Tuning to the piano seems to cause many people a lot of grief so the next few posts are going to offer some suggestions to help with this.
This first approach I like to call The Process of Elimination.
Play the flute note before hearing the piano note so that you don’t try to adjust your A to the piano A you’ve just heard. Play an honest, mezzo forte, low register A. Have your pianist play a single A (a sixth above piano middle C) and then ask them to add in the F and D below that A to create a D minor triad. This triad gives more of a pitch centre to aim for than just a single note.
Once you’ve heard the flute and piano notes use The Process of Elimination:
Is it ok?
Is it not ok?
I’m not sure.
If you think it’s fine then play.
If you think it’s not ok then you’re probably sharp or flat. If you think you’re sharp then pull out. Recheck your A. Did it improve? If so then you are on the right track. If not then you possibly went the wrong way.
If think you’re flat then push in. Recheck your A. Did it improve? If so then you are on the right track. If not then you possibly went the wrong way.
If you are not sure then keep reading the blogs and continue to work at improving your overall intonation skills.
Just ask yourself; is it ok? Is it not ok? I’m not sure, to gradually improve your ability to tune with the piano.