The 3 tone exercises to AVOID!

Feb 08, 2021

Have you ever tried to improve your tone?

Good on you if you have!

Every good flute player does tone exercises, so you're on the right track...

BUT! I've heard some flute players (actually, many flute players!) practising tone exercises that just don't work!

I wonder if you've been practising any of the 3 tone exercises that are best avoiding?

Join me in this 5 minute video to learn how NOT to practise tone on the flute!

Jane xx

 Sometimes flute players think they're practicing the right exercise to improve their tone but if you're not noticing a big improvement in your tone or even a small improvement in your tone, you're definitely barking up the wrong tree.

And you've landed on the right video today because I'm going to show you the three tone exercises to avoid if you really want to practice and improve your tone.

At the end of this video, I'll also show you how to learn the three little embouchure tweaks that actually improves your tone before you even do any tone exercises. So I'll tell you more about that at the end.

In the meantime, my name is Jane and I love teaching people how to get faster progress through learning proper technique on the flute.

So today's video is all about that proper technique. This is proper tone practice technique. The best thing about learning that is that you get better so much more quickly, and you can hear yourself improve, actually hear yourself improve.  

Number one tone exercise to avoid. Long notes for the sake of long notes. Mindless long notes, do not improve your tone despite any what anyone tells you doing a long note and that's it does not improve your tone. What does improve your tone is trying to improve your sound incrementally through that long note. It is the attention that you give to your sound through the long note that refines your embouchure, refines your air string and refines your sound into a rich and resonant sound.

So if you've ever found yourself squeezing out the longest note, you can thinking that it's doing good things for your tone. It's not.

Instead, aim for a slight improvement through a longish note. Once you get that improvement, repeat it the next day and the next day and the next day. And you keep piling up these tiny little incremental improvements on top of each other and you end up with a great sound.

Here's an example. It's just going to sound like a bit of a long note to you, which is why people get confused. This will sound like a long note, but I am thinking through this note to improve my sound through the length of that note, paying a lot of attention to how my sound actually sounds.

Now I heard an improvement and I would do that to the next note down and the next note down, and then repeat it the next day. And it all magnifies into a great sound.

Tone exercise number two to avoid is playing as loudly as you can. I used to think that a strong sound came from playing loudly, which meant blowing hard. All that does is makes you run out of air and it makes you sharp.

A true strong and resonant sound comes from precise use of your air string . And it gives the impression of something being loud and strong while using such a, such a refined air string that you're actually not using that much air. So it is not blowing hard that gets you a strong sound. It's learning to use the air efficiently like I just mentioned in point number one.

Here's an example. I'm going to blow hard thinking that this has given me a strong sound. That used a lot of air and I was sharp. Instead, I'm going to use all my months and years of practicing my tone through refining the sound and getting it to improve incrementally.

I'm gonna use that technique to make it sound like I'm playing loud, but I'm actually not using that much air. So that was actually a really efficient use of air it was refined air string and a refined sound.

Okay, the number three tone exercise to avoid is practicing in a bathroom. So practicing in a bathroom sounds amazing because the sound bounces off all the shiny surfaces, like the mirrors and the tiles and makes you sound amazing. It gives you this great illusion of sounding amazing and really resonant. But as soon as you come out of the bathroom, you actually haven't improved.

So the better way to do that is to get out of the bed out of the bathroom or out of the mirror maze or whatever you're in and into a normal room. This means that you're actually be able to hear the fluffiness in your sound, which means you're able to address the fluffiness in your sound and incrementally improve your tone.

Now that free mini course, before you do any tone exercises whatsoever, you can actually improve your tone by adjusting your embouchure.

So it's having the correct technique of blowing. Come and join me at and I'll show you three little embouchure adjustments to make that instantly improves your sound.

I'd love to see you in the first lesson there, it's free to join up. So register at  And I'll see you in the first lesson there.

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