All F`s out of tune / low range slide positions 14:46 on Friday, December 12, 2008
Account Closed (2 points)
Sort of long but I hope someone reads and gives some feedback. I have a YSL-648 T trombone with F-attachment, large shank 51B mouthpiece at the moment.
I'm a returning trombone player, not a beginner but definitely out of practice and out of shape (mouth-wise).
That being said, I can lip notes into tune without too much issue (hitting them in-tune on the first try isn't there yet but it's coming with time and practice) and yet I'm running into a couple of problems on this horn (which is used, but fully serviced by professionals before it came into my possession).
Low F, trigger engaged, is flat. So flat that it's basically a really sharp E. No amount of lip adjustment is bringing it up to an F. The best I can get is a very, very, -very- flat F and it takes a whole lot of work.
F3 in the Bb Harmonic series is SHARP, even though Bb / Bb / D are all very well tuned. Then once again, the higher F is quite sharp. I can adjust it with lip positioning but it's a lot of work to bring it down, and I'm wondering why the entire Bb Harmonic (the 1st position) range is in tune except for the F's.
I'm also noting that no matter what amount of lip and embouchure adjustment I use, on average? I need slightly different (very slightly elongated) slide positions in the lower range to keep everything in tune with the upper range. I don't remember this being the case years ago when I was still on a student trombone...
If it is 100% my fault, I'm happy with that answer. I would love to know that this is just my own fault and not the horn. If it's partly the fault of the horn, that's a bigger pain than simply learning and practicing.
Having trouble wrapping my head around these problems. Any insight?
1. For the low F, the trigger F in 1st, that could be the horn. I take it you have the F attachment tuning slide all the way in and it's still flat? You may just be over loosening to get down there, leading to a flat note. Give it some time, your muscles and airflow my need some time to redevelop. As your muscles develop, you won't have to work so hard, so the over loosening might (might) go away. And as you develop better and more air usage, those low notes will go up naturally.
It sounds like it's more then horn though. Have a professional play it, and if it's the same, it's the horn, if they can play it in tune, it's you.
2. The F above tuning Bb is out of tune. We normally play that note in flat 1st, maybe a centimeter or 2 off (more on some horns, less on others) adjusting the rest of that partial accordingly.
3. One thing I tell my students is that the trombone is NOT a 7 position instrument. It has an infinite number of positions. Each partial will be a bit different, so you need to figure out exactly where each partial lies an that particular horn. Use you ear to find the note, not the location of the slide.
For example, on my Edwards, low Bb I have to lip up ever so slightly, F in the staff is ever so slightly off the bumper, tuning Bb is in true 1st, D above is ever so slightly off the bumper, high F is a centimeter or 2 off, Ab above that is not playable, Bb is ever so slightly off, C is further off, D is in true 1st, and on and on.
On my Strad 16M, it's pretty much the same, except D above tuning Bb is way flat, so I find I usually have to play it in 4th, and the upper Ab (not playable in 1st)needs more adjusting, so that pesky high G (#2) is further sharp than on the Edwards.
Hope that helped! Just remember, every horn is different, and more things effect intonation than slide placement. Things like airflow, relaxed but still accurate lip muscles, and a solidly trained ear are more important.
Just to add to what Erik said, I have never found a tenor trombone that played a good low F in trigger one. Personally, I never use it on tenor. But just the fact that you hear that you're out and are working on fixing it puts you ahead of a lot of people, sadly.
Good luck and welcome back to trombone!
Re: All F`s out of tune / low range slide positions 17:06 on Friday, December 12, 2008
Account Closed (2 points)
Thanks, that is quite helpful
The F-attachment tuning slide (on my model there is only one for the attachment plus the main, where as another version of the YSL-648 has two plus main) is all the way in, and it is still quite flat, oy.
I had some great advice from another forum on checking the rotor valve in several ways to make sure it is aligned and air-tight, as well as the basic spit valve check. They also mentioned the F being naturally sharp which I had no idea!
I'm a former Euphonium player. When a note is out of tune on a Euphonium, you lip it into tune. The other forum basically told me NOT to do that and to go ahead and adjust my slide. I think that's going to make the majority of notes a lot easier.
I think a lot of my frustration has come from the "If you can't lip it into tune, and you have to adjust the slide instead out of a normal position, there's no hope for you" mindset. I'll have to break that mentality.
As for the low trigger-F, it remains out of tune but when I get home I'll be checking the horn in several ways suggested to me by others. One person mentioned the attachment could potentially be shortened by a good brass shop if that was the only recourse in the end.
But at the end of the day, if I can play 99% of my notes in tune from now on with little frustration, I can over look the really low trigger-F for awhile, and have that dealt with later if possible.
I'll definitely take it in to be played by a professional just to make sure it's not me.
I too play a tenor w/F attachment and my band teacher always tells me i'm out of tune on my c's or f's in first with the trigger. I either tune with the tuning slide and if that doesn't work i either play sixth or lip it into tune..I am also a freshman highschooler so it could just be my inexperience My teacher is helping me play in tune so i could be wrong tell me if i am!
Just remember, you play a tuning slide. If it's not in tune, you don't need to lip it, or fiddle with the tuning slide, just move the slide a bit!
One thing I always tell myself is the trombone is NOT a 7 position instrument. It has an infinite number of places to place that slide, you just have to use (and trust) your ear to find them. Plus, you can go ahead and safely assume that no two notes in the same position are REALLY in the same spot. Everything needs that earwork.
We say it has 7 positions so we can learn the instrument and have a ballpark to aim for.
For example, your F's and C's in 1st with trigger: On my horn, I keep my low F in trigger 1st in tune on the bumper, which makes my C in trigger 1st in tune off the bumper, sometimes as much as an inch, depending on the chord.