Triggers - what do you think?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di B, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Di B

    Di B Member

    Ever since euphs have been given triggers I have noticed that some euph players now cannot sit and play a note without twiddling their trigger!
    This applies to young, old, novice and experienced.
    I have sat 2nd euph to a 'trigger happy' euph and I couldn't get in tune with them - he kept adjusting so much I wanted to slap his hands!
    I now feel sorry for cornet players who must have had this problem for decades!

    The less is more attitude. People who think every note needs adjusting please don't. You should be aware that lots of things affect tuning, so you don't always have to use your trigger.

    Now I have ranted.... my questions are...

    Do you think the availability of triggers is causing people to lose their natural ability to get in tune? Do you think their actions cause tuning issues for others in the band?

    What are professionals views on triggers? (e.g. teachers?)

    Do you think I am just jealous I don't have a trigger and will become trigger happy myself should the situation arise in the future? :-D
  2. astreet83

    astreet83 Member

    Hi Di

    Might be different on euph but on cornets it is known that certain notes with be flat or sharpe of certain makes of cornets, hence the triggers. I.e bottom D and C# would sound really bad if not triggered.

    I think you will be trigger happy :)
  3. bestsection

    bestsection Member

    I think that the introduction of triggers was driven by the virtuosic players who acted in the development of the instruments, where compromises were made in the intonation of notes on non-trigger instruments these seem to have been removed on the modern instruments with triggers. Top F on a sovereign is well sharp, but on a courtois unless full trigger is applied its hugely sharp. Unless a player is able to position the trigger in the correct position for every combination of valves, chord structure, scoring for the relevant note then they cause the problems noted in the original post.
  4. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Triggers were invented to sell instruments to people who already had good quality instruments in a declining marketplace.....
  5. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Amazing how we managed all these years without ;)

    My euphonium is a Yamaha (1992, pre-Maestro, but pretty much the same) and it is far more in tune than any Besson/York I've ever played on. The only one with triggers I've owned was a Miraphone which was a dog.
  6. Eleanor91

    Eleanor91 Member

    Triggers can be very useful in solo playing but in a band situation just cause more problems than they are worth eg/ if everybody in the section plays a different instrument then they are kind of pointless.
    When you get to know your instrument you know the notes that need adjusting and the ones that dont.
    I think they started as a bit of a gadget at first. The thing is, its very easy to persuade somebody that they 'need' a trigger on their main tuning slide just to get a middle C in tune, its all mind games i reckon
  7. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Nail - head!
    Every instrument has a note or 3 that can be tuned better with alternative fingerings, lipping up/down or triggering, and its up to the individuals to learn their way round them. A trigger is only ever going to be as good as the person operating it - I don't dispute their value, but I do think some people over- and mis-use them without actually engaging the ears or brains.
  8. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    I often forget that I have triggers until my left thumb gets stuck behind the one at the sharp end, quite painful but a good reminder that they are there!
  9. Euph4Rob

    Euph4Rob New Member

    The trigger is, in my humble opinion, an implement for the fine tuning necessary on an instrument that continually decides to exist in our Universe and unwittingly complies with the unfortunate set of laws thrust upon’t. Human minds and technological advances have tried to tame the nature of the physics involved in music and the simple fact is that certain notes of the harmonic series, evolved from a particular tuning method, are either sharp of flat. Simples.
    It is all very well ‘lipping’ a note in “tune”, but at the higher end of the performing spectrum that is not an option being both more tiring and more risky when playing and trying to achieve more than mere note-perfection but actually crafting a musical idea and being able to successfully convey it to an (hopefully appreciative) audience.
    As to “coping perfectly well without triggers”; I’m afraid to say that as one example, euphonium players would perform the illicit action of playing a top of the stave F (concert Eb) on 1st valve, with the secretive addition of the 4th as well. This illegal action would actually place the note onto a new harmonic series, away from the sharp 5th where it would normally reside, and thus render it ‘more in tune’. Desperate times eh? Alternate fingerings should only be applied when you know why they are being used – which harmonic you are moving from and to, and why this should subtly alter the pitch. It is a fine line between tuning and intonation and it is a practice not implemented enough.
  10. wagger-g

    wagger-g Member

    Cheers for the trigger I say :).

    Every trombone player knows that some harmonics are sharp (or very sharp) and some flat. Adjustment is easy on the slide but not so on valves so triggers are the effective answer.

    OK alternative fingering (not a good term) can do the job but often at a cost to security of production and/or tone. As an example consider the necessary fingering for the famous euphonium solo in Le Roi D'Ys without triggers and with them. They both can (and did/do) produce a tuneful result but which is the more secure for those of us not in the Len Withington mould.

