Flute tuner – electronic or online?

Have you ever searched for a flute tuner free online? And where overwhelmed with the offer?

Flute tuners, electronic, online and apps…

You need to tune  your flute or practice certain passages with a tuner and just do not know where to start?

Then please follow me here!!

tune fluteFlute tuning


Tuning your flute is one of the most important skills, especially when playing with others. Your flute should always be put in the position to adjust any register and emission to the overall tune of the group. You can find out more about the meaning of tuning here. Flute tuners or general instrument tuners should be chosen carefully and with the specificity of your instrument in mind.

 

So when, as a flutist, you play your A (la) in the low octave to tune it, it isn’t a really good compromise. With compromise I mean to see if your flute is in that middle position to adapt all octaves to the overall pitch of your colleagues. If you are a beginner, the A in the mid octave will be sharp and in the low octave sometimes flat. In this case it is best to tune with a D (re).

This is the original tonality the flute was cut in and was once it’s lowest note. It still is in most piccolo flutes. But do not chose the low D, we will use the middle octave D.

If you are asked to play an A anyway, play first E2-D2-A1 in legato and in a row, without pausing. Your A1 will be more reliable.

If you are a veteran you can use the middle octave A straight away. But also here the third octave E-D will help. It is practically the beginning of the flute solo fromthe ballet “Ma mere l’oye” (page 29) by Maurice Ravel.

Ma mere loye beginning flute solo
“Ma mere l’oye”, flute solo beginning.  Maurice Ravel

 

By default all tuners come with 440 installed, so be sure to change that accordingly


flute tunerWatch out which A the group is using, most brass bands use 441 Hertz and woodwinds prefer 442 (especially clarinets, my experience).

Pianos however will often be at 441 or lower. But some symphony orchestras even chose 443 frequency to add more brilliance to the orchestra’s sound (for example. Berlin Philharmonics).

Your instrument should not only be put in a position where it can play in tune in a certain compromised range around the middle octave. But you should also study with the use of a flute tuner to play in tune with yourself. This is to say to get the perfect intervals right (4th, 5th, 8th) and develop a good hearing for all different pitches your instrument produces.

You can find exercises training this and also more explanation in my article about tuning (the piccolo flute) here.

So what features should we look for in a good tuner for the flute? Let us discuss the general online flute tuner below.And also whether to use a flute tuner online or an electronic device.

 

Free online instrument tuner – tuner flute online


Any online tuner flute or online instrument tuner can be used, as they all mimic the electronic devices we have but depend on a flawless internet connection, a well functioning microphone.In addition usually they are not very sensitive. This is because with the internet on, many other things are processed at the same time.

I have used different online tuner flute free offers and they all kind of work. But as the computer self makes noises, your phone as well and their microphone can cause problems especially with the internet on, I do not recommend this solution.

It is much better to download a free flute tuner app that you can use offline. So that you can put your device in flight mode and you will not be disturbed. It does not block its function every few seconds as often happens with the online tuners.

 

So free online instrument tuners work fine


if you just need to adjust your overall flute length in the beginning of a rehearsal or performance, you can wait until it works well and it then takes only a few seconds to tune your flute (by elongating the tube it becomes flatter and by sticking the head joint further inside it becomes sharper. BUT: do not abuse in any direction as the intonation of the flute itself, the distance of its own sounds, is best preserved around max 0.5 cm outside. Most beginners’ flutes come at 443 when the head joint is all inside and properly played, professional flutes even come at 444.)

But if you wish to study with the tuner like I propose to do in this article here you will need a tuner that works well uninterruptedly and for more than a minute.

I strongly advise training with the exercises you find in the link above and a good tuner or app.

 

Flute tuner app


It is in your best interest to level up from any online flute tuner to downloading a good and well-known free  flute tuner app that not only indicates with a high definition and detail the exact pitch of every sound you make, but also where you start it from and where you leave it at.

 

In real time it shows you the line of your sound, if you start it from below or from above.You can control the quality of your legato and staccato, of your endings of every sound and its beginning. Even your vibrato can be visualized in the line produced in real time. That helps gain awareness of your natural oscillation in the sound and you might want to correct it at certain points.

