How To Position a Wooden Flute Headjoint for Good Tone & Volume
In the past I've spoken about using your fingers, don't give up your embouchure, and breathe when you breathe. The one thing these all have in common is that your head is playing a very active roll in all of these techniques. One important thing to keep in mind is the position of your head in relation to the embouchure hole on your flute.
How (and Why) To Use the D# Key on your Wooden Flute
A lot of people wonder about the Eb (or D#) key at the end of their flute and whether they should use it or not. I think everyone should make an attempt to learn how to use this key. To me, it almost always improves the intonation and tone color of the Eb note (or D#) of every flute I've heard played. Irish pipers use this technique of passing through the Eb (or D#) to get to low Ds, and it really freaks them out when you do it along with them on the flute!
Most Irish flute players use flutes that often have cork wrapped tenons. If you find that you're losing power on your low notes, it may because the tenons are too loose. This causes the flute to leak and you lose response as a result.
Many people ask me about playing vibrato. There are basically three kinds of vibrato used in the various forms of traditional flute and fife music. I would like to talk about my two favorites. One is the traditional finger-style vibrato and the other is the more "classical" abdominally-driven vibrato.
Building a Strong Embouchure for Wooden / Irish Flute
In the last tip, we talked about getting a good supply of air. Remember, no air = no tune. In this lesson, let's discuss how to use it. Let's approach this from the standpoint that we're trying to fuse two separate machines into one integral unit. The flute is the machine that creates the tones and the player is the machine that supplies the fuel (air).
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOUR EMBOUCHURE IS THE MOST CRITICAL FACTOR IN CREATING AND SUSTAINING TONE.
Good Breathing Techniques for Playing Wooden / Irish Flute and Fife
We all get a bit "dry" when playing from time to time, when that happens, we reach for a glass of whatever and take a good pull off it to quench our thirst. Do the same thing when you breathe. Make sure you actually have an intake of air that is sufficient to play the next passage.
Try to fill your lungs and not just your throat with air. You should hear a deep "whoosh" sound when you inhale, not just a brief gasp.
In conjunction with the world famous resort community of Arosa, Switzerland and their "MUSIK-KURSWOCHEN" (music course week), I will be teaching a week long series of classes on Irish flute and tin whistle music. The program will take place JULY 31 - AUGUST 4, 2017. I will be posting information and videos about the event very soon!!! Imagine, learning about traditional Irish music high in the Swiss Alps, staying in a beautiful hotel called "Hotel Hohe Promenade" a 3 star hotel with AMAZING food and service...