Late January 2009: I’ve been playing my new Hoyer for about three weeks now. My intonation issues with it are getting better slowly. For the most part it’s the third space C that gives me trouble by sounding consistently sharp. I have been working on developing the correct muscle memory to play the C in tune. I play the C repeatedly holding the note steady while watching the tuner. I make sure that the needle is dead center. I do this for several minutes every day. It’s boring but it does seem to be working. Did I mention that it’s boring? If I play the note with my eyes closed and then look at the tuner it is much closer to center this week than it was last week.
When I first tried the horn I wasn’t sure I loved the sound of the instrument. In fact, I was pretty darn skeptical. That has changed now. I love the sound. I think I had to learn what the horn wanted me to do. I needed a lot more air support for the Yamaha and I was overblowing the Hoyer. I’ve learned how to control my air better and now on good chops days I can make the Hoyer really sing. In fact, on good chops days I’m pretty happy with how I play.
Of course, I still have more bad days than good days. That makes those rare good days all the better. The new horn certainly wasn’t a quick fix for all my playing problems but I never had good days with the Yamaha that are as good as they are now with the Hoyer. My bad days with the Hoyer are more like the good days with the Yamaha. Now it’s time for a new mouthpiece.