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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Discussion Starter #1

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Seeing you ask... and this may be insightful for others:

Between any two notes there is some non-musical sound - just noise - for any player.
It is cause by:
- Part of the tonguing process. (Tongue extremely slowly to demonstrate this.
- Part of acoustic effects when a tone hole is only partly open during a slurred note change.
- Poor coordination between fingers, especially when some fingers operate in a see-saw action.

During any playing there is a note sounding, followed by a noise - call it "white noise" or a short note that should not be there - followed by the next note.
Very important issue are:
1. The faster we play the less able we are to discern the cause of the noises and do something about them.
2. If we speed the music up, we do not shorten the duration of the noise. We only shorten the duration of the notes. (At an extreme speed we could have almost all noise but very little note sounding.)
3. Practice that includes these noises of a conspicuous length is not learning to play better. It is a process of getting better at making the noises - reinforcing their production!

When I listen to this clip, I hear that the more straightforward note changes are relatively noise-free, but the more challenging ones, eg with see-saw fingering, have conspicuous noise.
Carry on practicing without eliminating these noises and you just get better at always making them, and when you play faster they become more and more conspicuous.

I therefore suggest mindfully playing far slower, locating the note changes that have significant noise, and very slowly, go over those changes until they are inconspicuous. BEFORE you revert to going the speed you have been going.

Likewise, the tone is quite "fuzzy" and is consistently like that for the entire clip. (I don't think it is your flute at fault.) Therefore you are practicing playing with a fuzzy tone and will get better and better at always playing like that.

So get rid of the manuscript and any other distractions like chord structures, progressions and vibrato, and place your entire focus on playing with very clear sounds. VERY SLOWLY!
More critical listening to the tone! Listen to recordings of top players so you have a sound to head for. (That is unless you want a fuzzy-sound.
It's something to do with your embouchure... perhaps the length of windway between your lips.
It seems to me that the "long-tone" practice you are doing, for whatever reason, is not developing a clear tone.

If that is more than you wanted, apologies.
 

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The best decision I made was saying goodbye to the tutorials on YouTube and to take serious lessons from a real teacher.

Asking here on a saxophone forum how to play flute is not going to help you (although I totally agree with Gordon) as everyone will say something different which probably makes it confusing.

What helps me is to practice from Moyse 24 little melodic exercises. If I haven’t had a teacher, this book would not have any meaning to me. This book you are practicing from is much too hard for you and certainly needs explaining from a teacher before you spend time with it.
 

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To continue on with Gordon’s advice.
Moyse... studies and technical exercises... page 6 #3 slowly.
Baron... low register exercises.

Once you all learn how the embochure works properly you can then begin to practice.
Until then ???
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am taking lessons from a good teacher and I'm not asking for advice although I really like what Gordon said and I will slow down and get rid of the noises between notes. I call my series practice with kride. You can see what and how i'm practicing and d decide if its useful for you to copy or not. It isn't intended for people taking lessons. If you are taking lessons from a good teacher you should have a practice routine set and someone monitoring you already. I think there is a large percentage of players on this and other forums who for a variety of reasons just want to play and not worry about lessons/getting better. So when I saw the value in watching my teacher practice on Twitch I decided to to do the same thing. with my practice with Kride series on youtube. .

I say the same things over and over in my series. 1. Have an initial goal of what you want to do. 2. Have a mistake rule so 2 or 3 mistakes and you agree to slow it down. and 3. either record yourself or get a teacher so you get someone with good ears to listen to you. I really like what Gorden said and it was why I started flute lessons some 4 years ago, There are fluty things I just don't hear like I would on sax. A level of hearing I don't have yet so I rely on teacher and co players to remind me. Anyway, take lessons , dont take , lessons, watch you tube or not watch you tube. Either you practice or you don't . So I hope if nothing else I encourage people to practice.

A teacher can help you an hour a week but you /or I need to practice to make any kind of progress.
The best decision I made was saying goodbye to the tutorials on YouTube and to take serious lessons from a real teacher.

Asking here on a saxophone forum how to play flute is not going to help you (although I totally agree with Gordon) as everyone will say something different which probably makes it confusing.

