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Trumpet Discussion Discuss chicken or egg 1st in the General forums; i've played several years, but can't decide...am i playing more out of tune, or is my pitch discrimination improving...some notes ...
  1. #1
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    chicken or egg 1st


    i've played several years, but can't decide...am i playing more out of tune, or is my pitch discrimination improving...some notes drive me nuts, but they didn't used to bother me.....does anyone else prefer 4th space e 1&2 instead of open?
    gross...maybe i hear better & play worse :P ....doomed, doomed...

    dj

  2. #2
    Piano User Annie's Avatar
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    I play e with 1&2 when it's a really really fast passage that is near impossible for me to just lip slur from g - e - c or c - e - g. Otherwise, I prefer playing it open.
    ~Annie

    *I may not be great yet, but I'm working hard on it and one day I'm gonna be there.*

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    What horn are you playing? For some horns, alternate fingerings may be better. I know on my C (and most other C's) I have to use different fingerings in the second octave for it to be in tune.

    To be sure, use a tuner and see if you're intonation is right or not.

  4. #4
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    David, you haven't said how long you have been playing. I used to have this problem as well; over time I learned how to handle it but I was simultaneously practicing a lot more exercises and less of the "music on the stand" AND I changed mouthpieces and trumpet. I think that one or the other "cured" the problem note (I had another problem with the Eb which I used to have to finger 2-3 to keep it in tune).

    With the Schilke trumpet however, there is NO problem with the 4th space E (I used to play a Strad... until I found how just how difficult it really was to keep in tune...why make the learning process harder than it has to be?)

    Annie, you shouldn't be having difficulties to slur C-E-G open at ALL. Those notes are just one right after the other anyway. Sounds like you are using the valves to initiate the air stream change to get the note to move. Are you sure you're putting enough air onto the horn to get them to "pop"? I'd recommend some lip slur exercises... try working from the middle C alternately down to 2nd line G, then up to 4th space E, then down through all of them to the low C, then up through all to the top G. Gradually add in an "open" A, then high C. If you're at that already, work some leaps in but always aim for tone quality and try to get it as quiet as possible while maintaining tone quality. Be sure to repeat with all the different finger combinations. A good piece of music that's really fun to work on leaps is "Blue Tango". Get that first space F to top of staff G slur to happen without any "false notes" creeping in and you've got it.

    As trpguyy said, use your tuner also. Make the slurs slow enough that you stay on the note long enough for the tuner to register but not so long that you have time to "bend" the notes into correct pitch (unless your horn is a really bad one and you've got no option but to learn to play on IT).

    The last item is the mouthpiece; amazing what a different backbore shape will do to your intonation. Check out the GR mouthpieces website and read what they say about the different mouthpiece parameters and their effect on the sound and tuning! (Mouthpieces 101 I believe it's called).

    If you think your problem is equipment-specific... borrow someone else's horn for a few minutes during warmup or practice and try it. You could be pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised.

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    On most of the trumpets I've played, 1&2 is a touch sharper than playing it open.
    It depends on what key you're in and where the E is in the chord.
    For instance, in the key of F (Eb concert) when the E is in a C chord that's resolving into an F chord (your notes are E, followed by top-line F) play it 1&2. The slightly sharper E adds some tension to the V chord which is then resolved into a I chord.
    Also, if you're playing a fast passage such as top-of-staff G, F, E, F, G use 1&2 for the E. If lays better on the horn and it'll come out better.

    What it comes down to is listening and intonation. I had an orchestral piece a couple of years ago that at one point had me sitting on a high A while the orchestra changed chords three times. The A was part of all three chords, but I had to lip up or down slightly to stay in tune with each of the different chords.
    John
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    I agre that pitch is relative to the chord that is being sounded. If you can play every note perfectly in tune with a tuner that is great but it doesn't mean squat in an ensemble. In using just intonation when playing a chord, depending on whether it is major or minor, the 3rd must go either up or down. Every interval m2 through M7 needs to be adjusted to be truly in tune. That is why instrumentalist can create such a lush sound that I have never heard from a piano (equal tempermant). For instance when I play an E (1st line) over a C (1 ledger below) I finger it 1&2, however when I play it over C# I find that it fits better when I finger it 3. Being in tune is great being in tune with the chord is better.

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    i also have problems with C - E - G on fast passages.
    i can't do it fast and soft at all, i have to really nail it for it to come out clearly.
    i thought i was the only one.
    1946 Martin Committee, Bach 5V

  8. #8
    Piano User Annie's Avatar
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    I actually use lip slurs as the last part of my warm up every morning - I'm getting a ton better - Still need to work on it - My slotting is getting better. The only time I've actually used that 1&2 crutch was back in High School.
    ~Annie

    *I may not be great yet, but I'm working hard on it and one day I'm gonna be there.*

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    i'm used to using the alternate fingering on my C (was bach 239 now a schilke C7)....the problem is on one of my bach Bbs (sterling bell)..i have been mouthpiece experimenting, maybe that's it...i'll check w/the tuner again.

    tootsall-i've played about 30 yrs...maybe i'm vain...i just thought i would always handle pitch on my horns.

    dj

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