How to play an orcarina

How to Play the Ocarina

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How to play an orcarina

The ocarina is a unique wind instrument that comes in a wide range of forms and sizes. Despite their distinct appearances, the ocarina and a recorder produce sounds that are very similar. If you’re a fan of Nintendo’s Zelda games, you may be acquainted with the ocarina as an instrument. Whatever brought you to the instrument, the ocarina is a fun and simple method to experiment with music.

Buying a Beginner’s Ocarina

How to play an orcarina #1
Buy your ocarina online.

1. Buy your ocarina online. You’ll be hard pushed to locate one in a music shop since it’s such an uncommon instrument. With a little digging, you’ll discover a plethora of internet merchants selling what you’re searching for, ranging from Amazon to retailers specializing in high-quality ocarinas. If you’re just starting out, don’t spend too much money on your first ocarina. A good beginner instrument should cost between $20 and $60.
If you fall in love with your new passion and wish to invest in an instrument, high-quality ocarinas may cost up to $500.

How to play an orcarina #2
Choose a pitch range.

2. Choose a pitch range. Because ocarinas do not produce a broad variety of sounds like a piano, it is critical to choose an ocarina that will provide the pitch you need. Soprano, alto, tenor, and bass ocarinas are available in decreasing order from highest to lowest pitch range.
Keep in mind that the larger the range, the smaller the instrument, therefore keep this in mind while selecting your instrument.

How to play an orcarina #3
Choose an ocarina style that is appropriate for your skill level.

3. Choose an ocarina style that is appropriate for your skill level. A four-hole or six-hole ocarina is the ideal type to learn on since they are often affordable, light, and generate a broad variety of notes with minimal finger patterns.

  • A four-hole ocarina may generate an eight-note fundamental scale.
  • A simple scale plus semitones may be produced with a six-hole ocarina.
How to play an orcarina #4
Avoid using Peruvian or plastic ocarinas.

4. Avoid using Peruvian or plastic ocarinas. Peruvian ocarinas are exquisitely fashioned and detailed, so you may be tempted to purchase one only for aesthetic reasons. However, they are frequently made of low-quality materials and don’t sound particularly nice as a consequence. They’re more ornamental than functional for playing. Plastic ocarinas, although attractively priced, are often “airy” and badly tuned.

Playing a Four-Hole Ocarina

How to play an orcarina #5
Look for a user manual.

1. Look for a user manual. Ocarinas may come with an instrument chart or other instructions for playing the instrument. If it did, look at the chart to determine which holes you need to fill in order to make a certain note.
If your ocarina did not come with a user’s handbook, go to the next step.

How to play an orcarina #6
Label and remember the gaps.

2. Label and remember the gaps. By covering and uncovering various combinations of the four holes with your fingertips, you may make a variety of sounds. As a result, you should have a labeling system in place to assist you recall which combinations generate which sounds.

  • Place the ocarina’s mouthpiece in your mouth as if you were about to play it, and examine the hole placement from this angle.
  • Label the top left hole “1,” the top right hole “2,” the bottom left hole “3,” and the bottom right hole “4” in your head.
  • Drill the hole placements into your mind so you can simply comprehend these scales playing directions.
  • An “x” will be used to represent an open hole, indicating that you should not cover it with your finger.
  • A Middle C, for example, is represented as 1 2 3 4. This implies that when breathing through the mouthpiece, you should cover all four holes with your pointer and middle fingers.
  • A D, on the other hand, is represented by the symbols 1 X 3 4. This implies that everything save hole 2 — the top right hole — should be covered.
How to play an orcarina #7
Learn the fundamental scales.

3. Learn the fundamental scales. At first, go through them carefully and attempt to recall the finger movements required to make this series of sounds. Don’t worry about speed just now; instead, learn how to play a scale. To go through the scales, use the finger patterns listed below:

  • D: 1 X 3 4 Middle C: 1 2 3 4 D: 1 X 3 4
  • E: 1 2 3 X F: 1 X 3 X F# (Gb): X 2 3 4 G: X X 3 4 G# (Ab): X 2 3 X A: X X 3 X A# (Bb): X X
  • C: XXXX B: X 2 X X C: XXXX
How to play an orcarina #8
Work on your scales.

4. Work on your scales. The ability to move up and down your scales is the most important thing you can do to become a great ocarina player. During this drill, you should concentrate on two things: 1) remembering the sounds created by your finger patterns and 2) speed The better you become at those two things, the more you’ll be able to appreciate the music itself.

