Are your high notes always super sharp? In this article I will give you several things you can do to play high notes on tune.
Recently, I had a student tell me that after they tune their flute at the beginning of their practicing, they start playing and find that almost all of their high notes are sharp.
Use your upper lip to direct your airstream.
Does this sound familiar?
The first thing to note is that there may be several different factors contributing to your sharp high notes. My goal here is to give you a few different tips that you can use to make those high notes less sharp.
Don’t Blow notes too hard
Many beginners, especially if they are self taught and don’t have a teacher nearby to teach them the proper high note skills, will find that the high notes pop out when they blow harder. Because of this, they believe that to play high notes they need to blow super hard.
This isn’t necessarily the case.
High notes need a faster airstream. There is a balance between blowing too soft (and getting the lower octave) and blowing too hard -in the slight wrong direction- and getting a sharp, screechy high note.
So, how do you find this balance? The trick is to practice. Really get to know your high notes and experiment with the different air speeds to find where the sweet spot is, when you are right on tune.
Airstream at a Downward Angle
Something else that is really common among self-learners is to blow their airstream at a more straight angle. To create better tone and tuning, use your upper lip to direct your airstream at an downward angle position.
Picture it like this:
If you drew a line horizontal to the floor straight out of your mouth, and a line parallel to your body (straight down) then your airstream angle should be about halfway between them slicing on a perfect angle slightly towards your elbow.
There are many more tips we can discuss to learn to play high notes on tune, and this will get you started.
Comment below with your progress, we love to see that everyone is learning here.
Keep up the flute learning!