In our first third of our practice routine there is this pesky little thing I like to call
that needs to be practiced daily. So let me give you some suggestions of material to cover when working on this part of your practice routine.
There are 3 books I use for all my students:
Marcel Moyse, Art & Technique (De La Sonorité)
Marcel Moyse, Tone development Through Interpretation
Trevor Wye, Practice Book for the Flute: Volume 1 – Tone
Now it will depend on what type of student they are and where they are in their flute journey as to which book I begin with and which exercise. There are great exercises in each book that can be used at any level. I always encourage my students to read what each author has written about tone and the exercise at hand. Then I might put my own spin on how they do it.
How about adding whistle tones and a harmonic series exercise to your routine. Both these are fantastic at focusing the tone. If you don’t know how to do these let me know I’ll give you the exercises to use. Low, short tonguing can be a great way to work on tone although it can seem counter intuitive. The short bursts of tone on a low tone can help get the air, tone and tongue to focus and believe it or not it helps all registers.
There are so many more but at least this is a beginning.
A very effective tonal practice can take a lot of time. If you are patient… which at times is difficult for me. But, I know from experience that it yields great results! So, I don’t shirk my duty to practice tone – even when I want to run away from it.
You too need to make sure that the 1/3 of your practice time that is dedicated to tone and technique is just as heavy with tonal practice as it is with technique.