What is intonation?

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

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I agree to never [there's that word again] argue with your teacher, but do give him feed back that is constructive. So when s/he instructs "Never use false fingerings", say, "Dr. Onady says you are setting yourself up for defeat wiht that comment"... OK scratch that last comment.

    But inquire, "Can you play a shake for me on the high C." OK now, could you try that shake with just the 2nd valve. What do you think is it easier or harder with the 2nd valve? Do you feel the intonation suffers in easing the shake by using this substitute fingering"

    OR ASK:

    "In the double high range when tone pitch is so close, would single valve substitutions for double valve notes bring these notes more into pitch. Could you demonstrate this for me."

    In this way, you are not arguing, your are requesting feedback. I call this "reframing the question".

    Stating "Dr. Onady says you are setting yourself up for defeat with that comment", I call inflamming the question which IS worse than arguing.
     
  2. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I think that is the weird thing, for the E he uses open valves, but for the Bb(A on piano) above the staff he insists on using the first valve, instead of the open using the 7th harmonic.
     
  3. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    I'm assuming you meant Ab on piano.

    The 7th harmonic is perfectly "in tune" (in natural temperament) as a minor 7th but too flat by about 31/100 of a semitone compared to equal temperament. So it's too flat for most other uses. In comparison, lowering the 8th harmonic by 1 tone using the first slide produces a note that is only 5/100 flat, much closer to equal temperament.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  4. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    Yes, I guess my teachers assumption, is that he can get away with the major third harmonic being close enough, but not the minor 7th. Or is there some reason that the first and second valve combination would be out of tune for the E?
     
  5. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    If anything, the 1-2 valve combination would be slightly sharp, but very, very slightly (compared to equal temperament). A little 1st slide is good when using C# as the major 3rd of an A chord because that note would already be sharp in equal temperament and the tuning error of the trumpet slides makes it even sharper. Because it is a "natural" note on trumpet, open E should be "in tune", i.e. flat compared to equal temperament. It does not offer much benefit then to use the 1-2 fingering, which is already a little sharper than equal and have to use some slide to get what you normally would if open. I'm thinking that perhaps your teacher also prefers to keep more simple flows in fingerings and not interfere with familiar patterns.

    My teacher considers that 1-2 makes a very acceptable alternate fingering in some circumstances, to be used wherever helpful (as long as it does not make things too complicated for me to handle!). It does not disturb things too much when used for a short time. I use it to help "jump" faster on the slurred C-E 3rd or even when needing to slur fast from E to G. The valve use kinda "triggers" the lips.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    It only works if he is playing in the key of C. What if he is playing in A and now E is the fifth?
     
  7. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    In natural temperament, the 5th is very slightly sharper than the equal temperament note. So in this case, it would make sense to use 1-2 for E. I find that my A major arpeggio sounds best when I keep the 1-2 fingering throughout. Makes sense: fixed length of tube, natural harmonics. Dunno how practical all this can be when playing music though...
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think that we always finger for best intonation. If we are just squeaking out notes, certain valve combinations could be more efficient - a squeak with less effort results. I use the fingerings from the previous octave to keep myself oriented. If you "own" the notes, the high range is never worth a discussion. If you don't, why discuss possible ways to cheat?

    I use false fingerings (in the staff for D, Eb and E) on my Bach C and Selmer Radial 2° D/Eb trumpets simply because I have not finished modifying them to correct the built-in factory problems. There is much more involved than heavy caps and a new leadpipe........
     
  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    It's also really helpful to hear examples of great intonation .... nobody sounds more in tune to my ear (for jazz trumpeters) than Lee Morgan. His "Candy" album on Blue Note is a good one to listen to, it's a quartet and Lee is the only wind player, and the recording itself is ultra clean, you can hear every nuance of his playing. That is what it sounds like to play perfectly in tune.

    It's pretty dazzling technical playing so it's great for that too.:thumbsup:

    Turtle
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Here are some great examples of in tune playing:

    YouTube - ‪Dave Bamonte and Manny Laureano Excerpts‬‏

    YouTube - ‪Urban and Joakim Agnas with PRANA C Trumpets‬‏

    Actually, most everything that I personally believe in is demontrated by these 4 fine musicians:

    Playing in tune is more than mathematically correct frequencies
    Tuning is a dynamic process that moves too fast for a tuner or worse - an eye watching a tuner
    Sound quality is a big part of "hearing" in tune
    Getting intervals to "ring" means that the loudness of each note being played has to be complementary.
    Only through practice do we learn to play in a resonant way, only in ensembles can we fine tune that resonance to balance all of the factors.
    And finally: in tune creates a special "buzz", "resultant tones" for the musician or "heterodyning" for the engineer. We can get used to that buzz. That is what I use to tune when playing with others.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2011

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