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Instrument Technique Archive

July 2022

No new posts in July.

June 2022

Strings Sul Ponticello Glissando

Christopher Homick demonstrates sul tasto on the cello.

Cello Microtones

Christopher Homick demonstrates some microtones on the cello.

Vocal Unvoiced Consonants

This clip from Stephen Ryan Jackson's ICFTUE really shows the unvoiced consonant's "F" and "Sh" in English. Rose Hegel is the performer. An unvoiced consonant is one that does not engage the vocal chords.

May 2022

Stopped Horn

Brian KM demonstrates and explains the stopped horn techniq

Cello Sul Tasto

Christopher Homick demonstrates sul tasto on the cello.

April 2022

Violin Sul Ponticello

Ethan Wood demonstrates the sound of molto sul ponticello (playing as close to the bridge as possible) versus regular sul ponticello (playing near the bridge) on the violin.

Cello Backward Seagull Glissando

Anna Seda demonstrates a backwards seagull gliss on the cello.

Vocal Glissando and Consonants

This short excerpt from Stephen Ryan Jackson's ICFTUE, performed by Rose Hegele, shows glissandos while humming and a few whispered consonants all enhanced with electronic effects.

String Tremolos and Harmonics

This clip from Zach Gulaboff Davis' "Iridescence" shows the shimmery effect of string tremolos at various and changing speeds and ends with some beautiful harmonic tremolos.

March 2022

Vocal Fry

This short clip from Stephen Ryan Jackson's ICFTUE performed by Rose Hegel, demonstrates a vocal fry on different vowels. (It's not good for your voice though, so don't ask for it too much!)

Flute Key Clicks

Deirdre Viau demonstrates and talks about key clicks on the flute.

String Quartet Glissando

This fragment from Zach Gulaboff Davis' iridescence we see the strings doing repeated glissandi while also moving from a normal bowing position to one as close to the bridge as possible (molto sul ponticello).

Horn Half-Valve

Brian KM describes and demonstrates the half valve technique on the horn.

February 2022

Saxophone Air Sounds

In this clip from "Whetstone" by Stephen Ryan Jackson, Wilson Poffenberger uses various air sounds on the baritone saxophone.

Flute Pitch Bend

Deirdre Viau explains and demonstrates a pitch bends on the flute.

Saxophone Multiphonic

This excerpt of "Whetstone" by Stephen Ryan Jackson and Wilson Poffenberger showcases multiphonics on the baritone saxophone.

Bass Clarinet Split Tone Gliss

Steph Clark demonstrates a split tone with glissando both up and down in this video. A very cool sound!

Violin Bartok Pizzicato

Ethan Wood demonstrates a Bartók pizzicato. This technique is named after the Béla Bartók, a very influential Hungarian composer. To do this, the string player pulls the string up from the fingerboard and releases so that it snaps against the fingerboard.

Cello Open String/Harmonic Trill

Christopher Homick, cellist, demonstrates a trill from an open string to a natural harmonic on that string.

January 2022

Cello Sul Ponticello

Christopher Homick, cellist, explains and demonstrates sul ponticello.

Flute Harmonics

Deirdre Viau, flutist, demonstrates the sound difference between regular fingering and harmonic fingering. Shown is the typical notation for harmonics on flute.

Bass Clarinet Split Tone

Steph Clark demonstrates the basic split-tone on the clarinet. These work by emphasizing the fundamental and one potential overtone from the harmonic series. Here Steph uses the same fundamental with different partials emphasized.

Violin and Viola Contact Points and Volume

Ethan Wood and Arjun Mudan discuss how different points of contact with the bow and strings change the sound and volume.

Cello Harmonics

Christopher Homick and Anna Seda discuss and demonstrate the difference between natural (or open) harmonics and artifical (or false or closed) harmonics.

Saxophone Slap Tongue

This excerpt of "Whetstone" by Stephen Ryan Jackson and Wilson Poffenberger showcases slap tonguing on the baritone saxophone.

December 2021

Cello Playing on the Bridge

Christopher Homick and Anna Seda discuss and demonstrate different ways to bow across the bridge of the cello.