  • C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C is the progression of a C scale.
  • Experiment with going up and down (ascending and falling) (descending). This is the foundation for many of the compositions you will perform.
How to play an orcarina #9
Acquaint yourself with musical notation.

5. Acquaint yourself with musical notation. Everyone understands what musical notes look like, but decoding them into a song may be beyond your abilities. Although many people take classes with professional tutors to learn how to read music, there are numerous sites online where you can learn how to read music for free. Once you can read music, you’ll be able to use your ocarina to play along with the melodies of your favorite songs.
Sheet music for your favorite songs may be found by buying books or searching online.

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Playing a Six-Hole Ocarina

How to play an orcarina #10
Look for a user manual.

1. Look for a user manual. Again, it is usually preferable to examine specific instrument instructions rather than generic instructions. Examine the chart to determine which holes you need to fill in order to make a certain note.

How to play an orcarina #11
Label and remember the gaps.

2. Label and remember the gaps. Like a four-hole ocarina, the only way to be successful with this instrument is to memorize how to generate a certain note. You’ll need a labeling system, but just for six holes this time.

  • Place the ocarina’s mouthpiece in your mouth as if you were about to play it, and examine the placement of the holes on the top of the instrument from this angle.
  • Label the top left hole “1,” the top right hole “2,” the bottom left hole “3,” and the bottom right hole “4” in your head.
  • Then consider the holes on the instrument’s bottom that can be covered with your thumbs. Mark the one on the left with a “5” and the one on the right with a “6.”
  • Drill the hole placements into your mind so you can simply comprehend these scales playing directions.
  • An “x” will be used to represent an open hole, indicating that you should not cover it with your finger.
How to play an orcarina #12
Practice your fundamental scales.

3. Practice your fundamental scales. Despite having two more holes on the back, the six-hole ocarina employs the same fundamental principle as the four-hole ocarina. The main distinction is that in order to generate notes from the four-hole instrument, you must cover the two holes on the bottom while following the same pattern in the upper four holes. Memorize this scale progression, starting gently and concentrating on becoming acquainted with the notes. To go through the scales, use the finger patterns listed below:

  • D: 1 X 3 4 5 6 E: 1 2 3 X 5 6 Middle C: 1 2 3 4 5 6 D: 1 X 3 4 5 6 E: 1 2 3 X 5 6
  • F# (Gb): X 2 3 4 5 6 F: 1 X 3 X 5 6 F# (Gb): X 2 3 4 5 6 F# (Gb): X 2 3 4 5 6 F# (
  • G# (Ab): X 2 3 X 5 6 A: X X 3 X 5 6 A# (Bb): X X X 4 5 6 B: X 2 X 5 6
  • XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX
How to play an orcarina #13
Discover how to make advantage of the two bottom holes.

4. Discover how to make advantage of the two bottom holes. These holes elevate the fundamental notes from the previous level by one semitone or two semitones (a tone). To increase a note by one step, start with the lower note as on a four-hole instrument, but cover hole 5 and leave hole 6 uncovered. To increase a note by two steps, repeat the fingering for the lower note on a four-hole instrument, leaving hole 5 open and hole 6 covered.

  • A semitone increases a note to the next higher note in the chromatic scale, for example: C#, AbA, EF.
  • A tone lifts it two steps in the same scale, for example: CD, AbBb, EF#.
  • To play a C#, for example, set holes 1-4 for a C (XXXX), then advance up one step by revealing hole 6, leaving only hole 5 covered: X X X X 5 X.
  • To simply travel from a C to a D without having to move all of your fingers, start with a C (XXXX56), then move up two levels by revealing hole 5, leaving just hole 6 covered: X X X X 6.
  • This is a lot smoother transition for your fingertips than going from XXXX56 to 1X3456.
How to play an orcarina #14
Work on your scales.

5. Work on your scales. The ability to move up and down your scales is the most important thing you can do to become a great ocarina player. During this drill, you should concentrate on two things: 1) remembering the sounds created by your finger patterns and 2) speed The better you become at those two things, the more you’ll be able to appreciate the music itself.

  • C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C is the progression of a C scale.
  • Experiment with going up and down (ascending and falling) (descending). This is the foundation for many of the compositions you will perform.
How to play an orcarina #15
Acquaint yourself with musical notation.

6. Acquaint yourself with musical notation. Everyone understands what musical notes look like, but decoding them into a song may be beyond your abilities. Although many people take classes with professional tutors to learn how to read music, there are numerous sites online where you can learn how to read music for free. Once you can read music, you’ll be able to use your ocarina to play along with the melodies of your favorite songs.
Sheet music for your favorite songs may be found by buying books or searching online.

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