Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey there, I'm an alto player and I've played flute on-and-off in the past; I recently started doubling on flute/clarinet at my private lessons every week... I auditioned for a local jazz honor group and got in, and my concern is that I may need to double on flute for that band, which starts rehearsing soon! :yikes!:

Anyways, do you have any tips for getting out high notes? I'm worried that, if the director does ask me to double, the flute parts will be reeeally high... :( I've been practicing octaves, scales, some etudes, but I'm still having some trouble. Do you have any "tricks" you use? What's your method for getting the high register? Any suggestions are much appreciated. :D
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
tricks, no
intelligent things to practice and develop, yes.

When I studied with Vernon Hill he always stressed the need to avoid tension in the 3rd octave.
Amongst his many techniques, we worked on harmonics a lot in lessons.

Remember, it is the mobility of the aperture and embouchure that produces the different registers of the flute, not just blowing harder.

Can you play a good sound on the head joint alone?
If so, cover the end with the flat of your palm and slur up to the next 'note.' Go back and forward between these. When that is established, go up to the next note.

There are many different ways of explaining what happens to your embouchure when you do this, and how you relate to them depends on you as a student.
I would suggest finding I good flute teacher locally. The basics of flute embouchure can be learnt very quickly if done correctly.

Gordon (NZ) has written a very nice, concise article on this subject, its worth looking up.
good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
The key to playing high notes on the flute is to have a more focused airstream. You do this by increasing the airspeed and making your embouchure hole slightly smaller with out tensing up.

The thing you have to watch out for is pinching your sound by making the embouchure too tight. Also increasing the airspeed doesn't mean blow harder. It means you give it more support and intensity. Whatever you do don't over blow to get the sound. This sounds bad and is counter productive to learning to play the high notes on the flute.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
To get a higher note to sound, the air jet leaving your lips either has to be faster or shorter, or both. Most players find a comfortable balance between blowing harder and reducing the distance from lip aperture to the embouchure hole edge. The effects are different. To jump one octave, the blowing pressure has to be four times as strong, so just blowing harder tends to make the dynamic quite a bit louder, and will also raise the pitch. Simply reducing the distance shades the hole and flattens pitch, so a fine balance must be maintained between blowing pressure and slight adjustments in embouchure distance (and shape to a smaller extent) to be flexible both intonationally and dynamically in the high notes. The key is practice, practice, practice--especially long tones changing dynamics and trying to keep the pitch centered.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top