Playing two notes at once!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Miss Presley, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Miss Presley

    Miss Presley Member

    Has anyone ever heard of an instrument playing two notes (the octave of each other) at the very same time?

    I have moved my tuning slide out a considerable amount to tune for the area test piece and since doing this, my cornet has started doing this annoying yet very amazing trick

    Any ideas or as to what I can do?
  2. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    It's called double something-ing! It can be done with relative ease on a big instrument such as a Tuba, although I'm not sure if it's done with two note an octave apart. No, in fact, it's not necessarily (I remember now). You sing the note you want in the back of your throat, but is has to be a third or a fifth or something from the note you're playing.

    But it's incredibly hard on the cornet, and I doubt you can do it by accident, so this post is totally useless really. That's unless you're just trying to show off or something :)
  3. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Yup, all done by singing down the instrument.... so, not just the octave can be dun ;)

    I've heard David Childs do this on Euph.. sounds fantastic :)
  4. lottie4744

    lottie4744 Member

    Yer, John Stevens (ex 2nd trom at fodens) used to teach at my school and he can play two notes at once in octaves, he tried teaching me how to do it but it's pretty darn impossible on a cornet so :tup well done! So again this post is totally irelevant to what you wanted to know!
  5. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    I can do it on a digeridoo - can slide from a 2nd above up to an octave and back again. It's great when you hit the 5th coz the 3rd just appears on its own!

    On a brassy note though, I find I get 2 notes if I'm really tired, or if my mouthpiece is cold (like at Remembrance). It's difficult to do the play a note/hum a note on a cornet but not impossible!
  6. Miss Presley

    Miss Presley Member

    I'm certainly not singing down my instrument. It only seems to have started happening since my tuning slide was moved out so far! I've been playing 17 years and its never happened to me before!
  7. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    It's possible that you have an air leak in the instrument, perhaps caused by the slide being a little out of round. Does the sound happen on all notes, or only on some?

    An air leak changes the vibrating properties of the column of air inside the instrument. A large leak (like openinga water key) is easy to notice, because so much air escapes that the sound is completely compromised. A small leak might act much like the tone hole in a whistle.

    You might want to consider having the instrument checked by a competent repair person.
  8. Miss Presley

    Miss Presley Member

    Its not on all notes, just some, mainly open C's and Top A's, thanks for the advice!
  9. lottie4744

    lottie4744 Member

    now there's the relevant post you were looking for, not just us lot blabbering on!
  10. Miss Presley

    Miss Presley Member

    he.he.he Aye!
  11. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Sometimes us geeks are good for something . . .
  12. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    *places thinking cap on*
    I think what your describing is a double vibration of your embouchure. Nothing to do with the instrument or multiphonics, but the fact that your embouchure (lips) is too close together. When practicing try to concentrate on keeping the lips further apart, and hopefully you should be sorted ;)
  13. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH, I understand what the thread is on about now... :LOL:
  14. tim

    tim Member

    Edit: that was absolute rubbish... should have paid more attention when i listened the first time!!! Its either gonna be a leak or the odulbe embouchure seedhouse suggested
  15. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    It is possible to obtain more than one note through an instrument in a few ways.

    The problem you are describing sounds, to me anyway (very difficult to tell just from a short description), like something you need to have checked out with a decent repairman. It could be a loose joint that is vibrating in sympathy with certain pitches. I had this on an instrument I purchased second hand. One of the stays was loose and it vibrated on a few notes. On two of these it actually vibrated a similar pitch - very distracting!

    If the instrument is fine, you may be having an embouchure problem, producing a double buzz. I would actually suggest that this is quite unlikely, especially if it is only happening on certain notes.

    If you are interested in learning how to produce these effects on purpose, the standard way I go about achieving multiphonics (two or more notes at once) is to play one note and sing another. With a lot of work you can achieve some very impressive results, especially on the larger instruments. It is harder on cornet and soprano, but it is possible. By changing the intervals between what you play and sing you can enable resultant tones to be heard, meaning that the listener can hear not just the two notes, but often three seperate notes.
    Not easy, but it is possible to do this very effectively.

    TIMBONE Active Member

    It is called Double Stopping. The best instrument for this is the French Horn, something to do with the unique harmonic series. As Naomi (Naruco) said, you blow and sing at the same time. I can get some good fifths on my trombone.
  17. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    :rolleyes: .... Hmmm! I never knew the french horn was a string instrument!

    TIMBONE Active Member

    That's what it is called! Two or more notes at once is Double Stopping. Ask my brother, Dr Rod Paton, Senior Lecturer and French Horn player, University of Chichester.
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Weird! I know the use of hand-stopping in french horn playing and occasionally seen horns with stopping valves to compensate for the pitch change using that technique but double-stopping? Any use of the voice to create more than one note (including the harmonics induced by this) I have only known as multiphonics. Maybe you can find a link on the net to demonstrate it's use?
  20. BoBo

    BoBo Member

    Find a copy of Weber's Concertino for (french) horn if you want to hear it done for real.

    Going back to the original question, I get this sometimes usually when I'm tired, the quick fix is to adjust your embouchure to use more bottom lip and less top lip but I would hesitate to suggest this as a permanent solution.

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