Reteaching my embouchure?

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

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Reteaching my embouchure?

Post by kvxdelta »

I've been playing the flute for about a year now in marching band and the section leader who taught me how to play didn't know much themselves, so I've been trying to teach/reteach myself all the things I never learned to do, like tonguing and embouchure. Right now, I'm struggling to produce any low notes consistently or loudly (they're usually very hollow or airy/don't come out/are very quiet) or to produce high notes correctly. For the longest time, I've been doing high notes by pinching my mouth tighter, which becomes painful and exhausting very quickly and still doesn't make a good high note without also blowing more air than necessary. I've been looking around at different videos, topics on this forum, articles, etc... and the consensus seems to be that you should sort of push your chin out (or some part of your mouth, I'm not really certain) to make the embouchure smaller so that the air is faster, but when I do this, I don't get a sound at all, which I think is because it pushes my air straight forward or away from the embouchure hole instead of into it diagonally. I can play "normal" notes very easily and without using any excessive breathing, but I figure that's a given. I can also pull off an okay vibrato on these notes, but I would imagine that's irrelevant to my issue with embouchure. Unfortunately, I can't afford actual lessons and the band director is A.) beyond my access until summer ends and B.) not really knowledgeable about the flute specifically enough to fully see what I'm doing wrong or could improve on. Unless a miracle happens, I don't think I'll be able to afford any kind of lessons anytime soon, which I know obviously runs the risk of me developing bad habits (haha it's almost like that's already happened), but is a necessary evil for the time being.

tl;dr: I can't understand how to adjust my embouchure so that I can reach a full range of notes. Plz help :(

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Re: Reteaching my embouchure?

Post by pied_piper »

"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."

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Re: Reteaching my embouchure?

Post by christielea »

Hi there,

The embouchure really is a tricky one - but you are recognising what's NOT working so that's a good thing!

I'm not sure if you have the budget for online lessons. These are generally way more affordable, you can rewatch them over and over and you can take them whenever it's convenient. Whilst I know the benefits of face to face lessons, as you say, sometimes its just not possible and this might be a really good alternative for you. This is the course I recommend for beginners. It spends some time on embouchure formation and sound production as well as expanding into the octaves (blowing low and high notes)

Otherwise, I have a few embouchure and tone videos on YouTube which may help you find that 'sweet spot' for sound...

I hope they're helpful!

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