Harmonics

Alternate Fingerings, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Post Reply
User avatar
Bo
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:40 pm
Location: Down Under

Harmonics

Post by Bo » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:58 pm

Hi,

I was wondering if somebody could have a look at the files here (http://rapidshare.com/files/335440546/H ... s.zip.html) and give me some tips on how to play these harmonics......
They seem to be a pretty advanced technique, am I right? :roll:

Thank you! :P

Bo

User avatar
pied_piper
Posts: 1840
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by pied_piper » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:43 pm

Whether you realize it or not, you are already playing harmonics - at least the first harmonic. For example, if you play 2nd space A and then play A on the first ledger line above the staff, you are actually playing a harmonic because the notes have the same fingering. If you continue to finger A and overblow to the second harmonic, you get high E on the third ledger line above the staff. In the samples from your link, you finger the lower notes and overblow to get the harmonic for the higher notes above the staff. So, if you finger F-G-A while overblowing to the second harmonic, the notes sound as C-D-E above the staff. However, it does take a fair amount of practice to control them well enough to play the music in your examples. In some cases, harmonics can be used as an alternate fingering to make certain passages easier. Playing harmonics can actually help you to focus your embouchure, so don't be afraid of them, just practice them and you'll get the hang of it.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

User avatar
Bo
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:40 pm
Location: Down Under

Post by Bo » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:36 pm

Thanks, pied_piper!
Yes, I think harmonics are a very interesting technique!

wkzh
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 3:45 am

Post by wkzh » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:05 am

Harmonics are a great way of adding colour to certain passages. They are also a good way of training the pitching of the embouchure. Do note that you do NOT squeeze harmonics out. Always jump between harmonics by varying the angle of the airstream, at least when practising pitching. (Sometimes it gets really tough, so a little periodic squeezing for utter certainty may be, well, tolerable.) If you squeeze air out, it'll develop into a bad habit and is counterproductive. You can approach it like learning the other high notes, but jumping between harmonics adds an extra challenge to it.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

etc-etc
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Re: Harmonics

Post by etc-etc » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:35 pm

Actually, the fundamental tone is the first harmonic;
An octave up from the first harmonic is the second harmonic;
A perfect fifth up from the second harmonic is the third harmonic; and so on.

wkzh
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 3:45 am

Re: Harmonics

Post by wkzh » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:26 am

Yes, there's a huge confusion about "harmonics", "partials", "overtones" and all that stuff, it's so irritating. But I find using the convention for harmonics more computationally and intuitively appealing: the other two are irritating ("overtone" is apparently a translational error) but are more general terms so sometimes there's no escape. So be careful that when you hold a discussion, make sure both of you are talking about the same thing!
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

etc-etc
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Re: Harmonics

Post by etc-etc » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:46 pm

Yes, it is very confusing because in some systems the fundamental counts as 0 and in others, as 1.

Post Reply