Pitching Problems
 

Pitching Problems

Search Forums: 
    
[-]
Pitching Problems    05:36 on Thursday, June 24, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

rainydays
(4 points)

Hi, I'm new here.
I joined band in high school, started off with single horn for 3-4 months and now playing the double french horn for roughly 6months.

Right till now, I;m still having pitching problems, like real problems. For example, I can't really play the concert Bb scale smoothly most of the time, because each time after 'C', I'll sort of get stuck. On good days, I can play them smoothly till 'F' but usually with real pressure like with necks bulging out.

I really need some help, I've searched the net and stuff but just can't seem to solve my problems. I've been practicing at least 3 times a week(has band on perhaps tuesday-thursday, and will borrow instrument back when my studies and homework allows the time).

Thanks

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    02:22 on Saturday, June 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

rumble
(57 points)

If you refer to the the C and F at the top and above the stave, if you have only been playing for 6 months and you can reach that F, that's really good. I certainly couldn't.

But careful not to strain yourself, because you might ruin your embouchure (lip posture) if you go too high too early.

I'm sure that John will leave a post here soon, and he will be able to explain it far better than me, but basically blow hard, but use a pursed, rounded embouchure and resist the urge to sort of smile as you go higher...

Good luck!

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    02:24 on Saturday, June 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

rainydays
(4 points)

Well, I meant the one not above the staff ><

That's why I'm very fed up with myself.

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    03:03 on Saturday, June 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

mave
(27 points)

Ok, if you mean written f between the first two lines of the staff, there is a serious problem.

What I'd suggest may sound harsh, but just consider it for a while. I'd suggest for you to ask yourself if you're serious with wanting to play french horn. If the answer is yes, look for an instructor who specializes in french horn playing and teaching and take lessons from him/her. He will be able to teach you, from scratch, a suitable french horn embouchure that will build slowly, but steadily through months and years of correct practice and will work with little pressure and a beautiful tone. Neither is there a trick to play the horn well, nor one to learn it in a few months; and there is so much that can be done wrong in self-teaching (from the beginning) that I really don't recommend it.
As Philip Farkas wrote in his book "The Art of French Horn Playing" (which you should read): "..., but then playing the French Horn isn't particularly easy."

Bottom line: Learning to play the horn properly takes a good instructor and a lot of work on your side, but out of personal experience I can say that there will be tremendous fun and satisfaction (in search for better words to describe) as a result of that work.

In the meantime: Listen to Hermann Baumann "singing" on his horn the Gliere concerto, one of the best french horn recordings ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh-7A4kLon0

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    10:03 on Saturday, June 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

rainydays
(4 points)

Hi, I'm currently reading 'The Art of French Horn playing', and yes, I think it's great.

But one thing. I can reach the first 'F'. The tuning note. What I meant was the F right at the top of the staff line. One octave higher than the F between the first and second staff line

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    11:36 on Saturday, June 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

mave
(27 points)

Ah, now I see.

For 1 year of horn playing, that f is very good if reached in a relatively relaxed manner. Don't rush anything, practice in the middle and low register mostly, and a relaxed high range with good sound will come over time.

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    14:21 on Saturday, June 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Colombo
(34 points)

I agree with mave: I think that is a very good range after playing for such a short time. I only managed to play the E below that F after my first year of horn playing (not that I am an example of virtuosity anyway). Now I'm in my fifth year, and although I went through a crisis and started again from scratch on the third year, I can only reach G. I've managed to play A three or four times, but always as if my neck vessels were going to burst. I've been stuck in that G for about one year, and I don't seem to be able to expand my range further, but since I've got lots of things to work on with the notes I can alredy play, I'm not too worried about it. I'll have to move on some day, though.


[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    23:43 on Saturday, June 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 1 vote

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

@Rainydays - the range you have is fine for the length of time you have been playing.
If you want to increase your range YOu really need to do so slowly. I use several different exercises with my students to accomplish this. My first suggestion is to play chromatic scales; after you do a warm up ( I recommend Walter Moeck Fre nch Horn Warm Up). After your warm ups play chormatic scale as high as you can comfortably and as low as you can. Write these notes somewhere in your practice area. Then tomorrow try to go 1/2 step higher and 1/2 step lower ( YOU MUST work in both directions higher and lower). Try to hit the next note but only try three times. After three attempts stop. IF ad when you do get the next note continue playing only to the note for 10 days. After 10 days you can try and add another 1/2 step (in both directions).

Rumble - you've got all the importnat stuf down just fine.
Columbo - do this exercise stated above. just try for a half step each day you play for a month. one-half step a month.


[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    12:12 on Sunday, June 27, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 1 vote

Fredrick
(172 points)

I've found long tones to be a wonderful help. They ought to help you solidify your current range relatively quickly so you can focus easier on extending that range. (or at least that's what I've found). And if you've been practicing long tones when you're working on extending range, it won't sound half bad when you hit your top or bottom note.