What helps me is to practice from Moyse 24 little melodic exercises. If I haven’t had a teacher, this book would not have any meaning to me. This book you are practicing from is much too hard for you and certainly needs explaining from a teacher before you spend time with it.
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idbCcwoNAg8&feature=youtu.be... So you are a fly on the wall as I practice. Comments welcome. Were all just trying to get better over time
I am taking lessons from a good teacher and I'm not asking for advice
That is rather confusing.

although I really like what Gordon said and I will slow down and get rid of the noises between notes.
Great! IMHO that is the second step to becoming a good player. (The first is acquiring a convincing tone.)

I call my series practice with kride. You can see what and how i'm practicing and d decide if its useful for you to copy or not.
My concern is that IMO you are practising to become a rather bad player, and others here may not understand that, and think that you are offering some sort of expertise for beginners.
Your goals are good, but for whatever reason, your approach to what you are doing is not working.
I suppose attention to detail (as I have highlighted) is one issue, and surely, if you are a good sax player the approach to detail - notably noises between notes and fuzzy tone - that took you there is much the same.

Did you say earlier that your lessons are via Skype? If so, that may be another factor.
IMHO you could also ask... If I have made this much progress in 4 years, then what are the limiting factors? yOur teacher may be a great person and a great player, but is he/she picking up and dealing with the minute detail that needs attention in order to progress, or just prescribing material to play. That is what makes a great teacher.

So when I saw the value in watching my teacher practice on Twitch I decided to to do the same thing. with my practice with Kride series on youtube.
I hope I am mistaken here, but are you suggesting that the material used for practice by an accomplished player would be suitable for what amounts to a beginner?

In short, whether you intend it or not, you are coming across in this forum, to me at least, as a person giving flute lessons.
That could be misleading to other beginners here, wanting lessons.
I think you should be a reasonably accomplished player before giving lessons.
It is good that you have presented clips of your playing because that stands to some extent as a disclaimer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do teach beginning flute privately and at a local adult ed and I help coach at the high school when asked. I am what I am. Actually I feel like im more authentic than 90% of the advice on this forum because as you say, you can hear me and see my level and with most everybody else you are going on faith that they actually can play.

My limitations are more body than anything else. I really had no intention of learning flute until I did a duo gig years ago, played one number on flute and the room applauded so I figured I'd learn to play it. So no, I'm not at a college or even good high school level on flute but I have a few things going for me. 1. I take three Skype lessons a week so most of what i pass on to others is info I paid 60 an hour for. (two sax and one flute) 2. Having started just a few years ago I remember clearly the early stages of playing and I think can relate and help coach at least for a year or two of playing. 3. I do teach for money in workshops. private lessons, Masterclasses, coach jazz bands, you name it but Here. I"M PRACTICING

Im not selling lessons, Im not selling mouthpieces, Im not selling my book , Im not selling anything, All Im doing is practicing and trying to implement what I'm learning In fact I'll tell you what I'm trying to do at the beginning of the video. So I'm creating a practice room environment like most of us went through in college when you'd hear someone in the next room practicing something and you'd stop to listen and figure out what they were working on and is it cool or not something you care about. So, this is an open window into my journey. Frankly If someone else was taking Skype lessons and willing to share with me what they were paying 60 and hour for I'd be all over it in a heartbeat. So if its helpful watch, if it isn't don't.

I don't call myself anything except what I am, someone with an ed degree and 40 years of pro experience. Union back in the day but that was years ago. Im extremely happy because I now play at a higher level than i did when I graduated college and that was in 1980 so my body was considerably younger and faster. Today I play with better time, better command of harmony, better idea on what exactly I want to do musically (im retired so I have no financial handcuffs, I can do what I want) etc. And my flute playing is better today that it was last month, last year, 3 years ago. I wish I could practice longer but thats where tendonitis is what I brush against. So I can do around an hour on flute and then half hour on sax and that keeps chops up for 3 hour gigs. So , I will keep up Practice with kride. I dont' push any products (except I think online metronome is great as is I real pro) and I don't pretend to be anything i'm not.

If someone takes a private lesson from me then I'm a teacher. I monitor embouchure, hand position, breathing, you know the drill. We play with a metronome alot for time and have a tuner handy for pitch if needed. i don't practice concepts Im in the middle of in lesson. Its all about what they are doing and what their next step is. So lesson is much different than Practice with Kride.

I did a senior recital in college , it was great. I won awards in college at jazz festivals. I got the best corp job in St louis when I graduated and was playing at Busch Stadium for the fans there and events at the arch. But all that was then, now I practice and I really enjoy it. I guess if I had 3 hours to practice I'd be at the level I'm sure many of you are at. But I dont so I do the best I can with my time. Whatever, its free experience. and as time goes on I'll put down a very heavy bet that i'll be playing at a higher level than I do now.

