Cornets: Triggered main tuning slide

What do you think of the triggered main tuning slide on the Cornet?

  • If I'd wanted a movable slide I'd have take up trombone

    Votes: 20 54.1%
  • It is a useful innovation, which I could not do without now.

    Votes: 6 16.2%
  • It is ok, I use it occasionally but wouldn't miss it.

    Votes: 11 29.7%

  • Total voters
    37

trumpetmike

Well-Known Member
Good musicians may be able to blow any note in tune, but to bend a note into shape means that the tone will suffer.
All too often it is said that the greatest players will be able to play on ANY instrument. If this is the case, why do they get expensive instruments rather than just picking up a cheap battered instrument from Ebay?
The reason is that they are putting a certain tone into the instrument and the instrument needs to work with what is being put into it.
To try to get my point across, try playing a D in tune - firstly using the slide, then lipping it - can you spot a difference? If not, you possibly need some further aural training.
The best players put the right notes into the mouthpiece, the instrument then acts as an amplifier, improving the tone and producing the tone which we consider to be pleasant. If you try playing a note slightly out of tune on the mouthpiece and then insert the mouthpiece into the instrument, the resultant tone will be less than desired.

The joy of a trigger is that enables the instrument and player to both be working to the same level of intonation, meaning that they are able to produce a full tone throughout the instrument's registers.

Considering how many instruments have intonation problems as they ascend into the upper register, the concept of a mobile tuning slide is one that I see as very beneficial. The fact that only a few players will fully understand how to utilise such a device says more about the state of the players than the instruments, in my view.
Having played some Prestiges recently, without the trigger they tended to be sharp in the upper register. Considering that these instruments are being aimed at players in the upper level bands and upper parts, this is a register that the players will find themselves performing in. A very useful tool that I hope will be utilised to great effect.
 

Soppy

Member
I'd agree with most on here and say that it'd be fine if it worked well.

But it needs to be designed so that it can stay out without having to hold the trigger, else you're going to be sharp all the time. But then how do you get it in further? Can't see how it works personally. Have you got a drawing or diagram or something?

edit: Would it actually be triggered? Or would it just be a moveable slide? A moveable slide would be great, but I can't see how a trigger would work. You'd be limited to one way travel or having top hold the slide in place. That'd be a pain for a 2hr rehersal!
 
I don't think a decent player should need a trigger for anything more than those low 'problem' notes which are generally accepted to be out of tune on most instruments in order to get the upper reg. in tune. I've never played on a good cornet that was out of tune enough in the upper register that it required a trigger to flatten it - and players that do need that tend to be conversant in alternate fingerings to get around these problems anyway. The higher you go the more options you have. Learning to use a main tuning slide trigger merely reduces your ability on instruments without one.

In fact the proliferation of instruments with both 1st and 3rd valve slides has got me wondering more than once - why not have a decent length trigger on the 1st valve slide and ditch the 3rd valve one? I know it tends to be the 3rd valve that, strictly speaking, causes the probs, but the 1st valve is invariably used on all of the notes I have ever heard people complaining about. The first valve trigger is a lot more convenient to operate for the player; I suspect that the reason this is not done is a mixture of mechanical challenge and design inertia, which is presumably what this thread aims to overcome or at least investigate.

I find 3rd valve slides to be a chore personally, especially on instruments that need both 1st and 3rd triggers for low notes - how are you then expected to operate a plunger or h.o.b. and play in tune?

p.s. call me old-fashioned but whatever happened to A shanks on Bb cornets? Those of us who insist on authentic performances of Arban solos in private and/or spend a lot of time playing along with Franck's digitally remastered masterpieces have the devil's own job transposing.

p.p.s. to those people who love the Besson 'beautiful', 'dark' etc. sound - you too can achieve the same effect by blowing food, fizzy pop etc. into a battered old instrument for year after year until it is almost entirely clogged up with unshiftable crud. Those who imagine that this can be combined with free-blowing, easy-to-play, sizzling upper register, etc., in my experience tend never to practice enough to achieve any of this - after all they don't have enough time in between talking nonsense about it.

Sorry for the extremely tedious nature of this posting - I meant to be brief but it never quite works out like that, does it?
 

madrich

Member
I completely agree with your sentiment about a long 1st trigger. I played an old sovereign for a while which had a fairly long first valve trigger - certainly enough to keep a bottom D in tune, not quite enough for a Db though - and it made life a lot easier. I'm now playing a maestro which hardly has any movement on the first valve trigger :-(.

Also if you have enough movement on both triggers to keep all the notes in tune, then when your trigger breaks before a contest you wouldn't have to superglue your tongue to your lip to fix it cause you effectively have a running spare! See this link - http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=758http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=758</a></font></font>
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
starperformer said:
I don't think a decent player should need a trigger for anything more than those low 'problem' notes which are generally accepted to be out of tune on most instruments in order to get the upper reg. in tune.

p.s. call me old-fashioned but whatever happened to A shanks on Bb cornets? Those of us who insist on authentic performances of Arban solos in private and/or spend a lot of time playing along with Franck's digitally remastered masterpieces have the devil's own job transposing.

