Coda EDC Flutes Forum

Author Topic: CODA different from MO?  (Read 767 times)


CODA different from MO?
« on: December 28, 2018, 12:21:09 pm »
Hiya fellow CODITES,

Well I just got my CODA today from the post office. Excitedly opened the package and started to play. Already I can see there is a difference between the CODA and mountain ocarinas. On my mountain ocarinas the breath pressure across the instrument is constant. On the CODA I have to use different breath pressure depending on notes and chamber. For instance, getting the low C on the lower chamber to sound I need to use less breath. At the moment I am playing the CODA with a tuner to try and get used to what breath pressure I am going to need. Is this right or is it that I just need to get used to the instrument????




Re: CODA different from MO?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 12:45:50 pm »
I have only played it for two days, so maybe someone with more experience can give you a more accurate answer, but at least to me I feel that the pressure to play in tune is constant, like the classic MO. My low C sounds as strong as the higher notes.


Re: CODA different from MO?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 01:28:24 pm »
Hi Lolly, I think you're right, there is a bit of difference in breath pressure to get different notes right. I didn't notice it at first because I'm used to traditional clay ocarinas, which are all like that. Don't worry, your ear and your breath control will develop as you play more and you won't even have to think about it.


Re: CODA different from MO?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 01:31:38 pm »
Thank you Stefan and Zero for your responses. I will continue to play my coda and hopefully things will become second nature through familiarity and practise.


Karl Ahrens

Re: CODA different from MO?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 11:43:59 pm »
Hi, Lolly, to benefit others with similar questions, I'm going to provide a lot more information than what you have asked for. I say this because you may already know much of what I'm going to mention here.

I suggest that you play your Coda a lot before worrying about tuning very much.  That was always my advice with our Mountain Ocarinas also, and Coda has a lot more notes to get used to. Plus, your tuning can be a little off at first as you get used to covering both sides of the bisected toneholes with the flat pads of your fingers. For example, if your low C is very sharp unless you blow softly, then perhaps you are leaking air from a finger or thumb hole, which would raise the pitch.

Coda actually has a relatively flat blowing curve compared to, say, the 12-hole and double ocarinas that I have played. For instance, such instruments generally require very soft blowing on the lowest notes to avoid playing sharp. As you go up the scale, you have to blow progressively harder to prevent high notes from playing flat. 

With Coda, generally speaking, you are really meant to blow as strongly on the low C and other low notes as you do on the upper notes.  This is by design. Within this tonal range, our ears tend to naturally perceive the higher notes as louder than the lower notes anyway. If in addition our flute requires soft blowing on low notes and hard blowing on high notes, then that only further exaggerates the quietness of lower notes relative to higher notes. It can also make low notes overly quiet for some situations, such as when playing with others, and I wanted Coda's lower notes to be fully useful. 

But keep this in mind. Even though you can play Coda right off the bat, which is great, expect it to take a while before you get your best sound out of it or feel confident about the tuning. A wonderful thing about vessel flutes like gemshorns, xuns, ocarinas, and Coda is that you can often play very expressively by varying your breath pressure. More breath pressure raises the pitch and less blowing pressure lowers the pitch. But this wonderful quality presents a real challenge: playing in tune!

So what's the best way to learn to play in tune?  Well, I don't think that playing into a tuner is particularly helpful at first. In fact, your blowing pressure when you play into a tuner may be quite different than how you blow when playing an energetic song. (And just to add a little more complexity, wind instruments play flatter in colder weather and sharper in hotter weather, which can make tuning even more challenging when you are new to playing Coda.)

So, my advice is this. First, play Coda a whole lot, listen to yourself as you play, and become really confident playing your new instrument. 

Next, try playing along with backing tracks and/or with other musicians. As you play along, you listen, and you let your ear guide you.

We'll give more tips about how to let your ear guide you in the future, but just think for a moment about the human voice. We can move the pitch of our voices up and down at will, and yet we have no toneholes or keys to guide us or to control the pitch. How in the world do we ever sing in tune with others? Well, we listen and we adapt our singing pitch, often unconsciously, to match the pitch of those around us. That's what you'll learn to do with Coda. (In fact, it's what you have to learn to do to play any wind instrument, or violin, etc., in tune with other instruments.)

By the way, in addition to the backing tracks provided by folks like laharl666 :), we'll also be posting a lot of backing tracks. We have a number prepared but haven't posted them yet on the general forum.

One last thought to those starting out. When you are playing solo out in the woods, tuning is relative. You just need to play in tune with yourself.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 12:56:07 am by Karl Ahrens »