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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?! in the General forums; I just played a Yamaha student horn and it's better than my Marcinkiewicz at slotting high notes. I am wondering ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User HSOtrumpet1's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    I just played a Yamaha student horn and it's better than my Marcinkiewicz at slotting high notes. I am wondering whether the main slide water key (I have the kind that looks like a little tube and you press a button to make the condensation come out) is affecting the performance of my horn. I think that it is plugged up somehow, I press it and then nothing comes out, but the trumpet still gargles, even after I hold the button down and blow. So I have to take out the main slide and physically empty it out... Could the water key malfunctioning be a factor in the trouble slotting? This is a random shot in the dark here, but would mouthpiece weights, valve caps or anything else increase the slotting ability of my Marcinkiewicz?

  2. #2
    Forte User bagmangood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Bostonish & San Francisco

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    Various horns play differently for various reasons,
    I would guess that the water key on your Marcinkiewicz is not the reason,
    and both mouthpiece weights would "increase the slotting" of your horn, but it will always affect something else
    Bb: Courtois 305 "Elite", Holton Al Hirt Special (~1966), Benge 3x with Upturned bell (1973)
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  3. #3
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    NO, NO, NO, NO
    You just can't play a horn a bit and declare slotting, tone or any other damn thing. You get AN impression in a specific room. That says NOTHING about the horns playing characteristics elsewhere.

    I also disagree with the idea that slotting alone is a desirable trait. If we want to play in tune, we need a certain amount of flexibility. Tight slots make that tougher.

    Adding weights or anything else to a trumpet disturbs the balance. In over 40 years of playing I have only once noticed a REAL improvement when adding weights - that was on a heavily modified Bach with a tuning bell and heavy leadpipe. Every other time there was a tradeoff in intonation or response when pimping a horn. Nothing is for free and most pro horns are designed by people that know FAR MORE than we do.

    If you want to experiment, you need WEEKS to MONTHS not hours or days to really judge the differences.

    If you are not happy with your horn, you bought the wrong instrument.

    As long as the spit valve does not leak, it is not messing up the response. Water in the horn can though.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  4. #4
    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    Did you remember to empty the water from your third valve slide?

  5. #5
    Forte User Ed Kennedy's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    It has been known to happen that an Amado water key gets installed, and somone forgets to drill out the vent. Pull the slide off the horn, plug one end and blow through the other, press the Amado. If the pressure does not release, you will have to have it drilled out. You could also have it opened up one drill size.

  6. #6
    Forte User
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    Nov 2005

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    also when emptying an amado water key you don't blow but give a little puff of air.
    formerly known as old geezer Dave
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  7. #7
    Pianissimo User
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    Jul 2007

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    My water keys on my old Getzen have little a little split ring on the end. Compress this ring and remove it. Careful it doesn't fly off. Then take you water key apart and clean it. Gunk can clog it. Check the hole thru to the tubing. If you don't clean your horn regularly, it can clog as well. And even if you do clean the horn regulary, the hold can still fill in with a crusty like stuff. Just clean it well and rinse well so none of this can enter the horn.

    I think horns that slot really well may be more difficult to be really flexible on. Sort of like a stunt plane. The more stable the aircraft, the harder it is to perform acrobatics. I don't know this from experience, but it seems logical. Perhaps this will start an argument.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2008

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    I had trouble with button type(amado) water key. I had to have it replaced (with a standard type key) & it was defective. At times, when partially stuck, it did affect the tone of the horn noticebly. You might want to have it checked out. jm

  9. #9
    Forte User flugelgirl's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Norfolk, VA

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    Call Joe. If something is not perfect on one of his horns, he will fix it. He's VERY careful about the quality of his work, so if something is not right, he will make it right! Part of the price tag of his horns is the quality of work and materials in them - the other is the customer service you recieve. Even if you bought the horn used, most custom makers don't want one of their horns to be less than perfect - it's bad for their reputations! Call Joe and he will work with you to fix the problem.
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  10. #10
    Pianissimo User HSOtrumpet1's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Re: Trouble with slotting notes?!?!?!

    On second thought, guys, maybe very tight slotting isn't such a great thing... Rowuk helped me out on this one. If you have very tight slotting, it will be hard to bend down the out of tune notes and it will be harder to make tiny adjustments with your lips if you hear a note is slightly out of tune. This is one ability that I admire on my trumpet a lot, now that I think about it. Bending notes is easy, but so is playing in tune. Thanks for all the advice so far... HSO

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