Archives par mot-clé : range

inner violin from lows to highs

The homogeneity of the sound material to be sculpted makes the whole pitch range available to the fingers work (and to the tongue’s one for the wind players) : on this ground, the musician’s personal speech develops its spectral richness enriched by the overtones of his inner vibration, allowing a uniform technical ease ignoring the alleged difficulties related to low or high notes.


The interpreter who genuinely listens, that is to say, listens to both what he wants to play and what he played, is confident to master its sound (…)


Once you found your wide, colorful and relaxed sound, which may go unscathed from the most extreme fortissimo to the most intimate pianissimo, and able to carry all the richest emotions of the human soul into these extreme shades, then you have found yourself, which leads you to an unrivaled joy (…)


Dominique Hoppenot, Le violon intérieur
(translated by Guy Robert)

voice from lows to highs

Anticipating the vibration of the sound column from your heels fosters your verticality and brings a rich and consistent voice throughout the tessiture, reflecting the body-space trade amplified by your instrument : the invariance of this body attitude ensures an easy emission of lower and higher notes as well.


Laryngeal vibrations form fundamental tones, while the harmonic shower of sparks associated with the fundamentals, rich in higher frequencies and reinforcing the initial sound considerably, depends on the skeleton.


There are many advantages to the activation of this bony resonance. The energy that is dispensed is extremely important. Ample, warm, dense sounds are made with minimum effort.

It takes some work to get the feeling of ascending the scale without expending any energy at all. You have to learn to differentiate between the kind of energy that seems necessary to rise in pitch, and tension in the larynx.

It is easy to confuse going up in pitch, with its attendant naturally increasing intensity, with the need to employ effort, which is entirely unrelated. The intensity of sound comes from avoiding any pushing, so that the larynx is free to drop slightly lower. (…) the sensation of support will shift lower in the body at the same time.


Alfred Tomatis, The Ear And The Voice
(translated by Roberta Prada and Pierre Sollier)

highs and lows

The low pitch vibration spreads in the ground and in space from your posture stabilized on your roots, as if you were sitting on the sound source. Keeping concentrated on this balanced position, you release then your whole body at the very end of your exhaling, to let your spontaneous inhaling come in, maintaining this fat and low voice on a full vibrating pitch : you develop this fat and vibrating sound from practicing the overtones control, as recommended by Joe Allard and by David Liebman.

Next you quietly play upper and upper notes in the pitch range, reaching the higher register and the related overtones, still driving this low vibration from your heels, and above all, without modifying anything between your embouchure and your diaphragm : any unwanted alteration of the sound must be avoided by letting loose and relaxing down to your breathing center point, even reaching down to your heels !

Doing so, the high register sound can be kept rich and homogeneous by extending the downwards feeling to your roots : keep thinking low in the highs ! This way, and counter to some misconceptions, carefully dismissed by Alfred Tomatis in The Ear And The Voiceyou ensure the sound fullness by maintaining this body configuration of your air column and of your embouchure throughout the whole range from lower to higher pitch : among other benefits, this brings a gratifying comfort feeling and allows legato playing between the end-notes of the tessiture, as Dominique Hoppenot precisely describes it in her Inner Violin / Le violon intérieur.


Musically, you go up and down, but physically you must always go down. The pitfall is that a sound may look nice but not be a good one.

Robert Pichaureau, Favorite Expressions
(translated by Guy Robert)


Thanks to the work achieved (low and fat breathing, vertical pushing), you can now play much more backwards, so you can avoid playing your way up when you hit high notes.

(…) You are going to learn how to feel down in order to better go up. (…) But you should obviously never go back up !

Always pack down and vertically push down.

Michel RicquierTraité de pédagogie instrumentale
(translated by Guy Robert)


Low note articulation and tone production are two of the subtle challenges confronting saxophonists, as is the opposite problem of the tendency to go sharp in the high register. A saxophonist should not sound like he has a different tone for each register. The overtone matching process may go on for years.

David LiebmanDeveloping a Personal Saxophone Sound

voice source

The real singer or instrumentist lets his inner vibration take off from the bottom of his sound column, which he can perfectly visualize from his heels, thanks to his down-flowing relaxation extending his natural inhaling : he should then maintain this tension-free feeling located at his roots level, regardless to the pitch height, thereby ensuring an homogeneous vibration in the whole range of his body radiating sound in space.

We can then talk about the personal tone color.


Because of this activation and the special ability of the skeleton to transmit sounds, the control adopted by the bony voice is direct, conserves energy and maintains the integrity of the full spectrum of sound.

This production has nothing in common with ordinary vocal emission, even if that emission sounds easy. This degree of control is difficult, if not impossible, when we use only air conduction. Bone filters for higher sounds at the expense of lows, making sounds that are particularly rich and dense.

(…) It is easy to see the advantages of an emission that is easily controlled and rich in high frequencies. It has a propensity to align the spine. This in turn facilitates emission, releasing progressively more energy.


If [the sound] is not going to come from the mouth or nose, where will it come from ? You make it with the whole body through the excitation of the spinal column and the contact between the larynx and the cervical vertebrae.

Bone conduction has a special timber, rich, heady and colorful. It has an ethereal quality and seems to come from outside the body. It literally awakens the environment with a smooth, vibrant and dense sonority. It carries with ease.

What is more, when you have it nailed, this sound can be quickly modulated over the entire vocal range without costing you any effort.


Alfred Tomatis, The Ear And The Voice
(translated by Roberta Prada and Pierre Sollier)