can only come from within so never be shy - always “perform”. Try to
picture in your head what you think the composer intended his music to sound
like. Is it happy, sad, fast, slow, exciting, boring, etc.. Aim to establish a
good sound and also be able to play quietly to make the sound free and
control crescendos and diminuendos, start and finish the notes well. The top
notes need more air pressure while the embouchure requires a fast air stream
and a small hole for loud (forte) and a slow air stream and a large hole for
soft. (piano) This is opposite to what you would naturally do so it will take
time and patience and the right kind of practice to get things right. There
are no short cuts.
and tone problems often go hand in hand. This is usually caused by
over-blowing and the wrong usage of the embouchure. However, to improve both
these problems you have to encourage your “inner” ear to develop so you do
not have to rely on anyone else to tell you if your tone is pleasant or not.
Correcting your intonation is only a matter of listening closely and adjusting
accordingly. Practice tuning to the piano or a tuning fork to build up trust
in your ear. It is important to have a good tune up, if possible, every time
before you play. Then play lots of long notes and scales until your fingers
and mouth are well and truly warmed up and able to continue with the rigors of
your practice session. Listen closely at all times. If you hear something
strange, then do something about it. Experiment.
is a collective noun used to describe a number of desirable qualities, any or
each of which contribute a significant part of the overall tone. These are:
1.Colour, 2.Size, 3.Projection, 4.Intensity, 5.Vibrato, 6.Purity. Always try
to focus the sound like a camera lens. It must not sound blurred and fuzzy.
Again long notes are useful as they give the chance to examine the sound in
detail. Provided you can hear the undesirable aspects the self-correcting
mechanism will ensure that the tone will improve.
are a useful exercise as well. Harmonics are the main ingredient of the note
and give the basic tone its colour and character. Play them as straight as
possible. NO VIBRATO!! Then
play the actual note, alternating between the harmonic and the note, comparing
the sounds. Doing this enables the ear to become accustomed to hearing the
harmonics within the note.
with different shapes inside your mouth e.g. vowel sounds or for example,
flute, flask etc.
Doing these exercises will not only give you a nicer tone but will help you feel more in control of what you trying to achieve.
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