Friday, February 23, 2007

Part Two video on Embouchure Flexibility

Hey Fluters,

Here is part 2 of the Embouchure Flexibility series, where I demonstrate the coolest exercises for advanced intermediate flute players who want to develop a more flexible embouchure.
It is Werner Ricther's basic warmup from his book "Conditioning Training".
If you missed part 1, be sure and watch part 1 FIRST!

PART 2: Embouchure Flexibility

These two videos are in response to an online adult student who wanted help with developing their tone.
My philosophy is that the less work required to form the basic embouchure means that you are free to be flexible and to practice without strain to the face, jaw, lips, or throat.
I demonstrate how to open up the blow hole, how to sing-and-play to open the throat and create lung resonance, and how to use Werner Richter's opening exercises to smear octaves to discover the center of the lips and the sweetspot on the splitting edge.
I had fun making these videos.
More to come on using Wilkinson's "Physical Flute", hopefully.
And do please comment and/or send feedback.
Comments (11)
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha, you're so much fun! i had to learn to sing/play while learning Lookout, by Robert Dick. I'll experiment with smearing the octaves tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 6:54:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Richter book! There is so much in there that many flutist do not know about. I have a performance this evening of Villa-Lobos' "Assobio a Jato" (The Jet Whistle) and this smearing exercises is a must for all of the really large and fast intervals that happen in the first and third movements!

Thursday, April 03, 2008 1:53:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Thanks John,
I've often wondered why more folk on this side of the pond don't use the Richter "Conditioning Training" book. It is indeed fab. Thanks for the insight into "Jetwhistle".
I've not performed it. Good to know. Jen

Thursday, April 03, 2008 2:20:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I have been thinking about this book a lot lately. So I pulled it out from my file cabinet and took a long re-read. I really think that it is a great book! There are so many things that can really help a flutist understand how the embouchure functions.

After a good 2 or 3 re-reads I can see why some flute players in the states do not use the book. There is talk of muscular tension. Most flute players always try to tell there students play with no tension! And we all know how interesting the mush mouth syndrome can sound! Well, that is what I call it "Mush Mouth!" I still go by what Marcel Moyse, Wibb, and others call optimally firm. There needs to be some amount of muscular tension otherwise we would not be able to form the aperture in our embouchure.

Well, i could go on and on and on. you can ask my students!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008 3:07:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Thanks so much for your comment John.
Yes indeed; one person's TENSE is another's RELAXED.

Optimal "poise" is perhaps a good description.
Thanks again. Much to think about and possibly-hopefully clarify as we go about our teaching. :>)

Best, Jen

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 8:11:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I am an adult relearning the flute after a 30 year hiatus. I have taken lessons for 3 years but am having a difficult time with the second octave (d2 to c3) that seems to be getting worse. These notes want to go to the first octave or are airy and not flexible. I have a new flute teacher that has pointed out that my lips are tight in the corners and my lip opening goes to the right (probably overcompensating for excess lip dip in the middle of my lips). Like your video, she gave me information that has helped my lower notes especially. I'm so frustrated that I have considered quitting (I play in church and it's so embarrassing for me to not hit a note). Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 4:00:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Dear M,
Sometimes the flute has developed a leak in the cork in the headjoint, or in one of the pads. Have your teacher check it by play-testing it at your next lesson.

You may be doing all kinds of different things to get the second octave that are either too little or too much.

Basically you need:
- faster air
- higher aim
- more active participation of the torso muscles
- lip corners come slighly forward
- a centered lip opening (centered with the splitting edge)
- gentle experimentation.

But have your flute checked out, and have your teacher work with you on leaping up to the middle register, and walking up to the middle register (ascending one semitone at a time is "walking".)

Don't try and rush things.
And take it easy; sometimes frustration just makes you tense up and nothing comes out. :>)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 4:12:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Love these videos! Keep them coming! My tone was starting to get "edgy" and I was wondering why I tired so quickly. I guess that's what happens when you put the flute away for a couple of years. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012 2:01:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

So glad to hear the videos help! Fantastic news! Thanks! Jen

Thursday, August 30, 2012 2:14:00 PM

Anonymous Andres R said...

Congratulations, great job, I love your blog Jennifer !

Heeelp !!!!
I have problems with my embouchure.

My lips are quite thick and my upper lip protrudes slightly. What do you think would be the best way to make the mouth and jaw about the corners?

I worry about not knowing what would be the most technical way to achieve the necessary tension to touch and control the air.

Jennifer thank you very much

A hug from Bogota, Colombia.

Friday, February 15, 2013 4:39:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Hello to Bogota,
Wish I could help with typed descriptions, but every set of lips is different, and the instructions can't be formulated by typing out all the possibilities.
You need to experiment for YOUR best sound quality, without excessive tension. You really need live lessons with an experienced teacher. Hope you find some. Truly.
Thanks for your kind words.
Glad the website helps.
Best, Jen

Friday, February 15, 2013 6:30:00 PM


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