Chiff and Fipple Forums

tired embochure
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Author:  DianaWolf [ Fri Dec 28, 2001 8:07 pm ]
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Hi, I've been working on trying to improve my tone, which often fuzzy/airy, especially in the second octive. Usually my tone is pretty good when I first pick up the flute, but it rapidly deteriorates within the first 5-10 minutes or so as my embochure muscles get tired. I'm wondering if I should just keep practicing so I can build up the muscles, even though the tone is bad, or if by practicing when my tone is bad, I am reinforcing a bad embochure. Perhaps it would be better to rest (or play whistle) until the muscles are rested and I can get a good tone again.
Thanks for any advise!

Author:  totst [ Fri Dec 28, 2001 8:17 pm ]
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Do long tones. Start on the first G. Work your way down on the instrument, giving one full breath to each note ( one breath-one note).Then work your way up. This will build the embrochure muscles and help focus the tone. It is also a good warm up routine.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: totst on 2001-12-28 21:18 ]</font>

Author:  ErikT [ Fri Dec 28, 2001 11:33 pm ]
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Hi Diana,

I agree with Tots - long tone are a great warmup. As far as whether to continue once your chops get tired, I can only think that it would help.

Sometimes it's hard to do two things at once, like move your fingers AND have a good embouchure. This is especially true when you get tired. So, you may also want to consider moving to the long tones once your lips tire, as a cool down exercise.


Author:  Dana [ Sat Dec 29, 2001 12:31 pm ]
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Here are some thoughts from a Boehm-system flute player/teacher of many years:

I would recommend taking a break when your muscles get overly fatigued.
A further concern is the shape of your lips when forming the embouchure. You will have much less fatigue and a better sound with a "pouty" shaped embouchure. You want to have the corners of your lips pulled down a bit (never back), with the center airway very free and relaxed. Say the word "pure" and this will give you a good idea of the form your lips should take.

To get notes in the second octave, avoid the natural tendency to tighten your lips, but instead, try jutting your lower lip forward a bit, which aims the airstream more across the hole, rather than down.

Also, work gradually toward the high notes, from the middle register. Go up one step at a time from C#, just trying to get the next note clear and relaxed. Long tones are a definitely a good way to work at this.

Hope this helps!


Author:  cmiller2 [ Mon Dec 31, 2001 12:24 pm ]
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Does anyone use a Hall Crystall flute? My wonderful wife gave me one for Christmas (in a shopping spree!)and I love the flute! It takes less air than a concert flute but I need to learn how to hold it differently. It is so light that the balance is odd to me. Can anyone help?

Chris Miller

Author:  jim stone [ Mon Dec 31, 2001 8:25 pm ]
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Thanks, Dana! The more pointers
the better, I say. Much appreciated.

Author:  jomac [ Wed Jan 02, 2002 12:10 pm ]
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I have the opposite "problem"; my low range is "on" almost immediately after I pick up the flute, but a good, solid high range comes only after I'm playing for a while. But the time necessary to "remember" how to get the high range is getting less and less.

As for the Hall Xtal Flute: I'm no expert, but I can play a Boehm and my M&E flute fairly fluently, and I tried a Hall a couple of week ago, and could hardly get a sound out of it.

Author:  eedbjp [ Mon Jan 14, 2002 7:35 am ]
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I would work on the opposite of trying to "build up" the muscles. Experiment with relaxing. You may be surprised at the tone that will come out with a relaxed mouth. Keep the lips together, (keep not press) so that you can't even see a space at all. Then put some pressure on keeping the flute in a consistent place, by gently pushing the flute into your chin, maintaining the flute ina constant place.

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