I've been playing flute for five years now, and I'm stuck in a bit of a rut. I've got a clean, crisp sound and am able to infuse "emotion" into a piece, but I'm also a big fan of music by the rock band Jethro Tull.
The tones and techniques that Ian Anderson uses to make his sound are eluding me. I am a huge fan of his "dirty" sound quality, and I've been trying and trying and trying to produce the same sound on my own instrument. I think what I need is someone to at least point me in the right direction, so I know where to begin. The only thing I have been able to really do is flutter tongue, which I don't find all that difficult.
I need any help I can get, so I will politely ask anyone reading to bear with me as I use my limited knowledge of terminology to describe some of the things he does and ask questions.
1. "Growling" is a term I've heard. I know a little about it. I'm thinking it's a noise made in the back of the throat, mixing voice with instrumental sound? Can anyone describe to me how this is done?
2. There is an airy, rough quality to the way Anderson plays. It's almost...earthy in a way. It sounds less smooth than what I normally play and hear, being in a high school marching band, and I've been attempting to emulate this tone myself. However, it's like there's a missing piece of information in my brain that's not allowing it to click. Does anyone else know how to produce this sound? How is it done?
3. At some points in Anderson's music, his notes have almost a doubled quality, like two notes being played on top of each other, but it's harmonic. Can anyone explain what that is and how it's done?
For now that's all I can think of to ask, and if anyone can think of something I've left out, please let me know. I hope that I can get a step in the right direction and work on creating my own style from the techniques Anderson uses.
I don't really know, although I'm a fan of his myself. If you haven't already, you could have a look here: http://www.j-tull.com/musicians/iananderson/equipment.html
He puts a good amount of info on his site, though not a huge amount on how he actually does it. However, the site does offer the opportunity to mail himn and ask him yourself. He says he can't teach the flute, but he doesn't say that he can't give some tips on his own technique to an experienced player.
one way to make a growling sound is to play one pitch on the flute and hum the pitch thats a half step above the first pitch while still playing the first pitch. you can hum anything you want while playing, but that makes probably the funkiest sound...it sounds espeically cool in the lower register. ian anderson often hums while playing.