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Author Topic: Experienced MO players-PLEASE HELP!!!  (Read 9513 times)
Treblemaker
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« on: May 07, 2012, 04:34:43 am »

Hi, I started playing a Warmstone MO Jan. 12, 2012 and I don't know how well I am progressing. I am on chapt. 23 in the Learning to Play MO Book. I can read all the notes (having trouble reading 2/4 and 6/8 timing though), but I am still having trouble playing sharp. When I play high B (F#) the note isn't as clear as it should be. When I play it sharp, the note has a really nice, clear tone but when I hit it true I have to use so little breath that it does't sound as good. Also when I play high E (B), I have the same problem. my high F (C) is really clear and sweet but my E (B) is breathy and not that clear. What am I doing wrong??? Should I still be having trouble playing sharp? I never play flat.
I read somewhere that your brain is supposed to compensate- so I guess my brain is out to lunch or something Roll Eyes. I would really appreciate input from experienced players who have overcome this obstacle.

Hopefully,
Pamela


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kypfer
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 07:25:25 am »

I'm not sure I can help, but a couple of things do spring to mind :-

When you say "play sharp" or "play flat", what are you comparing to? Both my polycarbonate instruments are noticeably flat, in comparasion to my recorders, unless I blow quite hard (that is to say, confidently Wink ), the low notes moreso than the higher ones.

The only way I can get them to blow noticebly sharp is if one of my thumbs isn't seating properly. For the two minutes it'll take, try taping over your thumbholes, just to be sure Wink

The other favourite for off-key notes is obstruction of the windway or "foreign body" within the instrument ... a rinse under the tap can work wonders  Shocked


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"I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order."
ubizmo
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 04:31:34 pm »

I'm not surprised that you have this problem with high E --it's why I cover L2 to play that note, and let all holes open be F, as it "wants" to be.

But I don't have any problem with B.

I think MOs are carefully constructed to have an even breath requirement throughout the range, and that even breath level is fairly firm, or "confident", as kypfer put it. That is, these instruments cannot be played tentatively. That said, to many of us it feels more natural to increase breath pressure as pitch goes up. This is why (I think) it can be hard to play that E with all holes open.

Incidentally, these comments refer especially to the G model. On the C, I find it to be different. I struggle more with flatness on the C, and it's somewhat difficult to overblow the E to an F--although I do it. This is why I ended up enlarging one of the thumbholes on my C, in fact.


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Treblemaker
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 06:35:35 pm »

I'm not sure I can help, but a couple of things do spring to mind :-

When you say "play sharp" or "play flat", what are you comparing to? Both my polycarbonate instruments are noticeably flat, in comparasion to my recorders, unless I blow quite hard (that is to say, confidently Wink ), the low notes moreso than the higher ones.

The only way I can get them to blow noticebly sharp is if one of my thumbs isn't seating properly. For the two minutes it'll take, try taping over your thumbholes, just to be sure Wink

The other favourite for off-key notes is obstruction of the windway or "foreign body" within the instrument ... a rinse under the tap can work wonders  Shocked


Thanks for answering me Kypfer,
What I mean when I play sharp is some of my high notes (especially the B, D, and E (G-Ocarina notes) are higher (sharper) then the recordings of Karl from the Lesson CD (and I am hitting the correct note). To hit the note and match his pitch I have to blow really soft and then the note isn't as clear as I would like (doesn't sound confident at all!). I can play the F note much easier than I can play the E, in the open hole position. I am not sharp on the other notes unless I blow harder than normal. I also use a keyboard to check my pitch.

I wash my Warmstone pretty frequently since I keep it in my pocket so there is no obstruction.
I'll keep an eye on my thumbs though to see if they are slipping.

Pamela


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Treblemaker
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 06:58:22 pm »

I'm not surprised that you have this problem with high E --it's why I cover L2 to play that note, and let all holes open be F, as it "wants" to be.

But I don't have any problem with B.

I think MOs are carefully constructed to have an even breath requirement throughout the range, and that even breath level is fairly firm, or "confident", as kypfer put it. That is, these instruments cannot be played tentatively. That said, to many of us it feels more natural to increase breath pressure as pitch goes up. This is why (I think) it can be hard to play that E with all holes open.

