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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 10:18 pm
Posts: 311
So the quality of my tone suddenly went to hell. That is not un-typical on this journey. But, I learned something about it because I was working in a NON-resonant space.

I changed my practice location from my nice, resonant living room where my tone sounds 110%, to my bedroom which is a much dryer space. For the life of me, I couldn't get any tone out of my flute at all, and blamed it on my embouchure. Perhaps that was part of it, but actually, I realized that I was trying to force more volume to replicate the tone in my resonant living room. With that in mind, I cut back the effort and finally recovered decent quality.

The lesson for me is that forcing volume is a sure way to make things fall apart. I have noticed that going out to a session, I have a similar issue. Needing more volume, I work too hard, and that makes things worse.

I also realize that taking a flute that is too quiet to a session sets me up for the same problem.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 6:54 am
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Location: Bischberg/Bavaria/Germany
Yep. I noticed that too in my experiments with my embouchure. The trick is to increase the speed of the air-stream without the embouchure getting wider/broader/unfocussed. But on a good flute you will get a rich and boomy sound with minimal air. So when I notice my embouchure falling apart, I try to blow as softly as possible for a little bit. Works most of the time for me to get back the sound I want. Just blowing harder won't do the trick. But after a lot of practicing during the day it will always deteriorate for me. A sure sign that I should call it a day and continue on the next day.
And one day I suddenly developed this strange headache in the evening. And I am certain it came from too much practice and was radiating from the left corner of my mouth all over the left side of my face. First I thought it was a bad tooth or something but it was completely gone the next morning. So I am pretty sure it was from too much practice and over-exhaustion of the muscles responsible for keeping the corners of the mouth a bit tight for the embouchure. I still haven't mastered the "completely relaxed" embouchure. Maybe I never will but I keep at it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:15 am
Posts: 17
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario, Can
I was a secondary school teacher for many years and use to play in the stairwell near my room at lunch and after school. Two storey stairwell, all brick and hard surface...I have to say I loved it, and the kids got used to their eccentric science teacher making music at lunch and after school, on 'that flute' he plays. Probably did nothing for my tuning etc, but now retired I miss it. And for a real rush, I would occasionally stand at centre court in the main gym, and play a slow air - when no games/team practises were on of course (and nobody else was around). Sigh.

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