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I struggle to play the 2/3 lowest notes on my alto flute !

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

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gerardo1000
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 5:38 pm

I struggle to play the 2/3 lowest notes on my alto flute !

Postby gerardo1000 » Sat May 12, 2018 6:36 am

Hi! I just purchased a pre-owned Gemeinhardt alto flute, completely serviced and re-padded. When I try to play the lowest notes, especially the last couple, G and G#,I go to the higher octave. I mean: I have problems in keeping the lowest octave. And the few times that I manage to play them without changing octave, they sound weak and with a low volume. Being new to the alto, I wonder if this is normal for a beginner ? I had the flue checked and the technician said that it is perfect, with no leaks. I have no problems at all playing the low notes of my C flute. I hope that the problem is in my embouchure, and not in my flute ! Any opinions and or suggestions are welcome !

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pied_piper
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: I struggle to play the 2/3 lowest notes on my alto flute !

Postby pied_piper » Sat May 12, 2018 1:54 pm

It's not unusual to struggle a bit when first switching from C flute to alto flute. The alto requires a looser embouchure so there is a period of adjustment. The C flute also uses a faster air stream than alto, so just relax your lips more than usual and blow gently at first. Practice playing long tones pianissimo so that you are not blowing the air too fast. Play some notes that you can play comfortably then go down a half step and play that note on long tones. Continue going down lower to extend your range lower but do it gradually. Once you get the feel for it, then play a bit louder and maintain control to keep your alto in the lower register. Practice and you will get it, but it does take a bit of time to adjust.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

SylvreKat
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: I struggle to play the 2/3 lowest notes on my alto flute !

Postby SylvreKat » Mon May 14, 2018 6:05 am

I recommend checking out Dr Chris Potter's videos on youtube. I think she's playing her bass on them, but the techniques crossover to alto. Here's the link to her homepage--

https://www.youtube.com/user/altofluteDR

Actually, I probably need to go back through them myself.

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

gerardo1000
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: I struggle to play the 2/3 lowest notes on my alto flute !

Postby gerardo1000 » Fri May 18, 2018 7:53 am

Yesterday I stopped by Flute World which is a 30 minutes drive from my home, and tested a brand new Pearl and a brand new Dean Jang (both student flutes models). With the Pearl flute I had exactly the same issue that I have with my Gemeinhardt: difficulty in playing the last couple of low notes. Wit the Dean Jang flute.... no problems at all ! I was able to play all low notes well and with good volume... I am really confused now. May be it is a combination between my embouchure and the way each flute's lip plate is cut.


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