Slotting - What exactly is it?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by turtlejimmy, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    So, in common man's language, what we mean by a horn that slots easily, is that it is easier to "find the note" in tune. A horn that doesn't slot as well would likely be easier to "bend" the pitch. ???
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Thanks everyone! I think I understand it now. :-?

    Based on all this, I guess I would describe my 1924 Martin Handcraft as not slotting well .... lipping down is your only option for intonation adjustment but it's pretty easy to do on this horn. Notes bend easily and it takes more concentration to keep things steady. The other extreme, among my instruments, would be the Eastman 420g, that always sounds dead on but makes bending notes harder. So the, I guess you'd say it slots really well. That's one of the reasons I like playing the Eastman so much, but other horns I have sound better. The Martin is a bear for me to play but the sound is exceptional. My teacher had no trouble with his intonation on this old horn and so, even though the slotting is not good (or very wide), it's a keeper for the future. When I'm a stronger player, I'll be happy I kept it.

  3. Jfrancis

    Jfrancis Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Hannibal, MO
    Can be well demonstrated by playing a note with a metal straight mute. Lip the note sharp or flat then find the center. The mute strongly vibrates (buzzes). It is in-slot there.
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Same with a harmon mute, right? I use the Harmon as my basic practice mute and I'm getting familiar with this "mute ringing" center.

    And, welcome to TM!

  5. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    If you want to feel a real good example of NOT slotting that will help you get a feel for what slotting is, try playing a French Horn in the upper register.

    You will have an 'aha' moment quick as scat.

    As you go higher on a wind instrument, the partials' frequencies become closer, causing more difficulty in locking them in but also their intonation. This is especially evident on FH.

    It's no wonder Principal French Horn is the highest paid position in an orchestra. I think oboe is second, or maybe they're flip-flopped.
  6. craigph

    craigph Piano User

    Mar 12, 2010
    I've got to wonder if scat has the same meaning for you as it does for me?
  7. schleiman

    schleiman Piano User

    May 12, 2010
    Austin, TX
    To me, Scat is my great uncle, Johnny "Scat" Davis!
  8. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Craig, it's just means very quickly.

    What does it mean to you? :-o

    Although, I remember another slang translation problem with some new friends from Australia. They thought it was hilarious that we in the States 'root' for our favorite team as that has an entirely different meaning down under.
  9. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Having played the french horn much more than I have played the trumpet, you have produced my "AHA!!" moment. I have noticed that some horns center (slot) better than others. I worked on this last night using a beaten-up Conn 15B Director, versus a Conn 38B Connie. The Connie was (as expected) the champ.
  10. NanoBear

    NanoBear New Friend

    Apr 15, 2009
    Perth, Western Australia
    yeah, we do tend to get a good laugh out of that one down here in the wide brown land. Another interesting one is 'fanny'. For you guys its at the back, for us its at the front. Took me a long time to work out that particular line in the theme for the TV show 'The Nanny'

    Slightly off topic, but what's with the hand in the bell on the french horn? Does it help with tuning or slotting or just tone?

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