#08 - The Importance of Projecting

Projecting Good Tone on Wooden Flute

I'm baaaack.....!

Sorry being gone for a bit, but I just finished a new recording called Purgatory Chasm that I'm very excited about. It should be available in a few weeks. Now for a lesson.

The Importance of Projecting

We all remember (at least I do) our parents and teachers telling us to speak up when addressing either a single person or a group of people. The same holds true when playing the flute. If you don't support and project your sound you will not be a part of the conversation.

I've had a lot of students who are very good players, but do not project their sound outward. It is as if the sound is trapped at a spot in the center of their upper chest. They are convinced that they are blowing very hard and making a big sound, but actually, they are not releasing their air at all. It's often the case that due to the lack of support, or push, they end up playing quite flat.

We should always try to engage our fellow players, or the audience listening to us, in a lively and spirited musical dialogue. But to do that, they have to hear what we're trying to say. You should reach out with your flute, (with the notes, that is), and get a reaction from other players. If you have something to say, say it.

Suggested Exercise:

This one is pretty bizarre, kids.

Find a room with a fairly open corner. Stand about a foot away from the corner and play a medium volume second octave D. Get that volume level in your head. Step back about six or eight inches. Now match the previous volume level when you were standing closer to the corner. Continue to take steps backwards until you start to lose the focus of the note. This is your starting point. Practice long tones for about five minutes and then begin the exercise again. When you repeat the procedure, keep track of your distance from the wall. As your projection improves, your maximum distance from the corner should increase.

This will take a while but it's also a good quick way for you to measure how well you're projecting sound from your flute. A combination of good fingering, embouchure control, and projection will always insure rooms of hospitality for your flute.