Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
In this episode, you will learn how to move your tongue to fix your low notes.
This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 070.
What this podcast will be all about
- Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
- Why your low notes are so difficult
- How to improve your tone in one step
- How your Low C should sound
- What you can look forward to learning from listening
Learn Flute Podcast 070
Press the Play Button to Listen Now:
Hello everybody! My name is Rebecca Fuller, and I’m the host and expert here at Learn Flute Online which is the number one resource on the web for learning how to play the flute, and learning it online. It’s educational, inspirational, and fun! Today we’re going to find out where to move your tongue to fix those low notes. You know which ones I’m talking about- let’s get started!
Well welcome back. It’s a fine day at Learn Flute Online and an even finer day to talk about something that has possibly and probably been bugging your flute tone for quite some time now. Today we’re going to jump right into it and talk about those lowest notes on your flute.
These lowest notes are a bother for most learning flutists because they are just hard to get out. I think you know that I’m talking about your low C especially. Does it give you fits?
I know that when I was in Junior High and High school especially I had big troubles getting down to those lowest notes. And, I was always so glad that most of my pieces never went all the way down there because I was pretty sure that if I had to play them – especially if I was going to have to play them in performance, that I wouldn’t get anything out but a little puff of air. For me, that lowest C just was so difficult!
Do you know which one I’m talking about? I’m guessing you do, because every year I run a big TONE course for the good subscribers at Learn Flute Online, and we spend ten whole days diving really deep into the issues in our sound and how to fix all of the common troubles that we flute players go through, and probably in the top five or ten asked questions at the beginning of the course is the question of how to fix the low notes on the flute. They’re just problematic it seems.
Well, it’s a good thing I’ve already been through this and back again. And, I’ve helped hundreds and thousands get their low C especially under control.
Well, today in this audio episode I’d like to just explore one of the things you can do to make it so your C not only be audible when you try to play it but that it will actually play on time! Haha, you know what I mean.. Sometimes we have to blow.. And then wait for it.. Wait for it. Oh, there it is.
There are actually a few things I’d love to explore to make sure you can get those lowest notes out gracefully and purposefully on your flute, but today in this audio we’ll just be talking about one of them, and it’s probably one of the most simple fixes – and that’s the position of your tongue. Yup our lovely tongue.
Now if you can just hang with me here for a few moments and pretend you’re playing your flute you’ll notice that when you tongue note after note your tongue moves back and forth in your mouth. Well, what I want you to do right now is stop it somewhere in the middle of that action and analyze where it is sitting exactly.
Is it kind of at the top of your mouth like up towards the roof of your mouth? Is it hanging out in the middle? Or is it towards the bottom of your mouth? And, I’m talking about the tongue as a whole but especially from the front tippy end and back. Where is it?
Now, I know you just have a very quick split nano-second between notes so perhaps you’ve not even thought that the position of your tongue between notes even matters, but guess what??? Yup- you guessed it. It DOES matter. It matters so so much. It is the difference between good tone, bad tone, and great tone. And, it makes the difference between tone and NO tone on that low C.
Really? You wonder? Yes. Take my word for it and let’s improve your playing today just by having you listen to what I’m going to instruct you to do on with your tongue especially on the low C.
Try playing it your normal way – now,.. Does it either come out airy and whispery? Or does it come out an octave higher than it’s supposed to?
Yes Yes- these are the issues I’m addressing today. Now, if we blow the note with our tongue kind of hanging out in the middle of our mouth or even a little high, then we get a higher C than we intended – even if we walk down like this: G F E D C – oops, do you see that last note was supposed to be a low C, not a high C.
Now, assuming your flute is nice and level – nice and level – not tippied in towards your face, then this will work nicely for you. So, level that flute and play again- this time when you reach the low C – hold it for a moment and move your tongue down so it hits the floor of your mouth. Like this: G F E D C———
See?? The position of my tongue totally matters! I challenge you to try this. AND, if you have the airy no-show type of note down there, then just following my rules of making sure your flute is LEVEL not topped into your face and then dropping your tongue will probably do the job for you.
Well, awesome folks. I’m so glad you were here today to gather that little tid-bit of knowledge from me and hopefully use it to further your own flute playing and make your musical life even just a little bit easier and more fun. I know that every day I studied with someone more knowledgeable than I was a great day because it was like opening a new little window that shed more light on what I was doing. And, I love it! I hope you do too.
Please let me know you love it by leaving a comment, question, or rating. Anything to let me know you’re there, and that you are on the journey with us.
You know, I have had the pleasure of studying with and performing with some really great flutists in my day, and it’s always interesting to listen to their individual sound. It really is very similar to each person having their own vocal timbre. If we close our eyes and listen to a few people speak to us one at a time, we’ll easily be able to tell the difference between the voices (especially if we are familiar with the people in the room). There are distinct tones inside sound that helps us distinguish the difference between them. It’s kind of cool actually, because we can’t actually ‘see’ this phenomenon, but we can definitely hear it!
Well, more about this on a later episode. As usual, let me know how it’s going for you, and help carry on this conversation by leaving a comment or question here on this page.
And hopefully we’ll be seeing you in a lesson very, very soon.
Thank you for Tuning In!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute and about how to move your tongue to fix your low notes. Join us for the next episode.