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# 28 Making the most out of your intonation situation! - Intonation Techniques

Updated: Nov 7, 2023


Welcome to DK's Tips and Tricks!


I'm DK, one of the instructors at Melody Mart, as well as the head band and orchestra guy for the store. One of my standout qualities is my proficiency in playing around 13 instruments, with expertise in providing private instruction for 11 of them. You'll often hear myself or others affectionately label me as a "band nerd," and that truly encapsulates who I am. Over the past 15 years, I've accumulated a wealth of knowledge through formal education and extensive performance experience across multiple instruments. Instead of keeping all this knowledge to myself or randomly mentioning it in my lessons, I've created this corner of the internet dedicated to sharing interesting facts about woodwinds, brass, and string instruments.



This is a space where you can discover something new about your instrument.


Always have a reliable pitch source

Tune to such as a piano, drone on a tuner, or in other cases, other instruments or musicians.


A Little Science Knowledge goes a Long Way

For most instruments, if your pitch is sharp you'll wanna make your instrument longer by pulling out a headjoint, mouthpiece, barrel or tuning slide. If you're flat, do the opposite by making your instrument shorter.


Know your hertz

For folks looking to tune with a tuner, in America, an A equals 440Hz.


Use your Ears

For even intonation across most of the range of your instrument, you must always be listening and adjusting.


There is no single "correct" pitch. Intonation is relative to the pitches around you and in context.




Technique

Your embouchure has a lot to do with your pitch stability. Too tight makes you sharp, too relaxed makes you flat.

Breathing is directly related to tone, sound and intonation.


Mechanical nuances in instruments

Depending on the way your instrument is built, your notes such as "C#" or "G"might be sharp so be sure to adjust.


Music Industry Standards

In band, the universal tuning note is normally concert B flat. In orchestra it's concert A.



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