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The Acute Bend; for high D,E,F notes of Alto C Ocarinas
Topic Started: 5 Feb 2008, 03:02 AM (33,572 Views)
kissing
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tyrannical dictator

The Acute Bend is a rather simple technique for making the high notes clearer on 12-hole ocarinas.
Particularly for the Alto C ocarina and its three highest notes (D, E, F).



Instructions:

Normally when you play the ocarina, you usually maintain your posture and hand position.

However, when making the high D, E, F tones on the Alto C ocarina, while the ocarina mouthpiece is in your mouth, bend forward a bit as though you're bowing to someone and pull the ocarina towards your chest. The ocarina should become 'upright' and horizontal to the ground.

In this position, keep the ocarina at about 10cm distance from the chest. You should get a very clean, pure sound on your high D, E, F notes if you do this right. Even when you breathe strongly in this position, the ocarina will still sound clean.

This technique is generally used for Alto C ("Tenor") ocarinas.
The reason for this has to do with the characteristics of Frequency. It has to do with the frequency between 1000Hz - 1500Hz and the air pressure inside the ocarina. When the air coming out of the sound hole touches your chest, it will increase the interior air pressure enabling the ocarina to vibrate well giving a clean, resonant tone.

Posted Image

revised November 2008
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stevtomato
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The Splattered Tomato

Isn't it a bit awkward having to bend down once in a while every time we hit high notes? I feel awkward, lol.

But the tone created is so beautiful and not airy!
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Nonayourbeeswax
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Loves The Bagpipe

This technique works great.
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dannysg
Beginner
ya i have tried. It works great :)
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witemp
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Focalink user
Here, Docjazz has a video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDNR_IGWODE

This technique doesnt really works on my fabio menaglio :ocarina: ;s, but maybe i'm doing it wrong...

My Focalink :ocarina: dont need it, they already sound good!...
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Myung
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= Mighty Mohawkus =
witemp
Apr 26 2008, 06:47 PM
This technique doesnt really works on my fabio menaglio :ocarina: ;s, but maybe i'm doing it wrong...

My Focalink :ocarina: dont need it, they already sound good!...

Are they all Alto C's then?

Because this technique is only necessary for Alto C ocarinas
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witemp
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Focalink user
Well, i dont know what type they are, but my Do3 needs it the most. My Sol2 doesnt need it very much... I only know the names that are on it, but not the types or tuning... Sorry...
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

witemp
Apr 26 2008, 05:18 PM
Well, i dont know what type they are, but my Do3 needs it the most. My Sol2 doesnt need it very much... I only know the names that are on it, but not the types or tuning... Sorry...

The Do3 should be the equivalent of Alto C.

According to my table anyway:

Posted Image
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Deckman
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Cosstropolitan
some alto c ocarinas sound airy on high notes regardless of whether you use an acute bend. i've heard a few menaglio ocarinas, so it wouldn't surprise me if that was the case.
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RCspeedemon
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Pendant Ocarinist x 2
ha that works great on my alto. lately i have been having problems with the high notes sounding airy with some of the songs i have been working on. thanks a bunch kissing!
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KoiKitsune2006
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Inline Ocarinist x 2
I have to use the Acute Bend with my Tenor C on high notes or I'll get Ocarina squeak. lol
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wannabeOcarinaplaya
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Traceur in training :]
it does work :link:
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Sherb
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Nyanyanyanyanya

ive also discovered that this cant be used in a sitting posture...
u have to be sat 'dead straight' or stood up..
not sure as to why though
Edited by Sherb, 19 May 2009, 11:30 AM.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

I'm not sure what you mean.
The majority of times I'm practicing ocarina on my own is sitting down, and acute bend works just fine :think:

Perhaps you're exagerrating the bending motion too much.
You don't have to bend so rigidly. Just need to get the sound hole closer to your chest :)
Edited by kissing, 19 May 2009, 08:34 PM.
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Dhalphir
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Opinionated Jerk
He may mean sort of a slouching sitting position, rather than sitting up straight.
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shirf02
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Enjoys the Disney Renaissance
I slouch quite a lot when playing and I can still make it work, it can just be a bit more difficult sometimes, but usually it's fine.
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Sherb
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Nyanyanyanyanya

perhaps its my ocarina?
i saw what you posted and tried it with my focalink, and it works fine :)
i guess its just the ocarina =/
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

This has to be one of the most misconceived ideas ever in musical instrument playing technique.

Strangles your breathing, looks silly, disrupts eye contact with anyone you're playing with, you can't do it in fast music and it's an excuse for bungled design ("our instrument doesn't really sound rubbish on those notes, you just have to tie your neck in knots and it'll be fine").

