of the concepts addressed below are trumpet specific, some relate to
all brass instruments, and yet others are applicable to all musicians.)
Two important steps
to playing in tune:
Know if you're out of tune. Listen. If pitch is bad, assume
it could be you. Being first chair does not mean you cannot be out of tune,
just as having perfect pitch does not mean you have perfect intonation. Everyone
must take responsibility for adjusting intonation to fit the group of musicians
with whom they are playing.
Adjust. Don't just sit there. If you don't know which way to
go, try up or down. If it gets worse, go the other way.
your pitch tendencies will allow you to make an educated guess
as to which direction you are probably out of tune.
1 + 2 = sharp (use first slide).
2 + 3 = flat (lip up, absolutely no slide).
1 + 3 = sharp (use third slide).
1 + 2 + 3 = very sharp (use first and third slide).
- The harmonic series:
Fifth harmonics are flat
(lip up 4th line D, 4th space E-flat, and E).
are sharp (lip down high G and F-sharp, thumb slide on F).
Seventh harmonics are unusuably flat.
cold = flat; hot = sharp.
The colder or hotter, the flatter or sharper.
of the trumpet:
Very dirty = smaller bore = sharp.
Immovable slides = inability to adjust = sharp.
quality, dynamic level, and distance:
It is only possible to play in tune with a good,
Loud playing tends to go flat, or is at least
perceived as flat.
Soft playing tends to go sharp, or is at least
perceived as sharp.
Playing at a distance makes the pitch go flatter
to the listener, therefore if you are playing
from backstage you must push in.
Mutes make you go
sharp, so pull out. Each type of mute will
differ, so check yours with a tuner. Filing
the corks can adjust a mute's pitch to a degree.
Tuners only work as a reference. You can be in tune with
a tuner and out of tune with everyone else.
shallower the mouthpiece, the sharper you
and tongue position:
The tighter your embouchure, the sharper you will play, and the
looser the flatter.
The higher your tongue is arched in your mouth, the sharper
you will play ( a good means of "lipping up"), and the
lower the flatter. The concept of adjusting your tongue
arch in order to change pitch and tone quality is often referred
to as "voicing."
versus Just intonation:
Equal temperament is
playing 100 cents per half step, like with a tuner. This
is the way a piano is tuned.
adjusting to make intervals and chords "beatless." As
wind instrumentalists we have the ability to accomplish this.
are the places where you should begin to do this (with relation
to the root):
||Narrow by 14 cents
||Widen by 16 cents
||Narrow by 2 cents
||Widen by 2 cents
||Narrow by 4 cents
must know your place in the chord to accomplish this task.