Fixing a deteriorated tone? :S

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

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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:24 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Fixing a deteriorated tone? :S

Post by our.milky.way »

Hi, I'm new here! *waves*

I'm also pretty new at playing the flute (if a couple of years is newish) but its cool that I can still ask for advice from much better players. Well, here's my problem: I was able to get a pretty decent tone, but then I got caught up in school stuff and put work before lessons/practice, so I basically stopped playing, aside from a couple of awry practises.

Now I've started practising properly again, and I try to do an hour (though mostly I can only manage about half) and my tone is terrible! It is very breathy, and i tried adjusting my embouchure (I hope that's spelled right) but it doesn't make much of a difference; so, is my tone something that will just be cleared up through practice or am I even more terrible than I hoped I was? Should I do exercises specifically to improve my tone?

I'm planning to find a way to contact my teacher sometime soon. I'm hoping its just a matter of practise but I reckon I need some more trustworthy advice. Sorry about having so many questions, and this probably isn't an uncommon topic but I was just hoping I'd be able to get back to the standard (no matter how low it may have been) I was at before I took my... break.

Thanks! You rock! Happy Monday!

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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:34 pm

Post by Thespian233 »

Welcome to the message boards! I am new here too, and recently went through a similar problem you did. I played for 14 years, then had a two year hiatus, and had awful tone at first.

I have found that airy tones are caused by one of several things - Firstly, your embouchure may just not be focused enough yet. Especially when picking flute up again after awhile, the muscles tire easily and you can start splaying the air stream out without even noticing it.

Secondly, you could be rolled too far out and/or aiming your air stream too much over the hole instead of straight at the edge of it. Yes, it is just a matter of practicing and getting back into shape. Everyone should do tonal exercises!! I think you would benefit from playing long tones throughout the range, as well as overtones (blowing harmonics). This will help get your embouchure back in shape.

You could also pick a note and make subtle changes to your embouchure, noting the difference in tonal quality (might help pinpoint your problem). Practicing in a mirror can help too.

Good luck!!

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