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Fl. Trying To Change Embouchure


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#1 Andy-piano-flute

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 20:42

How many other people have been encouraged to change their flute embouchure - for the best reasons not just for the sake of it - and how do you manage not to get depressed in the very early stages sad.gif
I've spent the last 2 days trying to re-educate my embouchure - very occasionally I think I'm getting it right and can hear how much better it sounds......the rest of the time I'm varying between no sound/ getting 1st harmonics/octaves - you name it I've probably managed it. I can't even work out how to articulate without disturbing my embouchure. sad.gif
I know 2 days is only a very short time but how do I manage in 5 days time trying to blend my sound in & play 1 to a part at flute group? unsure.gif
I do want to change - for a better & bigger tone, more resonance & all those other things that I keep hearing glimpses of but it is really really difficult. Anyone been there, done that? dry.gif
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#2 TSax

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 21:03

QUOTE(Andy-piano-flute @ Feb 9 2007, 08:42 PM)  

I do want to change - for a better & bigger tone, more resonance & all those other things that I keep hearing glimpses of but it is really really difficult. Anyone been there, done that? dry.gif


Kind of, but not on flute.

I think you have to accept that it will be a gradual change rather than all at once (although if you're anything like me you'll get frustrated with yourself at not being able to change completely all at once). To begin with you might manage the new embouchure 50% of your practice time and not at all when you're playing as part of a group. Gradually as the new embouchure becomes more comfortable you should find it's becoming more and more your standard.

Summary? I understand the frustration, I'm sure it will work out and you just need to be patient and keep plugging away with it (Not that you need me to tell you that!).
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#3 magicflute

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 21:36

me too! For my uni auditions my teacher(who is a clarinettist rather than a flautist) advised me to go to a specialist flute teacher. She was very horrible and kept telling me off about my embouchure and its still not right today although I am trying to change it just not very hard! Expect a very slow change...!
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#4 Guest: Malone_*

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 21:40

QUOTE(Andy-piano-flute @ Feb 9 2007, 08:42 PM)  

How many other people have been encouraged to change their flute embouchure - for the best reasons not just for the sake of it - and how do you manage not to get depressed in the very early stages sad.gif
I've spent the last 2 days trying to re-educate my embouchure - very occasionally I think I'm getting it right and can hear how much better it sounds......the rest of the time I'm varying between no sound/ getting 1st harmonics/octaves - you name it I've probably managed it. I can't even work out how to articulate without disturbing my embouchure. sad.gif
I know 2 days is only a very short time but how do I manage in 5 days time trying to blend my sound in & play 1 to a part at flute group? unsure.gif
I do want to change - for a better & bigger tone, more resonance & all those other things that I keep hearing glimpses of but it is really really difficult. Anyone been there, done that? dry.gif


YES! My fist lesson with the teacher I have now told me I needed to change my embouchure and when I tried I sounded like a beginner and I came out of my lesson thinking I was rubbish and wanted to give up! H esaid I want allowed to smile so much when I'm playing and to relax my bottom lip. Its really hard after playing for so many years one way. I guess its the same with my clarinet pupil with the flat fingers I mentioned in another thread....But yes, I felt very depressed, thankfully though, we must take into account how lucky some of us are to have really specialist flute/instrument teachers and they really know what they are talking about and only want us to do well. Its not that they want us to be depressed!

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#5 magicflute

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 13:10

[/quote] when I tried I sounded like a beginner and I came out of my lesson thinking I was rubbish and wanted to give up! H esaid I want allowed to smile so much when I'm playing and to relax my bottom lip.
[/quote]

This is what i got told - im too much of a smiley person! I too felt very depressed but I'm sure its for the best! Just keep practising
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#6 all ears

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 13:35

I tried to give up my smiley embouchure too...I loved the sound of a relaxed embouchure when it actually went right, and that was some incentive.

Did you try playing some really easy stuff while you're concentrating on your embouchure? The middle of a page of high runs isn't the best place to experiment!

Cynically, I think that there are fashions in embouchures, and maybe the same thing doesn't really work for everybody...but the relaxed embouchure does have lots to offer. I thought it sounded more clear and simple, without the harsh overtone I associate with the smiley embouchure.
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#7 angie

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 08:10

yeah ...... going through it at the moment sad.gif

trying to unclamp my top lip off my teeth and getting a little air movement underneath it, the sound is wonderful when i do, also trying to loosen up my bottom lip so that it feels more "cushiony"

my problem is trying to remember to do it every time i play, but that could be an age thing blink.gif
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#8 thomxxx

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 18:37

hey!
When i first started learning the flute i had a smiley embouchure, i was told to correct this by my new teacher.
It is so depressing.. but just look at how far you've come!
Plus i have just had braces fitted, which means re-educating my embouchure too..it is so hard, but it'll be worth it in the end..i promise you
take care
love thomxxx
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#9 monkey flute

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 09:02

QUOTE(Andy-piano-flute @ Feb 9 2007, 08:42 PM)  

How many other people have been encouraged to change their flute embouchure - for the best reasons not just for the sake of it - and how do you manage not to get depressed in the very early stages sad.gif
I've spent the last 2 days trying to re-educate my embouchure - very occasionally I think I'm getting it right and can hear how much better it sounds......the rest of the time I'm varying between no sound/ getting 1st harmonics/octaves - you name it I've probably managed it. I can't even work out how to articulate without disturbing my embouchure. sad.gif
I know 2 days is only a very short time but how do I manage in 5 days time trying to blend my sound in & play 1 to a part at flute group? unsure.gif
I do want to change - for a better & bigger tone, more resonance & all those other things that I keep hearing glimpses of but it is really really difficult. Anyone been there, done that? dry.gif


hi i was also asked to do this.i enjoy my lessons so much that i cant help smiling rolleyes.gif so have to remember look like a fish also my teacher got my to wriggle my top lip about like a rabbit to strength the muscles in my top lip and this helped loads lastly try and play for a while on front of a mirror i am slowly getting better all need to do now is try not to turn the head piece in too much tongue.gif
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#10 angie

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 11:31

here is an excellent example of embouchure exercises which are very interesting smile.gif


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#11 sarah-flute

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 13:40

I didn't know Jen Cluff had vids on youtube - groovy!

Look at this one too - seeing Jen pretend to be a bored French person is hilarious (worth tuning in for even if your embouchure's amazing!) it seems to be "broken" so I wonder if that's why she did the second one (which I am off to watch!)
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#12 sarah-flute

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 14:41

ps if you want a friend in your frustration, Andrea - I've just done what I haven't done in a long time and checked my embouchure with a mirror, and argh, ugh, eek - have got into all sorts of bad habits...

I need to get some lessons then I'd get told off before I got so ingrained into my bad habits again sad.gif
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