By Chase Sanborn
I’d like to discuss the use of drones for improving intonation. A drone is a sustained reference pitch or pitches, such as a root/fifth combination. Drones can be generated on a synthesizer and are available on several CDs including “The Tuning CD” and “Tuning Tactics.”
Listening to a drone as you practice improves your ability to hear and control subtle variations in pitch. Every note you play forms part of an interval relative to a key center established by the drone. Pitch discrepancies are revealed with crystal clarity. Even absolute beginners will benefit from listening to the drone as they learn how to produce the first notes on the instrument or the mouthpiece. They hear the pitch they are striving for, a key factor in successful brass playing.
Tips for Working with Drones.
About the AuthorChase Sanborn is a jazz trumpet player based in Canada and a member of the jazz faculty at the University of Toronto. Chase is the author of a series of educational books and DVDs, including “Tuning Tactics,” a book and CD designed to improve intonation. Chase Sanborn is a Yamaha Artist. For more information, visit www.chasesanborn.com.
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