Smooth chamber switching on multichamber ocarinas

While the action of switching chambers appears to be simply sliding the ocarina from side to side, there is more to it. When in playing position the ocarina is pressed lightly against the lips, if this pressure is maintained while switching the mouthpiece will grip against the lips, pulling on the skin and make switching harder. Chamber switching is easier if this pressure is released, so the process to switch chambers is as follows:

  1. Slightly move the ocarina away from the lips, such that the mouthpiece is not touching them. distance should be minimal, only what is required to break contact.
  2. Move to the desired wind-way.
  3. Move the ocarina so the mouthpiece once again contacts the lips.

This does feel awkward to begin, but like everything practice until it becomes automatic. While switching chambers it is a good idea to stop the airflow with the tong. However this can be done very lightly to create a legato switch.

Special notes for plain-finish ocarinas

The rougher surface of plain clay generally slides over skin far more easily than a smooth surface, though it can still cling if moisture is present. This can be addressed by touching your lips to the ocarinas mouthpiece for some time before playing; the porous clay will absorb any moisture preasant.

While playing always keep your head and the ocarina up, looking down can allow saliva to run onto the lips/mouthpiece.

Exercises