Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Flexible Flute Embouchure; letter from a happy flutist

Dear Flute readers,
Oh so nice!

A kind letter from a happy flute embouchure-flexibility video watching flutist:

Re: Embouchure Flexibility VIDEO no. 1
Embouchure Flexibility VIDEO no. 2

Dear Jennifer,
I can't tell you how much your videos have helped me. I am currently doing some recording, and I was so frustrated with my sound. I don't even want to tell you who I've studied with over the years. I should be farther along.

Anyway, it was as if you were reading my mail. I had the lip plate too high on my lip, therefore was covering too much, just too control it, so naturally I had to force like mad in the low register to get a full sound. Squashing the lip like that also meant I could never really get comfortable throughout the entire range of the instrument so I learned supersitious behaviors, those spastic movements of the lips and jaw you imitate so well on your videos.

The things that have helped the most are:

1. the concept of not having to force the flute to vibrate, but letting it vibrate

2. the concept of imagining the sound coming out of the emb. hole and rising above my head

3. most important, positioning the lip plate lower

One of the results is that I am not working so hard anymore to get the low notes. I refuse to, because the results are louder than they are pretty!
Another result is a brighter sound, with less surface noise.

Notes in the third octave that were always sharp are now more in tune (I always practice with a tuner)
My jaw is gradually learning how to relax. I used to play so tense, I'd wear myself out!

I've been trying to imitate your vibrato on the Glick Sonata, and that is also helping me relax, though in my middle to upper register, the 'footprint' of the notes is still not as wide and relaxed as yours. I'm working on this!
I just can't overemphasize how helpful your videos have been.
I would really encourage you to make a video just for the high notes!

Thank you again,
anonymous in California
Comments (2)
Blogger Sheila said...

echoes...I hear echoes from today... :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 5:35:00 PM

 
Blogger Jen Cluff said...

Really?
Wasn't our lesson today on air supply, pushing down against the feet, crescendoing on the note BEFORE the large leap etc?

Maybe it's all part of the same brilliant insight??

Let me know; you're the brain-power storage unit of all things lesson-y.

Best, :>)
Jen

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 5:54:00 PM

 

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