2020 June Tone Development - FATB 3

“Now when is the next course?”
“Wonderful company, wonderful music.
“Thank you again for a truly terrific experience
Inspiring flute courses and events for adult players of all levels
Go to content

Playing Tips for Flute Players by Zoë Booth

Warm-Ups for Flute Players - Improve Your Playing by Exercises by Zoë Booth (published by Pipeblower Publishing, RRP £8.95)

If you’ve enjoyed Zoë’s hints and tips for free here, you can also purchase her book, packed with loads more exercises and in-depth descriptions  - a beautifully presented treat for yourself or a  flute-playing friend!

“Thank you. It’s brilliant! Looking forward to my practice session tomorow.”

“I love the prescriptions for 30 minute and 10 minute warm-ups; it’s easy to work out which exercises to do with limited time.”

June & July 2020
This month: Tone Development
Welcome to my flute-playing free Hints and Tips Page; a new page is posted here on the first day of each month.

Here we are in June with still no real-life Flute Courses or Days (sadly, we would have been in Croatia for two courses this month), but FATB Online is going strong, keeping adult flute players connected and entertained! Whether it's the fun of a live-play-along class, the focussed study of a particular piece of music, no-pressure topical classes (on every flute-y subject!) or the wish to perform online in a masterclass, we've got it! Check out the FATB Online calendar here. Wherever you are, stay safe and enjoy your playing.

This month we're focussing on tone development, so important for flute players everywhere, and it's vital to keep up our standards whilst we're playing exclusively in our own homes for now. Marcel Moyse laid down the basics of developing sound in his book 'De La Sonorite' and it's a simple but effective idea (you may well have similar exercises in other tutor books): play a note well, then slur to the next semitone down and take the great tone with you; if you then come in on the second note and repeat, you'll soon push your focus across the entire instrument - meanwhile, whilst playing slowly and patiently, you're developing your embouchure, stamina, posture, breathing, support and detailed listening!

The hardest areas for equality of sound are:

  • playing reliably over the bottom notes (playing loudly here is even more challenging) and
  • making top notes sound beautiful (and getting these to vary from a loud dynamic is difficult)

In both cases, work from an area of success on your flute, in other words slur downwards from a good note into the bottom notes for the former, and vice versa to approach your high notes. It's these extremes that show up if there is any shortfall in our technique; in particular, the highest notes will let us down if the support isn't there, especially if the tone is forced from the throat. Challenge yourself on this by practising gentle harmonics, as well as slurring beautifully from lower notes in this month's exercise:

Click here for this month's Tone Development exercise (.pdf)>>


Groovy scales are the focus next month - see you then!

Happy flute-ing,


P.S. Please send your questions and comments to me at info@flutesatthebarns.com

Next Time, August 2020: Groovy Scales

01727 765511
07976 613750

Flutes at the Barns is a division of Zocopoco Limited, registered in England and Wales no. 7287733.
Registered office: 30 Whitecroft, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1UU.

Back to content