need perfect pitch to play trombone ?



  • I assume that a person needs perfect pitch (or close to it) to play trombone ?

    moshe



  • @moshe
    Doubt it. Perfect pitch is quite rare. Some university did a study recently and found it’s something like only 1 in 10,000.
    They also compared musicians and non musicians and found no difference in ability to recognise pitch.

    Trombone players are just like us trumpet players, only not as cool, obviously. Practice teaches us when a note is in tune.



  • If you can hear when you're in tune and when you're not and can correct it when you're not, you can play trombone. One advantage to the trombone is that once you get the slide positions down (and unfortunately, they're different for each partial, meaning lots of different, but similar positions to assimilate and reproduce precisely), you can play every note with maximum resonance and not have to lip it in tune. It's not simple, and it definitely is not easy, but the potential is there.



  • @Rapier232 said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    @moshe
    Doubt it. Perfect pitch is quite rare. Some university did a study recently and found it’s something like only 1 in 10,000.

    Agreed. I believe however that "relative pitch" is a much more prevalent and easier sensory skill to adapt to playing, and I can see where this would be a real asset to a trombone player (or a fretless bass player as well).


  • Global Moderator

    Definitely not.



  • Is this a serious question? What gives you the impression that you do?



  • @moshe said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    I assume that a person needs perfect pitch (or close to it) to play trombone ?

    moshe

    Most trombone players I have known seem to have the opposite of perfect pitch, because if they did, they would be living with constant frustration.



  • @BigDub said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    @moshe said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    I assume that a person needs perfect pitch (or close to it) to play trombone ?

    Most trombone players I have known seem to have the opposite of perfect pitch, because if they did, they would be living with constant frustration.

    ...and then have to "pitch"-a-fit! Or perhaps even a "perfect fit"... Yes?



  • @Dr-GO said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    @BigDub said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    @moshe said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    I assume that a person needs perfect pitch (or close to it) to play trombone ?

    Most trombone players I have known seem to have the opposite of perfect pitch, because if they did, they would be living with constant frustration.

    ...and then have to "pitch"-a-fit! Or perhaps even a "perfect fit"... Yes?

    Now you're talking about my special mute......from Brazil?



  • @BigDub said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:
    ...and then have to "pitch"-a-fit! Or perhaps even a "perfect fit"... Yes?

    Now you're talking about my special mute......from Brazil?

    Does it? And does it match that Freudian Slip?



  • I guess no one knows when enough is enough, so I'll answer your question, to be fair.
    No.



  • That is sort of like assuming singers and violinists all need perfect pitch, since their "instruments" can produce a continuum of pitches. One of my old band directors said the trombone is the only instrument in the brass section that IN THEORY has the ability to play every note perfectly in tune. In practice,.... uhhh, not so much.



  • @Newell-Post said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    That is sort of like assuming singers and violinists all need perfect pitch, since their "instruments" can produce a continuum of pitches. One of my old band directors said the trombone is the only instrument in the brass section that IN THEORY has the ability to play every note perfectly in tune. In practice,.... uhhh, not so much.

    And yet, with that possibility the trombone offers, so few players ( at least ones I play near ) take advantage of it!
    I would only wish brass players just have a basic sense of pitch. The knowledge of when they are off a bit, and I mean quite a bit. Is that too much to ask?



  • @BigDub said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    @Newell-Post said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    That is sort of like assuming singers and violinists all need perfect pitch, since their "instruments" can produce a continuum of pitches. One of my old band directors said the trombone is the only instrument in the brass section that IN THEORY has the ability to play every note perfectly in tune. In practice,.... uhhh, not so much.

    And yet, with that possibility the trombone offers, so few players ( at least ones I play near ) take advantage of it!
    I would only wish brass players just have a basic sense of pitch. The knowledge of when they are off a bit, and I mean quite a bit. Is that too much to ask?

    C'mon man! Next thing you're gonna ask of them is to practice!! πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™„ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚



  • I played in ancient times slide trombone for 25 years or more but still I believe it's easier to play in tune on a trombone than on a trumpet. I have been in trombone sections that played completely in tune, I don't understand all the complaining and moaning here.


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    There are a few I’ve played with that have a better chance of playing in tune than playing in time. That’s just as irritating!!



  • @FranklinD said in need perfect pitch to play trombone ?:

    I played in ancient times slide trombone for 25 years or more but still I believe it's easier to play in tune on a trombone than on a trumpet. I have been in trombone sections that played completely in tune, I don't understand all the complaining and moaning here.

    I guess I'm being fairly specific about the ones I am talking about



  • While I've been a professional for over half a century, (those Sackbuts were a challenge, eh Franklin?), and worked in many countries, I've never known anyone with perfect pitch. Relative? I worked with another arranger in D.C, and when we were bored, we used to get together and transcribe chords. One dictated and the other transcribed. We transcribed not only complex chords but twelve-tone stuff, as well. Both of us had relative, not perfect pitch.

    Both of us were also multi-instrumentalists. I've noticed that an additional dimension takes place when going from transcribing from air waves to playing a horn, and that is the acoustical properties of the horn are added. You may hear a pitch perfectly, but different registers, pitches, etc. may alter that pitch and you have to adjust to produce the true pitch, (and also adjust the pitch to fit in with the surrounding chord tones coming from other horns), by using alternate fingering, humored slide positions and the like. Hearing, then, comes into play when adjusting.

    You don't need perfect pitch, but good relative pitch combined with a sensitivity to how to adjust your horn to the pitch are needed.

    p.s. I knew a of a sax player who had perfect pitch and he could only play C Melody sax. Transpositions drove him crazy and he was very uncomfortable even when playing with other players. I have a friend in the Philadelphia Orchestra. I asked him one time, "How do you guys play so well in tune", and he said, "We don't play in tune. We play out of tune - together", LOL.


  • Global Moderator

    I know a trumpet player with perfect pitch. Actually, I know two. They are both fine trumpeters. That being said, one of them was my schoolmate and I still regularly beat him in auditions. I have decent relative pitch. Trombone is mostly about the muscle memory, just like trumpet.



  • Definition - Trombone: Human wind powered pitch approximator.

    You don't need to have perfect pitch - you only need to be able to hear whether or not a pitch is sharp or flat relative to another pitch.


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