My flute sound

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

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purpleflute
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:22 am

My flute sound

Post by purpleflute » Wed May 08, 2013 4:28 am

when I play I often get a kind of whistling sound what can I do to rectify this. I have been playing for about two years and also play in band, but unfortunately the other four flute players have left in the six months since I started and we now have someone who comes intermittently and I feel there is a lot of pressure on me to get it right as I am often the only flute even though I am not anywhere near ready to be first/solo flute. There are quite a few small solo flute passages in several of the pieces of music the bands plays. Any help or advice much appreciated. Don't know whether to keep going with band or to give up until I become a better flute player.

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Zevang
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:28 pm

Re: My flute sound

Post by Zevang » Wed May 08, 2013 8:13 pm

Do you have flute classes?

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flutego12
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Re: My flute sound

Post by flutego12 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:09 am

purpleflute wrote:when I play I often get a kind of whistling sound what can I do to rectify this. I have been playing for about two years and also play in band, but unfortunately the other four flute players have left in the six months since I started and we now have someone who comes intermittently and I feel there is a lot of pressure on me to get it right as I am often the only flute even though I am not anywhere near ready to be first/solo flute. There are quite a few small solo flute passages in several of the pieces of music the bands plays. Any help or advice much appreciated. Don't know whether to keep going with band or to give up until I become a better flute player.
:wink: wow, first flute by default - it is such an honour. and I have every confidence you will step up to the call.
When you say whistly did you mean airy or tooty? If you sound like you are whistling, then check your embouchure - it's too round & protruded with the wrong muscles engaged. Bottom lip is meant to be flat turned down at the ends (snug along bottom teeth), whilst upper lip provide the resistance and is generally over the lower lip when playing lower register. As one moves to high register, one slides the lower lip out a minute fraction (so perhaps it protrudes slightly out under the upper lip) to jump octaves. One has to experiment. At the end of the day cease "rubber banding" (scrunching) your lips and I think the whistling will stop. Also, see obstructed Air column below - culprit ? Your teeth.

When I was airy, it was because:

1) my embouchure was too wide and needed more focus
2) try turning your headjoint way in - see jennifer cluff's blog/webpage - it truly helps - my teacher fixed me up that way in Lesson1 and I had thought that the least of my problems
3) your lower lip should cover at least 50pc of the embouchure hole and blow INTO the flute like Galway says -see his YouTube "embouchure" masterclass
4) perhaps your teeth is in the way of the air column, make sure the air column is unobstructed - using the formation of the embouchure hole to direct the air flow - chin up a little perhaps?
5) the sound comes from the diaphragm (a continuous air column punctuated by tonguing at the back of the mouth cavity) and not pufferfish like from the little puff of air generated by the brush of the tongue against teeth :oops: but of course I dont' do that anymore

All the best!
flutist with a screwdriver

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