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  1. #1
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    Advice needed from flute players

    I am not sure if this would warrant critique but I suppose I couldn't find anything for the other arts. This site is obviously geared towards the visual arts but I wonder if there are proffessional musicians who can offer pointers.

    Since 6th grade I have joined in my school band and my junior year is nearing its end. I am still learning, I suppose but now I know all my notes, I can site read a bit and my fingers are fast. However, there's this one problem I keep having; I run out of breath.

    It's not as bad on the piccolo, I can seem to channel the air much better in a smaller hole and I can hit all the high notes with ease(high B is a bit of a challenge) so this problem is more towards the flute. Some days I can play fine, other days it feels airy and my head feels light. I was wondering if there's a certain technique? A way to get the lungs working better? I would be willing to take any advice to get over this obstacle.

    ((I do visual art but for the most part I am keeping it off this site))


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  3. #2
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    Naw, I don't smoke at all. It's probably more of how I use my diaphragm muscle and how I direct my air into the flute. Thanks anyways

  4. #3
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    It'd be awesome if I could help you, but unfortunately, you probably know more than I do about breathing, (since you're a junior after all...) it's cool to see other band people in these forums.

    btw, I'm a freshman t-bone player, that got moved up to the junior/senior band, because we needed more people there.(not enough low brass.)

    There's the breath in 8 counts, breath out 8 counts exercise...you could also try and do some other exercise for your body or something before you play-might get you breathing better....and that's all I can think off right now, of course, you probably might've already known these things, because you've been playing a wind instrument longer than me. XD

  5. #4
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    I... I played flute for a few years

    It's probably something to do with your diaphragm or how you're funelling the air into your mouthpiece. Can you hit the really high notes without running out of breath? chances are you're not getting all the air into your mouthpiece.

    You might want to ask your conductor for assistance, though, rather than a bunch of illustrators just sayin'
    As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle being swept along is no longer enough.


  6. #5
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    I'm a senior trumpet in band... but I have flute friends and play flute a wee bit myself. With brass (and I suppose most winds), it's all about breathing with your diaphragm (which you probably know already). No wimpy bringing-the-shoulders-up. I don't know much about funneling your air into your mouthpiece because my mouthpiece is quite different, but I do know a little about breathing. There's no "way to get the lungs working better", but you can trick yourself into breathing more deeply by doing certain exercises, like in for 8 counts, out for 8 counts (repeat a few times), then in 6 out 6 (repeat a few times), in 4 out 4, in 2 out 2, and finally in 1 out 1 (a bunch of times, this will be very quick exhaling and inhaling, kinda like hyperventilating). Now THIS will get you lightheaded, but it afterwards you will certainly feel like you can breath a lot deeper. When you're doing exercises like this, make your mouth an "O" shape. Another one that really helps with breathing deeply is take a deep breath while bring your arms above your head, and continue to take little breathes without breathing out your air (moving your arms up helps to take these little breathes without breathing out). After every few little intakes, bring your arms down and do a few trunk twists, and then take a few more inhales (and add more trunk twists). Now... remember that this whole time you haven't inhaled, you've just been holding your breath while adding more air to your lungs. Finally, when you can't bear the pain any longer, give a nice big "woooosh", bring down your arms and bend foward and exhaling. Ahh! beautiful air! Now, some of my flute friends when we were learning this exercise were all whiny and like 'this doesn't do anything to help us", but that's just because they're lazy bums and didn't like the brass teaching them how to breathe. x) Hope this helps a little bit!

  7. #6
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    I never could understand how you wind-players could tolerate all of that dripping drool. :-)
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  8. #7
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    hey, it's condensation!!! (with a little spit) See... hot moist air plus cool brass tubing... We call our valves spit valves though because "condensation valves" is just silly. Clarinets on the other hand... I think that's just drool. =)

  9. #8
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    well get breathing techniques excersises and tips like the advice above (i'm sure there is more). but i guess general lung capacity is also a factor. when you're in good condition that lung capacity is bigger. swimming, running or other durance sports will help. i had a big lung capacity when did a lot of fighting sports just cause of my general condition, and it helped with swimming and diving too.
    tensai


    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)



    Quote Originally Posted by strych9ine
    Fuck backgrounds, who needs em.

  10. #9
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    Thanks for the advice guys; as far as the high notes I can reach those as well pretty easily. I never heard of the 8 breath count though so that will probably help me to do. It's good to see a bunch of other band members on the net able to help.

    There's a big festival coming up in May so I hope I can improve my breathing soon. This deep breathing may be more of an endurance build though so it could take some time to do every day.

  11. #10
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    I have alot of experience with the skin flute and let me tell you. You will get better at blowing, the more you practice.

  12. #11
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    Blahm, uncalled for. Come on now.

    Marie: I can't give you much help with flute playing since I am musically inept, but I did want to give you a nudge and encourage you to post some of your art here, if even in a sketchbook. Just trying to stay on-topic with the nature of the forums (otherwise you will get more snide remarks from artists here) and help you get past any fear you might have of posting In the end, it's up to you of course but I'd still like to see your work.

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    Steph, I have drawn for some years but I have no proffessional desire, you see. It's more enjoyment; I draw cutesy things and it makes me happy and it seems to make some of my friends happy too. I do get better overtime, I suppose I can show what would be a sample of art from date to date if you want.

