How to Get Better Embouchure on the Flute

The question of how to get a better embouchure on the flute is a good one especially for those who are really striving to learn to play the flute well.  I’ll give you some of the best information for great flute playing here in this article.

 

First, let’s explore the parts of the embouchure.  Basically, this includes the area of the face under the eyes all the way down to the chin and from ear to ear.  So, when a person is asking how to get a better embouchure for flute playing, we can assume they really mean that they want the middle of the lip area to improve so they can get better, and probably, clearer tone.

Relax those muscles for better flute playing.

Relax those muscles for better flute playing.

 

The middle area of the lips is definitely the heart of tone production, but what is happening with the rest of the face affects tone quality as well.



The middle area of the lips is definitely the heart of tone production, but what is happening with the rest of the face affects tone quality as well.

I’ll give you some hints as to how anyone can improve their tone by paying attention to these areas.

 

First, the face must stay relaxed… as relaxed as if you’re asleep.  Yup, that’s what I said.  Flute players who tend to pull their cheeks and face towards their ears in a “smile” will have a pinched sound and probably always have intonation problems.

 

Next, if we pay attention to the lips, we’ll find the rest of the ingredients to getting really great tone on our flute.  Assuming that we can keep relaxed (not smiling or pulling back) our lips will be in perfect shape for creating the best tone.  Many flute learners have to think of keeping their lips a little more in the “forward” position just so they remember not to pull back.

 

The last part we can pay attention to is the aperture.  The aperture is the middle part of the lips where the actual hole is formed.  Of course this is the most obvious part of the embouchure since this is where the air is blown from.

 

The aperture is usually way too big in beginning flute players.  The longer a person has been playing the more tuned their lip muscles are, which allows them to create a very small tone hole in their lip aperture.  The smaller the hole and the more fluent the muscles are in the center of the lips, the better control a flute player has for creating necessary aperture shape.



The longer a person has been playing the flute the more tuned their lip muscles are...

Getting a better embouchure on the flute all has to do with how the muscles are being used in the face and lips.  Better embouchure means better tone.  Better tone equals a much happier flute player and also more pleasant for the audience who may be listening.

Questions? Leave a comment below.

Rebecca Fuller Flute TeacherRebecca Fuller

 

 

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3 Comments

  • Caitlin

    Reply Reply January 5, 2017

    Love your article! I’ve been playing the flute for few years. I blow out the side of my mouth, nearly to far over… my tone is not that great, how can I fix this? Is this even fixable?

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply January 7, 2017

      Hi Caitlin, Thanks for the message here. I know exactly what you’re talking about, and yes you probably should explore learning how to play from the center of your mouth. I’m not sure of your reasons for moving your blowing position over, but for most people it comes from learning how to play the long flute when they are young and feeling like the flute is too long… so to compensate, they hold with (not so good) hand position and start blowing from the side of their lips. Sound like you? Not sure, but you could think about it and watch in a mirror as you practice with just the head joint and ‘spitting’ right from the middle. You can do it! And, it will help your tone. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  • Chad

    Reply Reply July 10, 2018

    In addition to what Rebecca said above, it may be due to the natural shape of your lips. Rebecca does have an article on that, here: https://learnfluteonline.com/work-around-teardrop-lip-flute/

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