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Middle D is flat


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BobD
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:09 pm    Post subject: Middle D is flat Reply with quote

I play a an ACB/Adams collaborative horn. It's a great horn and has good intonation but my middle D is flat. It gets better as I warm up but I still have to lip it up. The weird thing is, if I play middle D with a low D fingering it's spot on. That seems backwards to me. I'm lengthening the trumpet and it's pulling the note up. Anyone know why that might be?
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patdublc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not one of techno-jocks around here who will explain the physics in great detail. But, 4th line D played with first valve is a flat partial on all trumpets and needs to be adjusted (lipped up). If a horn were optimized to make that note in tune, then many others first valve notes would be unbearably sharp. Top line F leans sharp so with just these two notes, a compromise has to be made to favor one or let each be a little out of tune.
Many people always play D with first and third valve, especially on C trumpet. It's not a weird thing to do at all.
Regarding "lengthening the trumpet" - well yes, of course you are lengthening the trumpet by add the first and third valve slides, but you're also playing D on a different partial so there is no direct correlation
Trumpet intonation is just one huge compromise of how long to make each slide and tube so that each partial is as close to in tune as possible.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The D in the staff played with 1st valve is derived from lowering the pitch of the no-valve E just above it.
The 1-3 for that D is derived from the no-valve G above it.

The pitch 'tendency' of the no-valve E will affect all of the lower notes that are played with valve combinations that are based on the E's harmonic.

You might notice that the no-valve E is also a little flat based on an electronic tuner - but it probably sounds just fine - as would the Cmaj no-valve chord C-E-G-(hi)C .

If you want to delve into details about tuning and harmonics, a good start is learning about 'just temperament' and 'equal temperament'. Electronic tuners use 'equal', and most trumpets are closer to 'just'.
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bg
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These pitch tendencies vary depending upon the wrap and width of the instrument's design.
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kramergfy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are four things that solved this issue for me on separate occasions.

Mouthpiece gap. Usually too much gap causes this issue.

Valve alignment.

Throat; going larger, along with the backbore, helps.

Short shank design, like Monette mouthpieces.
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Middle D is flat Reply with quote

BobD wrote:
I play a an ACB/Adams collaborative horn. It's a great horn and has good intonation but my middle D is flat.


This is news? If you're referring to the D on the 4th line, treble clef, welcome to the club. You may come to realize that your "low D, C#/Db" are sharp, your 12 combinations also are a bit on the high side, and a variety of other issues that are common to valved instruments. As a HS kid I remember how flat a pal's Getzen Eterna tpt was on 4th line D.
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wilder
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

practice. jw
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benlewis
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
The D in the staff played with 1st valve is derived from lowering the pitch of the no-valve E just above it.
The 1-3 for that D is derived from the no-valve G above it.

The pitch 'tendency' of the no-valve E will affect all of the lower notes that are played with valve combinations that are based on the E's harmonic.

You might notice that the no-valve E is also a little flat based on an electronic tuner - but it probably sounds just fine - as would the Cmaj no-valve chord C-E-G-(hi)C .

If you want to delve into details about tuning and harmonics, a good start is learning about 'just temperament' and 'equal temperament'. Electronic tuners use 'equal', and most trumpets are closer to 'just'.


Jay, did you mean that we trumpeters are close to "just" being in tune?



All kidding aside, there is great information in this thread. However, playing in tune with a group is a skill that can't be learned practicing alone with a tuner. Unfortunately, we're in a situation now where it'll likely be some time before we are back to normal. But keep the faith!

Ben
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bach_again
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wilder wrote:
practice. jw


this!!

5th partial is flat on the horn.

Make some pitch tendency charts to learn your own horn better (they are all slightly different) and with respect, work on your ear. It's the player's job to play in tune, not the horn.

I had this same "issue" and in a lesson mentioned it to a pro player - he lifted the horn and played it. "plays in tune for me" handed it back. Invaluable lesson.
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest statement I can make regarding tuning is one that is absolute.

KNOW THY INSTRUMENT!

How does one get to know the instrument? Practice. Using a tuner at this step is good because it can help to get you, the instrument owner, to understand the characteristics of your instrument. This can be developed with simple exercises such as Arban, Getchell, etc. These may be technically simple, but they are often scales or chords and can immediately show the shortcoming and strengths of the intonation of your horn.

Once you get to the point where you know the tendencies of your instrument, you then can relate to others. Too often, players lose in this step because they know their personal playing, but not others. Or they are playing with a group for the first time, which can be a challenge. The best goal is to play as in tune as possible, and then work to be the solid reference (as a principal), or match the principal.

