Playing/Composing From The Heart -Part 2

Learning to tap into the music
that's inside you.

 

PLAYING FROM THE HEART -Part 2

Whenever I teach a song writing class for Native American flute players one of the biggest frustrations I hear from my students is that they have a real difficult time not ending everything on the bottom note of the flute. This is a common complaint and in this article we'll give you some ideas about how to deal with this. Untimely many songs do end on the bottom note, the trick is to delay this so that when you finally do it land on the bottom note it will have a stronger sense of closure. Delaying an ending on the root note can set up some nice tension in your musical ideas and gives your songs a sense of progression and resolution. Like taking a little musical journey and then returning safely home. Here is what we're going to look at:

Why All Notes Lead to the Root
The Weight and Gravity of the Notes of the NAF Scale
A Look at Each Note
How to Apply This: Some Simple Exersises

As I teach in my classes, one of the best ways to Play from the Heart is to really understand the NAF pentatonic minor scale and the implied harmonies that can be found in the notes. Each note in the scale has it's own weight, or gravity, relative to the other notes in the scale. Those with less weight tend to move to those with more. Knowing and understanding these relationships will allow you to exploit this natural phenomenon and will help give your tunes an implied harmonic motion. Normally an instrument that can produce chords plays harmonies, but you can create the illusion of harmony by the notes you choose for your melodies, especially at the ends of phrases.

The information below has been set up to use only finger charts to make it as easy to understand as possible. I've done this so that even though we're looking at the basic elements of music theory, no theory or music is actually shown. I highly recommend that you have a Native American flute near by when reading this and play each of the very easy finger chart examples and exercises below. Ultimately music is an art for the ears rather than the eyes or the mind. Playing each of the examples and exercises will help reinforce what your reading. Hearing is believing. Don't think you have to learn any musical notes or tones, it's far easier to start with just knowing the finger positions. Using finger positions is one of the great things about the Native American flute. All standard NAFs are fingered the same and you only have to learn something once for it to work on all your flutes. Regardless of which key you choose to play in!

WHY ALL NOTES LEAD TO THE ROOT
The bottom note of any standard pentatonic minor NAF flute is called the root note.

root

I don't know the origin of the name "root" as it applies to music, but it makes perfect sense. It is the bottom or root note of most scales, keys and standard tuned Native American flutes. Harmonically and melodically it has the most weight or gravity of all the other notes in the scale which is why it is so easy to end all your musical ideas, cells, phrases and melodies on it.

Find the rest of this article in The Complete Guide to the Native American style Flute by Scott August

The Complete Guide to the Native American style Flute

Learn more about:

-QUALITY OF SOUND
-TYPES OF WOOD
-TUNING
-FINGERINGS
-EASE OF PLAYING
-HOW TO LOOK LIKE A PRO WHEN BUYING A NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE
-BREATH CONTROL
-OVER 24 FINGER EXERCISES TO GET YOU PLAYING WITH CONFIDENCE
-PLAYING FROM THE HEART
-WRITING YOUR OWN SONGS
-REMEMBERING WHAT YOU PLAY

© 2012 Cedar Mesa Music


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