Pitch Perfect: How to Improve Tone Quality on a Woodwind Instrument

Pitch Perfect: How to Improve Tone Quality on a Woodwind Instrument

To play a woodwind instrument, a musician must possess skill, talent and stamina. Learning how to play a woodwind instrument such as a flute, saxophone or clarinet, can be a challenge for many musicians. As a flutist, an issue I ran into when I was still in the novice stage was tone quality. After many years of one on one and group training, I learned a few great ways to improve tone quality and enhance my overall performance. Here is a look at how I improved my tone quality on my woodwind instrument.

Breathing Techniques

One of the first things I was taught as a musician was proper breathing technique. My music teacher would constantly remind me to breathe from my diaphragm and I learned how to hold my breath and use it to create a more fluid sound. It is important for musicians who play a woodwind instrument to practice their breathing techniques until breathing from their diaphragm comes naturally.

Practice Perfect Posture

Posture plays a very large part in tone quality. I was taught that it is better to perform standing up; when you are sitting down added pressure is on your diaphragm and you cannot create as strong of a sound. If you must sit down, be sure that your posture is perfect, and sit on the edge of your seat.

Thoroughly Clean your Instrument after Each Use

It is of the utmost importance that you thoroughly clean your instrument after each use, not only for general care of the instrument, but also for tone quality in the future. If the instrument needs to be cleaned, the sound will come out as dull. Make sure your instrument is in prime shape for performing by cleaning it thoroughly after each use.

Periodic Instrument Inspection

It is also important to routinely inspect your instrument for any loosening screws or keys. Most instruments come with a small tool that can be used to tighten up any joints, screws or keys. Additionally, you will want to make sure the pads under the keys are in good shape as pads that are in disrepair can affect the sound quality of your instrument.

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