve that. If anything, a student horn is EASIER to play.

    I am not saying that you shouldn't get a new horn. What I am saying is that if your playing is messed up, you need to fix that first.

    The only horn that you should buy is one that you and your trumpet teacher have PLAYED. Buying blind doesn't teach you anything. The learning process is as important as the purchase.

    So figure out what is really wrong (and don't blame the trumpet). Fix it, then get your teacher to provide help on the right instrument.

    This story just does not line up.

    Intonation problems are most easily solved with a solid daily routine that EVERY private teacher gives to their students. It consists of breathing exercizes, lip slurs, long tones and tunes. Sticking to a solid routine gives anyones playing a solid base!
     
  8. Jurandr

    Jurandr Pianissimo User

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    Feb 23, 2008
    Illinois
    hehe Rowuk I've been surfing this place for awhile and you seem rather famous.. I was wondering when you'd post.

    And just as an fyi, I'm not looking for a new horn. I enjoy playing my current one. I know all it's little whacky whatevers and how to fix them on the fly. I even named it!

    Now I'm going to refer to the last two lines of your post: What sort exercises would you suggest I'd add to my own routine, which is really just school music, long tones, pedal tones, and sightreading?
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
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    Do a search here on "circle of breath". That should get your breathing started. That is always my first advice. No other exercize will reap more benefits than that solid relaxed breath! Long tones and slurs are also daily bread. My ratio for students is 1/3 basics, 1/3 technical and 1/3 tunes. For an hours worth of practice per day that is 20 minutes of breathing, long tones and slurs. After the basics, 20 minutes of tunes and then at the end technical studies. NEVER PLAY TUNES WHEN YOU ARE WASTED. Playing musically means you need to have be in good shape and have good tone. The technical stuff wears one out too much.

    Sudden changes in your playing don't happen by accident. Either you are not paying attention to basics, OR you beat your chops up on a regular basic. An hour a day properly spent is enough to be in the top 10% of all school trumpet players.

    That Yamaha Advance, even although it is probably not the most killer trumpet ever built has, short of something being noticably broken, NOTHING that could mess up your intonation or accuracy. Like I said, 2 notes and your teacher can determine if it is broken. Your next horn should cost around $1000-$1500 if you buy it new. A used horn in GREAT shape costs half of that.

    By the way, there is NEVER an excuse to play out of tune. Slow down and get it right, or leave it alone. Bad intonation just ruins your ears and takes the fun away from those that play with you!
     
  10. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2007
    N.Y.C.
    I hope your keeping your lips well hydrated in that 9 degree weather.This was the first thought that came to my mind the minute I read you opening statement. My range,accuracy, especially legato suffers every winter somewhat since I work outside all winter.If the cold dont get you the dry inside air will.Use a good lip balm and maybe you could try sleeping with a humidifier.
     

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