Third Valve Slide Ring

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Clueless Mom, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Clueless Mom

    Clueless Mom New Friend

    Nov 4, 2008
    Hi everyone! I'm a CLUELESS Mom when it comes to my son's trumpet. His band teacher is telling him that he has to have a third valve slide ring or he can't play the instrument. This trumpet has been in our family for over 50 years. It didn't come with a third valve slide ring.

    Is it absolutely necessary to have a third valve slide ring??

    Any answers will be very appreciated!
    Have a good night :-)

    Clueless Mom
  2. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    That should NOT be a big deal, what brand horn is it? Does it have a square hole on top of the 3rd slide pipe where a ring can be mounted? If it is an Olds I can help you, if not I'm sure someone here can....:-)
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    yes, it is very important and your band director is to be commended for requiring this. There are two notes on the trumpet that require for the third valve slide to be extended with the ring finger on the left hand. low D & C#. Without this adjustment the horn will not play in tune on those notes. A good band repair shop should be able to fix this for you.

    Bob Grier
  4. country4363

    country4363 New Friend

    Dec 18, 2007
    Dang I guess I need a new horn, because this does not seem to be a problem on mine with low D or C#. How ever I have played some horns that it is a problem.
  5. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

    Feb 9, 2008
    Well, there are 2 types of trumpets, old ones and more current ones. Some of the older ones have a longer 3rd slide that is between the length needed for the low C#&D and the low Eb. These you have to lip into tune. More recently made trumpets all come standard with a shorter third slide (tuned for the Eb) that can be lengthened by using the ring on the slide.

    If you have a recently made trumpet and still have the low D in tune without lengthing the slide, you probably aren't supporting the one enough. Usually these people also have really flat notes below the low C.
  6. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    The third slide valve ring is extremely helpful in tuning notes played with the third valve. It is advisable that he have one since the early you learn to use it, the better of you are generally. If you can afford a new trumpet or can find a good repair shop that will install a ring for you (probably the cheaper option) then you should definately do so. However, if you can not afford either of these options, then not having the ring should not be a deal breaker. I hope his band director would not seriously deny him the opportunity to play the instrument because of something as trivial as a third valve ring....
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    If it didn't come with one, then it wasn't designed to use it. The band director either didn't have trumpet as a primary instrument or didn't learn the history of trumpets.

    I suggest you ignore the suggestions to have a ring added if the horn has been in your family for 50 years. The horn obviously means more than "just a tool." In addition, it may not be possible to add a ring. On the other hand, do check to see if it has the capability to use an adjustable ring but just doesn't have one; that should be easy to fix.

    You didn't mention whether there is any sort of ring, trigger, or saddle on the first valve slide. Since the two notes in question, D and C#, both use the first valve slide, any correction can be applied there as well and would address the director's concerns.

    If it is important to your son to play this horn or you can't afford another, I would have a private discussion with the director, pointing out that the horn is designed to be played without one (if there is no facility to use an adjustable ring) and that your son will address the intonation challenges appropriately. While difficult, it is not impossible.

    Perhaps that will be sufficient. "Can't play the instrument" is sort of ambiguous; it's not clear whether you mean "will not be permitted" or "will not succeed."

    If the director insists and the administration backs him, then I would consider purchasing a used horn that has the appropriate intonation aids. A Holton Collegiate T602 would be my choice; they are excellent horns and they cost a lot less than they're worth.

    Once again I implore you to leave your family horn unmolested.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I agree 100%

    Last week a friend asked me to come and observe his son who just started playing trumpet. His teacher is a band director, not a trumpet player. He does not read any notes yet but the teacher has him playing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", all of the kids, by writing the names of the notes on a pioece of paper.

    Every time the kid played a D he would push the 3rd valve slide out as far as he could. I asked why and said the teacher says it has to be pushed out on that note.

    What a joke! The kid can barely buzz out thenotes and the teacher has him pushing the slide.


    He can't hear if the note os sharp....what is he pushing it to?

    Have your son learn to play the horn.

    Don't modify your son's family trumpet.

    Your son's teacher is wrong.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    That HAS to be a joke! Dave Monette could make custom horns for each member of the band, and there would STILL be intonation problems! They're students for goodness sake!

    Unless your student is a member of some advanced magnet school for musicians, ask the director to kindly pay for the modifications he's REQUIRING to what I'm assuming is a perfectly good instrument. If he refuses, ask the department supervisor or principal for the money and see what happens.
  10. edcon1981

    edcon1981 Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 25, 2008
    Central Jersey
    yeah, this appears to be a case where the director is "always right". depending on how far along your child is with his trumpet playing really depends on whether or not he needs to use that third slide... what i'm sayin is i didn't know the rhyme or reason behind using the third slide until four years after i started playing.

    here's what it boils down to... if the trumpet has provisions for a ring (either a square mount with a set screw on the slide, or a solder spot where it's obvious a ring was purposefully removed) then it should have one. if it does not OR the slide isn't a slide at all then that particular trumpet does not need one. but please don't alter a vintage horn just to appease a teacher.

    tell the music teacher to wiki brass instruments for cryin out loud.

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