The reason why you lose your tone quality in the middle of the phrase
Ory’s Flute Tips
The reason you lose your tone quality in the middle of the phrase
I’m sure this has happened to you before and you were wondering why:
You play a phrase, starting with a good quality tone but very quickly, after just few notes, you’ve lost your sound. It’s not anymore as rich, pure, resonant as it was just a split of a second ago.
Sounds familiar? Then this article is exactly for you!
Changes in your tone are a direct result of body changes you actively do
Your tone is a complex matter and is not being affected by only one parameter. In fact, there are many different parameters that create your final tone quality (such as for example your air pressure, lips position and direction, how you cover the embouchure hole, posture and many more). Each one of these parameters is controlled directly by your muscles and you should be able to know how to control them separately.
If your tone quality changes through the phrase, it’s inevitable that you have changed something in the way you play and use your body. The 3 most common changes that players do without even being aware of doing are:
- Changes in your air pressure
- Changes in your lips position
- Changes in your oral cavity and palate position
Today I’d like to focus a bit more on the changes you might be making in your oral cavity and palate position.
Become the Flutist You Wish to Hear.
Quickly and Efficiently.
🎨 Control your palate = control your colors palette and focus
Much of your color and focus choices are determined by the way you use your oral cavity and the position of your palate. How you shape the space inside your mouth has a direct effect on the way you hold your lips and can help to balance the air pressure you create. Your lips in fact should then only react to your air and oral cavity position and not the opposite.
Very often when I work with the participants in my intensive masterclasses and my online warm-up routine courses I notice that they might be able to start a phrase with a good tone quality, but very quickly the tone is changing and losing its’ focus. They tend to change the position of their palate and the shape of the space inside their mouth automatically without even being aware that it has happened.
Your ability to keep your palate in the same position throughout the phrase is a key factor that will determine your tone focus and color. Being able to consciously keeping it in the same place and shape will help you tremendously to play with a homogeneous tone quality between the notes.
In fact, I find the ability of controlling and maintaining your palate position so important for a stable and homogeneous tone, that it’s the very first exercise I teach all students in my online warm-up routine courses.
You are very welcome to leave your comments and questions,
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 – Intensive Masterclasses in Vienna.