Just like an athlete stretches and warms up before a practice or a big game, flute players must also. In this article I want to share with you some good stretches for flute players that I use.
Are any of you early-morning flute practicers? These stretches will be especially helpful for you as your body is still trying to wake up when you begin playing.
Take some deep breaths.
First is one that I call ‘buzzing’. Have you ever buzzed your lips together to make the sound of a motorboat? This movement will warm up your mouth muscles and get them ready to move your lips properly as you play your flute.
To do this stretch, relax your lips and push them forward just a tiny bit. Then, without moving your lips, allow some hard and fast air to come through your lips. This should create a vibration that will ‘buzz’ your lips and get them moving. If you’ve ever tried to play a trumpet or a similar instrument, this is how they make a sound.
The next stretch I have for you is to help you get those upper lip muscles moving. The best way to explain this is to say that it’s the area between your top lip and the bottom of your nose.
We are going to stretch that area out by dropping your jaw and pushing your lip down as far as it will go. Think of it as your top lip is trying to stretch its way down to reach the bottom lip.
One other thing that might be really beneficial to help you warm up is to take some deep breaths. Focus on using your entire lung capacity so you can be ready to take some huge, quick breaths as you play your flute.
Going out for a run will open your lungs and push out the old oxygen. There are many musicians who swear by making sure the old oxygen is gone and refilled with new before they go into a practice session.
There are many more warm ups I could teach you as you begin your practice sessions, but this should get you started.
Let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to help you learn.