|Richard Speetjens's pitchfinder (click for detail)
Richard Speetjens (horn-player, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra) and his father-in-law Richard Grobbenhaar have developed a pitchfinder for trumpet.
The idea was first mentioned by Marc Speetjens (brother of Richard and trumpet player with the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra). The most important points in the development of this device were: 1) it had to be smooth to operate, 2) after being released it had to come back exactly to its initial position, 3) it had to be fastened to the instrument without soldering.
Richard Speetjens says: “The pitchfinder will make a trigger from your tuning slide. By using the pitchfinder, tuning corrections by embouchure are no longer necessary. The tone quality will be uniform throughout the register and your tiredness will decrease. The pitchfinder has a unique method of fixing the starting point and can be mounted on your instrument without soldering. The tuning slide has to be polished for the pitchfinder to work smoothly: you can do this yourself or ask your local repairer.”
The pitchfinder is already being used by several trumpet players in Dutch symphony orchestras. Hans van Loenen (principal trumpet, Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra) says: “This is fantastic - you can play without getting too tired. You don’t notice the added weight of the pitchfinder while playing”. According to Hans Verhey (third trumpet, Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra): “the pitchfinder is especially useful for second or third trumpet players. Works like Beethoven’s, with octaves and fifths in the trumpets, are no problem any more.”
The cost of the pitchfinder is €359 (about US$475) and it can be ordered directly from Richard Speetjens at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +31 35 622 3993 (from the USA: 011 31 35 622 3993).