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How to practise playing the ocarina; A short guide
Topic Started: 1 Jul 2010, 08:53 AM (26,219 Views)
Suki
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Haaaaaaaiiiiiii! ^_^

I understand. Its nothing to get upset about. I will be taking certain tips on her, I suppose at my pace. Nonetheless ocarina playing should be fun and played from the heart :)
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fermataheart
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"High and Mighty"
Well not grueling all the time but it can be XD
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Krešimir Cindrić


Updated the original post a bit. Added some new links, updated some old links that were broken, fixed a few typos.
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Hoffman Ocarinas
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Transverse Ocarina Maker
Thanks Kres ;-)
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angiessa
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Cartoon'd ocarinist

Awesome, thank you. This guide has been very helpful. :)
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Ayuna
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Amateur Ocarinist
Thanks for this guide, Kres. It has been very useful. Especially the bit around use of a metronome, although I was aware what it would be useful for, I realise now the reason I was disliking it so much in my practice sessions is because I was using it at the wrong time! Because I am just learning to read sheet music, I need to be comfortable with that before I start using the metronome :)
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drinkwater
Folklorist
I was considering starting a new thread, but this seems like the place to ask. I've been practicing with my 12 hole alto C for couple weeks now, sometimes practicing the diatonic 3rds, 4ths, etc, and more often practicing one of several songs, and slowly teaching myself to read sheet music.

It seems to me that my first step should be getting the right tone for each note, knowing the sound of each note (when it's on, when it's off), and familiarizing myself with how much breath I need to put into each note to get it to ring. I can play a few songs, sure, but when i look at the tuner, I'm usually all over the place.

How exactly should I be practicing with the tuner. Should I hold one note at a time and try to get it in tune, or keep it in tune as long as possible on a breath? Or should I slowly play scales and diatonic thirds while watching the tuner. Or should I play single notes in a single key over and over again until I start hitting the sweet spot, then moving to the next note? I picked up a Korg CA-1 and that's what i've been using. Basic model. Is it a good choice?

Also, I tried using the program recommended in the original post, but can't get it to work. Any other recommendations for training the ears for pitch would be much appreciated. I know I got the potential in me, but i've never tried, so i'm basically starting at square one. Thanks!
Edited by drinkwater, 20 Feb 2015, 07:15 AM.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

Perhaps record yourself playing familiar tunes and listen to hear if they sound right.
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Robert Hickman
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Ocarina maker

Play the songs, but slow them RIGHT down, enough so that you can correct the pitch of notes which you see are off. It also helps to practice tunes in 2 or 3 note fragments, getting the intervals landing in tune.

I wrote the following article which goes over the technical challenges with playing the ocarina in tune: http://pureocarinas.com/playing-techniques/playing-in-tune-and-managing-the-breath-curve/

The basic tuner is good as a start, but the refresh rate/pitch resolution on them is too slow to show all the little variations in your pitch. If you have an android device APTuner works very well if you shut off the damping and use the highest sample setting. Others on here have mentioned cleartune on the iphone as being good.
Edited by Robert Hickman, 20 Feb 2015, 04:55 PM.
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drinkwater
Folklorist
I know my intonation still needs some work, but I'll look into doing some recordings soon. Just downloaded cleartune and it is definitely a quicker response then what I was using before. And i haven't read the article yet but it looks like it answers most of my questions. Thanks for the advice.
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Snowchicken
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Folk Ocarinist
thanks for the help!
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Varda_Tintalle
Beginner
This is a very thorough summary of practice, thank you for taking the efforts and doing it!

Being new to the ocarina and to TON - and not having a teacher around me - I am searching for material like this.

Currently I am working through the ocarina method book written by Cris Gale and adding some more exercises using familiar children tunes which I like most and fit into the range I am practicing. This helps me not to get bored with playing Mary had a little lamb 100 times :-), and also get more variations out of the same pitch range.

I am also trying to practice being in tune while playing the songs with the help of a tuner. (Korg TM-50). And that leads me to a question I didn't see described anywhere so far. So I hope I can get answer here though the topic is old already.

So, what does it mean exactly to be in pitch? If I am looking at the tuner and trying to keep my breath as steady as possible the tuner is still having some little movements. I am usually within the area shown with green light, but the indicator does not stand still.

If I try to use the tuner when listening to great ocarina solo's, I still see the indicator moving as well.

So, should I stick practicing until I can get the indicator stand still or being in the green light area is good enough?
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