People trying to learn musical instruments usually question how long it would take to be an expert player. Well, creating a vibrant piece of music is something that may take years of practice. But there indeed are various resources and tricks that can help music students get things done in the right way. Like flute embouchure – it plays a vital role in improving the flute tone.
Flute Embouchure: Simple Steps for Great Success!
If you are getting beginners flute lessons, you might have heard the term embouchure. It is a crucial feature for any flute player. Establishing a flexible flute embouchure, you can play smooth, clear, and musical notes.
The flute embouchure
Flute embouchure is the hole you can see in the headpiece that a player blows over to create the musical sound and the lip plate present around it. From big to short; rectangular to square, and round to oval, the size and shape of flute embouchure have been over time changed.
Regardless of the size and shape of the hole, your instrument may have, you can benefit from developing your embouchures which refers to shaping your lips when playing the flute.
Each player has a unique style. However, embouchure varies from player to player.
- Your mouth size
- Your lips thickness and shape
- Your lips pattern when closed, and
- Your lips shape when open
These are the features that affect embouchure. Other physical unseen features are the inner void of your mouth, the area and size of your tongue, etc.
Importance of flute embouchure
The embouchure of a flute player controls the plot, shape, and speed of the air they blow across the hole to create a tune. However, your embouchure can have its impact not only on your tone, sound quality, and intonation but also on the note pitch. Developing embouchure can help you improvise the fuzzy sound that comes from the wrong or distracted air-stream.
While playing the flute, you will always want to play the right tone on each note; the sound that is clear and centred, that is solid and also musical, that flows softly even while changing the pitch from low to high or vice versa. It isn’t straightforward since the quality and sound of each note will be different.
Focus on improving your embouchure and leaping gently from one note to another while playing long musical notes. Your embouchure will, however, develop more automatic technique in you, and you will be able to play the right tone on each register.
Work on the head joint
If you are getting beginners flute lessons, it is right to first of all work on the sound with the head joint of the instrument. Initially, don’t think about your finger movements. Just focus on the noise you make. While holding the head joint, make sure that the lip plate is slightly against your chin. It should rest steady without any stress. Keep it parallel to your lips. Lift your head to get an open airway through the throat.
Making a pooh sound across the flute hole is the primary thing you should think about in the beginning. Practising without tonguing can benefit you overcome the challenges to make a clear and focused tone. Place your tongue just above the lips inside the mouth while adding tonguing.
Finding the right position on your lips to place the flute and developing embouchure will take some time. Keep on practising. The more you practice, the sooner it will become your second nature.
Focus and Direction
While playing the flute, it is vital to keep your mouth relaxed. However, keep your lips firm but don’t freeze them. Try this easy exercise to learn the right way to change your embouchure and control the air-flow. Hold your palm in front of you. Blow air on it the way you blow across the head joint. Try to feel the air stream hitting your hand; is it high or low? Give attempts with tightening and expanding the core of your air-stream as you feel the sense on your palm. Your lips should be in a small pinhole shape when tight, and form an oval or elliptical shape when expanded.
This exercise will help you observe the air-stream pressure that alters when you change the shape and size of your embouchure. The air pressure will increase as the air-flow gets smaller; whereas pressure will decrease when it is higher. It is a crucial point to understand that a higher pressure with smaller embouchure will favor upper notes and a lower pressure with ample airflow will support lower register.
Practice on Developing the Embouchure
Once you learn to make a good sound, start working on developing your embouchure. Slowly keep on practising each note. Try to get closure to the ideal sound quality before moving from one note to another. Pick a notation you think you can play right and with the best sound quality and start. Keep on changing the shape, size, space, and speed of the air-stream until you learn to create the best quality tone on that picked note. Now move to a half note and practice on it until you create the right quality that goes with your best sound. Little by little keep on walking down till you don’t reach the lowest note you can play.
Perfect practice makes a man perfect
The more you practice on developing your flute embouchure, the easier it will be to shape your lips and guide your air-stream for creating the ideal tone. Work on practising your embouchure every time you rehearse. Your dedication will help you grasp well what you know and keep on refining each note. The time will come when you will make the best sound every time you play the flute.
Not that once you know the importance of flute embouchure, you have acquired in the depth of flute music. Follow the tips to enhance your knowledge and abilities. There are various other things to consider and ranges of resources available to start getting the right flute lessons, including books, online guides, YouTube video lessons, etc. By far, the right way to get better skills and flute tone is connecting with the best music school. An experienced instructor can help your progress by correcting your mistakes and providing you with the right suggestions for how you should proceed.