For those of you who have read some of my posts, you may remember that the Bb side of my Hoyer has played sharp since I bought it. At IHS Hoyer agreed that the horn was sharp and finally sent a new tuning slide two weeks ago. A few pros have tried my horn since then and have deemed the intonation ‘playable’. Not ‘fixed’ exactly. They have told me that I should be able to learn how to play it in tune; that Hoyer has done their part and I shouldn’t expect them to replace the horn.
I don’t know what to do. Right now I can’t play this horn in tune with any consistency. I’ll play the same passage several times in a row and sometimes it’s fine, sometimes it’s flat and sometimes it’s sharp. The F side of the horn now tends to be a bit flat when I play it even with the F tuning slide pushed all the way in. I have my Yamaha 668, my teacher’s Conn 8D and a loaner Dieter Otto horn at home and I play all of them mostly in tune. The slots on the Hoyer are big which isn’t helping and I have a lot of trouble centering the notes. Tom Greer (Moosewood) played my horn at IHS and said he couldn’t center the notes. Would a tuning slide fix that problem?
So do I keep the Hoyer and learn how to play it in tune? Should I have to learn how to do that? Shouldn’t a horn play in tune or very close to in tune once the slides are set? I know there are always some notes that are typically flat or sharp and I’m not talking about making sure the pitch is correct when playing with an ensemble. I like the Hoyer a lot except for the intonation.
One of my options is to send the Hoyer to Jim Patterson of Patterson Hornworks. They do custom work on Hoyer horns and he seems to think he can make mine a lot better. Another option is to put the Hoyer up for sale at the dealer where I bought the horn and buy the Otto I have on loan or one of the other horns he has in stock. Do I just sell the Hoyer myself and then buy some other horn? Should I keep the Hoyer and live with it? Will I actually learn to play it in tune relatively quickly? I do play in two community bands and there are occasions when the horns play in unison or I have an exposed part so good intonation is important especially in one of the bands.
Any answers, comments or suggestions are most welcome!