Flat 'naturals' on old cornet
_Mark_ last edited by _Mark_
Immediate qualification: I've been playing for less than three hours! I was using a Chinese-made trumpet and getting the low partials. I still can't blow any high ones. I picked up a used and abused cornet and find the low C and G okay, but the next C up is way flat no matter how I work my lips. I pull out the trumpet again and can easily blow low C, G, and the octave C. Then cornet: low C, G, and B. What aspect of the the cornet could account for flattened upper naturals? The cornet is rough, by the way. It sounds good in its way, but is tarnished, has a series of small dents and scratches, and has a broken solder joint between the valves and the horn/bell. The valves are fine, though. I guess It's just me. I can do it on the trumpet, but have a hard time on the cornet. I had been thinking the cornet might be easier to play.
_Mark_ last edited by
@_mark_ Are we to use the slides to compensate for mutes? Or just transcribe a given piece to compensate? I picked up several mutes, and apart from the basic difficulty of pushing air through them, they sharpen notes by a half step or more. So far, I've been trying to play the notes with the middle valve or other fingering to reduce pitch by that semitone. The books I've picked up are minimalistic. They assume you have or can afford a teacher. Is there any book that is more verbose, includes troubleshooting talk about possible problems and oddities that rank beginners are likely to encounter?
J. Jericho last edited by
Sometimes a mute can be adjusted by adjusting the corks. If I remember correctly, the rule of thumb (which may not always apply) is that the farther in the bell a mute is, the sharper the pitch becomes, and that the farther out the mute is, the flatter the pitch. Thick corks can be sanded down, and thin corks can be replaced with thicker ones. Also, the position of the corks on the mute can determine how far into the bell a mute goes, so repositioning the corks might be a better strategy than altering the corks themselves.
Most mutes work fine without adjusting them, and at your early stage of development, your playing technique could be the problem, not the mutes. Finding a competent teacher is not necessarily easy, especially during the current pandemic, but money on lessons is generally well-spent. Approaching trumpet playing without enough guidance can leave you with bad habits that you may or may not be able to overcome later, when your mistakes manifest themselves in unpleasant ways.
_Mark_ last edited by
Thanks! l'd like to spare the family the cacophony of my learning process, but the mutes are both difficult to blow through and very destabilizing to the pitches. The open horn is far easier to play. I realize my troubles are all stemming from my very limited playing time! On social security, there won't be any teachers in my future; and at my age -- a rank beginner at 63 -- I have no illusions or ambitions other than to get a couple octaves under my fingers and enjoy playing some music for my own enjoyment.
Newell Post last edited by Newell Post
Once you get a little farther along, try joining a recreational community band. Ask to sit "last chair." There might be other retirees in the band who could give you informal advice / occasional lessons / some coaching. Also, try to follow a structured approach like the old "Mitchell On Trumpet" books. Start at the beginning and don't move on to the next lesson until you have mastered the previous lesson.