Playing high notes on the flute
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Playing High Notes on the flute. It’s NOT how hard you can blow -  A lot of flutists equate playing high notes with blowing harder.  This leads to the notes either not sounding, squeaking, or falling down the octave.  Try blowing the air faster, but not necessarily harder. . Embouchure.

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Playing High Notes on the flute

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Playing high notes on the flute

Playing High Notes on the flute

It’s NOT how hard you can blow

-  A lot of flutists equate playing high notes with blowing harder.  This leads to the notes either not sounding, squeaking, or falling down the octave.  Try blowing the air faster, but not necessarily harder.


Embouchure

Embouchure

  • - Try to push your embouchure out slightly, as if you're forming the vowel sound "ooo."  It's a very slight movement

  • Make sure your airstream is as focused and compact as possible.  If it's too diffuse, it'll be too weak to make the high notes sound.  Try changing the size of the aperture you make - it's generally more of a slit than a round hole, so see if making it smaller/bigger makes a difference.

  • Also check to make sure that you're not covering the embouchure hole with your lip too much.  If the hole is covered too much, the sound is muffled and it's harder for upper notes to speak. (Roughly 1/3 will probably be covered, if you place the edge of the embouchure hole on the edge of your lip where the color starts.)


Airstream

Airstream

  • Try angling the airstream up or down.

  • Try blowing the air faster, but not necessarily harder.  

  • - Make sure your airstream is as focused and compact as possible.  


Ways to practice

Ways to practice

  • - Use "neighbor notes" to train yourself to play high notes better.  

  • - Check to be sure that you're using all the right fingerings for the high notes.  Since you haven't been playing too long yet, habits can creep in, and using correct fingerings for every note, even when it seems that you get the same note by just "overblowing" the second octave fingering, will help you sound the high notes.

  • - Try playing harmonics.  Harmonics are the natural overtones that occur when we finger low notes but overblow, so we get the octave and the notes above that.  For instance, if you finger a low D and overblow, the next note you'll get is the middle D, then the A above that, the D above that, then F# and finally the high A.  Practice slurring into these, taking as long as you want on each note to really get to the center of the sound.  


Any other thoughts

Any other thoughts?


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