Image of the high GIn "God Rest Ye Merry Mallets," the flute part comes with a high G with a trill: G and A. However, there's a diminuendo, and I've noticed that when I try to diminuendo the trill, it starts off with high G and high A, then low and low A. Can anybody give me tips on how to produce a smooth trill between high G and A without the sound lowering to the low G and A?

By the way, the "high G" is the last and highest G shown in the image.

  • I'm having trouble following your description. Could you post an image of the measure that's giving you trouble? Most importantly, what G do you mean by high G? The G immediately above the staff, or the one an octave above that? – Karen Sep 23 '15 at 13:09
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    I understand the question. Not being a wind player I will post this idea as a comment not an answer: Focus on breath control. Also, even though this passage is decrescendo-ing, you can postpone your decrescendo, i.e. don't start it out right exactly where marked. – aparente001 Sep 24 '15 at 4:53
  • @Karen Sorry for the confusion. The G is the last one in the image, the highest G shown in the G major scale ascending, treble clef. – thatweirdpandanextdoor Sep 24 '15 at 22:51

It's likely that you are playing the high notes by simply blowing harder until the octave changes. Using this method, you have very little volume control in the second octave, as you've found, and the highest note you can play will be much lower than you'll need if you want to play more advanced music. It's a very common problem for beginners, and as you get better, it will feel like it improves naturally.

Here's an exercise to work on to fix the problem. Instead of blowing harder, you need to learn to focus to angle of your breathe. Do this by playing long tones. Pick a note, and play it as long as you can. Focus the shape of your mouth to make the sound as pure and un-breathy sounding as possible. Try doing this across a whole scale, if you have the patience. The exact best shape will vary for each note, but you'll have to experiment to find out just what it feels like. The higher the note, the more precisely focused your breath needs to be.

You'll know you've made really good progress when you can sustain high and low notes for equal amounts of time, and control the volume of both.

  • Thank you so much! This has really helped me, since I am a beginner at flute, and I've gotten extremely better at sustaining high notes. – thatweirdpandanextdoor Sep 26 '15 at 22:13

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