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Practice your intonation – Part 2

by | Jul 22, 2017 | Ory's Tips | 0 comments


Ory’s Flute Tips

Practice your intonation – Part 2


This post will include some more advances exercises and theory and therefore, I strongly recommend that you read first Part 1 (click here to read) if you haven’t done it yet.

In part 1 you have learned that the intonation of notes should be changed and adjusted according to their relation and the interval they create with another note. You have hopefully practiced the exercises I suggested in part 1 and started to develop your sensibility for playing intervals in tune.

I’m not sure if by now you could reach by yourself another practical conclusion about just intonation: Even if you play few times the exact same note – it should have different intonation according to the interval it creates with another note.
Take a look on this example:

Same Note - Different Pitch

You can see that in this case you have to play 7 times the same note (G), but in fact, every time you would need to play the G with different intonation, as the interval has changed. In some cases, the differences are really big (such as for example, the difference between G as a major third and a minor third).

Ex. 2 – Same note, different intervals – different intonation

I have created the next exercises for you exactly in order to practice and develop your ability to adjust quickly your intonation of the same note according to the different intervals you play.
Listen to the different ghost notes that are created with the different intervals and tune the note you are playing with the help of the ghost notes.

If you are not sure whether you are playing the interval in tune, bend the note up and down and listen carefully to the ghost note till all the 3 notes (tuner, you and ghost note) are in tune with each other.

Here is an example of such exercises. You can download your FREE PDF ready for printing with all the notes and intervals. Simply print and start practicing!

Same Note - Different Pitch examples

Same Note – Different Pitch Exercise example



Get even more advanced – Chords:


The intonation of certain notes can in fact change according to the chord played (and not only according to the interval), although the interval they create with the basis note is the same. Take for example the 2 next examples:

Minor 7th Chord


Dominant 7th Chord

You can clearly see that although the interval between the highest (Bb) and the lowest notes (C) is the same (minor 7th), the adjustments of the pitch are different (once the Bb should be higher +18 cents and once the Bb should be -31 cents lower).

You can find at this link the full chords adjustments chart. Look for the differences in intonation of the highest notes in the different chords.

Try it out and let me know how it feels.

Enjoy experimenting,


Ory Schneor is a principal flutist with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra and member of the Geneva Camerata. He is teaching masterclasses around the world and he is the founder and instructor at FLUTEinWIEN

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