Hi everyone my name is Liz from flutesoundscapes.com and today I’m going to give you some practice tips on how to play the piece Nimrod from the Australian Music examination Board grade 3 flute syllabus. So in this video i’m going to cover breathing and phrasing and the emotional intensity of the piece and how to approach the climactic points. I’ll also cover a tuning trick at the end when you’re holding the last note of the piece so it doesn’t go flat in pitch, plus a common line that students mess up in this piece and how to fix that. So I’ll play the piece first and then I’ll go into the practice tips.
So one of the first things I want to say about this piece due to the emotional intensity that you need to convey is breathing and phrasing. Smooth phrasing is really crucial so you want to make sure you’re not running out of breath. That’s the first thing so you make sure you go through with your pencil and even though the breath marks are already marked in for you you might have slightly different breath marks or maybe you need more or maybe you need less, so you just go in with a pencil and do a big tick as to where you’ve decided to take your breaths.
The other thing is we don’t want to cut phrases short-so sometimes students for example, the falling intervals might sound a bit like this [Music]. What happens is the the second note is being cut short so we want to make each note is equally important. So I’m playing in bar five for example-so it’s really got that smooth line even though there’s big intervals involved there.
Now, regarding the emotional intensity of this piece and how to approach some of the climactic points: before you start this piece even though it looks slow on the page and it looks easy on the page, you want to imagine that you’re about to really express yourself to the max so by the end of this piece it should almost feel like you’ve run a marathon like it’s quite taxing to use all that breath and put all that expression out.
When you get to those higher points you want to bring out the articulation quite clearly. So for example, if we look at bar 34 they’ve got these lines over the notes so that you just want to emphasize those notes-so rather than keeping it kind of boring really almost see the notes as nearly accented.
If you can listen to the orchestral version of this piece that’s going to help because you can watch the string players how they draw long bows and really draw out each of the notes. So, if you can hold that visualisation in your head and your airstream is like the bow of the violin.
Sometimes on the flute we have to give the illusion of dynamics so what I mean by that is where sometimes there might be a mezzo forte, maybe you might play that as a piano so you can give the illusion that you’re really expanding your dynamic range. For example, after the climax in bar 38 we’ve got a C that has a crescendo on it so 38 is fortissimo but you really want to bring the beginning of bar 39 right down so maybe even pianissimo so you’ve got all this room to grow into the notes and and make it louder moving into bar 40.
When it comes to the last note of this piece where you’ve got to hold an for what feels like a long time and you’ve got to keep the pitch up, one thing that can help to keep the pitch of the note up is to put on your G sharp key and that will just slightly lift the pitch of the note so you can hear it’s just bending slightly up as soon as i put it on, so that’s a little trick for the last note of the piece.
Finally there’s a section in this piece that pretty much every student I’ve taught this piece to for some reason they always get the rhythm mixed up so, I’m going to cover that line right now and i’m going to give three repetitions of this line so you can practice along with me so you can get this line right. I like to stick on the metronome as usual so we’re going to put it on-I think the piano pretty much plays this in the the piano backing at crotchet equals 52 so I’m going to put it at crotchet equals 52 and so the line that i’m referring to that is commonly messed up is from bar 24 to 28. So generally what happens is students don’t hold the dotted crotchet long enough because it can feel like this goes forever, and you gotta have lots of breath as well so let’s do this line together three times in a row one two three
and again two three and last time two three
Now another tip with sorting out the rhythm of this is to break down the notes into quavers so you might put little lines over each of the crotchets so two lines over the crotchets and then three lines over the dotted crotchets, so you would play the same phrase just to help break it up in your mind as to to exactly how many quavers you’re holding each note for.
So that’s it for today if you liked this video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel and also you might be interested to check out some of the original music that I’ve written for flute of which you can purchase the sheet music for if you like it. I’ll leave the links below in the description where you can check those out. Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next time.
Link to browse my original flute music: https://flutesoundscapes.com/sheet-music/