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Crazy Out of Tune recently.



 
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ZardiChar
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Joined: 30 Sep 2017
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Crazy Out of Tune recently. Reply with quote

Has anybody suffered from episodes of being insanely out of tune out of nowhere? If so what have you done to fix this?

The day the episode began (3 days ago), I had been focusing the majority of my practices focusing on my pitch using this link more often than I had spent listening to players. This may be a sign.
https://www.iwasdoingallright.com/tools/ear_training/online/#top
After I put my lead pipe back in my horn and played soft long tones, I realized it was almost impossible to keep in tune. I had to bend my lips to an uncomfortable position to keep a well tuned Concert Bb.

I checked my leadpipe and cleaned out a shocking amount of gunk buildup😅. I was still crazy out of tune (flat I believe).

I talked to my high school director about this (also a trumpet player), and seeing the dents I had in my mouthpiece, he had it fixed immediately. I attempt to practice later on that day, and not only had I lost control with the MP, I was still curling my lips a great deal to keep well in tune while playing.

I'm not one who "tunes with their eyes". But now my Concert Bb is a good 30 cents sharp. I'm not sure if this is a result of overplaying, pinching my notes, or a result of valve leakage. Help!
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VintageFTW
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes have days like this as well. Usually my intonation is spot-on, but sometimes I just can't seem to play in tune, no matter how hard I try (or try to ignore it). What I can tell you is that leaky valves have nothing to do with it. My current main horn is from the 1880's and it, like all my horns (except for two), leaks like a sieve. As for a dented mouthpeice, maybe, but that has never seemed to affect my intonation. My suggestion would be to stop with the ear training and to just listen to and internalize, possibly even become one with pure tones. Play along with these and try to hold yourself perfectly in tune for as long as you can. Take mental note of what this feels like and try to recreate the exact feeling without the tones. This is not how I developed my intonation, but it is how I became more aware of what my body is doing in relation to playing in tune. It's hard to describe, but the way my body works is that I may not be able to tell if I'm perfectly in tune by hearing myself, but I can tell by feeling it. My chops just know what "in-tune" feels like, almost like I can feel whether there is an unbalance in the vibration itself. As such, my body has just simply learned to automatically adjust when something seems off and I don't really have to think about it. I think my best advice for tackling intonation though would be experiment (preferably with your eyes closed to block out distractions) with your mechanics a little while playing along with pure tones, putting forth complete attention to feedback from what you feel when your sound becomes one with the tone. I don't know if that made any sense to anyone else, but I try my best.
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trumpet_cop
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow.... just... wow. I've seen plenty of ignorant and ill informed things on here before, but this one is truly the blind leading the blind.

VintageFTW wrote:
What I can tell you is that leaky valves have nothing to do with it. My current main horn is from the 1880's and it, like all my horns (except for two), leaks like a sieve.

This can have an adverse effect on tuning, as the horn is not sealing in the proper places. I'm not a repair person or builder, so let's hope someone who is chimes in to correct one of us.

VintageFTW wrote:
As for a dented mouthpeice, maybe, but that has never seemed to affect my intonation.

Every piece of damage can effect how your horn plays. period.

VintageFTW wrote:
My suggestion would be to stop with the ear training and to just listen to and internalize, possibly even become one with pure tones. Play along with these and try to hold yourself perfectly in tune for as long as you can. Take mental note of what this feels like and try to recreate the exact feeling without the tones. This is not how I developed my intonation, but it is how I became more aware of what my body is doing in relation to playing in tune. It's hard to describe, but the way my body works is that I may not be able to tell if I'm perfectly in tune by hearing myself, but I can tell by feeling it. My chops just know what "in-tune" feels like, almost like I can feel whether there is an unbalance in the vibration itself. As such, my body has just simply learned to automatically adjust when something seems off and I don't really have to think about it. I think my best advice for tackling intonation though would be experiment (preferably with your eyes closed to block out distractions) with your mechanics a little while playing along with pure tones, putting forth complete attention to feedback from what you feel when your sound becomes one with the tone. I don't know if that made any sense to anyone else, but I try my best.


