USA East Music BULLETIN - WINTER 2019/20 - ISSUE 4 - Page 22

Dear Bandmaster New this month, Robert Venables (DMD, Southern New England Division) answers your questions. Submit your music related questions to or QUESTION: Can you please clarify what you mean when you say “use your triggers”. What exactly do they do? ANSWER: I suppose an explanation is due, without being overly technical. When we play Brass instruments, particularly Cornets, unfortunately due to the very physics of the instrument certain notes are more out of tune than others. To simply play the instrument without the use of 3rd valve tuning slides is not the best way to overcome this. Any modern instrument will be equipped with a movable 3rd slide by way of trigger or finger ring. When playing the written notes low D and D flat (or C sharp) it is a must to extend the slide to bring the pitch lower thus achieving the necessary correction in intonation. In over 45 years of playing Cornet or Trumpet I have never encountered a situation where this was not an absolutely necessary correction (unless the composer wanted the notes to be played a quarter tone sharp). The notes are simply not in tune unless the slide is extended. To use only the lip to bring these notes in tune does not work. The important thing to remember is to bring the slide back in for other third valve notes (E flat, A flat). The movable slide is there for a very good, unwavering reason thus the request to make the best use of it. I liken this to a driver who refuses to use a signal light when driving. It is simple enough to use and makes life much better for those around. If Adolph Herseth, William Vacchiano, Phil Smith, Phil Cobb, Alison Balsom and Peggy Thomas all use(d) the triggers then we should, too. If your slide is not working properly then I will gladly have it repaired for you. The Lord bless you in your playing and singing for Him. “Listen, you kings! Pay attention, you mighty rulers! For I will sing to the LORD. I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel” Judges 5:3 Your grateful Bandmaster, Bob