The bottom line is that if your ocarina needs it, you've got a dud.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

I disagree

It doesn't strangle your breathing. You're just bending over a bit.
The professionals do it, and they've been at it for decades on stage and recording studio.

It's not an excuse for a bungled design. It's physics.
You want 12-hole range? You're gonna have to deal with the internal pressure gradient needed to get the highest notes.
Edited by kissing, 22 Jun 2011, 04:14 PM.
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Hodei
Novice Ocarinist
If you do it properly it won't strangle your breathing. Plus, if you practice it enough it will come out much more fluently.
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Kylashnikov
Pendant Ocarinist
Thank you for explaining it to me, I always assumed it was just a slight form of witchcraft. I couldn't figure out why it worked haha.
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Dullahan
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Don't you just love soundwalking?

There is a detailed explanation regarding the Physics of the acute bend. I think Kresimir did it a couple of months ago. I'm not sure where it was though. I shall look for it, or wait until he appears and explains it, he a physicist after all. :)

I believe however, that the acute bend, even if it works can be avoided by a proper breathing technique. I'd believe this can happen with most Ocarinas, but the acute bend is indeed helpful when you need to reach those high notes and your breath hasn't been experienced with the Ocarina at hand.
Edited by Dullahan, 23 Jun 2011, 12:53 AM.
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Philip
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KypSyd

I find it very useful and it works wonders on the high notes.

As kissing said, if you are trying to obtain the maximum range from a single chamber, you must expect that the high notes will sound slightly airy if you do not use the acute bend. This is even the case with the highest quality ocarinas professional ocarinists use on stage so to say that you have a dud if your 12-hole requires this technique is completely false. It must be (and has been) accepted as a legitimate technique for the ocarina imo
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Matt
♪♫♪
I just tried the acute bend, and I was impressed with how much better my higher notes sounded. I was wondering, though, if there was a disadvantage to using the acute bend for every note instead of the higher ones.
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chipsmusik1
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Focalinker!
Acute bend is a must if you want the clearest notes possible in the higher register of a single chambered ocarina. I even use it on my triple ocarina, though it doesn't make as big of a difference on it.
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LizaBeMore
Beginner
Dullahan
23 Jun 2011, 12:47 AM


I believe however, that the acute bend, even if it works can be avoided by a proper breathing technique. I'd believe this can happen with most Ocarinas, but the acute bend is indeed helpful when you need to reach those high notes and your breath hasn't been experienced with the Ocarina at hand.
I have been wondering about that. I am a newbie but have been playing woodwinds for 20 years. I haven't had much luck with the acute bend but find that I have some luck with forming the inside of my mouth (tongue and palate) into a tight shape like I am saying "eee" and relaxing my throat and keeping my breathing low and deep (right from the diaphagm). Inversely the low notes are enhanced by forming my mouth and throat as if i were saying a deep groaning "uhhh"

Does STL's Heather do acute bends? I don't think so but maybe I haven't looked closely enough. She is a professional flautist.
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Achint
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Fat Mouse >^_^<

You bet she does the acute bend.

Acute bendiness
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

It seems you have to wrinkle your forehead and look really, really worried before that top note comes out.
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Krešimir Cindrić


Jack Campin
27 Aug 2011, 03:43 PM
It seems you have to wrinkle your forehead and look really, really worried before that top note comes out.
And don't forget to stare at one point all the time, so it looks like you're concentrating really hard ;)
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stormsky95
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SPAAAAAAAACE!!!!!
I have a dragon tooth and it doesn't really require the acute bend but I think it still makes it sound a bit better. :D
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AmandaCeline
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Double Ocarinist
Sometimes the acute bend works a bit on my STL plastic, but sometimes not..any ideas why? It may be because I can't seem to gauge the breath needed.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

Well you gotta remember, the "acute bend" isn't some magic wand technique that automatically makes high notes sound good on every ocarina.

You need good breathing technique, which comes from experience and practice.
And you also need an ocarina that is capable of playing all the notes well.
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Krešimir Cindrić


kissing
29 Aug 2011, 12:46 PM
Well you gotta remember, the "acute bend" isn't some magic wand technique that automatically makes high notes sound good on every ocarina.

You need good breathing technique, which comes from experience and practice.
And you also need an ocarina that is capable of playing all the notes well.
This is very true. But often people don't realise that - they notice instant improvement with acute bend, which can somewhat mask the poor breathing technique.