 

For more insight on vibrato and exercises please click here.

It is very sensitive and easy to use. You can download it from the link here for free.

 

Electronic flute tuner


In case you do not wish to use your cellphone, not even in airplane mode, which I totally respect, or you wish to use the same app as a metronome, and thus need another electronic device to work freely with both simultaneously, you should consider purchasing a high quality tuner, sensitive for high frequencies and the three registers of the flute.

My recommendation, and I have tried a lot of them, is to not use the ones for guitars or singers.

Pick a quality tuner for every frequency and sound quality, the ones used by professionals in a symphony orchestra or chamber musicians, which are provided by the reliable brand of Korg.

You can choose from different products, that are all very good for studying the tuning of every sound that the flute can produce, the one I recommend is the following:

Korg OT-120 Orchestral Tuner

  • Chromatic tuner with a wide 8 octave detection range
  • Dual display provides  excellent visibility.
  • Multiple Temperaments support historical tunings
  • Transpose mode is convenient for wind instruments.

 

If you wish to spend less however, but still achieve good quality a good compromise would be the basic one here:

Korg CA1 Chromatic Tuner

  • Compact Chromatic Tuner
  • Wide range of pitch detection covers C1-C8
  • High-precision
  • Calibration Function supports a variety of concert pitches

 

In conclusion about tuning your flute


Whatever solution you chose, make sure you also develop a good hearing of the intonation as it may vary in different situations you could find yourself in. Such might be a  Symphony Orchestra, a Marching Band, a Chamber Music group pr Flute and Piano Duo…

If you like to find out more about tuning a flute for playing in those situations you can read through my piccolo tuning article. The same applies to the flute and I pointed out where flute and piccolo are different. So you might find that useful. Just check it out here. You will also find lots of interesting exercises that you can also do with the flute.

flutist selling CDsA good tuner should help you develop your inner ear and tuning ability through daily practice. Studying with a tuner is what will help sophisticate the hearing of the difference of your own sound by offering visual feedback of what you will learn to hear.

It doesn’t excuse you though from developing the harmonic ear as well. This happens only when you play with others. You will need both: Good control of your own inner intonation, hearing the perfect intervals of fifths, fourths and octaves. And understanding how to adjust and control the pitch of sounds with harmonic function.

 

 

This is fundamental before you can effectively play in tune with others


You need to have full control of semi-tones and any interval when you play solo. Furthermore you should study the ability to adjust thirds, sixths and sevenths when playing with others in a harmonic way. Also train your skill to follow them when they are not perfectly in tune. You will have so much more fun in producing beautiful sounds and playing with others. It will be on a totally different level!flutist in nature

Others also will very much appreciate your capacity to play in tune and adjust. This skill is among the most valuable when you are looking for a job as a pro.

Happy tuning

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below and I will be  happy to get back to you!

 

Happy flute life,

Janie

founder of

Jana Theresa Hildebrandt

topflute.com

myflutelife.com

Online metronome sound

When they tell you to study with a metronome, have you ever looked for the online metronome sound? That click …

Maybe searched for an app that provides a metronome and maybe a tuner?

And found the metronome in Union Square in New York?

 

The metronome when you are in NYC
Union square metronome NYC

 

 

Then this article is for you!

Let’s go back some time…

Antique metronome


Of course we all love a good picture of the antique metronome on a grand piano. It is the vision of good old study practice, keeping your pace in check and maybe a Maestro pacing the wooden floor and reverberating the sound of the mechanical metronome click, that otherwise you would have hardly heard or was a little too free to interpret. More about metronomes here.

 

It reminds us of a century old tradition of millions of students who have gone through this ordeal before us. We are part of history! And so is the metronome in itself.

 

Functioning of an antique mechanical metronome
This picture shows the way a mechanical metronome works.

 

Those times are obviously over and we all moved on to electronical metronomes.

But sometimes they run out of battery, sometimes they fall and sometimes we throw them just anywhere in an act of desperation…

Metronomes don't grow on trees!
Metronomes don’t grow on trees so do not throw them at anyone!

