The word ‘embouchure’ is not a common one for most people. I can’t even think of one instance in my life that I’ve used it except in a musical “playing an instrument” way. So, when it pops up in the lessons you are learning on my website, perhaps this will give everything you need to know about the word embouchure.
First of all, the best definition and pronunciation I can give you that hits the nail right on the head is basically “the position and region (cheeks, mouth, lips) that is used to place on the mouthpiece of your flute.” In the part of America I live in, we pronounce this word “ahm-ba-shure”. It’s kind of fancy!
From your eyeballs, all the way down to your chin
Some people say embouchure is ‘how’ you place your mouth on, and others say it’s ‘which’ part of your face that goes on. And many say it’s the whole thing all wrapped into one word.
I like to use the word embouchure a bit more carefully in my teaching because I don’t want it to be confused with the word ‘aperture’. The ‘aperture’ is the little part of your lips that creates the hole for the air to come out and its shape.
I think it will make sense if you imagine me facing you with my finger circling from my hairline at my ears up to my eyeballs and around the other side, then down around the chin. That to me is where my ‘embouchure’ is. Everything in this area is either used or specifically not used to create sound on my instrument.
The ‘embouchure’ is so, so important to know about because there are different types that students use – tight, tense, loose, relaxed, twisted, crooked, straight, puckery, thin, etc. Knowing how to diagnose and make the best of what you were born with is key to sounding really great on the flute.
In my lessons here at LearnFluteOnline, and in my studio here in Utah, I spend a lot of time making sure that students have it right. Probably the biggest reason for this is that I began without good instruction, and it ultimately came full circle one day in my undergrad years. I literally had to start over at Mary Had a Little Lamb, and learning what I should have known right at the beginning.
If you’re curious about this, make sure you follow my lessons in the order I have them set in the members area here at LearnFluteOnline.com. I’ll take you on a beautiful journey that will set you up for complete success!
Questions about this fancy word “embouchure”? I’d love to continue the discussion here in the comment section.