Tone Production

 

Does your child have a problem getting a proper sound from their wind instrument? Try looking through some of these common problems and their solutions.

 

Flute

Problem

Solution

No sound, there's only air

1. Blow more into the hole


2. Put more lips over the top of the hole

3. Use more of a "whee" shape with lips

 

Some sound, but mostly air

1. Lower chin, blow more into the hole

2. Use more of an "oo" shape with lips

 

A "whoof" or "poof" sound

1. Emphasize the "too" when tonguing

 

A "thu" sound

1. Use a lighter tongue

2. Use more "too" on the roof of the mouth

 

High pitched whistle sound

1. Use less air


2. Roll the head joint away from the head

3. Cover less of the hole with lips

 

Flat pitch

1. Roll out

 

 

Oboe

Problem Solution
High pitch crow with no sound

1. Decrease lip pressure and relax

2. Get a softer reed

 

Low pitched crow

1. Use more air support, and faster air


2. Reduce the angle of the oboe

3. Change length of the reed (see private teacher)

 

Rushing air

1. Firm the corners of the lips, roll lips in slightly

2. Use more air support, and faster air

 

Stopped air, no sound

1. Use "oh" shape with lips, less reed in mouth

2. Change length of the reed (see private teacher)

 

 

Clarinet

Problem Solution
No sound, there's only air

1. Increase lower lip pressure


2. Use less mouthpiece

3. Sand the reed down (see private teacher)

 

Squeaking, flat pitch

1. Increase lower lip pressure


2. Use less mouthpiece


3. Use faster air


4. Get a harder reed

5. Shape mouth in the "oo" position

 

Squeaking, high squeal

1. Shape mouth in the "oo" position


2. Increase mouth pressure


3. Use less mouthpiece


4. Bring the instrument angle down

5. Get a harder reed

 

Stopped sound, and intense air

1. Use more mouthpiece in mouth


2. Less biting, don't bunch the chin (pull it down)

3. Get a different reed size (see private teacher)

 

Thin or sharp pitch

1. Use more mouthpiece in mouth


2. Shape mouth in the "oh" position

3. Get a softer reed

 

 

Saxophones

Problem Solution
Choked sound

1. Use more "oh" shape with mouth, relax


2. Use more mouthpiece

3. Purchase new mouthpiece (see private teacher)

 

Wobbly sound

1. Place upper teeth on mouthpiece

 

Rough squeak

1. Use less mouthpiece


2. Use more "oh" shape with mouth

3. Get a softer reed

 

Hard to blow

1. Get a softer reed

2. Potential instrument repair (see private teacher)

 

Nasal tone quality

1. Use faster air

2. Get harder reed

 

 

Bassoon

Problem Solution
High pitch crow with no sound

1. Decrease lip pressure and relax

2. Get a softer reed

 

Low pitched crow

1. Use more air support, and faster air


2. Dampen your reed

3. Change length of the reed (see private teacher)

 

Unsupported sound

1. Slightly increase lower jaw support

2. Use faster air and more air support

 

A "thu" sound

1. Use a lighter tongue

2. Use more "too" on the roof of the mouth

 

 

Trumpet and French horn

Problem Solution
No sound, there's only air

1. Re-form the "em" with lips


2. Lick lips and inside of mouthpiece

3. Use faster air

 

Airy tone

1. Re-form the "em" with lips

 

Tight, thin, or pinched tone

1. Re-form the "em" with lips and relax


2. Do not purse or pucker the lips

3. Yawn with head back to open throat

 

Stopped sound

1. Re-form the "em" with lips and relax


2. Do not purse or pucker the lips


3. Yawn with head back to open throat

4. Trumpet: Do NOT use the pinky holder

 

 

Trombone and Baritone/Euphonium

Problem Solution
No sound, there's only air

1. Use a firmer embouchure


2. Think "oh" to open up the throat

3. Keep your tongue down

 

Thin, pinched tone

1. Relax embouchure

2. Use faster air

 

Gargled tone

1. Use a firmer embouchure


2. Re-form "em" with your lips

3. Yawn with head back to open throat

 

Stopped sound

1. Relax embouchure

2. Think "oh" and increase air speed

 

Sharpness in upper register

1. Use faster air

 

Flat, flabby sound in lower register

1. Use faster air

2. Use a firmer embouchure

 

Difficulty producing sound in upper register

1. Move mouth up in mouthpiece

2. Increase air speed

 

Difficulty producing sound in lower register

1. Move mouth down in mouthpiece

2. Relax embouchure

 

 

Tuba

Problem Solution
No sound, there's only air

1. Use a firmer embouchure


2. Think "oh" to open up the throat

3. Keep your tongue down

 

Thin, pinched tone

1. Relax embouchure

2. Use faster air

 

Gargled tone

1. Use a firmer embouchure

2. Re-form "em" with your lips

 

Stopped sound

1. Relax embouchure

2. Think "oh" and increase air speed

 

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