Harmonics

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

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SeanV
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:30 pm

Harmonics

Post by SeanV » Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:40 pm

Are there any benefits to including harmonics in my daily
practice routine ? I have been working a lot in the second and third register
and trying to get the notes to to be secure. Will an excercise such as this help
in the quest ?
SeanV

FluterJenn
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:12 am

Harmonics

Post by FluterJenn » Thu Apr 24, 2003 7:38 pm

I would say yes, only because my teacher was talking about
this last week. I usually play harmonics as sort of a warm up and it helps me
play better, and they are fun to play. I only started harmonics so someone else
probably has better advice... -Jenn

damjan
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2002 9:51 pm

Harmonics

Post by damjan » Fri Apr 25, 2003 2:05 am

Definitely! Harmonics will teach you to precisely focus each
note and discover the overtones that are present in the particular note that you
are playing. These overtones define the quality of the sound that you are
producing. Practicing them will strenghten your playing.
Damjan, --- Fluteland.com Teacher

AG950Flute
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 4:24 pm

Harmonics

Post by AG950Flute » Sat Apr 26, 2003 11:24 am

I agree that harmonics are an important part of warming up. I
had a teacher once who would sometimes spend almost an entire 45 minutes with me
working on overtones. I think it depends how you are thinking when doing these
overtones. I think one of the most important aspects of this exercise is
exercising your bottom lip and not just using a stronger air stream to produce
each overtone note. Try playing a low C, and move your bottom lip slightly out
to cover more of the hole on the lip plate, it's amazing to see that just
moving your bottom lip will help you get each note out (a warning though, the
octave above C is easy to produce, but the next overtone G can sometimes be very
tricky, after the G it tends to be a little easier again). The purpose in this
exercise is to be able to implement into your flute playing, and when you are
playing different passages to remember the placement of your lips for different
octaves of your playing. I hope this makes sense! Best of luck, and keep it
up!
Courtney
Morton

SeanV
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:30 pm

Harmonics

Post by SeanV » Sun Apr 27, 2003 7:38 am

Thank you so much for your comments - I have started to
include these as a regular part of my practice routine. I still find the very
high harmonics quite difficult to produce, but I am sure that with a lot more
practice and patience in learning to focus the air stream more precisely, these
too will eventually come. A bit more on the practical side though, and I see
that this has been discussed, briefly in the last posting by Courtney. (Very
helpful.) I have one more question though, and I hope it is not a silly one....
I know that the embouchure must be pretty relaxed when practicing the notes of
the 3rd register. Must the bottom lip however, cover more of the hole the higher
I ascend in the scale ? Most of the literature that I have, although
progressive, does not seem to discuss this with any clarity. I have been
experimenting along these lines, with a measure of success - however the sound
is "pinched" at times. Thank you once again for the time in answering my last
post.
SeanV

damjan
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2002 9:51 pm

Harmonics

Post by damjan » Sun Apr 27, 2003 1:52 pm

Dear Sean, Basically, for higher harmonics, you are coming
closer with your lips to the outer wall of the lip-plate, just as you would for
playing the higher notes. You lower lip will therefore also move forward to
cover more of the tone hole. These are really small adjustments though, and what
happens is that during practice you are making your lips go there automatically.
You just have to listen carefully to what you play. If the sound sounds pinched
or thin, your lips might be too tight. These harmonics are sometimes hard to
produce. The trick is to not to try to force them out by blowing harder or
tightening your lips (which will get them too come out easier), but to find them
preciselly with relaxed lips. Good luck with practice.
Damjan, --- Fluteland.com Teacher

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