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KT's Corner #2

Is your tuning slide w-a-a-a-ay out?

If your slide is way out, approaching 2 inches, you are playing in defiance of your instrument..

“busting the bronco” may be a possible cure.

The following procedure has worked well for me and for a dozen or so customers who have called the Warburton shop over the years initially in search of a mouthpiece to fix the “way-out “ tuning slide problem:

  1. Play a tuning-note C long tone as loud as you possibly can handle without strain. Hold it at maximum volume until you run out of air. Immediately breathe and play again and again for 10 minutes. *
  2. At some point the pitch will modulate downward about a half-step during one of the blows. (This will happen involuntarily, against your will.)
  3. Now you can pull your slide in to a more normal position and resume playing in tune! An added bonus is that your sound will improve greatly as you are now “blowing down to the pitch”
The bronco that you just busted was yourself!  You could not continue to prevail over and against where your trumpet wants to play. This remedy, once achieved, seems to stay, with no need to repeat these steps the following days.

I have thought about the conditions which bring about the “way-out” slide syndrome, and think that it stems from an overzealous work ethic. That is, trying to make the lips buzz instead of letting them buzz. Now relax and enjoy your more robust sound in tune with your slide back in where your trumpet wants it to be!

* Most players told me that they didn’t make it past 4 minutes before the modulation happened!