The 7 Questions To Answer Before Choosing An Ocarina
Monday, 09 October 2006
An ocarina is a miniature flute that people of all ages enjoy - both
adults and kids. It is one of the easiest of the wind instruments to
learn and play, in fact, most ocarina musicians have taught themselves
to play. Many ocarinas are rugged, portable, and small enough to go
anywhere - rock climbing, on vacations, in your purse or pocket,
canoeing, on camping trips, or in your kid's backpack. The ocarina is a
great way to introduce a person of any age - kids or adults - to music
as well as an instrument that can be enjoyed and played through all
stages of life.
1. What style do I want, inline or transverse? Ocarinas come in two
basic types, transverse and inline. The transverse style (like the
sweet potato) is blown very much like a standard Boehm flute where the
flute is held at a ninety degree angle to the head. The inline style is
played very much like a recorder or clarinet where you blow into the
length of the flute. I find that the inline style is more comfortable
to play for extended periods of time.
2. Do you want a clay, wood, metal or plastic ocarina? A few
thoughts. Clay is like glass in that it can break or shatter if
dropped. Nice wood ocarinas can be quite gorgeous. Metal ocarinas are
rare, but some are stunning. There is definitely no shortage cheap
plastic ocarinas... toys. However, some plastic ocarinas are
performance worthy instruments that are made of high tech plastic
materials like polycarbonate.
3. Are you a life long fan of the video game Zelda The Ocarina of
Time? If so, then you might want an ocarina like the one Link plays.
4. Do you like the way this flute's ocarina notes sound? Have you heard this ocarina played live? If not, do you have nice recorded ocarina music samples to listen to? Have you seen ocarina video of this flute?
5. How far (musically) do you want to go with your ocarina? Do you
want something to amuse you for a few weeks? Or do you want a serious
instrument that will let you grow to high levels of musicianship? Do
you already know how to play the ocarina?
If you wish to go far musically and will put in the needed practice to
get good, get an ocarina that you won't grow out of... that will let
you progress to virtuosity.
6. Do you like how this ocarina looks? If you think your ocarina is
stunning, you will very likely carry it more, show it to family and
friends more, play it more, progress farther and faster, and enjoy it
7. What kind of music do you want to play with your ocarina?
If you want to play simple, slower melodies then most ocarinas will do
just fine. If you want to play technically challenging and fast music,
most will not work. Make sure you hear sound samples of the ocarinas
you are considering, and make sure they can play the kind of ocarina sheet music you want to play.
If you're looking for an instrument that fits into your life, as
opposed to the other way around, the ocarina very well may be the
musical instrument that you've been looking for. For many people,
learning to play an instrument is something we have long wanted to do,
but never quite got around to. Maybe now is the time to get started?