Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of Masters - seek what they sought
Dr Bruce Copley
By Dr Bruce Copley
Read more about the CLARYTONE here.
- Hold the instrument in your palm with the narrow part at the top of your
hand and the concave surface of the flute facing you.
- Place the flute firmly but gently over your mouth and position the curved
inner ridge of the flute firmly against the septum or bottom part of
- Open your mouth, pout your lips on the surface of the flute and move your
mouth/face muscles until you get the most comfortable position with
- Take a deep breath and blow a steady stream of air using both nostrils
into the small chamber at the top of the flute that has a narrow
slit While it is even possible to play the Clarytone with a blocked
nose, the best results are achieved when the nose is clear.
- Keeping the flute in position simply breathe in through your nose. Each
inhalation should be fast and deep going down below your rib cage.
It is also possible to breathe through you mouth or alternatively
through both the nose and mouth simultaneously. The breathing is
very similar to that used when singing or whistling.
- If you are not getting a sound try subtle position changes of the
flute, movements of your face muscles, shape and tension of your
mouth and/or changes in the position of your lips especially your
bottom lip. Make sure you are directing a flow of air down into the
flute. It is important that the fipple or opening on both sides of the
flute are kept clear at all times.
- Changes in pitch (high to low) are made by altering the tension and shape of
the mouth. Tensioning and flattening the circular shape of the mouth
raises the pitch while relaxing and rounding the circular shape of
the mouth lowers the pitch. During these changes in mouth tension
and shape, it is important that the position of the lips firmly
positioned on the inside surface of the flute, are kept unchanged.
- The lowest notes produced on the Clarytone are softer while the highest
notes are louder since they require an increased air flow.
Once you are able to create sounds on the Clarytone, you may like to try
the following :
- Begin playing WELL KNOWN TUNES, MELODIES and SONGS that are in your head
starting with simple ones like Happy birthday, Jolly good fellow,
Row your boat, etc. Do not be critical of how you sound at first and
embarrassed when you are unable to hit the proper note. You will
start making progress very soon and all that is required is to spend
some time practicing.
- Go UP and DOWN the scale (range of notes) and try to hold each note
clearly without changing the pitch. The higher and lower notes are
more difficult to control so focus initially on learning to play the
mid range notes (1,5 to 2 octave range) accurately and consistently
before turning your attention to the lowest and highest notes in the
- Learn to SLIDE in and out of notes which requires a smooth and gradual
change in mouth tension and shape.
- Create a VIBRATO effect which involves a slight oscillation of the pitch to
enhance the expressive quality of the note is achieved by subtly
moving the back part of the mouth up and down. Note that when doing
the tongue should be in a fixed position at the bottom of the mouth.
- Create a TRILL effect which involves a rapid alternating of 2 different
notes. This is achieved by rapidly tapping the front part of your
palate (top of your mouth) with the tip of your tongue.
- SINGING and HUMMING through both your nose and mouth while playing the flute
can with some practice and note matching provide some very pleasing
and unusual effects and sounds.
- Put on some of your favourite music and try to play along by finding the
correct KEY in which the music is being played. Also experiment with
playing in higher or lower octaves. With a little practice you will
sound progressively better and in a very short space of time
compared to mastering other musical instruments you will find that
you can become a skilled and active co-creator of the music that
- Begin to create your own original tunes and songs and experiment with
volume (high notes can be heard 800 meters away), walking and
running while playing and playing along with music that is
unfamiliar to you.
For further information please Contact AAHA Learning.