Chase Sanborn is an engaging modern jazz trumpet voice with a warm, inviting tone, fluid lyrical phrasing, and a style that always swings. He exhibits the cultivated sensibility of a player at the peak of his powers.
Music Business Tactics is an easy and enjoyable read that provides sound, practical advice. If you are an aspiring musician, or you know one, get this book! You need this information!
Chase Sanborn goes right to the heart and soul of the music. His performance was an inspiration to hundreds of festival participants, and his positive and upbeat outlook made a lasting impact on our students
Jazz Tactics presents the material in such a clear and simple way, with the vitality and spirit of a live teaching session. This method speaks to all musicians, regardless of age and previous experience.
Chase addresses the needs of developing musicians in a manner that is understandable and relevant. My students were thrilled to work with someone who understands their learning curve.
Tuning Tactics teaches you to listen. In just a short time, I've witnessed strong improvement in my students' awareness. Tuning Tactics makes good intonation attainable for all!
Chase Sanborn has a natural gift for engaging and involving an audience. He shares a wealth of honest and knowledgeable information about music and the music business.
Brass Tactics offeres authoritative instruction balanced with sage and homely advice. It shows you how to handle yourself in any professional or amateur situation. No trumpet player should be without this book!

Tuning Tactics Tips

Drones
The Tuning Tactics CD contains 88 tracks. Some are demonstration tracks, designed to sensitize your ear to precise intonation. Others are interval identification tracks. Being able to identify and tune intervals is the basis of relative pitch, which all successful musicians must develop. Twelve of the tracks, the play-along Tuning Tracks, are ‘drones’.

A drone is a sustained reference pitch. Listening to a drone as you practice markedly 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. The stability of pure intervals exerts a powerful gravitational pull. The overall effectiveness of the practice session is enhanced through increased mental focus and the meditative aspect of the drone. Even absolute beginners will benefit from listening to the drone as they learn how to produce the first notes on the instrument. They hear the pitch they are striving for, a key factor in musical success.

The Tuning Tactics CD provides root-fifth drones in every key. The root-fifth combination establishes a key center more precisely than a single pitch.

Tuners: Good or Evil?
An electronic tuner reveals a lot about your own sense of pitch and the intonation quirks of your instrument. By learning which notes on your instrument tend to be sharp or flat, you instinctively move in the right direction when playing in an ensemble. A tuner can indicate if you tend to play on the high side or the low side of the pitch, and can help you find the best position for the tuning slide.

Bear in mind, a tuner is a tool, not a crutch. It should be used to train the ear, not replace it. To train the ear, the visual aspect of the tuner must be connected to an aural reference. In other words, if the tuner says you are sharp, you must hear the pitch that you are sharp relative to. CenterPitch is unique because it responds only to the vibration of your horn; it is unaffected by other sounds. You can use CenterPitch in an ensemble, getting an accurate indication of your own pitch ‘in the heat of the battle’, or in the practice room while listening to the drone. The combination of aural and visual information is highly effective. You train your ear, hone your technique and map out the intonation tendencies of every note on your instrument.

Using a tuner in an ensemble setting is controversial. Many of us have experienced a player who sits in an orchestra unwilling to budge, because his tuner says he is ‘in tune’. This attitude is antithetical to a positive group playing experience. There is no right or wrong frequency for a specific note. It depends on the pitch of the other musicians and the harmonic function of the note. Only your ear can determine whether you are ‘in tune’. Occasional glances at CenterPitch, however, can assist your ear and keep you in touch with the pitch of your horn. This is very helpful when dealing with temperature variations, mutes, or changing instruments. It is a boon when you can’t hear yourself, or are surrounded by out-of-tune players; the visual confirmation of your pitch allows you to relax and focus your sound. This improves your overall intonation and relieves your chops. A key concept is that the tuner does not tell you whether you are in tune. It tells you where the pitch of the horn lies, and may help you to move in the right direction. In the end, the ear is the final judge. The tuner just makes suggestions.

When using CenterPitch in combination with the Tuning Tracks, start with eyes closed. Play each note where you hear it most in tune. Then open your eyes and refer to the display on CenterPitch. Adjust your pitch if necessary, and pay attention to the difference in sound. Go back and forth several times between where you heard the pitch and where CenterPitch says it is most accurate. Fine-tune your ear. Be aware of intervallic tuning adjustments: e.g. major thirds should be played 14 cents lower than equal temperament. A complete chart of interval adjustments is provided in Tuning Tactics.

Tuning Tips

  • You don’t have to make time specifically to work on intonation. Simply integrate the drones and CenterPitch into your daily practice routine. The heightened mental focus trains your ear and increases the overall effectiveness of your practice session.
  • Always tune by ear first. Start with eyes closed and listen to the Tuning Track. Play each note where you hear it most in tune. If you are not sure where to place your note, tune it purposely flat, then bring the pitch up slowly until you feel you have gone past the optimum point. Go back and forth, zeroing-in on the spot where it sounds most in tune. Then open your eyes and refer to the display on CenterPitch. You may be surprised by how accurate your ears are.
  • Next, adjust your pitch if necessary, and listen for the difference. Go back and forth several times between where you heard the pitch and where CenterPitch says it is most accurate. Fine-tune your ear. Be aware of intervallic tuning adjustments: e.g. major thirds should be played 14 cents lower than equal temperament. A complete chart of interval adjustments is provided in Tuning Tactics.
  • For brass players: when buzzing your mouthpiece, the drone keeps you on pitch and encourages careful, accurate buzzing. CenterPitch works well with a Buzz Aid or BERP. The visual display reveals and improves buzzing accuracy.
  • While sustaining a note, try to hold the CenterPitch display steady with no flickering. This requires excellent breath control. You see every ‘hiccup’ in the airflow. This dramatically improves the effectiveness and the interest of playing long tones, and provides a way to track improvement.
  • Listen to the drone while playing a lyrical etude. Place each interval as accurately as possible.
  • Play jazz lines over a drone. The pitch center stays constant as you work your way through the harmonic structure.
  • Practice finger patterns with the drone playing in the background. As you concentrate on your fingers, your ear connects the digital patterns to a key center.
  • It takes some fortitude to integrate Tuning Tactics into your practice routine. The Tuning Tracks and CenterPitch are relentlessly revealing. You are held to higher standards of accountability. It can be difficult and a little frustrating at first, but over time it gets easier as you get more accurate. And the results are worth it!

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