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Thread: 1+3 vs 4

  1. 1+3 vs 4

    Hi Euphonium friends, I play on a Besson Sovereign and I have noticed recently that my C on the staff and F below the staff (bass clef) are more in tune when played with 1st and 3rd valve and wicked flat when played with 4th valve. Is this a common issue? I know besson has really wonky tuning so I think this could be the main perpetrator of this issue.

  2. #2
    That is not all that unusual. For me I find 13 works a little better sometimes, depending on context. I think I've seen David Childs do the same thing. Whether it works for any player would be a combination of player, mouthpiece, instrument, context, and possible temperature (because sharp/flat tendencies can get a little wacky when the instrument gets quite warm or cold). If it works, don't sweat it!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. #3
    the first time I saw Steven Mead live I was surprised how many times he used 1-3. I think you have to figure out the context usage.

    If your 4th valve C or F is a little flat, that means 2-4 B or E might be right in tune. Good compromise

  4. #4
    As Mr. Werden said, it seems to depend on context quite a bit. I've found something similar with my horn too, I've been using 4th on those 2 notes, and 3 for the G on the staff. In the past month, I've noticed that I can use the typical fingering of 1+3 and 1+2 respectively and still get notes that are in tune. But most of those notes are towards the sharp side with around 2 notes that are stubbornly flat.

    The only notes that I have to use alternative fingerings to be in tune seems to be the upper ranges, the high Eb especially (1+3 instead of 1).
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. And always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euphonium)"

    Euphonium: JP 274 MKII
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL,Arnolds & sons 6 1/2 AL-B
    Gone but not forgotten: Yamaha EP100 (May you serve the children well in the hands of your new owner. Thank you for the past 15 years)

  5. #5
    I asked David Childs about his doing this, and he says he thinks it has a little less resistance than 4th valve and he does it with full trigger. I think that if your 1st, 3rd, and main tuning slides are set in the right place, this should be a little bit sharp. But some instruments have tendencies that are a little bit different, especially with some player & mouthpiece combinations.

    Have you set the 2+3 combination so that Gb and Dd are in tune? Often players of 3-valve non-compensating instruments will set the 3rd valve a little bit long so that 2+3 combos are flat but so that 1+3 combos are in tune and 1+2+3 are closer.
    --
    Barry

  6. #6
    On my Mack Brass the low B natural is very flat with a 2+4 combination, but is much more in tune with 123. It doesn't seem to make as much difference with the low C if I use 1+3 or 4 alone.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John the Theologian View Post
    On my Mack Brass the low B natural is very flat with a 2+4 combination, but is much more in tune with 123. It doesn't seem to make as much difference with the low C if I use 1+3 or 4 alone.
    Now that is unusual! 123 for low B natural is usually grossly sharp! And you say that 24 is very flat? How much are your slides out?
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  8. #8
    john, only q little bit. Perhaps my ear is deceiving me-- I'm not sure- sicne I haven't really checked it out that much. It's when I do octave warm-up slurs that I seem to notice it the most.

  9. #9
    It's possible your 4th valve was built too long and needs to be cut.
    --
    Barry

  10. #10
    I was thinking the same thing as Barry (4th valve tubing too long). Try this:

    Play your middle F concert (G in treble) open. Then play it with 4. You should be able to make the pitch with 4 match the pitch with open. If the 4th valve version is too low to match, then for sure the 4th valve slide tube is too long.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

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