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Out of Tune B across Several Horns



 
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:56 am    Post subject: Out of Tune B across Several Horns Reply with quote

I'm a rank amateur, and probably will be for about another 80 or 90 years. I'm tackling a piece ,Danza Giovanni, and on a Reynolds trumpet and Martin Indiana cornet, my B (middle of the treble staff) is always seriously flat, by about 30 cents.

I was able to lip it up on my 80 A, another reason I love those opera glasses. I can hear it too. The amount I have to push on the Reynolds and Martin is pretty significant and while the 80A makes it easier, it's still a distraction and prevents me from playing relaxed.

On the Reynolds and Martin, I can't seem to do anything with the tuning slides without knocking the other notes sharp, using the main tuning slide. My teacher is a TBone player so I'm doubting he will have a solution.

I'm guessing this might be a common problem with a known fix.

Any suggestions out side of lipping it up ?

PS. I've tried switching up my mpcs and I'm flat on just the B.
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I found out the problem and it shouldn't be a shock to anyone: ME !

Chop fatigue. I take it when our emboucher starts to sag that there is a pecking order to what notes suffer first. Well after a rest, things are coming into tune better. I'd still love to hear from anyone elses experience with the B as I might be still lipping it up, but subconsciously.
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mdarnton
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really just a beginner--like two months in. The other day in my lesson I was complaining about this exact note, which had just come in flat as always, and my teacher said "blow harder". I am basically lazy with the air, anyway, and yes, blowing harder pushed it, and the C directly above it (also a problem) up where they belonged. So I'll agree with your fatigue idea, except I'm coming from the other side: it's not fatigue because I didn't ever have it to start with. :-)
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be nice to hear from the experts as to whether this is pretty common and what to do about it.
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TrumpetItsYouNotMe
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big improvements with intonation are usually most efficiently achieved through the continued development of a characteristic resonant, clear, and vibrant trumpet tone. Pay attention to the quality of sound your are producing as you move from the middle to high register by diatonic or chromatic step. Also, I personally only use the tuner to check things with a limited application. Having a tuner in front of you while working on sound quality/intonation can really take your mind out of the sound and places your focus on things in your playing that sometimes are better left alone.
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's just so wrong. I guess first, if I was your teacher, I would no longer be so. What a nice way to voice a total lack of confidence in someone you need to trust. If you really feel this way, just call him and stop the lessons.

Second. It is ALWAYS us. The times your instrument is to blame will be very, very few and far between. Those times will also be ones which players are well aware of, so they become a non-issue.

So the issue is really why you are blowing notes so far out of tune. My guess, having not heard you and only having experience to go on, is that you do not have control of your airflow and need to just up the air speed - by orders of magnitude. It usually works for younger players.

After this, you need a teacher you trust and to follow their guidance.

cheers

Andy
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the thing is, the B is the only note I'm blowing out of tune and I do hear it. For some bizarre reason, it was happening across 3 different horns with mpc changes too. Like i said, i can only assume tired chops and the first note to suffer was B.
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Eliot
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I read the first and the first few subsequent posts after they initially appeared I thought, "nah ... couldn't be." But seems the issue continues, almost "apace."

My initial thought related to fingering and valves - like which ones are being used to "construct" the tone for B above middle C, the B mid stave. and the B below middle C (between the staves).

With a 30% "out" between in tune and out of tune ...

Tell me I'm riding down the wrong road!
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Eliot, I'm not sure what you are saying or asking, but I'm using valve 2 for my B if that's what you mean. Never hurts to ask though as I have done the occasional Homer Simpson in my life.
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Abraxas
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy Del wrote:
It's just so wrong. I guess first, if I was your teacher, I would no longer be so. What a nice way to voice a total lack of confidence in someone you need to trust. If you really feel this way, just call him and stop the lessons......
After this, you need a teacher you trust and to follow their guidance.

cheers

Andy


Small town, no trumpet teachers so I grabbed a trombonist who does play trumpet on occasion. My main inspiration for taking lessons isn't to get the finer details on playing from the teacher but rather to be pushed through my studies as i am lacking in the drive and discipline to do my music book on my own.
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:28 pm    Post subject: Out of tune B across several horns Reply with quote

I don't mean to criticize anyone here, but topics like this remind me of what my college teacher used to say about many things. When I would run into struggles with technical studies or anything for that matter he would just say "You are the instrumentalist." Of course, anything and everything he could do to help was there for me, but much of what we learn as musicians, indeed as humans falls into the "hidden curriculum" anyway. Work for it, try different things. Take the good advice you get and run with it. Truth is most problems such as intonation we run into we can overcome with a little more work. And, the practice never hurt anyway.
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Eliot
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abraxas wrote:
Sorry Eliot, I'm not sure what you are saying or asking, but I'm using valve 2 for my B if that's what you mean. Never hurts to ask though as I have done the occasional Homer Simpson in my life.


I reckon I haven't ever been so happy to be wrong.

You've done a "Homer Simpson?" Totally understand what you mean. Reckon we've all been there.

