When i'm on my piccolo, I have a problem hearing the soundwaves when i'm playing along with flute. even when i'm playing on the same octave. I can hear my own piccolo sound and I can hear the other flutes fine, but only individually. I have trouble hearing the sound waves between the two. It driving me crazy because I know that i'm the ONLY person who can't hear them and I have absolutely no idea how far out of tune I am with the flutes.
I thought it might have been the acoustics in the room, but when I changed rooms to play in concerts and stuff, there wasn't any difference. I also take my ear plugs out when i'm playing with other flutes, but all that does is make my ears hurt. Any suggestions?
Re: piccolo-flute soundwaves 15:57 on Monday, January 07, 2008
Account Closed (491 points)
i have a similar problem, but i dont think my solution is quite what youre looking for.
i have very little hearing in my right ear (i think the percentage is 75% lost or something). because of this, i cant hear myself play in ensembles. i can when doing solo work, but in orchestra or wind ensemble? zip, zero, notta. my solution: "hey, stand partner, am i in tune? no? how bad? should i use my tuner?" or "ok, where did i put my tuner last..."
Sometimes it is very difficult to hear the piccolo and the flute. They both respond as what is consider to be a closed pipe. The harmonic series of each are different slightly. If you are trying to listen to the 'soudwaves' I am wondering if you are trying to listen to the actual pitch. Because of harmonic differences you might try listen to the higher harmonics. (IF you know a good piano tuner ask him or her).
If you have a piano at home play two notes or a chord and listen to the notes, then try to listen to all the natural harmonics above the notes. With patience you will hear these frequencies. These higher frequencies are the frequencies I listen to for tuning and I find it more accurate and quicker.
If you are listening to the actual note I think the soundwave is too short to hear quickly enough. Hope this helps you a little.
Re: piccolo-flute soundwaves 18:38 on Monday, January 07, 2008
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That is very interesting. I am sorry, but I don't know what to tell you on that one. I have a problem with my left ear that when I play the piccolo after a while it starts to buzz and get a distorted sound. The flute that I play with sit to the right of me and most of the time I can't even hear them. That may be a good thing though. lol!!!
Re: piccolo-flute soundwaves 07:17 on Tuesday, January 08, 2008
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Ann, where did you find your musician's earplugs? I have just a pair of cheapo ones that distort everything and I don't like them. I didn't know they made such ear plugs just for musicians. How cool!! I am excited now! lol!!
Mbowne1229, have you tried a hearing aid for your left ear? Maybe it can help with the flute (the piccolo probably is completely out of its range). For that you should visit the Otolaringologist and he/she will measure your hearing loss and recommend a solution.
If you suffer from hearing loss that is not caused by some traumatic accident, I suggest you always play the piccolo wearing suitable earplugs (and maybe, every time yo play in an orchestra, in spite of the problems this could cause).
Re: piccolo-flute soundwaves 15:37 on Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Account Closed (491 points)
im still on mommy & daddy insurance! haha
and my hearing loss was caused by hitting my head in gym one day back in like... 3rd grade or something. this could also possibly explain my craziness at times, but we wont go into that. haha. piccolo playing didnt exactly help and actually worsened it.
I know how the "beat frequencies" work. I can hear them clearly when im playing the flute along side other flutes. It's just when i'm playing my piccolo that i can't hear those 'wobbles' for some reason. If I could hear them I would be able to tell whether i was flat or sharp. It's making me dread playing my piccolo in band.
A few ideas.
1)One possible issue is that when you are playing piccolo with another flute, you are more often playing an octave higher than them. This means that any out of tune "wobble" may mathematically double in speed. I would suggest doing duets with another flute to train your ear and your sense of relative pitch on your piccolo. Even just practicing together on the same line at the octave. Switching instruments to get the perspective from both sides. We can all use some ideas for ear training and getting to know our instrument's tendancies.
2) Another issue is tone quality. If your piccolo tone quality or if the other player's tone quality on the flute is "fuzzy" or airy, then it is more difficult to hear the intonation. FOr this one or both need to focus the airstream and consequently the tone.
Playing the piccolo is kind of doubly damaging for the ears because it is in a frequency range where our hearing begins to be less sensitive but the volume of the instrument can be quite high. So, we aren't realizing that damage is being done until maybe after a long time of this abuse. I had read once that if your ear(s) are ringing from the sound, it is a sign of damage. This can also be caused by the combination of the volume of the other instruments in the band. Trumpets for example have less of an issue with their volume because their sound is quite directional. It is pointed away from their ears and more often than not, directly at the flute section of a band.
"Your right, Human ear can only originally handle up to 60Hz anything over will damage it.."
Actually Lera, I believe that the frequency isn't the damaging part.
The Piccolo has a low A of 880. so the frequency range of a Piccolo is about from 650 (estimate~low D2 on Flute) on up to about 5000 Hz (which is about high C4 on flute). As we get into the higher range, our sensitivity to the volume (measured in decibels) diminishes. So our preception of the dynamic amount of loudness becomes less. This is why the high notes are more damaging when we don't hear them so loud as they actually are.