Troublesome High E

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by spirithorn, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Ray,

    While I agree with you, what DC was talking about was the E above high C.

    So, DC, just for fun I was practicing and played the high E using the combinations of 1/2 and open. On my equipment, the E was spot on but when I went for it with the 1/2 combination it went literally a quarter-tone sharp! Even I was surprised at the difference. The timbre was, however, about the same until I tried to lip the sharper E down to correct pitch. When I did that, the tone was huskier and less clean when I tongued it repeatedly.

    That's the report!

    ML
     
  2. R.A.S.

    R.A.S. Pianissimo User

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  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Ray,

    Doh!:oops:

    ML
     
  4. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    The subject is the E over high-C men, if I understand the originator of the thread correctly. That top space E comment was an aside observation by me. I'm sorry if I caused any confusion.

    Manny, as you know, some horns will play that E over high-C almost a quarter tone flat. If you lip it up, it'll change the timbre on some horns and you'll get a timbre that more closely matches the F over high C if you use 1-2. This is my point, some designers put that note flat and some put it spot-on. If you're playing a horn where it's built in flat (typical on the Blessing) then you may prefer the response and timbre at 1-2. Above high C, I find that any extra resistance from the horn can be very detrimental to the player's ability to play there.

    BTW Manny, I love your column and no disrespect is meant by my question. I was just wondering why many were so adament against false fingerings. I find them very useful on some of the more cantankerous trumpets. Also, I've attended many doctoral level recitals and I've noted that some of the very best players also use false fingerings on certain notes in certain keys (I've, of course, observed others that don't). The key, IMHO, is to get a free, singing, resonant tone in the center of the pitch with consistent note-to-note timbre. If that involve false fingering, then so be it.

    Dave
     
  5. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

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    Dave, that's interesting about the notes being in different places on different horns. On a Bach 180-37, would you say the E is sharp or flat?

    I ask because I'm continually frustrated by this note. I have played it cleanly before - when I testing about lead mouthpieces about an hour or so, but never since, and never on my 1 1/4C (even though the Eb below is as good as I can get it).

    Maybe I'm over or under-reaching for the note?
     
  6. spirithorn

    spirithorn New Friend

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    As the originator of this thread, I sincerely appreciate all the feedback. My original question, though, was about getting that note to "speak" consistently at all. Therefore, intonation would become an issue AFTER I'm able to reliably produce the note. It has been a problem for me on several horns: two Blessings, a Yamaha heavywall, and a Benge. My "aversion" to false fingerings is not in some "purist" sense, just a matter of timbre and "feel", which I have never especially liked on some of the alternates. I'm speaking here using an alternate fingering on a sustained note, not on a note that is hit "in passing" in a rapid passage. I'm all for the alternate fingerings, when appropriate, in that situation.

    This is to Manny:
    In terms of getting the note to "speak", I have made some progress over the weekend using two of your suggestions, one from this thread, and one I have read on others. When I do "get" the high E. trying to listen very carefully for the pitch center was very helpful. On the Blessing (at least on my current one), as others have mentioned, it's a little bit flat from where I would normally hear it. That may explain the tendency to "overshoot" this rather narrow slot.
    The other suggestion was to consciously use the syllable "tooh" in ALL registers. This has been most helpful. I have always tended toward "tee" from about top space G and up.
    I don't have the E nailed yet, but I am making progress and am encouraged.
    At any rate, thanks for your input, and the input from the other contributors as well.
     
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    That's what gets my vote.

    ML
     
  8. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Interesting question. In general, the current Bach 180-37s are flat on the E and Eb, both at the top space and and octave up. On the one above high C, it can become particularly problematic, particularly with a horn that has relatively tight slots combined with a flat note (read Bach 37, Yamaha, etc.) if you play it open and try to lip it up, then it cracks or you overshoot it or you under compensate and undershoot it. For the brave, trying alternate fingerings 1-2 will often do the trick. If it shoots the note a little sharp, then push the 1st slide out just a touch.

    Back to your question, I've noticed that a lot of vintage horns play the top space E and the octave above in tune. This include MV Bachs, Selmer K-Mods, some Martins, etc. This is fine, but it increases other compromises, such as the bottom-line E may now be sharp and the C# and D below the staff will be even sharper. So, you need to get out your tuner and learn the tuning "compromises" of your particular horn and figure out the best way to adjust for each (lips, 1st or 3d slide, alternative fingerings or combinations of all these). As you make adjustments, pay attention to timbres, but don't assume that you're stuck with the first timbre you hear, as they often improve as you learn to center the note better.

    Happy note hunting...

    Dave
     
  9. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

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    Thanks - hopefully I'll be able to latch on to it one of these days!
     
  10. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

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    I'm a newby here, so be nice!!

    let me first say that the suggestion by Manny to use the vibrato is brilliant!! When I read that I instantly recognized where 1/2 my problem is with the high E -- too narrow a slot point. My F above high C is strong an wide-open, as is the D. But the E always dissapears on me, and usually I have to hit the F first then drop down to find it. The concept of using a vibrato really awakened a realization in me -- I love to throw a nice fat vibrato on some of those high notes, but when I do it on the E, I tend to lose the pitch.

    Personally, I think another problem is sitting on both sides of your head. Can you actually HEAR the note? I can hear the high D great, and the high F. Don't know why, but I do. The E's I have trouble hearing properly, and I know this is part of the issue because if I go to a piano and play a D, then try to hit the E on my Bb, I nail it almost everytime. For some reason I have a hard time hearing between D and F (in the upper octave, anyway). I have the same problem with G above F. I can move on up to A and Bb above that okay, but never hit a playable G.

    Manny's mouthpiece comment really has me thinking now. I'm quite sure the piece I use it probably contributing greatly to the narrow slot point on my high E's....sigh....I've probably spent as much on mouthpieces as I have on my horn itself. I use a Marcinkewicz E14 for the lead stuff...a friend of mine here in town screams on a E1.5 (slightly larger and more open throat). Perhaps I need a change there...

    I'd love to try the Monette, but right now it's just not in the budget.
     

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