Therefore, I'd advise not to use it at all while practising. Learn to get the best possible sound without "acute bend" on your ocarina - after that you can easily tilt your head downwards and make it even better. Otherwise, this technique will only attempt mask your mistake, but it will still sound pretty bad.

Instant results are usually bad. It is gradual progress and hard work that gives great results.
Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 31 Aug 2011, 12:35 PM.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

I tend to disagree with Kresimir that it should be avoided.
I believe it is a part of good technique associated with the ocarina.

Acute bend with poor breathing technique will still sound poor anyway.
I reckon it should be practiced along with good breathing technique.

A typical 12-hole Alto C's highest notes sounds horrible without acute bend regardless of breathing technique.
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Achint
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Fat Mouse >^_^<

kissing
31 Aug 2011, 01:47 PM
I tend to disagree with Kresimir that it should be avoided.
I believe it is a part of good technique associated with the ocarina.

Acute bend with poor breathing technique will still sound poor anyway.
I reckon it should be practiced along with good breathing technique.

A typical 12-hole Alto C's highest notes sounds horrible without acute bend regardless of breathing technique.
I think a beginner needs to be able to distinguish between when he's breathing properly and when the acute bend is helping him out.
And in my mind that can only be achieved when you separate the two.

So I think I agree with Kres' method of first reaching the optimal sound with proper breathing technique and THEN proceeding to use the acute bend to improve it.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

Lol if you seriously believe people will refrain from experimenting with how acute bend affects tone as they practice in their bedrooms
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Achint
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Fat Mouse >^_^<

Not saying they will. I'm saying they should =P



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Krešimir Cindrić


kissing
31 Aug 2011, 01:47 PM
A typical 12-hole Alto C's highest notes sounds horrible without acute bend regardless of breathing technique.
When we accept this as a truth, it means we've lost all criteria regarding quality. How sad it is, and wrong, that a flaw in the instrument has become so common that people consider it typical and accept it? "But that's just how things are..." :c
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Sojiro is arguably one of the best makers and players in the world and he uses the acute bend.

If the technique is good enough for Sojiro, it's good enough for me. :thumbsup:
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Krešimir Cindrić


I can just as easily provide you with quotes from other, well known and great ocarina musicians who say "acute bend" is nothing but ridiculous acrobatics.

No, Sojiro is only the most popular. And that is just another consequence of the horrible distortion of the perception of the ocarina. But I guess there is no point of arguing about it, tastes are personal.
Edited by Krešimir Cindrić, 1 Sep 2011, 08:56 AM.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

I think you're basing a lot on the assumption that using the acute bend is a 'flaw' in some way.
It is very easy to do, and it serves its purpose really well. Not only is it used by some of the highly seasoned ocarina players (Sojiro, Hao Lun Hsu, Osawa, Pankuolong, Paolo Gavelli.. and many more.. whom I daresay have more experience than everyone's experience and skill in this topic combined*), it is also recommended by a large number of the reputable ocarina makers. I was personally taught the acute bend by MinSoo Kim, maker of Maparam ocarinas, considered by some players (including Paolo Gavelli) to be some of the best ocarinas. Hyunil Ko, maker of Woodsound ocarinas mentions the use of acute bend in his design notes. Noble ocarinas claim on their website that their Alto C can produce the highest notes without using the acute bend, but still recommend it nevertheless to get the best tone. Spencer's ocarinas, by Docjazz's example, are obviously designed to be used with acute bend. The list goes on and on. While I will certainly not say that everyone uses acute bend (I'm assuming that these "reputable" sources rejecting acute bend you speak of are not made up), but certainly a well known, large proportion of ocarinists know of the technique, use it and recommend it. It seems to me that it's only a minority, with very very particular tastes, that reject it. While you are right that it depends on personal taste, you still have to accept that it's only a very small minority who have a problem with it.

Is it an invalid technique?
For comparison, to do vibrato on any reed instrument (clarinet, sax, etc), you have to oscillate your embouchure to produce vibrato, rather than the "belly" air vibrato that singers and ocarinists favour. Does this make all reed instruments 'faulty' because it can't produce vibrato easily in the 'recommended' way?

No.

The same also applies to brasswind instruments. As a former trumpeter, I know that vibrato has to be produced with the embouchure to some extent. That is why when I first got an ocarina, it took me a bit longer to produce vibrato the way it is supposed to be produced on an ocarina (the 'belly'). But that's the thing. Different instruments have different needs. You can't vibrato on a trumpet like you can on an ocarina, and vice versa. This does not make either instrument inferior. By the same token, you can't produce the highest notes on an ocarina the same way you do on a trumpet (purse your lips harder, blow harder). It is a lot more easier and efficient in my view to produce the highest notes on an ocarina with the simple application of acute bend, compared to most other wind instruments, which require a lot more technique and precision to produce the high notes. On some instruments, being able to produce high notes in itself is an advanced skill. We are blessed with the ocarina to be able to produce the high F with just good breathing technique + acute bend. Try the same note on a trumpet, I dare you.


