Using tuner when practicing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by reraom, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Just about everyone tunes their guitar with a tuner these days, it's true. The only person I've ever met who NEVER uses a tuner for guitar is my cousin. His ear is better than any tuner I've ever seen, but for me ............. Tuner.

    A lot of the reason for that is that you're rarely in an environment that's QUIET enough to tune well by ear. That's jams, gigs, rehearsals, etc. Mostly too noisy to get a good tuning of an acoustic or electric guitar by ear. That's also why I like a tuner that picks up your guitar's vibrations instead of through a mic.

    For TRUMPET, I like the (KORG) tuner pretty much only for figuring out quickly what key we're in when playing along with CDs, the radio, and movie sountracks.

  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I use a tuner to gauge the tendencies of the horns I mostly play. That knowledge, along with knowing my own note tendencies, helps me to play in tune with various ensembles using my ear (after tuning to the ensemble tuning pitch, of course). Playing while watching a tuner on your stand is an almost certain way to play out of tune with an ensemble.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    And this thread explains the problem when playing many European arrangements especially with polkas and accordians (even Hohner harmonicas). But, like other matters, it is always the conductor who is right and if you don't agree you can breach your contract and walk to the nearest exit.

    My peeve is that I've yet to find either an organ, piano, or a CD / COMPUTER AUDIO PROGRAM that produces A=440 hz as a constant in all venues. The "trick", whether we play sharp or flat or on center, is to blend with all other instruments and that does take some considerable skill and patience. Too, when playing solo the crux is to space each note in the song against all others almost to the extent of a key change if necessary. Tell the untruth if you want to, but I don't believe all Bb trumpets / cornets sound exactly the same playing the same notes, nor does instruments made in other keys. Thus, for me, A=440 hz, more or less, is just an average. Imagine the piano tuner tuning the concert piano just before a performance with just his/her music light and stage safety light on in an empty auditorium and the difference in the piano sound under full hot stage lights and the ambient temperature from a full audience. Surely all the instruments are affected in similar fashion.
  4. catello

    catello Pianissimo User

    Dec 14, 2009
    Winter Park, FL
    I agree. I agree. I agree. The worst players (not necessarily talent, but attitude) are the ones that keep a tuner on their stand. Listen. Tune. Listen. Adjust. That's the way to do it. Tuners are fine for practice. Check yourself at the beginning. Play for a bit. Check again. Play some more. That will help you understand how your pitch will change when playing with a group. But remember, theirs will change as well.

    When playing with others I will always tune to someone's playing and not against a tuner - it's ok for the first person to use one, but after that everyone should tune to the band, not a machine. Especially if there is an untunable instrument in the group, that becomes the baseline regardless of the frequency of A.
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I once had to do a wedding with an old pipe organ that was tuned somewhere around A=415. Talk about an adjustment! I had to pull my tuning slide WAY out in order to get in tune, and that was only part of it - it really threw off the internal intonation so I was lipping everything everywhere. That's an experience I'd rather not repeat.

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