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Part Two: "...but I practiced!" A technique practice strategy

The Sensible Flutist: Part Two: "...but I practiced!" A technique practice strategy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Part Two: "...but I practiced!" A technique practice strategy

In Part One, I discussed strategies for learning a new piece especially if you’re a very detail oriented person. The suggested strategies should help you maintain the overall feel of a piece while working.

In Part Two, I want to discuss a technique practice strategy that B and I devised for them to cover more material while regularly rotating through every major and minor key. This is particularly useful for adults, amateurs and professional alike, who may be squeezed for time to cover everything. I tend to practice technique largely in only the areas I feel need attention. I do try to get through a larger technique practice once a week (a la Practice Like you Train), but sometimes I just don’t have this time. This strategy is a four week cycle, allowing you to visit all your go-to technical exercises once a month while rotating through all keys once a week.

The books B is using are The Flute Scale Book by Patricia George and Phyllis Louke, Marquarre Daily Exercises for the Flute, and the classic Taffanel and Gaubert 17 Big Daily Finger Exercises for the Flute. Since the Flute Scale Book is founded on the Taffanel and Gaubert, most of the work can be done from the Flute Scale Book. In the plan below, I will notate both the Flute Scale Book exercise title and the corresponding Taffanel and Gaubert exercise.

First, decide what you want your material to consist of. You may have a goal of getting through the practice plans listed in the Flute Scale Book or you may want to devise a strategy for getting through all of the Marquerre exercises. The point of this strategy is to devise a plan that will help you achieve your goal. This works because it’s breaking a long term goal into smaller manageable bits. The key to this plan is consistency. You won’t get bored practicing the same things everyday while you’re building or maintaining a strong technical foundation.

There are infinite possibilities when working with E.J. 4 (corresponding Tone Color Scales in the Flute Scale Book) so I keep these scales as a constant every week while rotating through the keys. This sample plan is good for an amateur flutist who only has 10-15 minutes a day to work on technique. This is based on a 6 day practice schedule, practicing 2 major/minor key pairings a day with varied articulations.

If you're more advanced, please adapt to fit your time constraints technical areas of weakness. Please feel free to share other plans based on your material. I’d love to see them!

Week 1:
Flute Scale Book Tone Color Scales (T&G E.J. 4)
FSB Ascending and descending arpeggios (T&G E.J. 8 and 9)
Marquarre Exercises 1 and 2

Week 2:
Tone color scales
Scales in thirds (T&G E.J. 6)
Marquarre Exercises 3 and 4

Week 3:
Tone color scales
Broken arpeggios (T&G E.J. 11)
Marquarre Exercises 5 and 6

Week 4:
Tone color scales
Modal scales in 3rds and 6ths, flats on MWF, sharps on TRS (T&G E.J. 6, played in 6 note chunks)
Marquarre Exercise 7

*For more suggestions on technique books, read Flute Warm Ups

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1 Comments:

At March 2, 2012 at 9:59 AM , Blogger Jamey said...

I love this series on practice technique. I can't wait to incorporate your suggestions into my daily practice. Thanks!

 

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