 

Pay attention to not throw it out of the window as it might hurt some innocent pedestrian unaware of your struggles with keeping up with the incessant click of a digital metronome! …my experience. But when I explained the mechanism of the evil metronome and what it was used for, the injured pedestrian actually forgave me.

The problem was I still couldn’t really hear the click and when I heard it, it was not where it was supposed to be. So that little machine didn’t follow me…

anyway, to have a metronome that you can actually follow, it needs to be loud, especially when you study the piccolo flute or loud instruments and do not want to link it to earphones as it would disturb the quality sound of your playing.

And maybe it should have different sounds to choose from so you can adapt them to the piece you are studying.

In fact, playing in time is fundamental for any music. Imagine a band, when you need to create “the groove”. Hardly would anyone want to play with a musician who can’t play in time. More on that in this wonderful article about playing your guitar in time by my friend Lily ——> here.

 

Metronomes you can bear and hear


So my research went on to the best digital metronome I ever found, and even though I destroyed it twice, I bought it again. Not the metronomes fault, but my own. As it is very handy with a clip and very small I also used it to fix sheet music to anything and it sometimes fell.

But it’s brave, not until it completely went under water, did it do it’s job admirably.

It has a clock and very readable display. It is very small and practical with a clip. But best of all it has two click sounds, one lower (0) and one higher (1) that are both very distinct. You can adjust the volume and most of them times I do not need to go to the top to hear it.

I was advised to use this one when I started studying the piccolo and couldn’t hear my normal metronome at all. Now I use it for both piccolo and flute practice and even chamber music.

It is the best metronome with the most distinct and reliable sound. It has also subdivisions and you can study your rhythmical up and downbeats with whatever division you like.

This is a must have for any flutist! click —-> here to find out more.

 

Korg Metronomes


Two other metronomes you can buy on amazon that I do recommend because they are doing a great job, from a reliable brand (Korg) and affordable, too,  are the following two.

The first one is both metronome and tuner and does both jobs in a satisfying manner. The second one is a top level metronome, with anything you could wish for. In my opinion it is the best one there is on the market in terms of precision, duration and rhythmich diversity and visuability.

Check for yourself:

Korg TM60BK Tuner Metronome, Black

  • Tuner and metronome functions can be used simultaneously or independently
  • Large backlit display for improved visibility; twice the battery life of the tm-50
  • A wide detection range
  • Wide metronome range; three types of tempo settings and 15 rhythm variations
  • Convenient memory backup function and Auto power-off function

 

Korg MA1BL Visual Beat Counting Metronome, Blue

  • innovative “Beat Counting” display clearly shows: Number of Beats / Current Beat / Beats Remaining
  • Tempo can be set three ways: Full Steps / Pendulum Steps / Tap Tempo button
  • 9 Beats and 8 Patterns offer rhythmic diversity
  • Memory backup saves your settings; Auto power-off preserves battery life

 

Cost metronome


As for the cost of a metronome, if you take one you don’t like, there is the risk you break it and have to buy a new one. So I guess, from my experience, a 20 Dollar metronome that you like is the best investment in a peace – and fruitful study time that you can make.

Of course, you can add a free web metronome to it, whenever your phone is not low on charging or you can turn it off. I personally recommend to not use your phone in intervals of at least 20 min (yes, we are at that point, that I have to recommend leaving a phone in airplane mode for 20min!!! and you should see the faces I get for that…).

So if you can turn it into airplane mode you can use it either as a tuner or as a metronome. I do not recommend both at the same time as it is not practical and will make you lose a lot of time and worst case scenario also your patience.

So equip yourself with a good metronome and a good tuner and use your phone only in case one of them is out of charge or you forgot it somewhere.

 

Free web metronome and sound


My web metronome recommendation is definitely Soundcorset.

I have used it for years now and I’m very satisfied.

  • First of all it is free of charge.
  • In the metronome function which is the first you see in default when you download and open it you can choose the volume of the click and again the sound. (low 0 high 1)
  • You can build an entire percussion orchestra to accompany you buy the … function.
  • Any division of the tempo i possible to install
  • You can regulate the volume
  • Sliding on the screen you can easily set different BpM
  • The tuner is reliable and changeable other than 440 for an A
  • It records your sessions and tells you exactly how much time you spent on what

 

——–>click here for your free online metronome.<———

 

But when your phone battery is low, when there is a lot of noise or your phone is busy with other things, it doesn’t work well. So it is something to have just in case you can use it and your electronical devices are out of order.