This is my favorite one, and the thing that most tells people that you are not a professional in any way, shape, or form. A pro would NEVER tell anyone to stop ear training. But you also suggest the OP play along and match drones? What do you think that exercise is?

Since you're a fan of taking the blunt approach and have no time for uninformed teaching, allow me to take a page from your book. You have plenty of knowledge; but when you go off and pontificate in this manner, especially after outing yourself as a 'self taught' high school student, you come across as pretentious noise determined to prove that you're not just some high school kid. There could be many factors preventing him from playing in tune that aren't his ears.

For example: OP says he cleaned a large amount of gunk from his trumpet. He is probably now compensating for the lost resistance and closing off somewhere (which is something he said might be happening!).

Don't man handle the trumpet.. supply some air and let it play itself. Play with some manner of drone. Check a tuner sparingly to see how far off you are in your own, internalized pitch.
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZardiCar, I'd say first of all that you've had lots of changes in equipment: cleaning out gunk, fixing dents in the mouthpiece. This might have thrown you off balance. I think you know the answer: keep the instrument clean and in good repair!

I haven't tried that particular play-along website, so I'm not sure what that's like, but I do play along with drones and recordings a lot. I wonder if you wore yourself out with lots of playing and not enough rest? If so, you also know the answer to this: rest up so you're fresh again, and give yourself more frequent (and maybe longer) rest breaks during practice. I keep an analog clock with a sweep-second hand in my practice room and watch it to force myself to rest. (I know what it feels like to be chomping at the bit to play something again right away!)

Finally, I'll repeat what I've read and heard from great trumpeters, teachers, and music directors: playing in tune starts in your head. If you don't know where you are at times, then I suggest you practice with drones. This is a great way to improve pitch awareness so you won't have to guess—you'll know. (That play-along website might help too, although I'm not familiar with it.)
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpet_cop wrote:
Wow.... just... wow. I've seen plenty of ignorant and ill informed things on here before, but this one is truly the blind leading the blind.

VintageFTW wrote:
What I can tell you is that leaky valves have nothing to do with it. My current main horn is from the 1880's and it, like all my horns (except for two), leaks like a sieve.

This can have an adverse effect on tuning, as the horn is not sealing in the proper places. I'm not a repair person or builder, so let's hope someone who is chimes in to correct one of us.

VintageFTW wrote:
As for a dented mouthpeice, maybe, but that has never seemed to affect my intonation.

Every piece of damage can effect how your horn plays. period.

VintageFTW wrote:
My suggestion would be to stop with the ear training and to just listen to and internalize, possibly even become one with pure tones. Play along with these and try to hold yourself perfectly in tune for as long as you can. Take mental note of what this feels like and try to recreate the exact feeling without the tones. This is not how I developed my intonation, but it is how I became more aware of what my body is doing in relation to playing in tune. It's hard to describe, but the way my body works is that I may not be able to tell if I'm perfectly in tune by hearing myself, but I can tell by feeling it. My chops just know what "in-tune" feels like, almost like I can feel whether there is an unbalance in the vibration itself. As such, my body has just simply learned to automatically adjust when something seems off and I don't really have to think about it. I think my best advice for tackling intonation though would be experiment (preferably with your eyes closed to block out distractions) with your mechanics a little while playing along with pure tones, putting forth complete attention to feedback from what you feel when your sound becomes one with the tone. I don't know if that made any sense to anyone else, but I try my best.


This is my favorite one, and the thing that most tells people that you are not a professional in any way, shape, or form. A pro would NEVER tell anyone to stop ear training. But you also suggest the OP play along and match drones? What do you think that exercise is?

Since you're a fan of taking the blunt approach and have no time for uninformed teaching, allow me to take a page from your book. You have plenty of knowledge; but when you go off and pontificate in this manner, especially after outing yourself as a 'self taught' high school student, you come across as pretentious noise determined to prove that you're not just some high school kid. There could be many factors preventing him from playing in tune that aren't his ears.

For example: OP says he cleaned a large amount of gunk from his trumpet. He is probably now compensating for the lost resistance and closing off somewhere (which is something he said might be happening!).

