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how to fix flat low notes?

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

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how to fix flat low notes?

Postby Beginnersmind » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:25 pm

I had a private teacher for a while but my flat playing was not an issue for her and it was for me so I stopped taking lessons ( I am looking for a new teacher). I have been studying every possible book and online site to get help. I have managed to be able to play all the notes above low G in tune but below that they go flat (on all 3 of my flutes). My lower lip might be a bit on the fat side if that is something to address. Also, I can play a really rich 20 cents flat low note or (sometimes) an on pitch but cracking and breathy low note. Any suggestions how to pick up the pitch?

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Re: how to fix flat low notes?

Postby pied_piper » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:45 pm

Here's a few things you can check or experiment with:

1 - Have you checked to position of the headjoint cork? If it is not positioned correctly, it will make the octaves of the flute play out of tune. Do you know how to check it? If not see this link:
http://www.fluteland.com/board/viewtopi ... 76&#p24376

2 - You may not be using enough breath support. When playing lower notes, be sure to keep the airstream moving and supported.

3 - With larger lips, you may need to place the embouchure plate a bit higher on you lips. Also, be sure that the airstream angle is not directed to much into the embouchure hole. Try aiming the airstream higher for the low notes.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."

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Re: how to fix flat low notes?

Postby mirwa » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:15 am

Is it really that important at the moment if your playing flat on the lowers, it sounds like and I mean no offence that your still relatively new as a player, with muscle development in the lips those lower notes will eventually come up to pitch with no issues.

This may have been why your teacher was not worried about it, because with time it will correct itself.

Its like if you remember the first time you may have played a scale and you go all light headed and whoozy (it was that way for me when I started flute), over time that feeling dis-appears, our body learns adjusts and overcomes.

As far as your head cork, just insert your flute rod into the head joint and the line should be pretty close to a visual centre of the embochure hole, if it is, don't play with it, just leave it, fine tuning the head cork IMO is just for tweaking the third octave and your only dealing with about .1mm in either direction. This is also subjective to the player, whats good for one person is not definitively going to be good for another.



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Re: how to fix flat low notes?

Postby aaaluther » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:05 pm

I have only been playing the flute for a week---I am a 79 year
old trumpet player who finally decided it would be easier physically to play a flute. I took the student line flute to a repair
person who can play the flute, and he checked it for leaks and
found none. He tried my flute and he had difficulty with the low
C but at least he could produce it. He got his flute out and no
trouble at all. He said that the flute is one of those instruments
that you have to spend some bucks on in order to get a decent
sound in all of the registers. He suggested I keep my flute and
play it until I can get around on it better, and if I still am interested in playing flute, to get a more expensive flute, and
to make sure I try the flute before buying it. He said when he
worked in a music store he had a chance to try student line
flutes like mine, and he said that trying ten flutes, one of them
was much easier to play then the others. By the way, I can now
at least get a low C using the advice given in the previous post,
but it uses up a lot of my air and is very soft with very little
volume---I will keep practicing and see if I find that "sweet spot"
that will give me a better tone and low notes easier. Thanks for
the advice---

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