Learn how to develop a great flute embouchure and you are well on your way to being a great flutist.
Embouchure is a French term for the position of the lips and facial muscles used when producing a sound on a wind instrument.
Keep the following steps in mind…
1) The facial muscles and lips should be relaxed.
A tight embouchure with the corners of the lips pulled back and lips stretched produces strain and stress, a puny sound, and tires the player quickly.
Strained facial muscles inhibit the air from flowing freely out of the body. It’s like putting your hand over a garden hose–the water is slowed down.
Try these exercises…
a) Pout as if you are unhappy or angry.
b) Imagine the corners of your mouth are reaching down to the floor.
c) Roll your bottom lip out and try to hold a pencil with your bottom lip.
2) Keep the lower jaw relaxed as well. Imagine this…
a) You are holding a golf ball in your mouth.
b) Your lower jaw is falling off your face onto the floor.
c) Try to yawn with your lips closed.
3) Concentrate the strength and power in your abdominal area. That’s where the airstream originates. You need a fast airstream pushed from the abdominal muscle up through your lungs and out the mouth. If your lips are strained, this gets in the way of that rushing air coming out and your tone is not nearly as vibrant as it could be.
Keep these important elements in mind and you will develop a great flute embouchure.
Kathy Ferneau is a flutist and teacher. Her on-line flute studio is http://www.cyberflute.com/ where you can get free flute lessons.
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