This is just the start. I'll be honest in that, once I know a new horn, I work for resonance in my sound, and I am always close on tuning. Something about brass instruments and resonance when considered from a physics perspective, but beyond the coverage here or now.

I hope this helps a little,

AL
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KNOW THY INSTRUMENT (I obviously liked that comment from Al)

Start with having a concept of science.
All brass instruments have these tendancies, some respond better than others but you have to learn or teach your chops to overcome them.

Practice, Practice, Practice.


https://www.utc.edu/faculty/erika-schafer/musiceducatorresources/tuning.php
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BobD
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got of course a little bit. I realize there are notes on all horns that tend to go sharp or flat. Middle D (forth line) on a tenor sax does the same thing. My question was more of how could fingering a low D, which adds to the length of the pipe, pull the note up into tune?
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bach_again
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobD wrote:
We got of course a little bit. I realize there are notes on all horns that tend to go sharp or flat. Middle D (forth line) on a tenor sax does the same thing. My question was more of how could fingering a low D, which adds to the length of the pipe, pull the note up into tune?


Of course working commercial players ought to know the tendencies of the saxes too, helps you to play function gigs. 4th line D being sharp on sax.

4th line D 1&3 is sharp on Bb and tonally incorrect. On C D and picc I find this tonality less dissimilar to the regular fingering and as such is perfectly fine. If you can make 1&3 work on D, sound wise, go for it. I have had to do this to play with some function band sax players. Similarly I somtimes play G as 1st & 2nd to make it work with some players.

Cheers!
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huntman10
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The OP also notes that the horn is flatter when cold. This is true of all instruments, since the speed of sound is lower at lower temps, and increases (with an increase in "frequency" as the instrument warms up. At the colder temp, he would have to "lip up> even further. As the horn warms, it gets a bit closer to the standard pitch.

I play Eb cornet in a brass band that plays Sunday concerts in the Texas summer, so I cross finger the C#, D, Eb, and E fifth harmonics to use the sixth harmonic on the Eb. Also, the partials of the Eb cornet or trumpet in the upper staff wind up playing aganst the opposite partials of the Bb, which is why Eb (and F) brass instruments have such a bad reputation for intonation! The summer heat increases the problems, because we often play in temperatures above 100 degrees F, so the band starts about 25 cents sharp (we gave up trying to pull enough to get the horns in tune, and opted to tune to a sharper standard) so that we could all more or less stay in tune.

That is why brass instruments need tuning slides!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobD wrote:
We got of course a little bit. I realize there are notes on all horns that tend to go sharp or flat. Middle D (forth line) on a tenor sax does the same thing. My question was more of how could fingering a low D, which adds to the length of the pipe, pull the note up into tune?


Pushing down 1-3 places the trumpet on that overtone series. That makes that D the fifth overtone (which is sharp). That’s why that pitch fingered 1-3 is sharper than if you fingered it 1.

Think of your trumpet as being 7 different bugles. Changing that fingering is changing bugles. When you go from playing that D 1 you are playing the 4th overtone on your Bb (concert Ab) bugle. That overtone is always flat.

When you play it 1-3 you are playing the 5th overtone on your G (concert F) bugle. That overtone is always sharp.
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huntman10
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobD (original poster),

If you are still having issues with using more tubing to raise the pitch, I offer the following analysis:

When you play D below the staff, you use the first and third valve to lower the open G down a 4th.

When you play D on the third line up on the staff, you are lowering the open E on the 4th space down 1 full step with your first valve. If you wish to play the D with an alternate fingering, using the first and third valve lowers the open G above the staff a fourth down, just like the low D lowers the open G on the second line in the lower range.
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James Becker
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, since we are in nearby Acton, Massachusetts I would urge you to make an appointment to have me look over your trumpet. I’ve had some success mitigating pitch problems on C trumpets, not just Bach. Book online or phone (978) 823-0580 to schedule your appointment.
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Uberopa
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Benge 8Z cornet that had a very uneven scale. It was nearly unplayable beyond a Bb above the staff. I finally sent it to George Rawlin. He tweaked the horn and it plays quite well now. Worth the money spent.
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BobD
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James,

I was thinking about bringing it to Osmun but I might keep at it for a while. I'm just getting back into playing trumpet, after years of sax, and I'm finding it may be more me than the horn. That D is the only challenge and as I, and the horn, warm up I find the D comes into tune but I still have to lip it up a little. Plus this is not my forever horn. I will probably end up on a Xeno or Shew at some point.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobD wrote:
... That D is the only challenge and as I, and the horn, warm up I find the D comes into tune but I still have to lip it up a little. ...

-------------------
How does the D sound when you play the 1st valve series
F-Bb-D ?
And when doing that series, do you consciously try to adjust the pitches from what you envision as being 'correct'?
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