What are all of the out of tune notes on a trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by HSOtrumpet1, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. DaveLindgren

    DaveLindgren Pianissimo User

    Feb 15, 2007
    Rohnert Park, Ca
    They will all be out of tune unless you're listening carefully and making adjustments(consciously or subconsciously).
  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    19 out of tune??? - and I have five horns, that's 95 notes out of tune. And it's the trumpet you say?? - Yippee, I thought it was me. What a relief .... :oops: (Thinks: I'm glad now that her indoors won't let me buy any more instruments - think how many out of tune notes I could have in the music box.).
  3. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    Must be a Bach. :-P
  4. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008


    1986 Bach Strad 37
    1980 Bach 25 C/D Convertible
  5. jerec576

    jerec576 Pianissimo User

    Feb 12, 2009
    Miami, Fl
    Each trumpet has its own notes that are out of tune. Ive noticed it varies with mouthpieces too! My monette B 1-5m plays out of tune on (chromatically) C, C#, D, A, and the upper register Ab.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Trumpetguy is right on with his information.

    A very good explanation of the valved-brass tuning conundrum can be found at:

    Compensating System

    Now we know something that explains why those 'bonists are different.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Only the tuning note is in tune. Every other note requires support, control, ears and brains. There is no such thing as an "in tune" trumpet. There are instruments that make life easier for the musician however.

    A standard trumpet is pitched in Bb. pushing the second valve down pitches the horn in A. Pushing the first valve down puts the instrument in Ab and the third valve in G. Now the problems start. For a trumpet in A, the first valve must be longer than one for Bb. That is why there is a saddle, ring or trigger on the first valve. The same applies to the 3rd valve. Intonation is also affected by the instruments construction, weight, slotting, the mouthpiece and even the type of room/temperature/humidity that we are playing in.

    Any discussion of absolute intonation is a waste of time because we do not play absolute. Each interval is different depending on its function in the big picture.

    An A played 1+2 has a different pitch depending if we are playing in A Major, F Major, E Major or any other key. The "well tempered" scale is actually uniformly out of tune to allow non "tunable on the fly" instruments to play in more than one or two keys.

    No ears/brains= no intonation. Trumpets are very imperfect. The players make them wonderful!
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Hey, I think I know that guy.

    To me, there's nothing better than a trumpet/mouthpiece combination that makes it easy to play in tune. Some do, and some don't. I play instruments at both ends of the spectrum - the Civil War era cornet I play is an adventure in alternate fingerings and lipping, especially when playing with a group of other period instruments. What a pleasure to put that thing in the case and play a good modern horn!
  9. Artemisia

    Artemisia Pianissimo User

    Jan 24, 2009
    Excellent explanation.
  10. HSOtrumpet1

    HSOtrumpet1 Pianissimo User

    Nov 28, 2008
    So essentially, when I tune on a B to an orchestra, if I get just that tone perfect, all of the other notes will be out of tune??

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