    Also I am a procrastinator, it'd be like "I suppose I could practice X tommorow." but that might be a teenager thing. I suppose if there's lit freaks here I could share essays and improve since my Dad wants me to enter for scholarships. ^^

  14. #13
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    Marie, you could come join us in Concept Art 101. Linkinmysig. . .
    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.

  15. #14
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    You think I could make an intro that sort of demonstrates my art, proportion and style? It's kinda cartoony and all but I do have some things to show.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarieElana
    You think I could make an intro that sort of demonstrates my art, proportion and style? It's kinda cartoony and all but I do have some things to show.
    Nothin' wrong with cartoony! We have a handful of more stylized artists here who can help you with your work. It's ok that you don't want to pursue your art professionally, all that matters is that you're enjoying what you're doing and that you want to improve. Having an honest desire to improve is what makes or breaks new members here.

    What I would suggest is to start a sketchbook thread (in the sketchbook section!) and post what you think is your best stuff, for starters. Don't expect a flood of responses right off the bat, but be diligent and update whenever you have new work. Seeing a progression is very inspiring to other members here.

    And also, why not post some sound clips of you performing flute in your sketchbook, along with with your artwork? Might be kinda neat for those out there who can draw all badass AND play an instrument to share that part of themselves too. We have a ton of threads about "Art and Music - do they go together?" so it's kinda relevant.

  17. #16
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    Well, I did put one here http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=95686

    My work isn't that remarkable or anything but I was kinda expecting a feedback in general o:

  18. #17
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    Also, come join us in the Girls' Forum.
    I gave you permission, so you should see it at the top of the forums.

  19. #18
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    The girl's forum? You mean there's secret hidden boards? x3

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by emily g
    Also, come join us in the Girls' Forum.
    I gave you permission, so you should see it at the top of the forums.
    and there isn't a guys forum?

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blahm
    I have alot of experience with the skin flute and let me tell you. You will get better at blowing, the more you practice.
    I find the same principles apply to the rusty trombone, as well.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-ka-lang View Post
    and there isn't a guys forum?

    I was wondering if I should pose to be a guy on another account just to see if that was the case. Thanks for informing me and saving the trouble x:

  23. #22
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    What the hell is a skin flute? Is that when u cup your hands and make music with it?(i can play Oh Canada doing that)
    oh yea Marie, maybe you are playing the notes to loud, i find that playing things softer conserves a great deal of air


  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeanLucPicard View Post
    What the hell is a skin flute?
    Don't ask, don't tell!

  25. #24
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    He asked


    It rhymes with Genus.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tensai View Post
    well get breathing techniques excersises and tips like the advice above (i'm sure there is more). but i guess general lung capacity is also a factor. when you're in good condition that lung capacity is bigger. swimming, running or other durance sports will help. i had a big lung capacity when did a lot of fighting sports just cause of my general condition, and it helped with swimming and diving too.
    I dunno about lung capacity... in my bio class we all took a lung capacity test and I had the lowest... lol. However, I play the trumpet and have the highest range and endurance in the school. Lung capacity can certainly help, I suppose, but it's more of what you make of it, how you USE the air you've got.

  27. #26
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    Yeah, I sometimes play soft and it sounds nicer but when the whole band plays I can't even hear myself ;_;

  28. #27
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    I dont know if the circular breathing technique has been mentioned here yet.
    Click on the link and scroll to the bottom theres a diagram about circular breathing (ignore the didgeridoo) also have a browse on youtube for demonstrations.

    Circular breathing

    Hope this is helpful

    Rich
    Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Man View Post
    I dont know if the circular breathing technique has been mentioned here yet.
    Click on the link and scroll to the bottom theres a diagram about circular breathing (ignore the didgeridoo) also have a browse on youtube for demonstrations.

    Circular breathing

    Hope this is helpful

    Rich
    Ahaha, my brother played that instrument by blowing raspberries into it, you know, the poot noise :B

  30. #29
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    You can build up your lungs, take singing lessons or start diving, it will help, believe me, or do daily exercises, try holding an "S" as long as you can for example (I’m talking with our mouth now, not the flute =P )

    well anyway, if you can keep and "S" sound coming from your lips in approximately 3-5 mins then I don’t know how too help you BUT it that’s not the case, try it....really, do it like once a day or something

  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Man View Post
    I dont know if the circular breathing technique has been mentioned here yet...

    Hope this is helpful

    I've played the flute for a long time, and I can't recall on top of my head knowing anyone that can do this. Certainly not something I can suggest!

    An exercise that might help you, Marie, is to take a comfortable abdominal breath, and hold a note you can easily play (e.g., middle F). The goal is a controlled, even note - hold it for as long as it is comfortable (your face shouldn't be going red - or blue!) When you're happy with your progress, move to F#, then E, G, and Eb... you get the gist. Like the scales, do this everytime you play as part of the warm-up. The key here is control: you seldom need to play longer passages than you can breath. Mozart did not write to asphyxiate flautists

    Vaéi


    Vaéi's Sketchbook

    Sketch Support Group #37: Bard, Nam, Matsign, Rist.


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