Intonation. One of the most challenging concepts to develop in young musicians, yet one that can negatively impact an otherwise great performance. This is the first part of a series were Jordan Stern and I discuss the ins and outs of intonation and how to improve it in your band. In this episode we discuss the basics of intonation and several causes of bad, out of tune sounds. We also introduce some solutions, although I encourage you to stick around for Intonation: Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 for an even greater discussion of how to address bad intonation in your band.
We also discuss some materials in this series that may be helpful to you in your program. I have included some links below to some of these items. As a disclaimer, I receive a small credit if you purchase the items through the links provided.
Tuning for Wind Instruments is a great resource for developing intonation and pitch consciousness in your band. It covers the origins of intonation concerns and provided practical tips for fixing them.
Tuning the Band is a quick reference guide for pitch tendencies and idea tuning notes. For the band director in a hurry, this may be helpful. I tend to think of the book as analogous to a fingering chart. I don’t need it all the time, but when I do it is crucial that it be easy to use in a hurry.
Improving Intonation in Band and Orchestra is another great resource. This book contains not only a thorough discussing of intonation, but offers several practical resources, such as individual tuning tendency charts, for director use.
Finally, we will be discussing the Yamaha Harmony Director in a later episode, but I wanted to provide a link here in case you are either unfamiliar or in the market.