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Flute fingering: one octave higher

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

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Flute fingering: one octave higher

Postby numptie » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:22 pm

Hi everyone,

I've just joined and after being exhilarated at being able to play one note, I'm now able to play a whole octave!

The problem is - I'm teaching myself. Okay - that isn't the problem..I have several I wonder if anyone can help me understand to speed my progress with my C soprano flute.

1. I'm looking at the on-line fingering chart and for notes like A, the fingering in the middle octave is identical to the the higher octave. I can't work out how to play A in the higher octave. Do I just blow harder to change the pitch of the note? Surely this can't be right? The same problem with middle C and C an octave above.

2. When fingering with the bottom C, the notation of all the charts I see, show a kind of 'apostrophe' like - does this mean that I press down the roller, to hold down the bottom two air holes or just the lever for the uppermost airhole in third joint beneath the Left Hand fourth finger key?

Thanks for any help.

PS - I use a Trevor James flute.

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Postby muzikislif3 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:33 pm

Hey! Welcome to the site by the way :). Ok, to get the higher octave will be a little tough at first but you'll get the hang of it. When playing notes above the staff, you have to tighten your embouchure, which means pulling the corners of your mouth out more, sort of like you're smiling and make the hole between your lips smaller. The higher the note, the tighter the embouchure. DO NOT BLOW HARDER!! That is a big no for playing flute. You will sound extremely airy and might even squeak. It doesn't take very long to learn, just practice in front of a mirror and see how your lips are placed and how tight your embouchure is. practice more on the lower octave and as you practice, practice going from the lower notes to the higher notes chromatically and each time try to go higher. As for the low C, I don't suggest working on those really low notes until the higher register is learned. That is what most beginner books suggest. I'm sure I know what you mean by that question and yes, you do press down the roller for that note. Good luck with learning flute. :) I've been playing flute for 7 years and I was, still am constantly, getting the tighter embouchure advice drilled in my head. I hope this helped you!! :)[/u]

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Postby numptie » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:14 pm

`thanks for the reply -

I guess the board is very slow - I'd already worked it out and have been practicing this technique.

The way I've been doing it, is to force the air upwards through the embouchure, rather than downwards; adding a little 'tilt' to the flute at the same time.

Is this completely wrong? I don't want to start off the wrong way.

Thanks for your help still :)

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Postby fluteguy18 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:55 pm

It's not necessarily slow, but rather I don't answer these kind of posts. It's nothing personal but rather I post on here a lot. I just don't think that it's fair to the other members to post on everything. Everyone here has wisdom to share and I don't want to take away opportunities from some of the members who are still developing as young flutists (age or playing time!). I have found that teaching ultimately makes us better players.

It's nothing personal. I just want other members to post without feeling like I'm an attention hog.

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Postby numptie » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:54 am

No worries.

I don't want the inconvenience of a teacher yet due to taking on a summer job. I'd just end up paying for lessons with the money I earn during the daytime, when I could be enjoying practicising the flute and getting better with the real basics, before I start lessons.

Seems like there's a few styles for doing the second octave. I'm finding I'm getting a lot of variation in the volume of the note: the first octave is generally beautiful and resonant from low C to middle C. G sharp in the lowest octave is a pain and it takes me a second breath to get it right, so I can't play any music right yet.

I'm going to have to practice my hold and embouchure more on the first octave. At least I know where the second octave is :)

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Re: Flute fingering: one octave higher

Postby jmdewey60 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:05 am

I first started playing the flute a long time ago and I was 18 years old.
I had joined the Navy and I was about to go on a tour which typically
back then would have been seven months, which is a long time to be
floating around in what amounts to a tin can. I decided that I needed
something to keep my sanity, being a normally active person. I figured
playing an instrument would give me an activity that I could do while
basically staying in a fixed place. It did turn out as expected, which is kept
me mentally engaged and did not get into a sort of funk out of boredom.
The point I think I am getting at is that if one has lots of time, then that
may be the most important factor to learning something like playing the
flute. When I got out of the Navy, I went to the local community college
and I took a class in woodwinds and it did not add too much to what I
had taught myself and picked up from the occasional flute player I would
run into and could get advice from. Other players, on a casual level can be
helpful enough to someone who just wants to be able to play, but maybe
do not have high ambitions to get to a certain place in a relatively short
amount of time. That being said, I am thinking about taking some sort of
individual coaching, if that's the right term, from someone who I have become
aware of as being a generally knowledgeable and skilled player in my close
proximity. I think it might have something to do with the realization that
I may not be my best critic and may think to my own ears that I am doing ok
when to someone else, I may be the worst. I have been watching YouTube
videos and there are ones I have to stop because it is painful for me to listen to.
Music should be by definition something enjoyable and if you want someone
other than yourself to enjoy it, a good teacher would, I think, be a must.

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