Flute Slap Tongue or Lip Pizzicato

Deirdre Viau demonstrates the slap tongue or lip pizz on the flute, which sounds the same but achieved using slightly different techniques (lips vs. tongue). The picture shows the most commonly used notation, but remember, always specify in the performance notes!

Violin Overpressure

Ethan Wood, violin, demonstrates varying sounds that can be produced using overpressure from the bow.

Bass Clarinet Slap Tongue

This clip, from Steph Clark, demonstrates the slap tongue on bass clarinet with an excerpt from Theo Loevendie's Duo. Notation can vary for slap tongueing, so make sure you are clear in your performer notes or score!

November 2021

Cello Seagull Gliss

Christopher Homick demonstrates the "Seagull" gliss on the cello.

Cello Bird Call

Anna Seda, cellist, demonstrates a technique on the cello that makes a sort of bird call.

Flute Whistle Tone

Deirdre Viau demonstrates whistle tones on the flute. Pictured is the preferred notation since the technique is unpredictable.

Bass Flute

This gorgeous sound is a bass flute (which plays one octave lower than the regular flute). The bass flute works beautifully as a solo instrument or in a small ensemble. Demonstrated by Deirdre Viau, BNMI flutist.

Clarinet Dynamic Range

Yhasmin Valenzuela-Blanchard demonstrates the full dynamic (soft vs. loud) range of the clarinet! It’s an amazing instrument!

Clarinet Multiphonic

Yhasmin Valenzuela-Blanchard demonstrates a multiphonic on the clarinet. Pictured is a recommended resource for multiphonics, quarter-tone fingerings, and other extended techniques for the clarinet.

Violin/Viola Col Legno

Ethan Wood and Arjun Mudan talk about col legno (playing with the wood of the bow) technique on the violin and viola including some tips for players and demonstrations.

Viola Metal Mute

Arjun Mudan demonstrates the sound of the metal mute on a viola. It quiets the sound, but gives it a brighter edge. Beautiful!!!!

Cello Harmonic Glissando

Anna Seda demonstrates and explains a different kind of harmonic gliss which has a random shimmery sound as opposed to the direct up and down of a typical gliss.

October 2021

Flute Aeolian Sound

Deirdre Viau demonstrates the aeolian sound (air through the instrument) on the flute. It has a dry, airy quality to it.

Clarinet Aeolian Sound

Yhasmin Valenzuela-Blanchard demonstrates the aeolian sound (air through the instrument) on the clarinet. It is a surprising loud sound.

Viola Pizzicato Positions

Arjun Mudan with Ethan Wood explains how different positions for pizzicato can make a difference in the sound.
Violin/Viola Horizontal Bowing

Ethan Wood and Arjun Mudan (violin/viola) experiment and explain the sound of bowing horizontally as an extended technique.

Flute Jet Whistle

Deirdre Viau, BNMI flutist, demonstrates a jet whistle, which is one of many cool sounds the flute can do.

Clarinet Pitch Bends

Yhasmin Valenzuela-Blanchard demonstrates clarinet pitch bends, which are very common in certain styles such as jazz and klezmer. These bends are done using the lips not the fingers so can be done with virtually any starting note.

September 2021

Flute Tongue Ram

Tongue Ram on the flute. 👅 Deirdre Viau, flutist for BNMI, demonstrates and explains.

Clarinet Mouthpiece Only

Ever wonder what happens if you just play using part of an instrument? It can be pretty cool! Yhasmin Valenzuela-Blanchard, clarinetist for BNMI plays with just her mouthpiece. (Also, please never duct tape a clarinet to the wall or anywhere…)

Cello Pressure Trill

Christopher Homick, cellist, explains and demonstrates a pressure trill. For any music novices, you can learn more about harmonics and the overtone series here.

Violin Mutes

Violin (and other string instrument) mutes originated as a way to keep practice more quiet, but have now developed into yet another way to alter the sound of the instrument. Did you know they sound different when made from different material? Violinist Ethan Wood demonstrates regular playing, rubber mute, and wooden mute.

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