Anyway, the series is a gift to anyone who might benefit. If anything I say seems "out" go hire a teacher at 60 and hour and get their advise. thats exactly what I do on a regular basis K
 

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I understand that you intend for the videos to be a view of you practicing, rather than a teaching session or lesson. However, when I watched this one, it came across to me that you were teaching. I think whenever somebody puts up this type of video, they’re implying at least some level of instructional credentials. You may disagree, but that’s how people perceive it.

When folks search youtube to learn about anything, many who are inexperienced in the skill they’re trying to learn would assume that a person who put up a video has enough expertise to qualify them as a teacher. Putting up a video on how to do something implies teaching. In my opinion, that’s true regardless of whether the person who did the video considers it to be instructional. If I need to repair the carburetor on my mower engine, I’m looking for a video of somebody explaining and demonstrating the process, not somebody trying but not getting the repair completed successfully.

You seem to be serious about practicing, but I think the process you followed in this video would not set beginners up for success. Objectively speaking, you’re early enough on the flute learning curve that this type of video provides little value for a person wanting to learn flute, and in my view could provide misdirection.

I hope you consider this as constructive input. You asked for comments in your OP.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am okay with any comments. Thats why I practice on a daily basis and sometimes record the practice. I want to see how I improve over time. Thats all you are seeing. Me practicing things Im learning from 3 teachers. I'd love to see others practice and display whatever they are working on. I didn't mention it on the video but before any tech work I do 20 minutes of harmonics and long tones out of the Trevor wye book. then the studies in the middle that work on third finger strength. Then either T and G or other scale books.Then the etude stuff. So, I do have a very structured way of practicing .

As Ive said over and over. Its free. You aren't being hooked into a video pay for view, a product, or really anything. in fact you might have a much better way of doing all this than I do. If you have a way of practicing that is awesome go ahead and record something and post it. You all know what level Im at. I just guess about the level of people that comment. K
 

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I think you got a lot of good information out of this post, KRide.

I've been a member of a couple of writers critique groups and I know how thin skinned people can be. Take the critique and use it.

Most of us want to hear how good we are. Being able to take honest criticism and use it to improve is a great way to grow. I know it helped my writing. Also I've asked for critique of my photography and found it helpful.

Good for you for posting your practice sessions. You probably got more out of this session than you would have with your teacher.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I should say on my videos that I'm not a band or orchestral flutiest. I make money in three bands a week playing pop and jazz tunes on sax and flute. i have hours and hours of music memorized.So If I get a good high school kid as a student on flute or clarinet I pass him on to a good teacher if they want to do that kind of study. Everything I do is for chops so if there is a gap in tone the audience really doesn't give a hoot when I'm playing somewhere over the rainbow(in all keys for fun) or its a wonderful world. or autumn leaves or whatever I feel like playing. But I can see where someone with an orchestral background would have issues with what i'm doing. Thats why I take lessons from a woman with a masters degree in performance. Be well evening. I guess this has run its course Seriously, I wish everyone the best. I've done more pro bono teaching and giving than anyone I know. Be happy you have talent and can walk, eat, do what you want; I perform for many people that can't take any of that for granted. K
 

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Personally, I think these practice sessions, using a practice approach that seems to be significantly unsuccessful, and hence possibly misleading to beginners who find this place, would be better placed on a personal Facebook page.

But that is just me. You asked for comment. I write form concern, not out of personal disrespect.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I really like all the people who post on the flute part of this forum because I know you care alot about flute and flute topics. So I actually pay more attention to comments here than on other parts of the forum. I know many of you are great players. I am coming from only playing flute for 4 years. My practice has made me better over time. This week I performed on flute and sax monday morning, wed morning, weds night with a jazz trio and I'm going to oakland tonight to play flute and sax with guitarist. I know i'm a failure but I somehow gig alot. I just taught a lesson to a gal on flute. We worked on tone, (harmonics) Long tones, time (the trevor wye studies ) and I have scale studies out of other books. Then walking V7 chord in time. Then for ear training doing rock around the clock which is mostly V7 chord tones and fun to play. so for what she wants to do (improvise in bands and play out( I think Im perfect for her. Be well everyone. I never worry about who I'm better or worse than. Waste of time. Its all about the next step. see you. and I don't take offense. My videos aren't for everyone. I am no replacement for a teacher. Im just the guy in the next practice room at college who is working on something . For me I love to watch my teacher on Twitch practice. She makes mistakes , slows it down. Creates new exercises. I love it. If I' was messed up and couldn't play i'd love to watch her practice. But I guess I"m in a small category. I could lose the gigging and not care but I love to practice and can count the days I missed in the last 9 years on one hand. K
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just rewatched a little of it. I tell myself to slow it down if you make mistakes, to divide the etude into parts, to play with a metronome to pay attention to eveness. all good things to keep in mind. K
 