    The thing is, triggers or not, the note is still not provided for you like on a piano so you still have to listen.
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    They're a tool. Some players learn to use that tool properly, some don't. Some don't currently have the necessary aural discrimination to do so.

    Daft to say that they hinder band playing - what must be meant is that the incorrect use of them hinders playing together. People often don't use their triggers with the respect that is required - how often have we seen a cornet player assume that a sharp low D requires the full extent of their trigger when it only requires a portion of it?
  12. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    I used a Besson 967 circa 1988 euph for years and after 2 - 3 years or so I would be confident of always nailing a top concert Eb in tune without adding a 4th valve or pulling out 1st.

    Spent only 12 months or so on a York with all the trimmings and guess what? - when I picked up my trusty old besson after this break I played it as sharp as hell :rolleyes:

    My point being - you get used to the instrument your playing - they are all different of course even same makes and models.
  13. 007ish

    007ish Member

    In a perfect world, surely it is part of our role as a player to know how all aspects of our instrument work. Too many players rely entirely on their conductor to spoon feed information on tuning and intonation, allowing their own tuning aid, our own ears, to become redundant. Things like tuning slides, be they main, valve or part of a trigger mechanism, are an integral part of the instrument we play. I believe we as players have a much bigger responsibility to learn how to use these correctly, so enabling us to play in tune and with good intonation. Other tuning tools such as lipping of notes up or down and alternate fingering are also well within most players learning capability and should be considered a basic requirement in the players’ tool box. In these days of internet resource and cheap electronic tuning aids these things can be easily self taught at home :eek:. Every instrument is different and we should know our own instrument’s requirement regarding playing and tuning issues. What joy this would give any conductor.
    O would the world be perfect :cool:
  14. Eleanor91

    Eleanor91 Member

    Yes that is what I meant - cheers :)
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  15. HornPlayerMK

    HornPlayerMK Member

    Yamaha have never used triggers on their Euphoniums.
    I can confirm that the new Yamaha Neo Euphonium will also NOT have a trigger.

    Why? Because it doesn't need it !
  16. Euphemistic

    Euphemistic New Member

    They are a tool and used properly are fine and an aid:


    for an example.

    If you have a section with one trigger and one not - then its a recepie for disaster if used without thought. Then again its the same if you have a section with one Sov and a 642 unless a lot of care is used!
  17. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    Odds on within months of it appearing, we will find as many players saying it does, as those that say it doesn't, whatever you put on the adverts!

    Oddly, it is pretty much NOT what other parts of the Yamaha "name" will be saying about many of their products, bells and whistles are generally what consumers want!!

    Nothing new about that sort of claim though, I think I have heard similar things so many times over the course of a lifetime, eg. cars... Gears - first, 3 is fine, then 4 then 5, now 6?
    Synchromesh on those gears? Who needs it.... etc....
    I could say similar types of things abut Washing Machines or Computers TV's or whatever!

    The whole nature of technology, it gets more and more complex... and consumers tend to like a lot of that complexity, and brass instruments are far from being immune to that, both when it is vital, when it is desirable and even when it is not -eg.Solo Trombone parts these days are almost all played on B flat & F instruments, yet it's not that long ago, that wasn't the case, most don't vitally NEED the plug, but despite the weight, most now prefer that, they find it BETTER.

    If Yamaha wants to be the Morgan car with the Ash frame, then go that way, but there is always a danger that you become a collectors or an enthusiasts manufacturer and not one that makes THE "current model!"
    Up to now, Yamaha has never shown much tendency to be a minor or niche manufacturer in ANY of it's products, (Despite being relatively so in some parts of the the UK Brass Band market) so time will tell.

    After all, you can leave a trigger alone if it is fitted, but you can't use one if it's not there!
  18. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Well if the Euph is like the T/Horn, then he is right. No triggers required. :tup

    And who doesn't want a Morgan? :cool:
  19. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    Many of the horns (or players or both!) I have heard could do very well with one... in the same way most cornets have them, but precious few cornet players (especially in the back row where they are needed most!) know what do do with them and the way they hold the instrument they couldn't reach them if they DID want to!

    Yes, I would love a Morgan too, but I wouldn't be entering it in top Motor rallying events, which is the equivalent of what Yamaha are trying to do with their products, ie. Enter in the leading edge of the brass band market, and also be the product the young and upcoming players will envy, and are going to spend sums of money on!

    However the big issue you are missing is that Yamaha would never be the "Morgan" of the industry without a HUGE change of direction - they are a mass consumer product manufacturer, and have shown precious little interest in specialised small volume ANYTHING!
    If the market says - fit triggers, in time, they will have as much or MORE metalwork hanging off them as any, being in or out of tune will have little to do with it! :biggrin:
  20. on_castors

    on_castors Member