How to Get Clearer Flute Tone in the Mornings

How to Get Clearer Flute Tone in the Mornings

As far as a subject I often teach at flute lessons, this is one you may never have actually thought about.  But, after reading this you’ll be glad I chose to write about it.Morning Flute Lips

"It makes me frustrated and wonder what happened..."

Sometimes when I wake up in the mornings it takes me a while to actually get the rest of my body going.  I have noticed that my lips are one of the last parts of my body to get to peak performance for the day.  The reason I know this is because I oftentimes practice flute in the morning. (a very good idea, btw)

Actually, occasionally I have even been awake for an hour or more and STILL have this problem; FUZZY, DRY, UNCONTROLLED TONE.  I do not like it.  It makes me frustrated and wonder what happened…

The reason my lips (and probably yours too) are so funny feeling while practicing flute in the morning is because I haven’t done much with my face/lips yet- especially if I haven’t had the opportunity to even talk to anyone yet.

After I learned these tricks years ago, I always have made sure to pass them on to my students because they WORK.

There are three things I do to give my lips and face a wake-up call in the morning.  Are you ready to learn these?  Great.  Grab a pen and paper because you’ll want to post these on your fridge.

1. Flutter your lips like you’re driving a toy motorcycle around.

This action of “fluttering” your lips like you’re a little boy playing with a  toy motorboat or motorcycle is just what you need to quickly give a shout-out to your face muscles.  Be sure to poke your lips out in front of you and brwwww for as long as possible.  Repeat this 3-5 times over the course of 30 seconds or so.

2. Chew some imaginary bubble-gum.

The idea here is to actually focus on the skin that stretches between your nose and your upper lip.  Make sure when you are “fake chewing” that you get that skin to stretch pretty far down.  Repeat 10 big “chews”.

3. Flute Spit really, really hard.

Ha, here we are talking about spit again.  Sorry, it’s just a flute thing.  What I’d like you to do is pretend there is a small light little feather stuck to your bottom lip.  Use your flute “spits” that I have taught you in the Learn Flute Online lessons.  (be sure your tongue starts in front – in the hole)  What you need to imagine is that little feather will NOT come off no matter how hard you blow.  Repeat this 10 times.  Really get into it. (blow into the empty room, not into your flute)


See that?  You’re feeling more awake already, aren’t you?

Use these 3 tips for getting clearer flute tone in the mornings and you’ll be a champion before 8:00am.  I know it really works!

Good luck!

What experiences have you had with morning practicing? Leave a comment below.

Rebecca Fuller Flute TeacherRebecca Fuller



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  • Clarebugg

    Reply Reply March 21, 2016

    Wow! Yeah… I had that problem too.

    This really works!!!!

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply April 3, 2016

      True True Clare!

  • Ida

    Reply Reply March 15, 2017

    Rebecca, you are an amazing genius!

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply March 18, 2017

      Hi Ida, thanks for the kind words. So glad you’re here learning! ~Rebecca

  • Heather Calero

    Reply Reply April 19, 2017

    Thanks Rebecca. I usually start my flute practice about 7:30 am, and the first 10 minutes are spent just working to get lips moving properly. Your tips are now on my bathroom mirror, which has become a favorite place (as well as the kitchen) to practice, at your previous suggestion. I really enjoy your frequent tips, enjoying a few moments with my flute teacher.

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply April 21, 2017

      Hi Heather, this is awesome. It sounds like you are definitely on the right path. Thanks for posting today, and enjoy the rewards of your efforts. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  • Sue Lyman

    Reply Reply September 13, 2017

    I think I will try this every time I play, no matter what time of day, in an effort to relax my lips and ward off that clarinet embouchure that tries to “tightly” take over!

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply September 20, 2017

      Yes Yes, tight seems ‘natural’ to those of us who tend to ‘over-try’. I agree. Lots of new tricks to learn to help us. Keep it up! ~Rebecca

      • Nathan Clarke

        Reply Reply April 10, 2018

        I was about to write the same thing Sue. I practice in the afternoon, but I still find that everything (tone, tonguing, fingering etc) takes a while to warm up and get going. Sometimes it takes as long as half an hour to get into my zone. I think these lip warm-ups are a great idea and can’t wait to try them.

        • RebeccaFuller

          Reply Reply April 10, 2018

          BTW, I have some day where my tone is just ‘not great’, and I can warm up and play for a while and get it happier. And, there are some days that it’s just spot on right from the first note. Curious! Pretty normal though- we get more and more consistent as our skill level goes up. ~Rebecca

  • Nathan Clarke

    Reply Reply April 10, 2018

    Flutter, chew, spit… My wife’s going to think I’m impersonating a camel… Of course with that image in mind I don’t need to write it down — just impersonate a camel.

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply April 10, 2018

      haha- I know, I know. We have to do some funny things! Camel, motor boat, either way the motions are awesome for warming up. Thanks for the comment.

  • Name

    Reply Reply July 9, 2018

    Thank you for all of your expert types. I am always happy to find a new email from you, and this keeps my interest and motivation for continuing to learn the flute.

  • Name

    Reply Reply July 9, 2018

    Thank you for all of your expert advice. I am always happy to find a new email from you, and this keeps my interest and motivation for continuing to learn the flute.

  • Birgit Herold

    Reply Reply December 10, 2018

    very good tipps for ma practising on weekends, when I usually play before the afternoon or evening. Thank you 🙂

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply December 15, 2018

      Yes, Birgit these tips work all of the time. You’ll be able to get warmer even quicker for good tone. 🙂 ~Rebecca

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