Some problems of an eighth grade trumpeter I noticed

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MGTrumpet, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. MGTrumpet

    MGTrumpet New Friend

    Nov 18, 2004
    Maple Grove, MN

    About a month ago, the community band I play in did a series of rehearsals and a concert with a middle school band in a western suburb of Minneapolis.

    I was sitting next to an eighth grade trumpet player and noticed one problem right away. He was playing a Bach Strad and had the tuning slide out about an inch and a half (at least). I didn't say anything because I didn't feel it was my place and partly because I suspected he was taking lessons from someone.

    After the second rehearsal, I thought perhaps he was playing on a Stork mouthpiece. Before the concert, I asked him about the mouthpiece and he said it was a Stork. As I looked at his horn it seemed the mouthpiece was out too far. I asked if I could look at his horn and when I measured the gap, it had to have been at least a quarter inch (maybe a little more). There was even a ring around the mouthpiece where it had obviously sat in another horn (with an eighth inch gap).

    A week later I was talking to his band director about the kid and the director said the kid had been having lots of problems with inconsistent tone and pitch.

    In my opinion, there are at least two things wrong with his setup that could account for those problems. To me, it seems the kid is working with some handicaps that just shouldn't be there.

    I told his director I'd solicit your expert advice.

    Thanks (especially for doing this wonderful forum!)
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    Okay, so I'm going to assume that the kid was playing flat, right? Or was he playing sharp with his slide out and inch and a half?

    If he was playing flat, he has a poor ear and I don't know what someone other than his private teacher can do about that. Obviously, there are remedies for any student to improve his ear but that's only within the purvue of his instructors.

    If his slide was out that far and he was in tune or, worse yet, sharp. Then there are serious issues of tightness that are either physical or equipment related, as you mentioned. I'm guessing physical.

    This is a hard call because of the many variables. Can you help me a bit?

  3. MGTrumpet

    MGTrumpet New Friend

    Nov 18, 2004
    Maple Grove, MN

    Sorry I didn't provide enough of the right information.

    No, he didn't play noticeably flat. I think he has a good ear and was probably lipping up close to the right pitch. I presume that would add a lot of inconsistencies in pitch as his first, second and third slides wouldn't be consistent with the overall length of his horn. Also, I presume that lipping up that much would be "cutting off" the bottom of the richness of each note. And, I presume that would add to the inconsistencies in his tone.

    I figured the very large gap between the mouthpiece and leadpipe would also add to the inconsistencies in tone as he moved up and down the horn or as he used more or less air. But then, I've never played with a gap that large so I don't really know. Actually, on my Bach Strad I prefer no gap - unusual, but I've been doing it for quite some time and I'm very used to it.

    I hope this helps.


Share This Page