Let’s add to that great posture we already talked about in a previous article here on breathing secrets for flutists (this is part 2).
I know it seems funny to have to even talk about how to breathe, but you’d be surprised at how many people breathe funny when they are trying to learn an instrument.
Learning to use our airstream in a super effective way is:
1. One of the easiest ways to immediately sound better on the flute
2. Keeps us from getting dizzy!
If we’re spraying air out all over the room when attempting to blow into the flute, we’re going to run out of breath very quickly.. we inhale to fill-up, and blow it all out just as fast. This cycle is going to cause some hyperventilation (too much oxygen for the brain).
So, learning how to streamline this process is THE most important trick we can learn- especially in the beginning stages.
- Learn how to close the lip hole more (aperture)
Check out my video demonstrating a super easy, and very effective way to blow into the flute AND create a super clear sound
Learn how to fill more than just the top of your lungs
One of the tricks great players use is to learn to fill all parts of their long lungs. Most flute students tend to think of filling their upper chest with air and forget that there is 3 times that much space reserved for air lower down towards the belly.
A really good yawn will do the job.
You can make a goal of taking in a large yawn-breath where you create much expansion in your upper body including much of your belly. This will teach you the proper “filling” sensation you should have when taking a breath before playing your instrument.
Exhale before inhaling
One interesting note is that flute players should remember to exhale before inhaling. Fresh oxygen means many things to your body. It provides your brain with what it needs to function properly. It lets blood back into areas of your body that are being used while playing (lips, arms, etc). There are many, many times when you do not need to use all of the air you have just breathed in for a certain passage while playing music.
Strategic exhaling will keep you inhaling fresh oxygen often. You’ll feel like you are exploding if you don’t find a time to exhale all of that air!
Filling your lungs AND effectively using the airstream is what holds your clear tone together for all to enjoy.