Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.
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Hey guys, I love the low notes on the flute, I think they sound uber cool, but I can't produce a nice warm tone on low notes! I think I've got the air for support, but somehow all the air doesnt seem to go into the tone hole. I assume it must be my braces affecting my embouchure again, but is there like a trick to getting full warm low notes? I've tried opening up my throat and the insides of my mouth, or use more air, but i just sound rather.. thin. Any help? Thanks =)
It is hard to help without actually seeing you play, but it sounds like you are not focusing your air stream. I have students practice this in front of a mirror and look for the air/water vapor on the lip plate. It should make a nice small V pattern. This is harder with low notes for some players. I also have students blow into a straw, feeling the air flow on the other end, then try to reproduce that feeling with the flute headjoint. You may also be covering too much of the hole in the lip plate, which will inhibit the sound and cause it to be weak, or even focusing too much air into the tone hole (which is sort of rare) and again will cause a weak or distorted sound. Agian, it is very hard to help without actually seeing you play. Let me know if any of this works.
The way I would do it is to start with a note in the middle register that you can get your "best tone" out of. Hold the note several times, then slur down chromatically to the next note without changing your embouchure. Then start with that note, make sure you have a good, clean tone, then go down one more note. Continue this, making sure you don't move your embouchure. I think a lot of times we expect the low register to have a different kind of embouchure, and then we fumble around trying to find it, when the best way is to just take those middle notes that we do really well and move it on down. This isn't to say that NOTHING changes, but your lips and mouth will automatically adjust with the chaning pitch... at least that's the way I see it. This is an exercise I practice almost daily, and it's a wonderful warm-up.