Sharp & Flat??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NYCO10, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. NYCO10

    NYCO10 Pianissimo User

    Feb 20, 2010
    United Kingdom
    All of a sudden i've started noticing that im playing flat in the low register and sharp in the higher register, why is this??
  2. SteveMac

    SteveMac New Friend

    May 22, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
  3. rettepnoj

    rettepnoj Fortissimo User

    Feb 22, 2009
    Don't know why, but my old teacher always told me to think down/flat when playing up in the register, and high/sharp when playing down in the rgister!! I still play this way, after 20 years, and it works great..:-)
  4. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    ^That's James Stamp advice. It does work, as most people tend to stretch intervals.
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    It could be your mouthpiece is too big for you,this will cause you to play sharp in the upper register [too much tension in the embouchure,not relaxed enough] and flat in the lower register[[too loose] .
  6. JuJu Horn

    JuJu Horn New Friend

    Jul 25, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    It's not in your mouthpiece (unless you have changed in the last 3 months) so do not change (just yet anyway). It is also not to do with your horn (unless this has changed recently)

    Something has changed!!! More practice, less practice, different music, you have changed chairs (2nd to 1st or 3rd or 2nd?) Your coming off a long break trying to get your chops back?
    You have recently bought a digital tuner and realised most of your notes are not exactly in tune? If it is this, relax as concise tuning on every note of a brass instrument is simply not possible and not desirable. Resonance and relative tuning is much more relevant to what we do.
    Don't get me wrong a performance that is flat in intonation and tuning will not be expectable in nearly all professional applications however, a performance generally in tune with some elements that are sharp or ever so slightly flat ( major 7ths, minor 7ths or other sympathetic notes or intuitive responses ) will be a natural occurrence and response to making music. Especially in a band, orchestra or ensemble.

    Relax play with a good sound and enjoy!!!
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Flat in the low register is generally lousy breathing, sharp in the upper register is mashing the horn into your face because of lousy breathing. The solution is to work on support.
  8. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    The reason I mentioned mouthpiece,was because in another post he said he was starting to play lead in a jazz band, with a Bach 2 1/2C which is a large mouthpiece for this kind of playing. It will cause embouchure and physical fatigue in most people, especially a 15 year old.
  9. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    I'd suggest taking a step back and work on basics. Play scales and "easy" tunes and pay CLOSE ATTENTION to your intonation while you are doing it. If you're trying to play above your level, you will often do things wrong in order to do some other things "right", and mess yourself up terribly.

    Get a teacher, if possible, or at least work with someone who can play with you, so you have someone with whom to match pitch, and who can listen to you and be a pitch monitor. I'm extraordinarily lucky having a trumpet-playing wife, with whom I play duets when we're not practicing parts for orchestra or band. Intonation issues are thus readily noticible for us, and are corrected IMMEDIATELY!

    Hope that helps!

  10. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey

    Additionally, since we learn the low notes first, we think that they're easy to play and allow the embouchure to collapse as well as not providing sufficient support. If you think about producing a sound that has intensity and projection in the low register, the pitch miraculously improves.

    There is a pinch/air cycle to be avoided in the upper register as well. The more you pinch the less you blow: the less you blow, the more you pinch. Pinching will certainly "drive" any note 1/4 step sharp. Again, be mindful of the "sound", a thinning sound suggests pinching.


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