Acoustic instruments, in their nature, have physical boundaries which can be overcome by simple adjustments to playing technique. The acute bend is a perfectly comprehensive and sensible technique in my opinion. If you don't like 12-hole ocarinas, that's your choice. But I really don't see much practical drawbacks in simply enjoying the 12-hole range with the use of acute bend on a majority of ocarinas. Unfortunately, here you will have to distinguish between reality and idealism. Sure, wouldn't the world be a better place if no ocarinas needed acute bend. The truth is, a lot of ocarinas require acute bend and are designed thus. Not because they are poor quality, but because to achieve certain dynamics in air requirement PLUS a total of 12-holes or more, it greatly aids in the tone production. And no, 10-holes are not superior because some of them don't need acute bend. They don't need acute bend because they have less holes (that's obvious).

Some 12-hole ocarinas don't need acute bend. Does this make them superior to those that don't?
Not necessarily. They would have particular breath requirements and characteristics to enable them so - generally tend to be ocarinas that are consistent breathed and less dynamic. I have one such 12-hole in my collection at the moment. A 12-hole "slim" Alto C by Giorgio Cataldi (that I am supposed to review soon). I still use acute bend with it nevertheless to strengthen the high notes.





*- even Healther from STL ocarinas uses it on all her ocarinas. Including the one with the sound hole on the top side
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Krešimir Cindrić


kissing
1 Sep 2011, 02:27 PM
While I will certainly not say that everyone uses acute bend (I'm assuming that these "reputable" sources rejecting acute bend you speak of are not made up), but certainly a well known, large proportion of ocarinists know of the technique, use it and recommend it. It seems to me that it's only a minority, with very very particular tastes, that reject it. While you are right that it depends on personal taste, you still have to accept that it's only a very small minority who have a problem with it.
In Budrio, 10 years ago, nobody even knew about that "technique".
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

Because 10 years ago in Budrio, they didn't have Asian style 12-hole ocarinas there?
Because it's not a technique for the 10-hole Italian ocarina?
(so obviously players in Budrio, who didn't play 12-hole ocarinas, had no need for it)
Because the technique was most likely invented specifically in conjunction with 12-hole style ocarinas?


So are you implying all advancement ocarina technique and design ceased 10 years ago in Budrio?
While I certainly respect that Budrio has a lot to offer in ocarina tradition, technique and dogma, I certainly do not think we should be ignorant to future advancements..


The classic Budrian 10-hole ocarina is like the classical guitar. It is the earliest of its modernized form.
However, today, there are steel string acoustic and electric guitars that dominate the scene to fit different styles of music. There are techniques specific to these new guitars which did not exist on the classical guitar decades ago. In my view, the same applies to ocarinas.
Edited by kissing, 1 Sep 2011, 04:00 PM.
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tytoalba
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Inline Ocarinist x 2

In my modest experience, and considering that in a system and the 10 holes to 12 holes is an ocean of difference, ultimately tend to throw away more and more each ocarina that requires the execution of this technique.
In particular for the system to 10 holes this technique is almost never necessary except in cases where errors occur macroscopic realization of the windway, the hole voicing (excessive size); hole with the wrong shape in section, wrong thickness .
In a 12-hole, everything becomes more complicated by the low pressure inside, and the factors just mentioned, even if performed correctly, may not be enough to avoid the use dell'Acute bend.
Regards
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passaggio
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♪♫ Je veux vivre dans ce ręve qui m'enivre. ♪♫
Achint
31 Aug 2011, 02:07 PM
I think a beginner needs to be able to distinguish between when he's breathing properly and when the acute bend is helping him out.
And in my mind that can only be achieved when you separate the two.

So I think I agree with Kres' method of first reaching the optimal sound with proper breathing technique and THEN proceeding to use the acute bend to improve it.
^ This! I totally agree with this.

Proper breath control is difficult enough for beginners...AND professionals, if you're performing something challenging enough!! A classical approach to learning (and by that, I mean that used in classical European sport & musical training) should work well:
Master your fundamental techniques individually in practice...then integrate, blend, & embellish for performances.
Edited by passaggio, 2 Sep 2011, 03:02 AM.
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