Metronomical Conclusion


Consider equipping yourself with both, online and electronical tuner and metronome. So you are safe in any case and can study anywhere at any time. Use the advantages of either, whenever you can and do not depend on just one solution.

You might consider a tuner as well and can look for sound exercises in my flute practice specials.

The cost of a good metronome and tuner are very affordable. In fact, you can earn them with 2 hours of street music 😉

and you can always back up your equipment with the free Soundcorset App on your smartphone.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below in the comment section and will be more than happy to answer and help.

 

Get your flute in tune and your ear too!
Get your flute tuned by the advice on topflute!

 

Happy professional flutelife,

Have fun with your music,

Janie

founder of

3 rules to play together in a music group

 

topflute.com

myflutelife.com

 

Professional ear plugs musicians

Professional ear plugs for musicians. Why should you protect your hearing?


We have ear plugs when our partner snores,

we have ear plugs to shut out any noise so we can read a book or write an article.

Are there any professional ear plugs for musicians, those who need to protect their hearing to be able to perform their profession? Is there anything musicians can do to protect their own ears and still play in tune?

 

 

There is a wide range of earplugs in any color and material to prevent noise from coming through to you and your neighbor. Show me a musician who hasn’t advised his nagging neighbor to get some….

But what about musicians themselves, who play maybe in a band or any other group with amplified sounds that have to reach far?                                

                                       

Professional ear plugs for musicians


 

 

Or you, a classical musician, who is playing regularly in the professional or semi-professional orchestra world:

Maybe you are seated the middle of an orchestra, but what if you were to sit in front of the trombone or percussion section?

 

 

What about the poor 2nd violin section especially the last stands, sitting in front of the piccolo (small and nasty little octave flute)? Or the clarinets in front of the drum session? Bassoons in front of trumpets? The viola section with the trombones behind? And we could go on and on.

 

Those musicians, and you might be one of them, have to protect their hearing, especially since their ears are a fundamental part of their jobs. Not only you might be seated next to a very loud or high frequency producing instrument, you might be the one having to practice it at home.

O boy, you really need to think about ear protection for musicians and not only neighbors!

 

The risks of not protecting your hearing


 

High frequencies and high decibel values will on the long run provoke irreversible damage to your hearing.

A slow but steady hearing loss, is the most frequent result of redundant exposure to high volume and/or high frequency sounds. Giving the addition of the stressful life of a musician, unfortunately many of us also get tinnitus, provoked by high pressure on one or both ears. These are unwelcome limitations to our everyday life, but even more dangerous to a musician, a person depending on good ears.

So let us protect them the best we can! Spot on

 

 

Why don’t we just use the wax ones to shut out any noise?


 

Well, I think every musician has already answered that question to a partner or friend offering wax or plastic earplugs shutting out any noise in distinctively.

We do not want to shut off any noise, just the very high and very low and very loud frequencies. We need to still hear what is going on around us, otherwise we can’t play well with our colleagues and it feels weird hearing only the inner sound we ourselves produce (try to speak to someone while wearing ear plugs).

 

Of course, there will always be cases when you are perfectly fine with headphones…

 

But we are talking about a different setting here – best ear plugs professional musicians can buy!


The best earplugs for musicians are thus letting through a little of every frequency, but less overall volume (decibel) and exponentially shutting off more of the very high and the very low frequencies, so that we can still hear everything, but without causing any damage to our ears. This could be differ in various situations so we will need ear plugs that can adapt and vary the filter strengths. So you will be able to play with others but without risking any hearing loss.

 

 

Professional ear plugs for musicians


After trying out nearly every earplug solution for musicians that I could find I finally found a professional solution. Alpine hearing protection music safe classic earplugs ear protection musicians is not only affordable but very flexible.