Incidentally, these comments refer especially to the G model. On the C, I find it to be different. I struggle more with flatness on the C, and it's somewhat difficult to overblow the E to an F--although I do it. This is why I ended up enlarging one of the thumbholes on my C, in fact.

I appreciate your answering me, Ubizmo.
I'm having a "La La moment" identifying what you mean by covering L2, I know I've known what that means, however I can't bring it up at the moment. would you please explain.

In lesson 23 of the Learning to play MO Book I was listening to Karl play a song and I could hear I was higher than he was when I played the B, I had to drop my breath so low to match his pitch that the note came out very uncertain. If I blow normal it comes out sharp (about a half step higher) I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

I haven't played my C poly MO very much since I'm trying to master the G first, however I am not sharp on it- it does tend to go the other way. I haven't been able to hit the F on it, but then I haven't tried very hard. I'm hoping to get a wood one when they produce more.

Except for a little recorder and D-penny whistle I haven't had a lot of experience with woodwinds. I hope I find out what I'm doing wrong soon.

Pamela


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ubizmo
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 11:40:49 pm »

Sorry about that. "L2" means the 2nd hole of the left hand set. I just cover that one and leave everything else open. With firm breath pressure I get E.

This isn't the approved method, of course, but it works for me, especially on the G model.


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Treblemaker
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 11:49:04 pm »

That is so cool, thanks. I just tried it. I was right on pitch  Cheesy
By the way I kept saying I was having trouble with B and I meant D. It is the song
Haul Away Joe that I was taking about.

I should have known what L2 meant  Roll Eyes duh...
Now all I need is a magic bullet for D LOL

Thanks!


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ubizmo
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I couldn't fail to disagree with you less.


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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 01:19:32 pm »

Now all I need is a magic bullet for D LOL

I'm fresh out of bullets for that one. I mean, you can always "anchor" it by covering another hole, such as R3 or R4, whatever works. But that's pretty awkward to do in real time. I just find I have to be really careful with that note. I don't find that it's airy when blown on pitch, but it's definitely easy to blow it sharp.


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Treblemaker
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 08:07:28 pm »

That means I'm just going to have to practice more, using less breath, until I can find the sweet spot so the D will sound better. Thanks for your advise Ubizmo!


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4efs
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 05:15:50 pm »


See there is a magic bullet! and it is always the same.  The "Secret" of Life?- Practice, practice, practice...
...or so I've heard... Wink


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"The real secret of success is enthusiasm." -Walter Chrysler
Harp Player
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 03:04:12 am »

I agree nothing like practice, practice and more practice to improve and develop your magical music making talent.


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Treblemaker
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Student of the Ocarina


« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2012, 12:24:31 am »

4efs and Harp Player, you guys are so correct  Wink
And I'm practing in the right way too- NOW!  Roll Eyes LOL


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4efs
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2012, 02:42:14 am »



I only just figured out that I could play High Eb with my right thumb instead of the left forefinger and it sounds soooo much better.  Yeah! It's the little things that mean so much!  Grin


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"The real secret of success is enthusiasm." -Walter Chrysler
Treblemaker
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Student of the Ocarina


« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2012, 12:39:31 am »



I only just figured out that I could play High Eb with my right thumb instead of the left forefinger and it sounds soooo much better.  Yeah! It's the little things that mean so much!  Grin
That is so cool it deserves purple! Thanks 4efs, I just tried it and it works great- I won't have as much trouble knocking my instrument out of my hand Playing it that way! And I won't have to worry about play


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Treblemaker
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Posts: 248


Student of the Ocarina


« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 12:45:14 am »



I only just figured out that I could play High Eb with my right thumb instead of the left forefinger and it sounds soooo much better.  Yeah! It's the little things that mean so much!  Grin
That is so cool it deserves purple! Thanks 4efs, I just tried it and it works great- I won't have as much trouble knocking my instrument out of my hand Playing it that way! And I won't have to worry about play
I hate when I slip off my phone and hit post before I'm finished!  Roll Eyes
...playing sharp. That is what I was trying to type when I slipped and hit post.  (sigh)


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