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Flute Warm Ups

The Sensible Flutist: Flute Warm Ups

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flute Warm Ups

My favorite part of practicing is warming up. I love the routine and security of staying in shape, and having an entire hour to feel like I am "ready." But nowadays, I don't have that hour and more often than not, I have to jump in whether I feel good or not.

With my recent practice project, I realized I needed more time in my warm up to correct tonal deficiencies I was hearing in my sound. So I returned to my old Moyse De la Sonorite routine. I love using the low and high register long tone exercises, in addition to his interval exercises. The end result? A more open, resonant high register and more timbral control.

Fast forward to my current situation which seems to change daily, sometimes hourly. All of us experience times like these, where we may only have 30 minutes or an hour to practice and feel like we're moving ahead on our goals. While it's incredibly difficult to maintain within this time, I believe that with an efficient structure, you can still make progress.

1) Have a plan This is my goal. I'm in the process of devising various warm up plans that I can go to when I'm pressed for time, have a little bit more time, or for those rare days where time is not an issue.

2) Be flexible
Some days, you are going to sound like crap. Fix it. You may spend all your time on long tones, but that's OK. Our obligations don't stop just because we're having a bad day with our instrument.

3) Have fun
One of my favorite practice strategies is included in Burton Kaplan's book, Practicing for Artistic Success. Always plan out what you're going to practice, for how long, and for what purpose. THEN give yourself 10 percent less. You will surprise yourself with how you structure your practice to fit your time constraints. Interestingly enough, it frees your playing and allows you to relax into your session. Below are some great resources for tone and technique work.

Marcel Moyse De la Sonorite

Marcel Moyse Exercices Journaliers pour la flute (Daily Exercises for the flute)

Taffanel and Gaubert 17 Big Daily Finger Exercises for the Flute

Walfrid Kujala Vade Mecum

Trevor Wye's Practice Books for the Flute (Books 1-5 come in a nice omnibus edition and cover tone, technique, articulation, intonation and vibrato, and breathing and scales)

Peter Lukas-Graf Checkup (the whistle tones exercise in this book is to die for!!)

Robert Dick Tone Development through Extended Techniques (an excellent resource to pair with De la Sonorite or Wye's tone book)

Paula Robison Flute Warmups Book

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1 Comments:

At April 22, 2011 at 8:17 PM , OpenID fluteangel said...

Great post Alexis - I think this is especially valuable for those of us adults who are out of school and have lost the practicing structure that school provided us.

 

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