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I don't want to put words in Keith's mouth. But I think this is primarily just therapeutic for him. And he likes to show off his new head joint. He's not trying to mislead anyone. It's basically, "watch me practice". It's not much different than watching an unboxing video (no offense). It gets very few views and even fewer followers. So I think the fear that he will ruin the lives of legions of young flutists is unfounded. They're not being misled, and they're not watching.

As long as you're still open to constructive criticism, Keith, the thing that really jumped out at me was your tendency to rush at the ends of phrases. It's like you're sprinting to the finish on every figure. If this was jazz, I'd say set the metronome to 2 and 4. That makes you feel the pocket, and it's really obvious when you deviate. Probably doesn't really fit a classical context though, so I don't really know what to say other than turn the metronome up so you can't ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is exactly why I put up the practice with Kride videos. You have seen something I do which I could work on and given me a way to address it. I am well aware of my level on flute/ a good high school player would play much better than I do. but thats not the point. My growth over time is whats important to me. Thanks for the idea on what to work on and time has been my biggest area for years. I learned alto and flute in college so I had to jump my learning curve drastically I went from zero (how do you blow into a sax) to getting pro gig in 5 years. ;flute was jut a thing I did in a wedding band and I never took it seriously until a few years ago and I absolutely love it now or I wouldn't pay 62 an hour for lessons and wouldn't play it first every morning for an hour .

I agree, I'm not corrupting the flute world. This is the only place i post vids and sometimes face book. My goal is to get curious adults who have considered but never studied flute to try it. I even have local flutes i loan out to see if they might like it . I am firmly convinced that playing an instrument helps the aging process at any age. The only negative to teachers I can think of is my offer to teach people in my church for free. Whatever, we all do what is most meaningful to ourselves. Mine is to perform for lots of people. (my 2 con hospitals a week and all the solo/duo/trio work . So my best to everyone. I Itruly hope you also have 4 or so hours of music memorized you can use to entertain the rest of the world? 'm out there as much as I can be. K
I don't want to put words in Keith's mouth. But I think this is primarily just therapeutic for him. And he likes to show off his new head joint. He's not trying to mislead anyone. It's basically, "watch me practice". It's not much different than watching an unboxing video (no offense). It gets very few views and even fewer followers. So I think the fear that he will ruin the lives of legions of young flutists is unfounded. They're not being misled, and they're not watching.

As long as you're still open to constructive criticism, Keith, the thing that really jumped out at me was your tendency to rush at the ends of phrases. It's like you're sprinting to the finish on every figure. If this was jazz, I'd say set the metronome to 2 and 4. That makes you feel the pocket, and it's really obvious when you deviate. Probably doesn't really fit a classical context though, so I don't really know what to say other than turn the metronome up so you can't ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If you posted a practice session and I heard it and I could help with an insight. I certainly would.
 

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Formerly mdavej
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I really respect what you're doing with the nursing homes. My sax quartet does at least a couple of gigs like that every year. When I retire, we plan to do more stuff like that too.

I also know exactly where you're coming from on flute. I like to joke that a middle school girl could play circles around me, which is mostly true. I learned flute several years ago because I got tired of not being able to double in my big band. So I can play well enough for everything I've encountered there, but not much beyond that.

Although I'm probably accidentally on soundcloud and in several youtube videos, I'm too self conscious and thin-skinned to ever post anything myself. I peaked a long time ago. Any criticism would just demoralize me. If there was such a thing as a compliments only filter, I'd be all over that. If I were to post a practice session, that means I'd have to actually practice, which I rarely do these days outside of my band rehearsals a couple of times a week.
 

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I don't post my playing because I am my most self-conscious, conscientious and probably most astute critic anyway.
And likewise, I peaked a long time ago and now seldom practice.
 
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