It offers protection from hearing
damage as well as tinnitus risk when exposed to loud and high sounds. The best thing about this solution is that it is the only one that offers
three hi-fi filters sets: Gold (22 dB), Silver (19 dB) and White (16 dB)

so in any given situation you can
choose the adequate level of sound attenuation and still maintain excellent sound quality They are made from
high-tech AlpineThermoShape material. The price is the best quality-money ratio for this pro earplugs and you can find out more ———-> here.

If you are a piccoloist as I am, and play in an orchestra or are studying to do so, have a look at my practice special for piccolo. You might find some valuable help there, regarding tuning and intonation in a symphony orchestra. Let me know!

 

Earplugs and musicians, so it’s a thing?



Yes, it definitely is. And if you are in the early stages of your carrier or studying one of the more “risky” instruments, you really should think about protecting your hearing.

Your neighbors and family can do with the wax ones, but you need professional earplugs for musicians.

So protect your hearing now and live a happy musicians’ life!

 

Leave comments and questions below and
I’d be more than happy to help.

For now:

 

study and have fun, you are safe!!!

Cheers,

Janie

founder of

Jana Theresa Hildebrandt

topflute.com

myflutelife.com

portable music stands

Did you major in portable folding sheet music stands?

 

folding music stand, instructions on how to fold and unfold a music stand

 

Or are you just a musician like most of us?

Let’s see how to get a good look at this science.

Which music stand suits me and which one should I buy?

An introduction to the science of portable foldable sheet music stands!

 

Orchestra music stands


 

When you are part of an orchestra, you will be rehearsing in a hall that is provided with music stands already. They are all alike and usually black metal that is closed to the audiences’ view. In that case you will need to adjust your pages in pairs, so that they won’t stick out the stand.

If you need to make some extra copies, because you need let’s say page 3 together with page 2 but also in part with page 4, you will need to have two pages 3, in order to always have two of them in front of you

.

Even worse when you play outside in an open-air concert.

You can’t have more than two pages blowing in the wind and will need magnets or an elastic to tie them to the stand. Needless to say that clothespins are not a very professional option.

 

Portable music stands in general


 

Whenever you need to rehearse where there are no stands you need to exactly know what you are getting into.

If you play outside, you will need a heavy one, at least 1.5kg, to not fall down when music sheets are offering wind resistance. This will be heavy to carry around, so you could opt for an intermediate stand, not too heavy and not too light.

It will have spaces to look through so you will need a black back for your sheets. It is very unprofessional to let the audience see your copied pages (in case, you play like most of us from downloaded pdf sheets that where printed out).

Choose a stand you can attach this paperback to, so it needs to have angles on the upper right and left side.

 

 

Do not ever buy the ones that cannot extend to the right and the left and are without the top part.


They are useless and just for school concerts. You will not bring them along to any professional gig. So it is worth buying a pro one already.

If the orchestra is a very lucky and professional one, they will have the stands that auto-regulate their heights without you loosening or tightening any screws, they will just adjust to any height you put them in and stay there.

 

The perfect height for a music stand, orchestra, soloist or chamber musician is below your face


The audience should be able to see your head completely. You are not supposed to read note for note anymore when you perform in a concert and the sheet music is just for support.

This improves the spreading of your sound throughout the space the concert artists and audience are coming together in, it improves massively the engagement of the audience and the artist’s communicability and expression.

Playing in the orchestra it allows for more contact with the other musicians and the director. Be sure to find the right compromise between reading the music and performing it together with someone else for someone else. The height of your music stand says everything about your attitude to those fundamental parts of the performing arts.

 

 

Portable folding music stands


 

Usually the stands described above are folding. Make sure they can be folded to pieces that are not too lengthy for your bags. You might want to fit it into you general bag when going to a rehearsal and not carry it apart.

Of these folding music stands with enough support for your music sheets you will be able to choose between three different materials and weights.

 

  • Aluminum or carbon stands are very light, very portable and perfect for inside rehearsal as well as inside concerts with no air movement.

 

  • Usual ones for playing at home and rapidly leaving for playing anywhere else are intermediate

 

 

An intermediate solution I  recommend is the one in the picture.

It is not too heavy, easy to fold and very practical for home and inside rehearsal or concerts.

I have a bunch of them for students and carry them around easily.

