OK, I'm Confused?????

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Masterblaster jnr, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    I'm getting confused with something i do at band. I'm just wondering if anyone else uses alternative fingering for tuning in test pieces but then don't use them when warming up with a hymn etc.

    Is that to do with chord structure and relevant pitch issues or is it just the general tuning of the instrument? (meaning i need to write 1,2 on my hymn book!!)
     
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  3. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    no,i use them in hymn tunes or i start to confuse myself if i dont use them all the time :rolleyes:
     
  4. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I think it depends on the chord, the voicing of the chord and where your note sits in it..... and whether those underneath you are actually pushing or pulling the pitch.

    This is a problem especially if you are on top of the chord e.g. on Sop... you become an easy target....

    ... assuming you are in good playing shape and warmed up..... :)

    i.e. like every other aspect to playing... there are many factors that influence....

    The more you practice,the more you become used to your sense of pitch and how your instrument works. Tuning and intonation becomes more consistent and predictable. The issue is playing in bands where, let's say... not everyone practices away from rehearsal room....
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I like quoting this interview with Allan Botschinsky on the now classic First Brass album sleevenotes from the late '80s which helps explain a lot about ensemble playing ...

    http://www.firstbrass.com/
     
  6. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Sometimes, with test-pieces, in my days of contesting, I used alternative fingering because the piece requires it, akward fast passage, etc.
     
  7. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I like Mr Quinlan's explanation :)
    There's no rules really - it depends on the instrument, how you blow it and who you're playing with at the time. Because there's no rules there's no set answers, it comes with experience and using your lugs - but good on you for even thinking about it, a scary amount of people a lot older than you still don't, lol!

    You may find there are particular notes that crop up a lot though - eg. a lot of horn players use 1&2 for E at the top of the stave almost all the time, including hymn tunes. My 'bad' note on baritone is D in the stave: its fine on 1st for general running around and playihg with other tenor instruments, but for quieter stuff and tuning against the same note on cornets I almost always play it 1&3. The best advice I ever got was to keep thinking about it, and don't be afraid to experiment.
     
  8. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Nail. Head.

    There's a fair bit of physics behind it but you will find that if you're playing (for example) a second space A your intonation will depend on whether you are playing the root of the chord or not. Because of equal temperament brass intonation is always something of a compromise. Without those compromises that A, played as the dominant in a D major scale would sound slightly different to an A played as the 3rd in F major. There's no substitute for training your ears/lips, and there's no substitute for practice (especially scales and long notes) when it comes to getting that done. Unfortunately! :mad:

    On Solo horn you'll generally be playing the alto line in hymn tunes, so you will quite often be playing 3rds/5ths. Once you get into testpieces you're more likely to have exposed melodic lines and the top notes of chords within your section, so the intonation characteristics of what you're playing change slightly.
     
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Intergrate that with harmonic colour and you will find that certain notes may sharpen or flatten a little depending on movement and structure and if that means alternative fingering, then do it!
     
  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    It's at this point in a player's development that playing the trombone suddenly looks like a very good idea - "Third of the chord? I'll just move the slide out a smidge. None of this worry about affecting tone quality by lipping notes or using bizarre alternative fingerings."

    This lasts until they next hear a trombone section that aren't totally on top of their game...
     
  11. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    If only now I had more time to put all these theories into practice.. :)
     
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  13. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    It always amuses (or is it scares) me how much time some trombonists spend faffing about adjusting their weeny little tuning slides a few mm in and out, rather than using their ears and moving the really big slide they've got in their right hand....
     
  14. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    An obsession with tuning the same way the valved instruments do is a bit of a brass band affliction, it must be said.
     
  15. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Sometimes, though, there's music where, say you have an octave jump descending, eg(Eb Bass here), E in the space down an octave, this particular one, I'm thinking of is at fortissimo and is accented. Sometimes I fluff it, most of the time I get it right, thankfully(!), would it be better to use alternative fingering in this situation?
     
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    In this case, you can make things easier for yourself by fingering the upper E on 1+2 as well as the lower one - that way you don't have to fight a change in resistance when jumping.

    I used to do something similar very often when I played a bass trombone with stuffier valves than my current instrument when jumping from an octave C down to two-leger-line C - there was much less chance of fluffing it if I played the C that I would usually have taken in 6th in the same two-triggers-and-3rd that I had to take the low C in.
     
  17. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    tuning and making pitching/fingering easier are 2 different issues really....
    but the bottom line is the same for either - experiment and see what works best!
     
  18. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    It still can be a bit nerve wracking when its only the basses(as far as I know) playing these notes!
     
  19. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    I think Alex means the bottom line is to experiment not the bass line is to experiment.

    I use 'alternative' fingerings to get the sound right. To make the finger patterns easier I try this somewhat old fashioned thing called practice!
     
  20. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Oh, Chunky, don't get me wrong in this, I knew what Alex meant, its just that I was wondering what the best thing to do in the situation I described earlier.
     
  21. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    Practice till you can play it without splitting it!
     
  22. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Indeed the only way, although not often i do split notes!
     

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