I've found Paul Mayes video clip on quick warm ups helpful for much, much more than warm ups. He's helped me with intonation, tone and range in just a few weeks. If you're battling with any of those IMHO he would be worth watching for at least the first five minutes if not the full 17 minutes.

You can find his quick warm up video clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_JHHMC33GY
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Eliot
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abraxas wrote:
Well the thing is, the B is the only note I'm blowing out of tune and I do hear it. For some bizarre reason, it was happening across 3 different horns with mpc changes too. Like i said, i can only assume tired chops and the first note to suffer was B.


You have mentioned previously that you have several horns/trumpets/machines. Do they all have the same bore etc?

Is it possible that somehow, while cleaning them, the tuning slide for #2 valve got mixed up between them? Just a thought that may be worth pursuing.

I'd be happy again, if I'm wrong.
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first thought is that you've possibly trained yourself to hear and place that note flat - focussed attention with a tuner, piano, drone, etc...

Then, I find that with most trumpets, the B (middle line of the treble clef) is not as flexible as many notes . The C a half step higher can be bent both sharp and flat quite a bit, while that B doesn't move nearly as far. SO... I prefer tuning to that B, concert A, which then tends to put the tuning slide in a better position in relationship to the instrument in general.

So what I'm suggesting is to try tuning your trumpet(s) to that B, and experiment to see if that doesn't put you in a better overall tuning position.
The comment that the B is the only note out of tune is highly suspect.. I own many, and have played hundreds - I only wish this were the case.

Tuning is an ongoing activity, and a target that is always moving...
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Bogey Factory
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaferis wrote:
My first thought is that you've possibly trained yourself to hear and place that note flat - focussed attention with a tuner, piano, drone, etc...

Then, I find that with most trumpets, the B (middle line of the treble clef) is not as flexible as many notes . The C a half step higher can be bent both sharp and flat quite a bit, while that B doesn't move nearly as far. SO... I prefer tuning to that B, concert A, which then tends to put the tuning slide in a better position in relationship to the instrument in general.

So what I'm suggesting is to try tuning your trumpet(s) to that B, and experiment to see if that doesn't put you in a better overall tuning position.
The comment that the B is the only note out of tune is highly suspect.. I own many, and have played hundreds - I only wish this were the case.

Tuning is an ongoing activity, and a target that is always moving...


I think this is some great advice. I've noticed with a few different horns that I'm better off leaving the concert Bb a little high. It makes concert C and D above it much more in tune. I've also found doing this soft attacks at the top of the staff are easier to play cleanly. The only note I've found more difficult from this tuning is the bottom line E gets a little sharp. Fortunately we have slides for that.
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abraxas wrote:
Small town, no trumpet teachers so I grabbed a trombonist who does play trumpet on occasion. My main inspiration for taking lessons isn't to get the finer details on playing from the teacher but rather to be pushed through my studies as i am lacking in the drive and discipline to do my music book on my own.


You prove my point exactly. You (and ANY student) needs to approach their studies with an open mind, not deciding you want XYZ and not ABC as 'your studies'. The finer detail - like proper air flow, or aural exercises - will be what is missing and may be the solution you need. But, wanting only to be 'pushed through' is a sure fire way to fail...

There is an entire planet of teachers out there, and the internet, Skype, etc. etc. Small town is no longer an excuse.

Give it a go. Open mind, accepting of advice and clearing your personal agenda may just work out!

cheers

Andy
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt but that given time he'll eventually pull that note upwards. However just for now, and if this is his only truly bad note?

Play the thing first & third valves. Just like the low D natural this will pull the tone sharper. If too sharp? Pull the 3rd valve slide out.

I'm always astonished when after reading through a whole litany of comments that I don't see such obvious statements posted. But one further comment.

Fuzzy notes, playing flat and/or poor middle register tone is frequently the result of beginners being taught to play on the typical lower register embouchure. The kid of chops which never develop good range.
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TKSop
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. I'm always astonished when people post bodgeit and scarper solutions to technical problems - papering over the cracks does not build foundations for future success at any stage of development and even less so with the basics.


Look I'm as skeptical of the quality of many teachers as anyone... But the facts here are these:
1) This teacher can see and hear what's going on, we can't.
2) The teacher showed the student the way, with positive results - then the student basically refuses to implement this consistently and wonders why the fix isn't in?!
3) Students early on in the development phases (and struggling with stamina and intonation on middle register notes does not indicate significant development) shouldn't be messing with multiple horns and multiple mouthpieces.

Look, how much do you really want this?
If you need lessons to push you, do you even want to practice? Do you even practice? Do you see any point in practicing without implementing things that you've seen improve your results?
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KRHafer
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:20 pm    Post subject: Middle B Reply with quote

From a harmonics standpoint, B should be close to, if not perfect on a trumpet that is tuned for it's open harmonic. No additional compensation is needed- the 2nd valve should be the perfect length to change the harmonic series precisely.

In my experience, I would always be a little flat on middle B and need to lift it just a bit by focusing on airflow intended to raise the pitch. I think a lot of that was that I thought an "in tune" B was too close to the open harmonic C... Don't try to place it with your lip- this will pinch the sound. Long tones for muscle memory.
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