Cornet Intonation

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Lozzer, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Lozzer

    Lozzer New Member

    May I trouble you to ask for advice. I started playing seriously again after a long break a couple of months ago.

    I am currently finding intonation hard work. With the tuning slide all the way in G on the stave is very flat and needs max lip up (so much that lose quality of tone) but C on the stave needs a quite a lot of lipping down. I can hear this in band and have checked it on a tuner.

    No doubt I am causing some of this but I wonder if my equipment is not helping.

    I am currently playing on my old JK4 O&H (has a deep v cup, they since changed the numbering system.). The JK has a much better tone (clearer and richer) evan compared to DW(without a b) or Yamaha E cup, I think this largely because the throat is wider. I have played on bach dw and yamaha mp's years ago, recently I have tried a DW (a 4b simply because there was one to hand) but it didn't help with he intonation.

    The Cornet I currently have is a borrowed from band 928 GS Besson Sov to me it doesn't have the same tone as my old B&H round stamp Sov and the round stamp wasn't as bad for intonation although neither were as good for intonation as the Meastro I played for a while (although the tone of the Meastro was too bright for me.)

    Sadly behind this equipment is a rather poor cornetist. Home practice consists of long notes, scales & arpeggios, exercises (arban and the advanced lip flexibility book) followed by pieces if I have time and any lip left.

    Thank you for reading. Any suggestions would be appreciated
  2. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    It does sound a bit odd that two open notes would be out of tune with each other as much as you say. Why not ask someone else in your band to help?
    • get them to try your cornet with their mouthpiece,
    • then get them to try your mouthpiece with their cornet,
    • then get them to try your mouthpiece and your cornet together.
    This should help isolate where the problem is. You may be beating yourself up needlessly!

    A while ago I borrowed a cornet and the tuning was all over the place and the notes didn't slot at all. It turned out the lead pipe water key cork had perished. After replacing it everything was fine. So check your borrowed instrument for leaks. There may be a quick fix.
  3. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Have you thought about maybe taking up Baritone ?

  4. Lozzer

    Lozzer New Member

    Thanks Brian, a simple practical suggestion. And LOL Ian :eek:
  5. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    Clean the cornet out and see if that makes a difference.
    It can do.
  6. nighttempla

    nighttempla New Member

    Hi Lozzer

    Two months is not a long time to give yourself before expecting perfect intonation.

    I gave up for two decades, and when I started playing again my tuning was way out.

    Problem was that I was the only one who didn't notice it.

    At least your ear is OK, which gives you a head start on where I was 7 years ago.

    The issue may be with the higher register.

    Are you struggling for the G?, and pitching under it. Hence with the slide fully in it still sounds flat.

    The middle C is easier and with your slide fully in is way too flat.

    How's the tuning above the G?

    I suggest keeping the slide where your C is spot on and playing a scale from middle C as far as you can go.

    Really concentrate on quality sound, and hear the note before you play it.

    Not try to teach you to suck eggs, but you did ask.

    Also try the embouchure building exercises in ' how brass players do it'

    Worked for me.

    Agree with Brian, that you should get another player to have a go on your instrument.
  7. nighttempla

    nighttempla New Member

    Sorry. Obviously I meant way too sharp! Duh!
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    I agree, lots of air, lots of scales, lots of long notes and lots of lip slurs. If your intonation is still unacceptable after a few weeks, have a try on different equipment or get some face-time with a decent teacher to see if they can spot a problem.

    Welcome back to the asylum!
  9. Lozzer

    Lozzer New Member

    Thanks Gordon another good simple idea. I was told the instrument had been cleaned before being issued but running a bendy brush through is not great effort and worth a try.

    Thanks for your thoughts Nighttempla, to start with my ear was all over the place I knew when things were bad but not which way. With some guidance I worked it out.

    My high notes are surprisingly easy(varies of course) generally high G and A are fine, B to E I am fairly confident of getting but not always easy to tune.(I do quite a lot of lip flexibility).

    I agree with you about quality of sound. (My MP choice is based on tone not ease of playing.) And hearing notes of course is import to prevent splits and mispitching.

    I will look at How Brass Players Do It, I think it may be similar to the Advanced Flexibility book I am using.

    Your comments are appreciated your comments particularly useful coming from somebody who gone through a similar come back. There are a lot of other things that need a lot of work, the excessive amount of lipping I currently need to do is an extra hurdle I could do without.

    I will be following Brian's tip and get somebody else to try me Cornet
  10. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    The main issue for all brass players is embouchure efficiency and stability. Basically you need to have good control of the corners of your mouth. I have not been doing enough work on this and it is starting to show. All that lip slurring advice is part of it. This video might help:

  11. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    The video is very interesting and backs up a lot that I have learned over the past few years...but here is my question: I'm teaching my son to play and advocating the "pucker" embouchure however how do you explain to a 10 year old how to change pitch that way?

    I appreciate that vowel sounds (Aw Ah Oo Ee) are the correct technique but how do you teach this to a 10 year old child?

    I was taught (incorrectly in my view) to "smile" which unfortunately worked but lead me into many many bad habits. Any ideas out there?
  12. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    I think of it like whistling. Getting the tongue into the position as if I were whistling the note.
  13. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    Thanks GH. I tried that but he couldn't whistle :confused:... maybe another thing for him to learn :)