How learning proper flute technique gives you faster progressSep 01, 2020
Hello to you from the first day of SPRING🌻 in Sydney!
Proper flute technique gives you faster progress
I've just recorded you a mini-lesson on how learning proper technique on the flute results in faster progress.
This is my favourite thing to teach as a flute teacher!
Watch the short video above for the 5 examples of how learning exact (proper) techniques accelerate your improvement!
5 examples of faster flute improvement
Hey there! Today I'm going to show you five examples of how you can get faster progress with your flute playing through learning proper technique. This is the foundation of how I teach in my flute school. It's all about learning the proper technique that gets you faster progress with your flute playing.
So my name is Jane. I am a flute teacher and I'm Australian, as you can probably tell from the way I speak. Stick around to the end of this video because I'm going to show you how you can keep learning from me and keep learning proper technique or start learning proper technique and see huge improvement very quickly with your flute playing.
Help with flute playing
So when I get an email from somebody that's asking for help with their flute playing and they say, I know I just need to practice more. My heart breaks. I feel so sad.
And I'll tell you why in a sec, but I also feel excited. So the reason I feel sad is because sometimes it's their feeling of not feeling like they're good enough or feeling like they just need to put in more work when they're already putting in the work. Sometimes this has gone on for years and years and it ends up leaving them feeling like they just don't have what it takes to really improve their playing, which is not true.
None of that is true. They definitely have what it takes. And if this is you, you have what it takes. I'll prove it to you in a sec. And the reason I feel excited when somebody emails me that, is because I know that I can help them instantly improve their flute playing through these proper techniques that I'm talking about.
Okay. So here are the five examples example.
#1 Flute embouchure
Number One is embouchure. So the shape of your mouth. So a good flute embouchure is not trial and error. It's an exact thing. There are exact principles with placement of where you put this on your mouth, the direction of the air that you're blowing and the exact size of the hole in your mouth. These are all exact things. And when you get this, you'll get better sound. You'll stop running out of air so quickly and you'll never get dizzy. I mean, never get dizzy. If you're in my Flute Academy, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about with how improving your embouchure or fixing your embouchure gets you dramatic improvements to your whole playing, not just your sound, actually.
#2 Flute high notes
Example Number Two is high notes. So when you learn the proper way to play high notes, you'll find that the high notes pop out almost effortlessly. So many flute players or I should say most flute players either squeeze or blow harder to get high notes like this. So they either squeeze or they blow harder. But the real way is a slight pout. Very, very slight movement of your embouchure, which lets those high notes just kind of pop out. You can play up high softly, even more softly than that with very little effort. So that's the cool thing about learning the proper technique of high notes.
Once you gradually learn how to play higher and higher notes, you'll be able to play the highest note on the flute with ease, which is quite an achievement!
Again, if you're in my Flute Academy, you will know all about this. I've got a few exercises that get this movement to become a habit in your playing, which affects not just your high notes, but your whole playing because playing is full of high notes, low notes, medium notes and everything.
#3 Breath control when playing flute
Example Number Three is breath control. So this is one of my favourite things to teach in The Flute Academy. So if you're running out of air or you run out of air more quickly than you would like, or that you think you should, chances are, there's nothing wrong with your lungs.
A lot of people think that they need to improve their breathing. Improving the way they breathe does help, but really only helps about 10%.
90% of improving your breath control is learning to use your air efficiently. And what that means and why my hand is up here is because your air comes out of your embouchure.
And when you teach your embouchure to use your air efficiently and wisely, you will be able to play for so much longer in one go like double the length of your phrases. In a nutshell, it's all about learning to not waste air.
And the reason I love teaching this in the academy is because not only does it get you longer phrases, but learning to have that focus of your airstream means that your sound quality improves hugely, like a lot.
So here's an example. So if you've got a fluffy, let's say I'm not focusing my airstream, I will sound airy and fluffy and I run out of air. You can hear that it's a fluffy sound and I just started to get dizzy. Now, if I focus my airstream and there are specific exercises to get you here.
This is not just a one-shot thing.
You will have a longer breath that you can use and you'll have a much stronger sound. That sounds a lot louder, you would agree, but I'm actually using far less air, far less air than the fluffy one that I showed you.
There you go. That was one full breath. So that's the cool thing about teaching breath control is you get so much bang for your buck about learning to focus your air and your airstream properly.
#4 Flute vibrato
Example Number Four is vibrato. A lot of people hear vibrato and they try to mimic it but the real way, the good way of playing vibrato, it's actually connected very, very closely with your breath and your expression. An example of a good vibrato is something that is in control and sounds nice.
The best way to know if you're in control of your vibrato is to play without it. If you can play an absolutely still note like this with no vibrato. There's a good chance that if you're using vibrato, you are in control of it and your next step would be to connect it to your breath and to your expression, which I show you this in the academy as well.
And if you can't play with vibrato, I teach you how to connect with your breath, how to connect with your emotion, have the right mechanisms involved to get you beautiful, controlled vibrato. That sounds nice.
#5 Fast fingers on the flute
Example Number Five is finger speed. If you've got slow and clunky fingers, it's highly probable. I would put money on it that there's nothing wrong with your fingers and it's not your fingers that need speeding up. There's a very good chance that the tension that you feel in your hands is not because of your hands or fingers, it's from further up your body.
So when you have tension in your shoulders and the rest of your torso from doing specific things, not so good things with your flute playing, it transfers that tension down into your arms and into your hands, into your fingers and it slows down your fingers and it makes them sound clunky.
So when you learn to remove the tension from your shoulders, from the rest of your body, that freedom that comes with freer, shoulders will flow down into your hands and speed up your fingers. And you'll have, basically lightning fast fingers that actually feel dextrous and light and quick.
The Flute Academy
Now I mentioned The Flute Academy and if you're interested in learning more about the Flute Academy, it's actually just opened for this month. Head on over to www.flute.school/academy. Come on over and have a look what you're learning the 45 day program, where I teach you a little exercise every single day, which transforms your playing through learning proper flute playing technique.
In The Flute Academy, I give you the exact exercises and the exact techniques and concepts that you need to get faster progress without the frustration or overwhelmed that you might've been feeling up until this point.
So I hope the five examples of proper playing technique in this video highlight to you that it's not a case of practising for hours and hours and hours. It's really a case of learning the exact techniques, being efficient with your practice, by taking these exact techniques and incorporating them into your playing.
It will save you hours of practice time and hours of frustration. So I hope this helped you.
See you later.