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Tuning on natural trumpet



 
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Donjon
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Joined: 15 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:29 am    Post subject: Tuning on natural trumpet Reply with quote

I've got a natural trumpet on loan. I've had a few toots through the trumpet shall sound and I've found the 4th partial of the piece to be unbearably sharp.

How can you get this note more in tune. I'm bending it down, but it doesn't seem to be anyway near enough. Any decent instructional videos on YouTube you can recommend?
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loudog
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Joined: 23 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you referring to the 11th partial? The F on top of the staff that wants to come out as an F#?

Unfortunately, that's the way the natural harmonic series works. Here are a few ideas:

1. Practice. I know it sounds cliche to say that, but play some slow scales both slurred and tongue and focus on putting that note in the exact right spot. Also lots of lip slurs. I've found that trilling from the E to the F and focusing on keeping the F low helps.

2. Use the proper mouthpiece. If you are using a modern mouthpiece, it's going to be a lot tougher. Use a large baroque mouthpiece (larger than a 1C). Something like an Egger Bull 3 will help (but it will also make the higher register that much more difficult).

3. What instrument are you using? Is it a bonafide natural trumpet (no holes) made with a historical bell profile, etc.? If you have a frankenhorn made out of modern parts, it will be that much more difficult. Do you have vent holes? If so, open that thumb hole up and it will bring it around where it should be.

This is a starting point...more information would be helpful!

Playing no holes is difficult. There are very few folks who can truly do it justice (Jean Francois Madeuf and Julian Zimmerman are the first that come to mind). That being said...it's the most historical way to do it (holes didn't really exist, to our knowledge, at the time), so you should absolutely work on it.

Additionally, no-holes practice greatly aids when you DO use holes.
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Andy Del
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Joined: 30 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your best bet is to go to one of the fine British natural trumpet players and get some help. As Louie mentioned, without knowing what sort of instrument you have, we are shooting in the dark.

There are books about: Ed Tarr's are excellent. But, I got these some 25 years after studying with him and my memory of how he teaches etc. was needed to get the most out of them. They are not, just like Arban etc. a self serve font of performance success.

Once you find your feet, the instrument isn't all that hard to play. What it does do is exacerbate all your weaknesses, much of which is not so obvious on a modern instrument. For example, intonation will be execrable if you are putting the right amount of air through, split notes will abound, and tonally it may feel like you are playing through a paper bag (or B&H instrument )

Once you get that going, it becomes fun. My original band conductor (a great BBB cornet player) asked if we all *****ed ourselves when playing valveless. My response was it is easier to play than modern instruments if you go about it right. I got him onto one of my natural trumpets and once he had his head about the holes, found it easy. Similarly, being of the German 3 hole school, I recently performed on a 4 hole English instrument with a totally odd mouthpiece based on what the Pommys played back in the day. No big deal, it works fine if I ignored the lack of familiarity of it all.

So get some help and sit back to enjoy it. You can actually play dead in tune if you have good ears!

cheers

Andy
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Donjon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just heading out on a little tour, but the details -

It's a non vented instrument I've been lent for a short while, I imagine it's a traditional bell shape and it's a BIG mouthpiece!

It's a maker name which starts with an H*** and I think it's a 4 letter name. I believe it to be a good instrument, though it doesn't when I'm playing at the mo!
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Donjon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also lent a pair of Cornetto, very interesting indeed!
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