For more information you can click on the following link      —–>

 

                                                                        Stagg MUS-A3 BK Music Stand, Black

 

  • Heavy duty power stands are over 1.5 kg to play outside and as a soloist.

 

This is the one I use and you can see in the concert photo further down the article and at the top of thiw website.

It is 1.55 kg, so at the limit, but it is the best compromise you can make between support, stability and portability. It is made from steel and won’t be blown away by wind or people passing. I haven’t needed another one since. This is the perfect compromise for all situations. For more information click on the following link     —–>

 

                                                                 K & M Heavy Duty Music Stand Regular Black

You can easily add more accessories as it is very stable. In the concert foto above you can also see that I added a flute holder below the sheet music. That was because I was playing more than one flute at that concert. I had to hold the piccolo and the bassflute at arm length distance.

I have had the K & M music stand for some years now and it is the best I ever used. Easy to fold, stable tripod and metal arms to the side. Elegant black and handy screws that don’t damage our precious finger tips.

As you can see in the photos, I took my own advice and also added a black paper back. That looks more professional. The steel arms allowed to elongate it to four pages.

With the wind in an open air concert I didn’t want to struggle too much with turning pages.

 

 

 

Sheet music stands and accessories


 

Earlier I described the different stands that can be useful in different situations. You will also need to accessorize them.

1. If you are playing different instruments, like flute and piccolo, you can attach an instrument holder.

If you need something to carry a pen, pencils, highlighters, cigarette papers, tuner, metronome, cellphone, magnets, water, towels, screwdrivers, scissors, scotch tape or/and anything else and you are not provided with an orchestral stand, be sure to equip yourself accordingly.

2. It is also recommended for professionals to think about their own stand lights, if they need one.

You won’t be provided with them in every situation, even if you should be able to expect that. In a professional orchestra they usually have them, as they prefer them all to be the same.

But for chamber music concerts, smaller groups in all the different situations we musicians play in nowadays, at dawn on a hill, at dusk by the sea, in dark churches or archeological sites. Just prepare yourself  to read in the dark!

I personally use this one as it has two light points that illuminate very well up to four spread out pages and it cost me less than 20 bucks.

It is far superiour to all the others I have tried. For more details  click  on the link below        ——–>

                                              Music Stand Light, Clip on LED Book Lights, USB and AAA Battery Operated, Reading Lamp in Bed, 4 Brightness Levels, ideal for Bookworms, Piano Player, Kids, Travel (Dual Arm)

 

3. Do not forget to grab some magnets, even when playing inside.

Certainly not very professional having your pages flying around.

For sure I recommend at least four magnets, if you elongate the metal arms. Especially when playing outside. Furthermore, set on the arms they give great stability and fix your pages to your stand.

They are the strongest on the market and the most professional ones for open air concerts.

I usually use six power magnets, as I don’t like my pages blowing in the wind.

                                                                                                      K & M Power Magnet

4. Be sure to know exactly who is playing with you and where they are seated. You might need customized pro ear plugs for musicians.

 

At least if you intent to be in this business for some years.

 

Great, and now?


Choosing a music stand for the first time is not easy at all. You need to consider so many aspects. But do not worry, you will need more than one. So start with the one that fits your needs at the moment, knowing that you will need to buy another one soon. This should also be fun, because it immerses you deeper into the pro musicians world.

Be sure to have a medium w

eight one for practice at home and the first gigs wherever. Be equipped with magnets, pencils and black paper back and it will already be professional.

Every thing else you can add along the way.

So do not worry too much. Be sure to choose a black one, so it will be useful for concerts as well.

 

Try at home to be quick with folding and unfolding it as that will give the right impression to your colleagues!

 

A music stand is a music support, nothing more, nothing less.

Be sure to study the music, so you will be communicating something to your audience.
The best outcome would be that your audience would not be able to tell in the end, which music stand you used!

Have you decided on a flute for beginners yet? Wish to add a new instrument?

Feel free to follow my advice on ——-> how to decide on a flute for starters.

Feel free to ask questions or comment on this article. I would love to hear your opinion!

 

 

Happy flutelife,

Janie

founder of

              topflute.com

and  myflutelife.com

https://myflutelife.com