In my experience, a player decent enough not to ever need a trigger for the upper register notes will probably be experienced enough to be able to transpose down a semitone.....
 

Bryan_sop

Active Member
Certain notes on any instrument are naturally out of tune because of the way the instrument is made. This flash demo (which was posted on tMP some time ago) explains why this is in reasonably understandable language
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
Having tutored at the annual Workers' Music Association Summer School last week, I can say I've seen these instruments (with the triggered tuning slide) in action; one on cornet and one on euph. Both the players were (are) good (particularly the euph, United Norwest Co-Op's! If the rest of your band play like him, watch out top section!) and they used the triggers to good effect, and really only if needed for them.

But as I said earlier, in my experience in lower section banding, even the front row sometimes seem unaware of what the third valve trigger does. Maybe tuning slide triggers would be more useful to them?
 

james80g

New Member
not actually played one; but all i've seen is people having trouble with them and resorting back to the sovereign and maestro's
 

W.Rimmer

Member
The Olds Recording cornet had a main slide trigger way back in the 1950s, no doubt as an attempt to correct the otherwise duff intonation. If it was such a wonderful innovation all subsequent Olds trumpets and cornets would have had them...but they didn't! Most euphoniums are sharp in the region of top G, and a trigger in that application is probably well justified, but there have been plenty of models of cornet that are reasonably at peace with themselves in terms of the intonation of their open harmonics. A new cornet with a trigger shouts "bolt on contraption to remedy a design fault" in MY ears.

I may be alone in this, but to me nothing sounds quite like a section of good 1960s / 70s Besson International cornets. Note for note not as mellow as some of the big present day cornets, but what a range of colour and what lyricism! My ideal design would start there as a reference point.

I find the interval between G (second line) and middle C way too wide on some of the present day best sellers, and, judging from the number of soloists I saw sharpening the G by using 1 and 3 at a major contest, others (or probably their astute conductors) do too. For goodness sake don't copy that into a new design. A cornet with a Vincent Bach pattern of intonation and a traditional British lyricism (but not flugel-toned) would be my ideal.
 

Incognito

Member
Such a cornet already exists.
Every note in tune apart from the C# and D of course which need a bit of tuning.

http://www.deniswedgwood.com/prods.html

Unfortunately, they are made in such small quantities they are not in wide circulation.




I have played a Wedgwood Cornet for the past fifteen years. I was looking for a cornet which would give me the flexibility to play both in the Symphony Orchestra, and also as a soloist playing traditional repertoire. The 'Wedgwood' certainly gave me what I was looking for. I used it constantly during my time as Principal at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, playing the Tchaikovsky ballets and found it did not 'close up' in the higher dynamic range. It will take everything you have, and more.

I really appreciate the fullness of tone over the whole range and also the fact that it is one of the very few instruments I have played in twenty-five years as a professional musician, which is in tune and agrees with itself. I have great pleasure in unreservedly endorsing this cornet. P.S. I did pay for this instrument. Wedgwood is far too mean to give anything away.

James Watson, Professor of Trumpet, Royal Academy of Music, London. International Cornet Soloist.
 
Cornets scare me!!!


Hope I have been of absolutely no use whatsoever.... I like me brass instruments to have a massive balance to them!!!! :tongue:
Andy
 
I think it all depends on what market you are targeting, I have owned a Prestige before and I found the trigger an inconvenience, I play in a few differant ensembles and when it comes to tuning the band everyone had to wait for me to wind in or out! Although on the other hand when I play in my main band the trigger was useful because i could tune any note with it. The question is do professionals need to have a main tuning slide? they should be able to tune themselves! And does your novice players need a tool that takes ages to tune up with just to pitch a C and then still be out of tune anyway?
 

Incognito

Member
snazzy_cornet_sound said:
The question is do professionals need to have a main tuning slide? they should be able to tune themselves!

Please explain why you think someone can play in tune because they are being paid.

I do not understand this (very common) analysis that professionals are better than amateurs.
In athletics amateurs are of equal standard to professionals.
I think its just an excuse used by amateurs for not practicing.
if you play a lot and listen to the people you are playing with you will generally play in tune unless the instrument is a real dog.
 
I've not played a Prestige, but I would have thought that havign the facility to flatten the instrument when playing alternate fingering would be useful.

On back row, I use alternate fingering quite a lot (should really work harder on my 3rd finger.... ;) )
 

jingleram

Active Member
Incognito said:
Please explain why you think someone can play in tune because they are being paid.

I do not understand this (very common) analysis that professionals are better than amateurs.
In athletics amateurs are of equal standard to professionals.
I think its just an excuse used by amateurs for not practicing.

No offence intended but you're just nitpicking here and skirting the issue, why don't you answer the question/statement!!!
 

Primary

tMP Assistant
Here are some related products that tMP members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to tMP’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to tMP discussions about these products.

 
 
Top