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Suggested Reading

1. Rehearsal Rooms

Struggling to improve the acoustics in your band room? Check out how the Medan Band did it.

2. Concerned about playing swing music properly?

Check out my guidelines

3. Ear training exercises for bands

Unlike piano players, ear training is essential for wind band performers. But how many band directors bother to give their bands suitable exercises?

4. Intonation problems

While tuning is simple act of adjusting a length of tubing on a wind instrument (often by reference to a single note), intonation is an ongoing process in which a player strives to match the pitch of others in the ensemble during performance. 

5. “Blowing” a wind instrument

A common misconception among wind players is to believe that the air moves through the instrument in order to produce the sound. This is simply not true. 

6. Conducting – suggestions for home practice

The best way for a conductor to improve is in front of a live ensemble. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this is not always possible. Aspiring conductors therefore have little choice but to find other ways of honing their skills.

 

Flute Head joint

Various aspects of the head joint design on a flute can have a dramatic influence on the instrument’s sound and response.  Broadly, there are two basic tapers – the German and the French – with numerous variations on offer from different manufacturers.  A French-style taper produces a warm, sweet sound, while a German-style taper offers more a more powerful tone.  Most players prefer the French taper or one of its many variants. 

Other design factors influencing the sound and response of the flute include the shape of the embouchure hole (oval or rounded) and its size.  Small, oval-shaped holes make the upper register more responsive but tend to result in very thin tones in the lower register.  Large, rounded holes make the lower register sound better, but also tend to make the high register difficult to control.  Other factors to consider include the degree of roundness of the ‘chimney’ between the lip plate and the body of the flute head joint.

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