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Trouble with Playing Smoothly

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

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Antigone
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 5:46 pm
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Trouble with Playing Smoothly

Postby Antigone » Thu May 31, 2012 5:55 pm

When I play the flute, the sound is really rough, and I don't know how to go about improving. I played for a year, but that was 4 years ago; I recently began playing again, so I'm not so new to the instrument. So how can I improve the sound? I know it takes practice, but could I be practicing the wrong way? Is there a specific warm-up I should practice?

326
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Trouble with Playing Smoothly

Postby 326 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:37 am

Play scales. Warm up properly, obviously. Try playing long tones and focusing on the tone while you're at it.
And are you referring to your single-note tone or general melody fluency?

Antigone
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Re: Trouble with Playing Smoothly

Postby Antigone » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:29 pm

I'm referring to single tones. I know that for overall performance I need practice.

326
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Trouble with Playing Smoothly

Postby 326 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:32 am

Well, what I personally do to improve my tone is just playing long tones and experimenting with them. When leaving out all the technique etc., it is a whole lot easier to focus on the core tone. And I know that this is what most people do to improve their tone.
As I already said, just play long tones and try to make them sound better. Try moving your lips around, rolling the flute in- or outwards, blowing from a different angle, tightening your embouchure, loosening it, widening your "smile" etc., until you get something that you like. It will make you more aware of your tone: you feel it instead of it just being there. A bit of googling might also find you some tips for a better tone.
And as also mentioned before, warm up properly. I start getting my best tone after around 20-30 mins of playing.
Single note sound is also quite a difficult thing to improve, as you may know...

So, in a nutshell, just focus on the single, long tone at a time and experiment around with your lips, air stream, angle, posture etc. and eventually it will improve.

Antigone
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 5:46 pm
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Re: Trouble with Playing Smoothly

Postby Antigone » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:43 am

Okay. Thank you for all your advice!

ShadowPlay
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:59 pm

Re: Trouble with Playing Smoothly

Postby ShadowPlay » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:13 am

Something I've found made a big difference was the volume I have been playing at.

Being in a shared house, I've been quite self-conscious of playing, which means trying to be quiet... which means my notes are a lot less supported and consistent.

I've found it's worth making sure I'm playing at full volume, when I have the opportunity.

ObscureStar
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:36 pm

Re: Trouble with Playing Smoothly

Postby ObscureStar » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:08 pm

Something I've found made a big difference was the volume I have been playing at.

Being in a shared house, I've been quite self-conscious of playing, which means trying to be quiet... which means my notes are a lot less supported and consistent.

I've found it's worth making sure I'm playing at full volume, when I have the opportunity.

THIS was my number one issue. When I lived in an apartment this was a huge problem for my playing.

You might try going to the park and playing or a beach or forest near you if that's an option. Or play while walking on a busy street (Perhaps easier if you were in marching band) or rent a music studio or go to your local junior college and just sneak into one of the practice rooms. They're often empty unless it's around midterms or finals.

Also, I'll sound crazy probably but I think acoustics matter too. If you can be in a space that your instrument really fills the chamber and reverberates nicely it helps you feel the sound more and adjust your playing to get a more solid tone. What you're kind of doing is harmonizing with yourself. Parking structures are GREAT for this. :) In short: Just go guerrilla. :)


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