pitching notes

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by E flat fred, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. E flat fred

    E flat fred Member

    Is it a matter of mind over matter or are there certain notes which are harder to pitch than others:confused:.
    I find it very hard to pitch top A flat :(. No problem either above or below but just that one note:D.
    Is there any way this problem can be solved:-?.
    Awaiting all the solutions from all the bandsman:).
  2. bumper-euph

    bumper-euph Member

    Hi Fred...hope the oil worked.......top Ab ? try playing it 1st valve (and lip it up a touch).
  3. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Or 4th and 2nd - bang in tune normally :)
  4. photosnapper

    photosnapper New Member

    It could be your instrument. Have you tried another one. I have a trumpet on which it is hard to get top 'A' but my other trumpet is fine.
  5. jerseylugs

    jerseylugs New Member

    Are you going sharp or flat or does it vary ?
    Have you tried slightly adjusting either your 2nd or preferably 3rd tuning slide ?
    If as bumper suggested you use alternative fingering and lip it in why not just lip it in on 2/3.
  6. E flat fred

    E flat fred Member

    It is not a tuning problem it is hitting the exact note. I do not hit A flat at all.
    That is why I thought it could be mind over matter,
  7. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    try G# ?


    Try slurring octaves from lower octave to upper... holding the upper note, start on F natural, then F#.. and so on... hold lower note for say, 2 beats (60bpm) and quick slurr / gliss to upper octave.
    You might find that getting the slot right to pitch the upper octave is a bit difficult at first, but with practice gets easier. Over time, you are training yourself to remember the slot for the upper octave.
    Also, try some arpeggio exercies or interval studies or major minor chord exercies from Arban... Tounged and Slurred.
  8. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    You might have a very good point, David. I help a band out in a contest a couple of years back and the solo euph was having a hell of a job pitching a top A# in his cadenza. I suggested changing it to a Bb and he never split it again!
  9. T Winch

    T Winch Member

    I don't have much problem pitching top A flat but really struggle with G sharp. What's that all about? :confused:
  10. wittig

    wittig Member

    I think it sometimes depends the key you are playing in or the chordal structure at the point you are trying to play the note. I find a large part of mispitching comes from not being able to "hear" the note you are trying to play in your head. So if the problem is trying to play the A flat in a particular piece some extra practice on your own to make sure you know what the A flat sounds like on its own and then bring it back and listen to what it sounds like in context with the rest of the band and really concentrating on what it is supposed to sound like rather than worrying about whether you will pitch it correctly.
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member


    No! Terrible idea - it's 1/3 of the way from Ab down to a G on 1st valve; you'll never get it up to a pitch where it won't sound appallingly flat.

    The outstanding question - is it the instrument, or is it you? Find another euphonium player who can play this range, and see if they struggle with that note on your instrument - if they do, it's the instrument: finger it 2+4, practise until you've acquired the extra lip power and precision to hold that note there, or get a new instrument...

    A couple of anecdotes that say basically the same thing:
    1) Denis Wick giving a trombone lesson; student comes in with a new trombone, complains that it "has no high D" [high E in band-treble-clef-speak]. DW picks it up, proceeds to play all manner of high Ds; loud, soft, long, short, harsh, lyrical. Gives it back to the student; the student can now play a high D.
    2) My alto trombone (a B&S 3049) has a real dead spot on high Db in 3rd position. All the notes around it sound nicely, but that Db in 3rd needs treating very carefully if it is not to rip apart down the middle. A trombone playing friend with a "never-miss" high register, Rob Marsh, tried it - and couldn't make that Db split when he tried. Since then, I've been less apprehensive when playing that note, and have split it much much less.
    The moral of the two stories is the same - knowing that others can make a duff note work every time on your instrument, and seeing/hearing how they did it is a powerful aid to making it work yourself.
  12. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    My teacher at college gave me the idea of 2+4 years ago - particularly when slurring up an octave - try it.
    g sharp is technically a different note to Ab - just ask a violin player. Brass players learn to compensate for this; most players doing so without even noticing.
    This could well explain players finding one easier to pitch than the other.
  13. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    I would suggest getting a euph player you respect to play your horn and then its down to lots of Pratice .......lots of lip flex using a book like Chas Collin
  14. photosnapper

    photosnapper New Member

    It could even be down to your mouthpiece. Have you tried a different one? It's a cheap alternative to a new instrument. I've had quite similar trouble with tenor horn mouthpieces - on a horn of course. Naturally if you're used to the one that you are using you won't want to swop but it's still worth trying another one. Just in case............................