Thursday, March 30, 2006

NAF Playing Tip #14: The Fade

The fade is simply an extension of the “Long Blow” exercise that we learned in an earlier playing tip. The key difference to the fade is that it should start as a strong, steady note that gradually fades (hence the name) to silence. The Fade is typically played at the end of a phrase or a song. A Fade can either be a short Fade or a long Fade, but it should be a linear decrease in the volume from the beginning of the Fade through the end point. The difficulty in learning to do the Fade is that each flute that you play will fade differently, and high/low notes will have different characteristics in the volume of air required to perform the fade. The figure below illustrates the difference between a normal note and a fade. The vertical axis is volume, the horizontal axis is time.


To better understand the fade, lets try the “Long Blow” exercise combined with a fade. To do this, cover the top three holes of the flute. Take a breath and blow a long steady note on the flute. Next, try to blow the same length of note, only decrease the volume of the note at a steady rate until there is no more sound coming from the flute. This is a fade! Practice this until you can fade both long and short notes.

Alternatively, start with a short fade on a note and play progressively longer fades with the same note. With each new note increase the time to fade to silence but play the fade in way that the decrease in sound is continous (linear) from start to end.

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1 comment:

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