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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Fingering for low G in the General forums; My first post, so I apologize in advance if this has been answered before (I did search!) I am a ...
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    Fingering for low G

    My first post, so I apologize in advance if this has been answered before (I did search!)

    I am a beginning trumpeter. I am teaching myself, so I don't nave a teacher to answer this. I find that the "official fingering" for a low G (valves 1 and 3) produces a note that is almost a semitone flat. My ear is reasonably good (I have played guitar for many years). Also my guitar tuner seems to confirm what I hear. I this a normal problem. Is it likely to be a problem with my technique or is it just likely to be a problem with the intonation of the trumpet?

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    Moderator Utimate User Solar Bell's Avatar
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    Re: Fingering for low G

    The real answer is...don't worry about it.

    My horn plays that note in tune, but I may be just automatically making it in tune.

    There are VERY few tunes in which you would need that tone..
    Chuck Willard
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    "Don't be afraid to see what you see."
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    Re: Fingering for low G

    OK - thanks.

    By the way, one tune that does require that note is "Blue Monk". That's when I first noticed it.

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    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Fingering for low G

    EQ,
    If you play a low G on a trumpet, your tuner should show a low F. The Bb trumpet is a full step below concert pitch. The tuning slide on the front will get the written C but sounding Bb perfect. Then the rest is up to your dedicated practice procedures!

    Valves although perfect individually, when used in combinations are a bit too short. To compensate, we use our chops or push the ring out on the 3rd valve slide to drop the pitch some.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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    Re: Fingering for low G

    Hi Rowuk

    Apologies for not being clear - I was aware of the transposing nature of the Bb trumpet. Just to be completely clear, when I depress valves 1 and 3, the note produced is detected by my guitar tuner as a concert E (instead of a concert F as it supposed to be). I can force it a bit up by tightening my embouchure, but then the tone is terrible. On the other hand, I can produce an acceptable concert F with valves 2 and 3 depressed. Should I just use this fingering instead?

    Jim

    PS I might add that the concert Bb on the staff is perfectly in tune (according to the tuner) so the intonation problem only appears with the low notes.
    Last edited by equivariant; 05-25-2009 at 10:10 AM.

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    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Fingering for low G

    EQ,
    it could be a couple of things.
    can you play a D (sounding C) with 1 and 3?
    can you play Eb (sounding Db) with 2 and 3?

    On some old military trumpets, there was an extended 3rd valve that did allow playing to low F# (E).

    Another possibility is that your horn was built with slides for trumpet in A - and you have the wrong third slide.

    If there is a spit key on the 3rd valve that is not airtight, the same thing can happen.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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    Re: Fingering for low G

    Hi Rowuk

    Yes, the D and the Eb (as you describe) sound in tune. The intonation problem only becomes apparent with the low Ab (2 and 3) and the low G (1 and 3) which are almost a semitone flat.

    In fact, the D and Eb (with the fingerings you describe) require me to push out the 3rd valve slide a little to get them in tune (they are a little sharp otherwise). However, I believe that this is required on most trumpets?

    I think that the spit key is airtight - I'll doublecheck when I get home from work. The trumpet is borrowed from a friend (a trombone player who doesn't use it) so I am not completely sure of its history. It has been well looked after however.

    Jim

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    Piano User marsuleu's Avatar
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    Re: Fingering for low G

    hello !
    first of all, you can download trumpet fingering from here: Wind Instruments

    regarding low G, his natural fingering is 1-3 pressed . if the horn is technicaly OK , that means the problem is your embouchure... and you need to study more. u said that D(1-3) and D#(2-3) are in tune... so , the horn seems to be fine :) so , don't worry !

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    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Re: Fingering for low G

    Welcome to TM, equivariant!

    I have played on some horns (a cheapo Eb) that had a way too flat low g. Fingering it 23 seemed to work better, so it might be a problem with the trumpet. Is it a cheapo trumpet?
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

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    Re: Fingering for low G

    I don't think that is a poor quality instrument. It is a Musica trumpet (made in Austria). I don't know the serial number off hand. However, the instrument feels much higher quality than some cheap instruments that I have looked at in shops. It has been kept in good condition.

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