Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Shanta Roy
Playing a low note on a flute is genuinely challenging. Generally, new flute players come across problems like- the low notes not sounding right even if they come out, they don’t sound the way it supposed to sound.
It can be a real struggle for a novice learner to start with a low register.
Before we say anything else, it’s only normal for you to struggle in terms of playing low.
Since we are talking about learning, we are certainly pointing toward the people who are new to the whole idea of low notes.
Here, we will help with techniques, exercises, and other essential details about playing low notes. Give a read to know how to play low notes and make them sound nice.
Fundamentals Of Playing Low Notes
- You need to blow warm air and slow airstream while attempting to play low notes.
- You and your mouth both need to be relaxed in the required position.
- Your lips should not be gathered at the front, away from your teeth.
- Your lips need to be spread yet not too spread to blow slow air.
- The upper lip is supposed to go down while you are making the embouchure structure.
Let’s have a look at some exercises to play low notes on the flute. You will also know the vital information about the exercises to help you play low notes from the discussion.
Blowing In The Embouchure Hole Properly
You need to make sure you are blowing right in the mouthing hole. Some players blow the air outside the embouchure hole while practicing low notes.
As a result, the sound you are creating is coming out husky. Or, overall, that’s not the way low notes should sound like. Try practicing blowing the embouchure hole.
Covering The Embouchure The Necessary Amount
In order to play the low notes on the flute, 1/3 of the mouthing hole needs to open. Learners sometimes cover more than that. A slight amount of extra block can change the sounds you are trying to create.
In that case, you can learn to place your lip in the right place of the embouchure hole. Your lower lip needs to perch right next to the line of the embouchure hole.
Also, don’t forget about bringing your upper lip a bit forward. Placing and forming the lip plays a critical role in playing any note accurately on the flute.
Keep Your Head Straight
Usually, beginner-level players take their heads down while trying to play the low notes. That way, you will end up covering the embouchure hole.
Also, the tendency of moving the head down changes the airflow. Bending your head down with the flute will stifle the air, and the low notes won’t sound right.
The right posture is, the chin should be a little bit up while you are holding the flute onto your lips. Then again, don’t take the head too high or entirely backward.
When your head is in a higher position, the airflow will be different, just like it changes the right airflow when you bend your hand.
You will also notice that the sound the flute is making is way flatter than the low notes. This happens mainly because the air is not reaching the embouchure hole properly.
The aim is to keep the chip up, and your shoulder straight. It sounds like a posture maintained by the people who are serving in defense.
This exercise is about trying to play one note at a time and slowly transitioning to an upcoming note. You must start to make a good-sounding B in the staff or stave. Then gradually go from B to B flat. Next, B flat to A, A to A-flat, and the other notes.
Intermittent Blowing While Playing The Low Notes
During the Tone exercise, you need to play the notes in a particular way. While you are playing a note, you need to blow by fluctuating the airflow.
It’s unlike playing the notes with a steady and single blow. Instead, it’s like you are making many single blows in a row. You can start playing like this, then transition to other notes and play them in the same way.
Blowing On Your Hand Exercise
This can help you to create the right embouchure structure. To do the exercise, hold your hand one foot away from your place. Now, make the embouchure structure we explained in the preceding sections.
Next, without moving your head, blow on your hand from bottom to top your hand. Then, blow the same way from the bottom to the top of your hands.
Practicing in Infront Of the Mirror
If you practice in front of a mirror, you can monitor your embouchure structure, lips, head, and shoulder position. You learned the importance of right embouchure formation, lip placement.
We have also made you aware of holding the upper portion of your body in the right way. The mirror can be a great assistance for these adjustments.
You don’t need to take out word for it as it might sound too strict. All flute teachers suggest these. By performing all those small tasks, you get to play the low note perfectly.
Keeping Your Body Loose
You are allowed to move while trying to maintain the right alignment of the head, lips, and hands with your flute.
Surely, you are not supposed to move too much. Simply relax your body, and don’t stay stiff while playing the flute.
Learners sometimes end up holding them in one position after knowing they need to hold their upper body and flute in a certain position. It’s very common.
Furthermore, it’s not just for your upper body. You can keep moving your lips as well. Note that tensed muscles won’t result in nice notes.
Besides, you might end up developing a particular health condition for holding tensed muscles and holding the muscles in one position.
So, remember to loosen your muscles and move them slightly when you need them. This task takes you one step forward to mastering the flute in general. Which means it’s applicable to all kinds of note-playing exercises.
On A Final Note
To play the low notes, mainly try to make the correct adjustment of your body parts and the flute you are holding.
If you are here only to know how to play a low note, the details mentioned in the first four sections have that information.
The other sections are intended as exercises for playing the low notes with the right techniques. All the sections will together help you perfectly play the low notes.
You can always refer to books for playing low notes. And watch videos online to see how experts are playing the low notes.