Don't man handle the trumpet.. supply some air and let it play itself. Play with some manner of drone. Check a tuner sparingly to see how far off you are in your own, internalized pitch.


We’ve seen people like you are quoting come and go here; kids who after 5-6 years of playing experience are now authorities, real band directors’ nightmares. This kid may in fact have some ability, but an “I know everything” attitude is going to drastically impede future progress.

Probably best to simply ignore them.....which is not what I’m doing by commenting on this, but will from now on.

Brad
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Craig Swartz
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Joined: 14 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, this almost sounds like trolling to me...

Pitch is affected the most, IMO, by what one's "ear" hears and sets the body, chops, breath (etc.) up before one ever plays a tone if things are operating properly. I go from venue to venue performing in styles from orchestra to small jazz to community band to small ensembles and lesson students and rarely move the tuning slide. Gunk build up and all can be problem but that develops over a relatively long time. It probably would help if the OP would state by what standard he knows he is playing "insanely out of tune". Tuner (and is it set at 440?), other players, in band class- where? Good luck...
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the lead pipe was that dirty you may wish to clean the entire horn.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
If the lead pipe was that dirty you may wish to clean the entire horn.


Good point.

Brad
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MF Fan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that my intonation is sensitive to mouthpiece gap. Did any thing change in your equipment that might of changed the gap?
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MF Fan wrote:
I find that my intonation is sensitive to mouthpiece gap. Did any thing change in your equipment that might of changed the gap?


Try playing on a different instrument to determine if it is the player or the equipment.
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TKSop
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad361 wrote:

Probably best to simply ignore them.....which is not what I’m doing by commenting on this, but will from now on.


Perhaps... but then someone could take it seriously - you and I (etc) might know that it's rubbish, but the person asking the question in the first place clearly isn't going to (and nor is someone searching for this in future).

The caring thing to do, it seems to me, is to respond for the sake of everyone else (whether the person you're replying to is listening or even prepared to listen in the first place)... whether it's worth the effort is another question entirely.
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Step one. Go back to basics. This means note production and NOT playing along with drones and the like. Especially on line ones.

Step two. Once you know you are playing in the middle of the trumpet (if it's not working or clean, then fix this) check your pitch on a bog standard tuner. This takes about 10 ends. If you are on or close to pitch, relax.

Step three. Check the pitch of the on line site. You did set it to trumpet pitch, right? Use that tuner, which will again take about 10 seconds. Make sure it's not working at concert pitch and you a tone below, making you work to get up to pitch! If this site is not working for you, then look elsewhere for your ear training.
If it still is not working, go back to band and see how you are there. If you are fine playing with humans, move on and look elsewhere for your ear training!

cheers

Andy
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rufflicks
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Play with a drone and see if you can match pitch and place intervals in tune. Chances are you are hearing things in a different place and you might need to change where you hear notes. The tuner can make us do things in an un-natural way to bring notes into pitch. Best, Jon
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Rod Haney
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Brad - don't stop posting Reply with quote

I see a lot of bull**** in here but don't comment on it since I'm still struggling to learn the simplest things myself. I'm 65 and when I was around you didn't have a computer screen to stand behind - just a music stand and that didn't hide much. Pull their pants down by GOD!
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oxleyk
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Crazy Out of Tune recently. Reply with quote

ZardiChar wrote:
... now my Concert Bb is a good 30 cents sharp.


Have you tried pulling your slide out a bit?
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TKSop wrote:
Brad361 wrote:

Probably best to simply ignore them.....which is not what I’m doing by commenting on this, but will from now on.


Perhaps... but then someone could take it seriously - you and I (etc) might know that it's rubbish, but the person asking the question in the first place clearly isn't going to (and nor is someone searching for this in future).

The caring thing to do, it seems to me, is to respond for the sake of everyone else (whether the person you're replying to is listening or even prepared to listen in the first place)... whether it's worth the effort is another question entirely.


Yep, and .....yep, I agree, good points. I guess there is a fine line between giving attention to an attention seeker, and refuting nonsense so others, who may be more susceptible, don’t follow foolish advice.

Brad
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