Weston, Intonation of Band

I couldn’t resist, my new favorite poster!

Why I picked this subject:

I'm a band and choir teacher!

When I teach and have my band perform I want the best possible results, therefore intonation is key. I spend a lot of time talking to people and searching for different techniques or ways to teach it. This wiki will combine several different resources I’ve found and will be a reference site for me and others!

Top 5 things I’ve learned while working on this wiki.

  1. This will seem kind of weird, but the first thing I learned was, or was it something that I just forgot? Was that all you need to do to sit up straight is to push your belly button out. (ya, so I have never thought of it that way, nor heard that!)
  2. Something else that I learned, the lip muscles are some of the weakest in the body. (if that is true why am I such a good kisser?)
  3. The accuracy drill for the trombone! I’ll be using this in class!
  4. From looking for stuff for this wiki I’ve learned I’m not the only one that is concerned with the intonation of their band! There are many people out there just like me that want their band to sound the best!
  5. This is more of a helped me to remember moment! The list of recommended tuning pitches was very helpful to me (when they did load). My music classes were so long ago it’s amazing how much you forget!
  6. Wiki isn’t that bad to work with! Now I’m trying to figure out how I can incorporate this into some of my music classes!

If you can only view one element of my wikipage watch this.

It is a short simple little video from teachertube about posture. Why would this be the “one” to watch? Because with out the basics good intonation is not going to happen, correct posture is where it all starts. If you get the basics; you have a start to having good intonation in a band.

5/5 Because this is where it all starts! Posture!


I found this web site loaded with good information. It includes pages for Tuning beginning band, intermediate and Middle School Bands and High school Bands. Personally I found all the information informative well thought out and worth the time to look at!

5/5 because this web site has such a huge amount of good information, from band help to specific instrument helps.


This website talks about from tuning to waves and beat, to pitch tendencies, and the authors thoughts on tuners in rehearsal. While I don’t agree with everything he says, his list of recommended tuning pitches is helpful.

4/5 (because I don’t agree with some of his tuning statements and the tuning pitch chart doesn’t always load!)


This video is from youtube. So the question is, why is there a choral director in the middle of links in regards to band? Watch the video, specifically the spot where he is having student’s breath in for a specific amount of counts and then out for a set amount. This is here because I think it is a great practice for beginning bands to help teach air support. I have my students do this through their instrument without playing a note, then I have them do it with playing a scale. It helps to teach constant air support. I give this video, specifically that part a 5/5.


This is the first part of an intonation video found on youtube. When and where the 2nd video will come out who knows. The video does a great job of describing what intonation is and how it works. It also gives useful information about tuning instruments.

4/5 Because it sounds like a commercial for a specific tuner at the end of the video.


This video is quit simply amazing. It shows a small band playing octaves from the bottom up. What is so amazing is the tuning of the band. Sound aside, this does show an excellent exercise that one can use in their band to practice octave tuning.

5/5 because I am using this exercise in my band!



This is an entry is from a blog of a music teacher in a small school. He does an excellent job of talking about being in tune and gives a great example of how he taught his students to hear if they are in tune or not.

I give it a 5/5 because I’ve taught my students the same thing almost the same exact way!

For the last of the wiki I’m going to change the direction ever so slightly. Instead of a whole band focus I’m targeting specific instruments that I have experienced as almost always playing out of tune. (in younger bands) These videos are packed with helpful ideas and hints on how to get your young or older player in tune!


First up a trombone video from youtube. Why? The trombone is easily adjusted in or out of tune. A trombone player must constantly be adjusting his or her instrument to be in tune. I recommend young and old trombone players watch this video as it is oozing good information.

5/5 because I started using the accuracy drill in my mid-to upper bands.


Next up we have a short video about the flute from teachertube. It never fails my flutes will warm-up and then as soon as we start to play a song, the once in tune flutes start to go every direction. This video very simply shows what to tell your flute players to do to adjust the pitch of their instrument.

4/5 because there could have been some more detail in it!

And on a side note, a lot of times the flute players go out of tune simply because of their posture!


Last I have a video about the trumpet. Why? Because I’m a trumpet player. While in general I would say my trumpet players are “okay” at being in tune, they never even think about adjusting anything beyond the main tuning slide. This video talks about the “other” slides of the trumpet and tuning notes that without moving the “other” slides the trumpet has difficulty playing in tune.

5/5 because TRUMPETS ROCK!


And a weird little interesting video as the grand finale of the page.

This weird little video is about just intonation vs. equal temperament. Not only does the video have sound but it has a picture to watch as well! This is more of an interesting thing to watch if you’re obsessed with tuning. I’ll give this video a 3/5 because while I enjoyed it and got a kick out of it, most people will just look at it as some weird video.

Bonus Power point!

This is a power point that I received from Robert W. Smith and uploaded it with his permission. It features the Ipad and uses for it in music education.

5/5 Because I would have never known about 1/2 this stuff without his presentation!