Tone is a fundamental characteristic of music production. Here are 4 steps you can take to improve your tone on the flute.
Body Alignment relates to sound through the angle the flute is held and correct placement of the tone hole to the lips.
- Left foot forward, right foot back (because we play on the right side) in a relaxed open stance.
- Arms slightly in front and away from the body, elbows pointing down, right hand thumb under the flute, left hand un braced. Avoid rolling in.
- Keys are facing the ceiling or slightly on an angle, pointing towards the floor.
- Flexible knees, weight favors the left foot. Could you walk forward at a moments notice?
- Level chin. Where the eyes are, the head will be.
- Aperture shape
- Embouchure shape
- Embouchure placement
Aperture Shape: focus and direct air stream over the opposite edge of the striking edge. Fuzzy sound and dizzy feeling means unfocused, wasted air. Seal the sides of the embouchure to create an elliptical shape.
Embouchure Shape: blow with a piece of rice between the lips or use toothpicks lightly gripped at the lip corners to create a perfect, small embouchure and promotes a pouty shape. Sense a forward feeling in the lips; firm but not tense.
Smiling is the enemy!
Embouchure Placement: place the edge of the embouchure hole exactly on the vermillion line (red line that joins the face and the lips) in the indentation of your chin (above the “chin button”).
(Possible exceptions are slightly higher if the lips are more voluptuous than the norm.)
Keep a good distance between upper lip of the embouchure and the striking edge. The embouchure hole is about 2/3 closed by the upper lip.
If embouchure is properly aligned, you will see a triangle of condensation on you lip plate in the mirror.
#3 Tone Development – Inward Playing
Start low, slow. Focus on consistency of the air pressure to have a beautiful legato.
Play between the notes using French syllables to inwardly shape the oral cavity like a singer!
(Low notes=Euh to Eh; middle uses Oh; High, Ah; extreme high EE and Ah).
Use the Tunable App and a mirror and to check vibrato speeds and amplitude.
#4 Daily Warm Ups
- Any beautiful melody (folk tune, Bach, Mozart)
- Moyse’s De la Sonorite, Tone Development Through Interpretation and 24 Small Melodies
- Reichert 7 Daily Exercises
- Sir James Galway’s Tone Exercises.
- Wummer Daily Exercises