How to Get Rid of THROAT NOISES in Your Playing

How to Get Rid of THROAT NOISES in Your Playing

Oct 01, 2018

If you ever hear (or feel) THROAT NOISES when you play the flute, then this video is for you!

In the 6 minute video, I give you the pretty simple exercise that gets rid of these noises.

Plus of course I explain why these noises are happening in the first place. (The reason is pretty fascinating I think!)

Once you've watched the video, feel free as always to add your thoughts (or question) below it.

Jane xx

I recently got asked this question, How do you get the vocal noise out of your playing? I'll give you a demonstration of what I mean. You're playing along and then suddenly you'll hear like this sort of talking or singing or humming noise in your throat, or you'll feel it more likely. So you'll hear Uh. So that is actually a pretty bad demonstration because I'm so out of this kind of habit. I don't do this sort of thing anymore. Although it has happened in my playing in the past.

The reason this happens and you get sort of, uh noises as you play is because you have a constriction in here when you're playing. Now, this is not like the end of the world or anything like this. Playing the flute is a constant progression of removing all sorts of restrictions out of your body. If you didn't have any restrictions and you had perfect playing, you'd be like the world's finest flute player. And it's always a step by step journey, I guess, of getting a little bit better every time. So this is not the end of the world, but this is very exciting for you because there is a way to get rid of it.

When you're playing if you hear these noises, it means that you're starting to tense up in your throat. It is just like talking. So you're basically starting to talk while you are playing. That sounds weird. It's not weird. Talking is normal. We do it every day. And you as a human, as a talking human are very good at it. You're an expert at it. You are an expert at engaging these vocal chords here or vocal folds as they're sometimes called . You are an expert at it. So it's no wonder that it happens so easily for you as you play.

So the way to get rid of this noise is to do a little exercise that shows you how to relax this part of your throat. When you breathe in and do it now, I want you to tell me which part of your mouth tongue, throat, roof of mouth gets cold, which one has the air hitting it in other words. So take a breath when you play the flute. Play a few notes and tell me what got cold. Feel free to pause the video, try it out and come back to it.

Okay? Now, wherever in your mouth got cold, whether it was your tongue, the roof of your mouth, the roof of your mouth but far back, wherever it got cold, I want you to this time, make it colder even further back in your throat. The aim is to get it cold at the back of your throat as far back as you possibly can. So do the same thing play a few notes. Breathe in and aim for coldness way back at the back of your throat. It'll feel like it's right down here. Try it a few times and see how you go. This is opening up your throat. So then the next step, once you can do that is do it a few times in a row while playing. So choose an easy scale that you don't have to think about. And each time you breathe think far back.

Okay, the next step, now that you've opened up your throat is to keep it open while you're playing. So you've managed to open it while you're breathing in. Now let's keep it open while you're blowing out. So I want you to imagine that position that you've got when you're breathing in that openness, that free flow of air that you can feel. And I want you to keep that position when you play a note. This is easiest on a longish note, rather than lots of notes. So choose any note, I'll choose an A. Breathe in, feel it cold down here and keep that position as you blow out. Even through the note, see if you can feel your throat and everything in your mouth opening up to get a more, what's a more resonant cavity, but more to the point where removing restrictions in your throat. Feel that openness should feel kind of like it feels sort of lower. And that lower feeling is that you are starting to relax all down here.

Okay,  that is how you get rid of the vocal noises in your throat. I had a flute teacher once, this is one of the teachers in Sydney that I learned from, she was amazing. She said she had a theory about why flute players have this noise. She identified it as somewhere in your brain you're wanting to sing along with the playing. Now, this is a really good theory if when you find this happens to your playing, if you feel your yourself getting into the emotion of the music if you're feeling some kind of emotion when you play when this happens, I reckon her theory is right. That you're feeling the kind of emotion of the music and your vocal cords naturally want to engage to express yourself, to sing along, to speak along with the music. Now it's a really nice theory, isn't it? In that, you're engaging with the emotion of the playing but if you don't want that noise there and you don't want it there if you wanna be a good flute player, I've just shown you how to open up everything and get rid of that tension, which will make you a better flute player. And you'll be able to express the music through your playing and you won't need to engage your voice. Okay. See you later.

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