The worst is when I put my flute to my lips and I just know, I JUST KNOW that the tone that will proceed from my lips is not going to be glorious. Low, when I make my initial sound well, it aint glorious!
What gets to us all is that we think that we’re the only ones that have bad days. Nobody else has bad days.
We are the only ones.
I’m here to assure you that absolutely everyone has bad days and will have more bad days before our flute days are done.
There are plenty of reasons why bad days come, even when practicing consistently with razor sharp practice techniques. I’m not here to discuss those reasons, but to help you know what to do with those bad days.
My practice philosophy for bad days is simple: JUST GET THROUGH THEM.
Startling, right? Just keep playing what you are playing. Do your whole routine as usual, and don’t let up. Bad days can be gone as quickly as they come, or they can last a couple days. Either way, be unrelenting in your practice. If it is too depressing (because it can be) then practice for shorter bouts, more frequently. Don’t allow the frustration to seep into your practice. Keep going. It’s a marathon not a sprint.
In my heyday of bad days, which was during my college undergraduate years, my “modus operendi” that I developed was to practice a lot of technique. I felt that practicing tone was so rotten that I just couldn’t do it. So I would pull out every technique book that I had and just play technique exercises out the proverbial wazoo. I’m not telling you to neglect your tonal studies but perhaps to put them on the back burner while you push through a bad day.
Do etudes, practice all the technique parts on your solos. Just keep going. Don’t stop. The sun will come out. Your flute sound will shine again!
My 2 cents.