What is intonation?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rowuk, May 10, 2011.

  1. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I'm not sure if my wife has what you call perfect pitch but she can listen to a note on a trumpet and tell you what it is. I can come close but she is always right on and she can't understand how I can hear a note and not be able to tell if it is a Ab or an A just by listening to it. She gets real frustated with people that play out of tune and can't tell they are off. I used to sit next to one of the better players in town and he always said I was right on. With out thinking or trying I always play with my ear and lip my pitches unconsciously.
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  2. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    Well Im a soon to be college student and I have problems in the intonation. I often find myself incredibly sharp. I can clearly tell whenever Im off but I can't seem to fix things fast enough. Some people are saying stay away from tuner and I seem to have been doing that but its not helping.
    Intonation to me is simply not creating unintended tension while playing.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Learning to play in tune is like learning to play softly or high:common sense DAILY exercizes are required. The path for different players is not always the same. One thing for sure is required: START NOW.

    As I said in the very first post of this thread, intonation needs a reference to another note. That is how I teach too. during lessons, we play different pitched longtones at the same time and make them RING.

    Another method is drones. Here we get a keyboard to play a low note - like a C in the bass clef. Then we play a scale in F major using long tones over that C. We listen and HEAR where each tone "sounds" best.

    Duets with my students is also a useful technique as is coaching the school/community bands that they play in. I am VERY critical of any of these ensembles that do not tune as part of the rehearsal. I won't sit in if they do not at least make the effort - it is INSULTING!
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    That is HIllarious!!!! sick ... but hillarious
  5. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    You know Robin ... I use to play duets all the time when I was in high school... if I could find someone who wanted to, I mean any instrument would do. It was probably the majority of my playing time when I was younger... and I am now convinced it had a huge effect on developing my ear.. wow ... great thread
    On the point of perfect pitch. My brother is blind and has perfect pitch and he told me that he used his relative pitch more often. As far as "learning" perfect pitch, I think it is possible to identify certain notes by the way they sound, I know I have on occasion but it is mostly if I have been working on a piece alot and for some reason I "remember" the note. I am not talking about within a minute... it could a week or a month. Certain notes just sound different ...go figure.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Practicing with your tuner on is a huge help to training your ear, you can periodically glance up at it while your playing and see if what you think is in tune, is really in tune. Over a short time this will train your ear to the correct pitch, and help you correct and lip notes the horn produces that are not in tune with itself. And done long enough will help you identify what note someone else is playing when you hear it.
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I don't know how you all manage it but I just can't get my tuner to stay in tune. :-(
  8. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
    I think you have a case of Unjust Intonation. I'd sue.....
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    It might help a little but, overall I think will give a false sense of what is really needed to play "in tune"
  10. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Get out you B-flat trumpet and play a simple tune. Use your tuner to make sure it's in tune. Keep doing it until the tuning is ingrained and you just look at the notes and hear yourself playing it.

    Now take your C trumpet and transpose the tune and play it. You will see why the tuner doesn't work to play "in tune"
    tobylou8 likes this.

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