What to practice?

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

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FreeTheMilks
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:54 pm

What to practice?

Post by FreeTheMilks » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:25 pm

This sounds like a terrible question.

I'll be honest, my musicianship and passion for flute and music itself was far greater back before
I started University. Now wallowing in my second year in flute performance at USM, I've come to realize
all the mistakes I've made. I don't practice, I lost my passion, and now I want to regain it. I'd rather
here myself practice two years ago than listen to any performance of myself now. It's quite embarassing
to say the least.

I'm just having trouble now, that I've got my flute back in my hands - I'll run through Taffanel Gaubert
exercises. I'll (begrudgingly) practice scales. I'll work on bits of rep I'm working on. But I feel empty. I
feel like I'm not learning anything. I need a routine back. I feel like I have SO much to work on, I don't
even know where to start. And it's discouraging.

Any tips for a flute player trying to get back into the swing of things?

evrmre
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:22 am

Re: What to practice?

Post by evrmre » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:29 pm

Try playing something completely different, but make a point of not using any sheet music to learn it. Also try practicing in a few different environments, with different acoustics (I like glass stairwells, myself). Spend some time doing something completely different with the instrument (Ever tried beatbox flute?).

As long as it seems like just work, you'll continue to struggle with it. So change your methods for a while. While other approaches may not be as effective technically, it will give you some other perspectives that you can bring back to your performances, and might just restore your passion for the music. And if you're able, try to get some of the pressure of your normal stuff put on hold while you experiment (if it is possible).

Finally, remember you play first for yourself, and then allow others to enjoy your enjoyment through performance. So go back to just playing for your own enjoyment again. The rest will come from there...

That's my two cents, anyway... :roll:

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flutego12
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am
Location: Southern Hemisphere, Earth

Re: What to practice?

Post by flutego12 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:20 pm

evrmre wrote:Try playing something completely different, but make a point of not using any sheet music to learn it. Also try practicing in a few different environments, with different acoustics (I like glass stairwells, myself). Spend some time doing something completely different with the instrument (Ever tried beatbox flute?).

As long as it seems like just work, you'll continue to struggle with it. So change your methods for a while. While other approaches may not be as effective technically, it will give you some other perspectives that you can bring back to your performances, and might just restore your passion for the music. And if you're able, try to get some of the pressure of your normal stuff put on hold while you experiment (if it is possible).

Finally, remember you play first for yourself, and then allow others to enjoy your enjoyment through performance. So go back to just playing for your own enjoyment again. The rest will come from there...

That's my two cents, anyway... :roll:
That's such "spot on" priceless advice, evmre, you are a sage. Definitely worth more than two cents.

For most, uni life is a huge transition fr school, with its many distractions and new priorities requiring one to make adjustments. Good that you've got the flute back in your hands.

For me it's stage fright, so, I just play for myself for my own enjoyment (my only reason to play). :mrgreen: And beautiful tone, articulation and melodies come first before I get into the technique and flexibility, important as they are collectively. Breathing technique is my current challenge. So I'm conscious of the need to buildup general fitness supplemented with targeted breathing exercises to strengthen the abdomen muscles found in various books (Trevor Wye, Roger Mather etc). Also how quickly the embouchure and fingers fall asleep after even a month of absence from pracs but the heartening thing is the brain is a wonderful gift. Trust that every step you take in just "showing up" for practice, intelligent practice, focusing on the positives and being kind to yourself, you will no doubt bounce back quickly. Just DO IT and trust your body to adjust. Just LOVE the music you make, even if it's just practice.

I've heard T&G is a great comeback or maintenance regime - but I must admit, my T&G book is still sitting mint on my bookshelf, its not my cup of tea. Much prefer Trevor Wye's 5-Vol Omnibus or Marcel Moyse's Melodic Studies or low hanging fruit etudes. (Perhaps I'm talking a different level of playing (non virtuoso-istic) but that's my 1 cent.)

[From you post, it was unclear whether you have been away from the flute for a while; whether you are in a music course, you mentioned "having flute back in your hands" and alluded to a "2nd year flute perforamance".]
flutist with a screwdriver

jseligmann
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:54 pm

Re: What to practice?

Post by jseligmann » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:46 pm

What got you into the flute in the first place?
How into playing were you, and what did you really like to play?

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