Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LH123, May 20, 2011.

  1. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

    May 14, 2010
    Could someone give me advice on tuning by ear? I'm new to orchestral trumpet playing and the requirement to tune to another instrument (and not a tuner). When the orchestra tunes, I can't tell if I'm out of tune or in tune. (So I'm pretty much relying on someone else to tell me...) It would be great if someone could suggest some things to listen for or some exercises to do to improve my ear.

    BTW, I can hear the 'beats' when other instruments are out of tune. However, when I tune, I can't hear them. :dontknow: Should I be able to?

    Thanks for all your help! :play:
  2. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

    May 14, 2010
    One more thing... my trumpet (student model) has no triggers / rings on the 1st and 3rd slides. Because of this, some notes (such as middle d) are hopelessly out of tune. Suggestions on how to fix this?
  3. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    For the first, only thing you can do is listen, and preferably play with people a lot

    The second, you either need to learn to lip it (which may be difficult if the horn is a modern student horn), get a new horn (which won't necessarily be too expensive), or install some saddles on your current horn (which will run ~$50)
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Duets with someone better than you. Read the thread: what is intonation. No need to repeat everything here.
  5. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    Also, if you are taking lessons. Discuss your concerns with your teacher, or in the orchestra setting, with the conductor or other trumpet players. Just remember, you are all in the same "boat".
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I would also recommend you take up rowuk's advice and read the posts on intonation. But you can lip up and or down, unfortunately, this will effect your tone and will distract you from developing a sound and lip buzzing consistency. Listen for "beats" in the sound when you play with others (again rowuk's advice to play with more experienced individuals is excellent once again).

    Is it possible to have a repair person at a local music score weld a tuning ring onto your 3rd valve slide? That will relieve your lip vibrating techniques toward just developing a consistent tone.
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    While all of the above is great advice, here is something that might or might not help. Have you ever seen someone take their middle finger and push in on the small flap of the ear that sitcks up from the bottom, closing the ear? What that does is transmit your sound (whether singing or playing) directly through the skull and on to the ear (I could give a long precise explanation, but that gets the general idea across). Doing so helps people hear themselves better. Give it a try. I find it helps me immediately tell if I am sharp or flat to whatever sound is being made.

    Also, try it on both ears (of course at different times). You will likely find you "hear" pitch better out of one than the other.
  8. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

    May 14, 2010
    Thanks everyone! I would like to get saddles installed on my trumpet. The problem is that my slides are different than on other trumpets. They are just like the second valve slide, but longer. The part on the outside of the horn is the same size as that on the second valve slide. I don't know if a trigger can be installed on this kind of slide :dontknow:
  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    That sounds like the configuration on my '24 Martin. It may be difficult for a technician to put anything on the 3rd slide, as it's not anywhere close to standard. 1st slide is easier ...... You may even be able to get a trigger installed there, but that's more complicated.

    For me, (I have other trumpets), I'm not going to bother. The "slots" are very large and notes are easily bendable on this old horn ....... much harder to lip down on my more modern trumpets. Unless the slotting is wide enough to drive a Volkswagen through, I'd go for having something installed (probably 1st slide). Either a trigger or a hook would work.

    This old 1924 trumpet is the only one I can lip down a note and get it to sound as good as the rest. I think it was designed that way in the 20's. There's no discernible difference in quality of tone, lipped or with the slide pulled. On the others, the lipped down notes are stuffy. Shouldn't cost much for the technician to install a hook, somewhat more for a trigger.

    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  10. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    It is possible to do but you need a good tech. They'll need to weld the saddle or ring to an extension (should be very rigid, steel might be better than brass) that will itself be brazed on the slide in a position where it will make it move effectively. With a thinner type of slide grease, it will work fine. My teacher has a cornet that was fitted this way.

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