In Tune. With what?



  • The 3 valve trumpet plays on the natural harmonic series of 7 different lengths of tubing which gives a reasonable approximation to a chromatic scale,.

    When we play in a group we aim to play with just intonation where the chords are in tune.

    Playing with a piano or electronic keyboard we have to match equal temperament.

    The appendix to Boosey and Hawkes Compensating System reffered to in the thread "Third Valve" shows the differences,

    Regards, Stuart.



  • This thread will show the "foolishness" of putting "slotting" high on the list of trumpet priorities. We need flexibility to play in tune.

    There is a "bible" on intonation written by Chris Leuba - a former horn player with the Chicago Symphony. I am not sure if it is still in print, but it is certainly worth having.

    https://www.hornguys.com/products/a-study-of-musical-intonation-by-christopher-leuba-pub-cherry



  • With any group, you tune to the tuning note, and then you listen as you play and play in tune with what’s happening (assuming the ensemble are all doing that). I learned the extreme example of that while playing 19th century literature with a group, all of us using 19th century brass instruments. It took a concerted group effort of knowing your instrument, lipping notes, and employing alternate fingerings to play pleasing in-tune music for the audience.



  • @ROWUK said in In Tune. With what?:

    This thread will show the "foolishness" of putting "slotting" high on the list of trumpet priorities. We need flexibility to play in tune.

    There is a "bible" on intonation written by Chris Leuba - a former horn player with the Chicago Symphony. I am not sure if it is still in print, but it is certainly worth having.

    https://www.hornguys.com/products/a-study-of-musical-intonation-by-christopher-leuba-pub-cherry

    Maybe this is my chance to be more educated with a response but is "slotting" and playing in tune the same thing?



  • @Dr-GO said in In Tune. With what?:

    @ROWUK said in In Tune. With what?:

    This thread will show the "foolishness" of putting "slotting" high on the list of trumpet priorities. We need flexibility to play in tune.

    There is a "bible" on intonation written by Chris Leuba - a former horn player with the Chicago Symphony. I am not sure if it is still in print, but it is certainly worth having.

    https://www.hornguys.com/products/a-study-of-musical-intonation-by-christopher-leuba-pub-cherry

    Maybe this is my chance to be more educated with a response but is "slotting" and playing in tune the same thing?

    Slotting is the tendency of a horn to center on a certain frequency on every note, and it takes more effort to lip or bend notes on them. It’s nice to know where the horn tends to go on any given note, but can be harder to compensate if it doesn’t go where you initially need it to.



  • @Dale-Proctor said in In Tune. With what?:

    @Dr-GO said in In Tune. With what?:

    @ROWUK said in In Tune. With what?:

    This thread will show the "foolishness" of putting "slotting" high on the list of trumpet priorities. We need flexibility to play in tune.

    There is a "bible" on intonation written by Chris Leuba - a former horn player with the Chicago Symphony. I am not sure if it is still in print, but it is certainly worth having.

    https://www.hornguys.com/products/a-study-of-musical-intonation-by-christopher-leuba-pub-cherry

    Maybe this is my chance to be more educated with a response but is "slotting" and playing in tune the same thing?

    Slotting is the tendency of a horn to center on a certain frequency on every note, and it takes more effort to lip or bend notes on them. It’s nice to know where the horn tends to go on any given note, but can be harder to compensate if it doesn’t go where you initially need it to.

    See, this is my understanding as well. I see this as a different function than playing "in tune" which is the title of the thread which made me a bit confused on reading RUWUK's response. I really good slotting horn for me is one that hits the note efficiently without the need to bend into it. Whether that note is in "tune" or not to another instrument (like a keyboard) is a different task. Again, am I seeing (hearing) this wrong?



  • But the narrower this "nailing a note on the head" is, the more different it is when getting into remote keys. A low D may may need compensating for in some keys but no problem in others.

    On a far end of the scale, is the Committee, which has "loose" slotting. The advantage to this is that you might lip any note and still keep easily-produced good tone.

    The downside of this is that, if you can't produce excellent intonation and turn this to your advantage, your intonation may be squirrely.



  • @Kehaulani said in In Tune. With what?:

    But the narrower this "nailing a note on the head" is, the more different it is when getting into remote keys. A low D may may need compensating for in some keys but no problem in others.

    On a far end of the scale, is the Committee, which has "loose" slotting. The advantage to this is that you might lip any note and still keep easily-produced good tone.

    The downside of this is that, if you can't produce excellent intonation and turn this to your advantage, your intonation may be squirrely.

    This again is my experience. This is also why a Committee would be a terrible instrument to have a beginner start on. The Harrelson which slots really well would be ideal for a beginner if it were not for the fact that they are so damn expensive.



  • @Dr-GO said in In Tune. With what?:
    This is also why a Committee would be a terrible instrument to have a beginner start on. The Harrelson which slots really well would be ideal for a beginner if it were not for the fact that they are so damn expensive.

    Adding to the above discussion... both of these horns play equally well in tune with an ensemble.



  • Brass instruments adhere to standard characteristics of physical laws. If we look at the series of partials (the notes that we can play without changing the valve pressed), they each represent a resonance mathematically related to the fundamental. Pedal C is the fundemental, low C at double the frequency, 2nd line G at 3x the fundamental frequency, 3rd space c at 4 times the fundamental...

    In addition, based on the construction of the horn we have a "quality" of resonance (in physics called "Q") that determines how easy or hard it is to bend the note. If the Q is high, we have to exert a lot of energy to bend a note. If the Q is low, our chops have to provide the stability. Anyone that has been forced to use alternate fingerings on a Bach C trumpet, has firsthand experience about the Q of the 4th space E, Eb and 4th line D being too strong. The horn "wants" to play those notes very flat. Many trumpets also have a top of the staff G too high in pitch and a high C too low. That forces us to compensate with body tension - something that hurts our overall playing and sound.

    Slotting is NOT the Q, at least not directly. Because we need to hear ourselves to tune, there is a perceived pitch and resonance that we call "slotting". The artisan building the trumpet must optimize the "targets" that we play, allowing moderate bending of pitch but a sense of security at the same time.

    The resonance pattern of the trumpet also determines its tone in the various registers. Our brain reacts to a thinner sound of equal pitch with the sense that it actually is going sharp - we compensate by forcing the pitch lower - even although it is wrong. The opposite happens when the sound gets thicker - we force the pitch up.

    My whole point is that "slotting" as a concept is flawed. We have to break down what affects pitch, tone and security. Players that "brag" about the "slotting" of their horns, generally play out of tune...

    Now to confuse the rest, the "Q" of a trumpet is based more or less on bell flare shape (slotting is additionally affected by the mouthpiece, bracing and thickness/hardness of the bell). Standard horns are most efficient between low C and 2nd ledger line C above the staff. Above and below that, the Q goes down very quickly. Because Q is resonance, we have to work harder above the staff because the trumpet helps us less. A larger bell like on the higher Monette models, extends efficiency to lower notes. There is a cost of business however...



  • This is a very lucid description that all, wondering what "slotting" is, or isn't, should read these concise but substantial words. Thanks, Rowuk.




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