Harmonics

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MissyHPhoenix
Posts: 368
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:19 pm
Location: Hammond, LA, USA

Harmonics

Post by MissyHPhoenix » Wed May 18, 2016 10:30 am

Hey everybody! Haven't been here for a while, and I'm surprised at how little discussion there is lately. I'm glad the old regulars are still here, which is who I want to address my question to ( alto I don't mind anybody else chiming in too)!

Question -- exactly what is the reason to practice harmonics? Is there a specific goal in mind, or does it address a specific problem? I've never really seen/heard an itemized reasoning behind the exercise. I've had 3 teachers in the last 5 years, and none of them went very far into harmonics, with just an occasional mention or demonstration in master class. Maybe this is something that is taught at lower levels than college, and so is assumed that I am familiar with it -- that is a frustratingly common occurrence and one that I am working hard to overcome. I have discovered that flute teaching methods are very different now than back in the 60's and 70's!

Anyway, just wondering. I start grad school in the fall and I am going to focus on filling in as many of the gaps in my basic knowledge as I can so that I will, hopefully, be a well rounded teacher when I graduate. This is a start in that direction.

Thanks!

Missy
Missy

Why Be Normal????

SylvreKat
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Harmonics

Post by SylvreKat » Wed May 18, 2016 9:16 pm

I won't be any help here as I wasn't taught anything about harmonics at all.

Just wanted to say that I was reading "harmonica" at first. And thought, "You'd practice harmonica for the exact same reason as flute, to get better playing it." Then you wrote "the exercise" and about your three of five teachers. That seemed odd, so I looked again and realized it was an s not an a.

Lesson here--don't read forums when sleepy.

Good luck in your grad studies! And I'm looking forward to reading more about harmonicS.

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

fluteguy18
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: Harmonics

Post by fluteguy18 » Sat May 21, 2016 1:26 pm

Harmonics... my favorite warm up exercise. Really!

Harmonics can be produced in one of two ways, but only one of which is beneficial from an aural development standpoint. You can produce harmonics by over-blowing, or by lip adjustments to create the upper partials. Over-blowing is no good, but using your lips is the ideal. You need a mirror to do them correctly at first. The purpose of harmonics is to encourage lip flexibility, accuracy in airstream placement, and in homogenizing the overall timbre of sound. If practiced regularly while using lip movements only, your embouchure and sound should drastically improve if there is improvement to be made.

Of course... practicing harmonics can occasionally encourage tension in the tongue and throat, and there are other exercises to work on those. Generally manifests itself as an impurity of sound in the extremes of registers.

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MissyHPhoenix
Posts: 368
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:19 pm
Location: Hammond, LA, USA

Re: Harmonics

Post by MissyHPhoenix » Sat May 21, 2016 4:18 pm

Wonderful! That is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks so much!

Missy
Missy

Why Be Normal????

SylvreKat
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Harmonics

Post by SylvreKat » Sat May 21, 2016 5:25 pm

And thank you from me, too. Now I know how to correctly produce harmonicS. (while leaving the harmonicA to my nef who seems to enjoy messing around on it) :)

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

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