Oh no! Don't talk about intonation!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    This isn't just a problem for high school kids, I think lots of trumpet players do this. I know I used to! I remember being in an orchestra rehearsal in college and feeling out of tune and pulling out. Still out of tune, out some more, etc. Pretty soon my slide is WAY out and so's my pitch. Finally in frustration I pushed it way in and just like that I was fine. A good lesson to learn.

    I also think that some horns have a sort of "sweet spot" for the tuning slide where the horn is the most resonant and in tune with itself. It can be a problem when that sweet spot doesn't agree with the ensemble or section. It's just a guess based on my own experience, but I think the mouthpiece can effect the actual pitch that comes out when the horn is in that sweet spot. But I don't really know, the physics behind all of that is way over my head.
  2. GB in Japan

    GB in Japan New Friend

    Feb 21, 2010
    When I started outI didn't know anything about pitch, tuning and still not so strong on it, but what has helped me enormously is this software. An updated version of gglassmeyer's school aptitude test.
    Ear Training Software - EarMaster for Windows and Mac

    Anybody else using it?
  3. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I had a couple of days at work this week that really affected my playing in a bad way. There was an issue with one of our people that just made me so angry that I was too tense to get a good sound. It took me a couple of days of just playing the stuff that makes me smile before I could really get back to any serious practice - I spent an hour or two just playing some abersolds after work, and played till I was smiling again before I went home. That extra tension really hurt my sound, though - it felt like I couldn't let my body relax enough to make anything resonate the way it should. I've noticed the same type of effect when my sinuses are really stuffed up - you get used to the way it feels when pitches resonate in your head as you play, and it's not the same when they don't.
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    All very valid comments. On the other hand, I have been playing for 45 years and have always had to tune to the rest with my tuning slide about an inch out. For real.

    Someone commented on the "sweet spot" of horns. I agree. When I am not playing along with others, I push the slide in to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch of an inch and can literally "feel" as well as hear better resonation in the horn. True for all my horns.
  5. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    You're right on the money as far as nervousness and pitch are concerned. When the player is off the hook and relaxes, he'll be way too flat. There are so many variables to being in tune, mostly the temperature of the horn and the state of mind of the player. When I play a gig, I use 4 or 5 different horns, which means they are all cold when I pick them up. So I'm always fiddling with the tuning slide. What drives me nuts is when the piano is out of tune. Nothing you can do about it.

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