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 horn blowing sharp
Author: Hillary 
Date:   1999-08-04 03:04

I have been playing for a year and a half. I always forget which way to place your tongue when you are blowing sharp. Does it go up or down? Thanks

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 RE: horn blowing sharp
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-08-04 17:18

I have never heard of changing tongue positions to change intonation. If you're sharp everywhere, I'd pull out the barrel a little. ...but not too much because it'll make the throat tones out of tune.

What type of instrument and mouthpiece are you using? If you have access to another instrument and/or mouthpiece of good quality, I'd see if you're also sharp using the other setup too. If so there may be other issues concerning your embouchure that I can't answer.

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 RE: horn blowing sharp
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-08-04 17:35

Are you sharp on almost every note? If so, I'd just pull out the barrel a little. ...but not too much becuase you can ruin the intonation in the throat tones. I would tune to at least an open G and the B natural above it after pulling out the barrel a little.

Some clarinets are naturally sharp in the very lowest register. I've always been told to really provide a lot of support from the abdomen when playing in the lowest register to get those notes in tune.

I've never heard of altering the tongue postition to correct that problem.



I've never heard of changing the position of your tongue to change the intonation.

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 RE: horn blowing sharp
Author: STuart 
Date:   1999-08-04 20:24

You can definitely adjust the pitch and timbre of your sound with your tongue position. A higher tongue position should raise the pitch slightly, but will also tighten the sound. Dropping the tongue will lower the pitch but give you a wider tone. When I studied classical playing, a high tongue position was encouraged for an even sound with less edge no "speading" of the tone. Now that I'm on my own, I spread that baby all over the place. A famous saxophonist named Ellery Eskelin pushes in his mouthpiece in order to allow for his oral cavity to expand while maintaining the pitch. I imagine you'll find its a lot easier to get more flat that sharp, beware that you don't start biting.

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 RE: horn blowing sharp
Author: angella 
Date:   1999-08-04 22:32

IF YOU DO PULL AT THE BARREL, IT DOES AFFECT YOUR THROAT TONES. IF YOUR LONG B AND C ARE SHARP, YOU SHOULD THEN PULL AT THE MIDDLE SOME, AND PUSH BACK IN SLIGHTLY AT THE BARREL TO COMPENSATE. PULLING OUT IN GENERAL IS A PAIN. IF YOU HAVE TO PULL A LOT AT THE BARREL, IT LEAVES AN OPEN SPACE IN THERE, SO YOU MAY WANT TO LOOK INTO SOME TUNING RINGS THAT WILL FIT INTO THE BREAK BETWEEN BARREL AND UPPER JOINT. IF YOU'RE VERY SHARP, ALSO, IT COULD WELL BE YOUR INSTRUMENT. I'VE NEVER HEARD THAT TOUNGE POSITION COULD ALTER PITCH ENOUGH TO MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. GOOD LUCK

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 RE: horn blowing sharp
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-08-05 05:28

Check several things.

1) Clarinets are made to be in tune with the barrel pulled out a little so that you can tune it either a little sharper or a little flatter. If it were desiged to play in tune with the barrel pushed all the way in, you could only adjust it in the flat direction. My Leblanc plays in tune when pulled out about 2 millimeters. I have a picture of Benny Goodman where you can see his barrel is pulled out roughly that same distance.

2) Make sure you aren't pinching the reed. On the long list of problems that causes, making you sharp is somewhere in the middle. As a test, puff your cheeks when you blow to see if your intonation improves. If it does, your emboucher is probably pinching. (Note that puffing the cheeks is only a way to force you to loosten your emboucher as a test, not as correct way to play).

3) Lesser quality horns can have terrible problems being in tune with themselves even in the same register.

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