Fit in 15 Minutes by Elisabeth Weinzierl and Edmund Wächter
If you ever loved “choose your own adventure” books, this may be the book for you! This may also work well if you’re short on time or find you bore quickly working the same exercises day in and day out. I’ll let you decide. This book is not meant to serve as a method book so much as a book in which you pick and choose the exercises you need with the time you have. The focus throughout is on quality practice rather than quantity of practice. It’s nice when I’m reminded I don’t need to practice until my fingers fall off to succeed, and to instead use the time and brain power I have to focus on what I need to accomplish and/or maintain.
The basic premise of this book is to efficiently target specific elements of flute playing you wish to work on in the key(s) of your choosing. Broken into three groups: tone exercises, articulation exercises, and finger exercises, it will definitely take a while for you to get through all the exercises and is strongly not recommended (see title). Most exercises are targeted in the general 3-octave range (B0-C4), with the uppermost parts bracketed to show where one may drop an octave, leave some notes out, or start there. The range extends to B0 though you can avoid that note easily if you like. The tone exercises were of special interest to me because they were broken into very short and targeted exercises for straight tone, singing and playing, vibrato, dynamics, harmonics, and a few others. My biggest takeaway was the idea of using a set of 5 notes per day in different registers and rotating them through a circle of fourths or fifths. What an efficient way to practice tone exercises! These note sets are laid out for you at the beginning of the section. The articulation section covers your usual single/double/triple tonguing as well as some special interest in slur two-tongue two with repeated notes (C-G-G-G). When I would play my flute I didn’t ever seem to remember how difficult repeated notes can be for me, and sometimes this would happen with my students as well.
The final section on finger exercises is exactly what you might expect with a wide variety of scale and arpeggio patterns. There are also two separate articulation patterns to practice along with the scales and arpeggios. The patterns include straight up and down full scales, 5-note scale patterns and patterns with 3- and 4-note scale sequences (CDE-DEF-EFG; CDEF-DEFG-EFGA). The arpeggios are in similar sequences. Scales in thirds and broken arpeggios are also covered. At the end of the book, and encompassed in the finger exercises, are exercises for trills (with and without grace notes) to start/end as well as turns. Now go choose your own practicing adventure! (Tell me about it later. I will accept tomes, songs, poems, and epic novels.)
Range of B0-C4 with ability to avoid B0 and some of the ultra-high
Choose your own adventure concept
Extremely targeted tone exercises
Articulations cover Single, Double, and Triple tonguing some with varying slurs
Fingering section has articulation patterns for 3- and 4-note patterns
Fingering Exercises for all scales and arpeggios, straight, broken, and broken up
Has a special section for trills, turns and graces