Friday, March 02, 2007

Using the Mirror for Flute Tone Development

I'm working on the "pouty" embouchure that you showed in the video clip...great French accent, by the way. I've been playing in mostly the low register for now and starting with B and not even trying to make the tone do anything, just letting it find itself. Sometimes it finds itself and then there are times when, try tho it may, it can find nothing but crappy tone, and sometimes just the lonely whoosh of air gliding right past the headjoint completely. It's just change, I know that. The lower I go, esp. F down to low B the worse it gets.... P.

Dear P.
When you get the 'whoosh' in the low register
and no sound at all, I want you to look in the mirror
to see what the difference it between when you ARE
getting a good low register, and what's happening when
it goes "whoosh".

The answer to that one is usually fairly simple, and can be
fixed by you in a trice just using clinical
observation. This is the kind of self-teaching that is
SO the best thing for every flutist. My bet is that you will find the
answer almost immediately.

When you sound great: Look in the mirror.
When you sound like a toad: Look in the mirror.
Compare and contrast (as my history teachers used to
say). :>)
I have a series of lip pictures here in this PDF that you can use:


Yes, it's the world's simplest observation:
You use a mirror to CLEARLY SEE what you're doing
when you get a great sound, and what you're NOT doing
when you get a fuzzy sound.
Analyse like a scientist the actual lips blowing air,
and where the air is reaching the headjoint's splitting
For those of us who are no longer entirely youthful,
you may need your reading glasses, good light, and of course, a
mirror placed in exactly the right spot so you can play
while lifting your head up and down to see all angles.

Don't bang the wall or nearest bookcase with your
footjoint too many times.
hahhahahaha!!! :>D
Best of luck, and see handout. Jen :>)
Comments (2)
Blogger Sheila said...

hahahaha! Where'd that funny dent on the end of my flute come from? No, I'm better than that. :P It is a very interesting excercise. Another good alternative to a mirror is a teacher. :D I have a mirror set up in my room, and whenever I'm not using music (and sometimes when I am) I whatch myself in the mirror. I often find that when I wiggle my lips around to find that elusive perfect tone, I can do a better job of it in front of the looking glass, because I can tell whether I'm actually wiggling my lips around enough. Thanks for the great tips and diagrams!

Sunday, March 04, 2007 9:12:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Glad you like the tips and diagrams.
And your joke about the funny dent is hilarious! :>)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 10:45:00 PM


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