JOhn has posted once or twice on the subject, and you can probably find it somewhere on the internet. I personally suggest holding each note until your face turns blue as you go up the chromatic scale, but I'm sure you can easily figure out a better exercise if you do a little research.

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    12:15 on Sunday, June 27, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Colombo
(34 points)

John,

Thank you very much. I'll do what you've suggested during all the summer holidays. It seems I can use it both as part of the warm-up and to improve my range. Which is the lowest note that can be played with the F/Bb horn? I can reach the A that's below the C that's an octave lower than the C just below the staff (although only by going down chromatically).

<Added>

Thanks to Fredrick, too. He's answered while I was composing my message.

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    02:39 on Monday, June 28, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

mave
(27 points)

Well, technically the lowest note (on F-Horn with all three valves) is a Contra G flat, that is the g flat below the C two octaves below normal c just below the staff.
But the low range required in any musical pieces ends at the C or C flat two octaves below normal c, that is, the first harmonic of the open F-Horn.

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    05:43 on Monday, June 28, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

rainydays
(4 points)

@rumble; Hi, I'll try what you say, reagarding a more pursed and rounded embouchure.
@mave & colombo; thanks. That means I'll have to stable my lower and middle range first?

@John; Hey, thanks! I've usually been doing the chromatic scale but only going down. And usually I just end at the B, the one just below the staff.

@Fredrick; Hi, so that means I should play long tone for as long as possible and then proceed chromatically to the next note until the note that I can't reach?

Thanks everyone (:

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    09:07 on Monday, June 28, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Fredrick brought up an excellent point and osmethign often ignored and avoided.

LONG TONES

If you have an desire to play well you HAVE to do long tones. If you don't do long tones you will not be able to play in tune. Playing long tones will allow you to think about your tone quality and let your lips really learn the note.

If anyone doesn't want to play long tones I suggest you not play french horn. I would also suggest you pick another art other than music. Long tones are a must.
Thank yo Fredrick for bringing that up.

[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    01:47 on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Colombo
(34 points)

Is it better to do both things (the chromatic scale up and down to a semitone further, and the long tones) at the same time? Or is it better to play the chromatic scales with the extra new notes first, with short notes, and the long tones afterwards, without including the extreme notes?

Is it useful to play the long tunes with the electronic tuner, so as to concentrate in playing always the same note? Or is it not good to see whether one's flat or sharp, because that forces one to change the note with the lips instead of hitting it from the beginning?

May I ask (I'm teacherless until October, so I need your help!), what fingerings should I use for what are going to be my new high notes? Assuming I'm talking about the Bb side of the horn, I play the G just above the staff with 0, but then, is it better to play the Ab with 2, with 2-3 or with 1, and the A with 0 or with 1-2? Since I'm to work on each note for (at least) one month, I'm not worried with other notes, which now seem to be a long way ahead! But if I'm able to reach up to A and down to G after summer, that'll be good news indeed!


[-]
Re: Pitching Problems    08:47 on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 1 vote

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

Since you ask - I'm am going to say if you can do the chromatic scale in long tones it would be very beneficial. Play long tones as you go higher and lower. this will build stamina and gives you time to make sure your are playing each note with a good tone. When you get to the end of your range and attempt to add the next semitone only try three times to play the note. After three attempts stop until tomorrow.

Good question about electronic tuners. You should learn to play properly, with a good tone. The instrument will have a natural resonance when you are playing correctly with a wonderful tone. When yo have a good sound is when you should be using the tuner. Too many people play 'to the tuner'. Meaning they play and then try to adjust to hold the needle center and steady. When you have a good consistent tone then you can hold the note steady and glance at the tuner; then adjust the instrument to be in tune. Otherwise you're changing your embouchure all over the place and your lips will never really know what the notes feels like. Also, tuners are 'equal tempered' so they account for the adjusted pitches you will need to know when you are playing with more advanced players. Advance professional players adjust different notes depending on the scale degree, the style of music, the interval they are playing within the chord structure, etc. If you have a tuner the prodcues more than just the common tuning note A. It is good to practice with the the tuner playing the tonic of your scale, or the tonic of the key your piece of music is in.

Fingerings:
Different horns respond diferently to different fingerings. I know a lot of people who play Yamaha's who like to play high G-T1. On my Conn 8D I play G-T0,Ab-T23,A-T0,Bb-T1,B-T2,C-T0,C#-T23,D-T0. Unless I am playing with the principal of the symphony then it's G-T1,Ab-T2,A-T12,Bb-T1,B-T2,C-T0,C#-T2,D-T3. There are some different fingerings on my other horns. Try different fingerings A) to see which ones sound best on your horn, and B) to see which other fingerings work in case you need to use alternate fingerings when playing with someone else.

   





This forum: Older: New french horn app for the iPad
 Newer: Can`t feel pinky.



8notes in other languages:
             


 
© 2000-2014 8notes.com