#02 - Don't Give Up Your Embouchure
Building a Strong Embouchure for Wooden / Irish Flute
In the last tip, we talked about getting a good supply of air. Remember, no air = no tune. In this lesson, let's discuss how to use it. Let's approach this from the standpoint that we're trying to fuse two separate machines into one integral unit. The flute is the machine that creates the tones and the player is the machine that supplies the fuel (air).
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOUR EMBOUCHURE IS THE MOST CRITICAL FACTOR IN CREATING AND SUSTAINING TONE.
As you start to run out of air, many players "push" harder for those last few notes. When you do this, you're actually using the air as fuel to tighten muscles as opposed to sustaining tone.
Instead, you can compensate by tightening your embouchure. A tighter embouchure injects air into your flute at a higher rate of compression, which stops the tone from lowering. Maintaining a tight embouchure, combined with taking sudden and powerful breaths, will keep you from going flat at the end of your phrases.
To develop greater embouchure control, practice long tones, as suggested in the previous exercise. Blowing at approximately half your normal force, tighten the corners of your lips as if you were going to frown. This will keep the center of your embouchure open while developing the muscles in your lips that control the size and focus of your embouchure. Practice this exercise in both octaves.
Remember, this exercise is about learning to form and control your embouchure. Good embouchure techniques are the basis for all things transverse...