Use of tuner

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jdshankles, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. jdshankles

    jdshankles New Friend

    Nov 28, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    I think you are dead on with breaks in the embouchure and jaq positions. Jaw position is something that i have recently adjusted. I guess I still need time to get solid on the new positions...

    As a general topic, how do you suggest one use a tuner in practice?

    Thanks for all of your help, you guys! I love this place:)

    --jon davis
  2. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey Jon,

    Use the tuner to find out where you are in general then put it aside with the power on. Do your practicing and when you have doubts or want to check out your pitch on something, glance over at the tuner. Don't try to practice while staring at it, that will just give you a headache. The best use for a tuner during practice is to test your ears. Listen to what your brain is telling you and look at the tuner to verify whether your ears are right. If they aren't, use the information the tuner gives you to better your ears for the next time around.

    My 2 cents.
  3. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    Christopher Leuba (former Principal Horn of the CSO) suggested that a tuner should be used to identify the intonation tendencies of your instrument. With your best sound (vibrant, colorful, resonant), find where each note on your horn falls with respect to the tuner and make a chart of this information. For a low D you might write “21 cents sharp†and for a 4th space E you might write “14 cents flatâ€. This gives you an idea where your instrument wants to play (using your best sound) with respect to Equal Temperament and no slide adjustments.

    With this information, you are more knowledgeable about how YOU play on this instrument, with this particular mouthpiece. If you have different mouthpieces or different horns, he suggests that you do this exercise for every combination that you play on.

    You might think that the 4th space E is a flat note and needs to be compensated for in every situation. This would be an over generalization. In C major, the third of the chord needs to be 14 cents flat to align with Just Intonation. So in that case, you would play the E right down the middle (no need for alternate fingerings with slides pulled out).

    I wrote an article called A440, Savings Bonds, and Symphony Trumpet Players and another called 10 Question Music Quiz! Good Luck. Those will give you a theoretical idea of how to apply the “tendency chart†that you put together with your tuner.

    With all that said though, simply using your ears is the best way to find elegance in your intonation. I like a product called TuneUp for this. You will hear people talk about playing against a drone pitch and finding the place where each interval has “powerful serenityâ€. This is when your ears are telling you that you have arrived. You need to do this over and over to really allow your ear to learn what to listen for and then guide your body to that sound when playing with other musicians.

    Use the tuner occasionally as a visual guide, but train your ears to do this on autopilot. That’s the only true answer to this question!
  4. gregc

    gregc Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 5, 2004
    New York, U.S. of A.
    This buzzing work looks like something I could make good use of. I do remember Jim speaking a bit about it during the Yamaha Trumpet Day last year in NYC. I've never really spent much time buzzing the mouthpiece. I'll have to look for the book; and did someone mention there is a CD that goes along with it? It may be worth a try.
  5. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Here you go Greg

    It is called "The Buzzing Book" and comes with two CDs (for Bflat and C trumpet). Also, a couple of weeks ago someone posted that there is an edition of the Stamp Book with CDs available. I just received my copy this weekend, but have yet to try it out. I would go with Jim's book first. It is very approachable.
  6. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    You will be glad you picked this one up!

    Not only is it very approachable but it is flexible as well. Flow Study patterns fit very well over many of the recorded tracks if you want to change it up a bit.

    Has anyone else used Clarke 4th study for smoothing out breaks? There is something about the “trill†aspect of it that seems to work very well for opening things up as you ascend over the breaks.

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