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Quiet High Notes

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

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Quiet High Notes

Postby Alexir » Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:18 pm

I have been playing the flute for 1 and a half years and I just got a new song about 2 weeks ago. at the beggining there are triplets (high G, A, Bflat) and we half to play them very quietly.

Any techniques or advice on how to play quiet high notes? it may be a stupid question but I find it really hard..I mean I can play low note really quiet and really loud but the high notes are harder to play loud :roll:

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Postby embum79 » Tue Oct 19, 2004 4:05 pm

That's not a stupid question; this is one of the most difficult things to do on flute.

What I try to do is imagine my lips pushing out and up, and making the space between my lips much smaller. What this does is help you reach the note, prevent it from going flat, and making it softer, all at the same time.

As I said, this is a difficult thing to do. I have been playing flute for 17 years and I still have to work on it!

Let us know how it goes.

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Postby Alexir » Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:49 pm


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Postby woof » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:51 pm

Often when I go from D# (second octave) to C2 there seems to be a delay in the intonation of the C note. i.e. I get an airy sound then the C note forms? It is as if I were only slowly pressing the C key-- which is not the case. This happens even with all my fingers pressing tightly on the appropriate keys. Since it does not happen all the time I don't think it is a leak?? Any ideas???

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Postby halo » Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:56 pm

I think that this is a very important question, and the answer is something that band teachers across America neglect to teach, even though it is ultra-important.

When it was time to learn the high notes, my old band director taught us that we could not play nice, full high notes unless we had the ability to play them softly. Every day for a couple of weeks, the entire group of flutes was pulled aside and drilled until we could play the highest notes (to the very top of the scale, and don't let anyone tell you that is college level) softly.

If you do this, you will hear the difference in all of your high notes. Your director was very smart to give you this music. I imagine that this piece of music was an intentional excercise to help his flutes reach their potential.

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Postby ick27 » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:18 pm

Some of my thoughts on playing quiet high notes:
To play quietly, more of the embouchure hole is covered by the lower lip. Along with this the air must be focused down into the hole, so aim the air down and use a small embouchure hole (one that doesn't waste any air). How much embouchure hole is covered and blowing angle are the crucial variables I think. You'll notice the intotation can very widely as you do this, but play around with it, it is possible to play high notes quietly and in tune.

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Re: Quiet High Notes

Postby Leonieflute » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:56 pm

Hi, I've been playing the flute for ten years know and I have something that might help you, try thinking that you're saying u, while playing those high notes and, then gradually decrease the volume. Like, you sharpen you're lips without pressing them together.

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