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Trumpet Discussion Discuss New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch in the General forums; So, here's the deal, I am giving lessons to a starting trumpet player and his biggest problem is that he ...
  1. #1
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    Dec 2011

    New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    So, here's the deal, I am giving lessons to a starting trumpet player and his biggest problem is that he sounds about a half step flat, sometimes more, and his tone sounds like he is bending his pitch a half step low. Any Ideas on how to fix this?

  2. #2
    Fortissimo User Sethoflagos's Avatar
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    Isn't this normal for a lot of starters? Doesn't it take a while to build a certain minimum strength in the embouchure, sufficient air support, and also a certain degree of confidence?

    Assuming there's no obvious physical problem like a hunched up posture or major overbite, maybe he just needs a bit of time to get going.
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  3. #3
    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    I would work on his breathing. When sounding flat (and likely pinched sound) I am betting the student is not putting the right amount of air through the horn.
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  4. #4
    Forte User amzi's Avatar
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    I agree with the Doc on this one--sounds like your student is restricting his air flow (most likely the throat). Teaching him to breath properly will probably help eliminate the problem
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  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    Can you, as a teacher emulate your student's playing? If so, what do you do to accomplish that? Based on that knowledge you can have a rather specific list of the thing(s) not to do. If you can get the student to play correctly in the lesson, have them memorize that feeling and practice that during the week, preferably with tunes he knows.
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  6. #6
    Mezzo Forte User bigtiny's Avatar
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    These kinds of problems are normal for beginners. Moving in an out of tune are symtoms of a) undeveloped embochure and b) incorrect breath support and c) possible unawareness of being out of tune. Here's what I would do:

    - make sure the student understands what correct breathing and air column support is when playing

    - make sure the student can tell when the intonation moves around

    - practice long tones (use the major and minor scales) at soft or medium loudness, and try to keep the tone in tune

    - after each tone, analyze the result -- did the tone stay in tune? No? Was is sharp or flat, or both? Being aware of the flucuations will make the student, as
    their embochure develops, more able to quickly identify the flucuations and respond to them.

    - also practice this on simply tunes (when you wish upon a star, etc.) -- it should be really obvious to them when a well known melody is out of tune.

    As the embochure strengthens and the air support is provided, this situation should improve within a couple of weeks.


  7. #7
    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    Obvious thing - finish with the things he's doing right and assure him that it WILL get better.

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  8. #8
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    Ask him to simg the tune or the note he is aiming for just in case he is ane of those people who don't have a natural sense of pitch (tone deaf if you will) if he is it's not a problem he will just have to spend more time concentrating on learning a solid remembered pitch. Air support is one key thing as others have said, make sure he is using his diafram (I can never spell that word so I'll make a deliberate pigs ear of it.) I would also try to get him bizzing specific notes on his lip and his mouthpiece the through the horn. One other thing occurs have you checked his horn for leaks ? One of my lot had oiled her valves and got the valve in just out of kilter, this led to her having the same sound as when she first came to me after 6 months of useless peri lesson. So we spent a couple of minutes buzzing to get it right again (At first I had put the off sound down to her just coming back from a two week holiday)
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  9. #9
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    Perhaps his tuning slide is out a bit far? Just a thought.
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  10. #10
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    Re: New Trumpeter Help, sound and pitch

    Perhaps play together. I was surprised at how "better" I played when I played duets with the teacher. (In other words, I don't suck as much as I think I do.)


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