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Improve your sound – Introducing the 3D embouchure

by | Jan 29, 2018 | Ory's Tips | 0 comments

Ory’s Flute Tips

Improve your sound – Introducing the 3D embouchure

 

This post requires a high level of awareness and control over your lip muscles and I highly recommend that you to invest the time needed  to develop it.

I´ve written in my previous posts about the importance of developing the flexibility of your lipshow you can reduce pressure on the corners of your lips and rather use the more central muscles of your lips. During our practicing we aim to find the best tone quality we can play with and that requires a specific balance between the air we blow out and the way it hits the wall of the flute embouchure hole.
There could be dozens of possibilities and combinations between the air and the angle of the air and therefore we have and can use so many colors in our playing.

Today I would like to encourage you to give some thoughts and test your 3D Embouchure:

I´m sure you have been doing many exercises to control your embouchure movements in order to be able to control better the direction of your air, blowing it up and down. Perhaps your teacher has asked you to blow air on your hand and slowly change its direction from top to bottom ( that would be the first dimension, 1D).

You may have even tried to experiment with moving your lips right and left in order to find a better position or aperture (opening) of your lips (2nd dimension, 2D).

But, have you ever considered the position of your aperture in its 3D position, its depth? Have you ever tried to check what would happen when you change the depth of your aperture?

 

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Few words about your aperture

When you blow air out of your mouth and create a hole with your lips, this hole has naturally 2 sides to it: inside the mouth with your inside part of your lips (which we can´t see if we look on a mirror) and the outside lips (which we can see). Blow out some air, without the flute, but as you would be playing. Can you feel both of them? Can you notice the position of your inside lips?

What happens to the air you blow if you try to move your inside lips (and basically the whole aperture) backwards? What happens if you move it forward?

In order to understand a bit better this movement, you are very welcome to try my pencil exercise I have already mentioned.

Practice advice: Pick up now the flute and play a rather easy to control note, such as a first octave B natural or B flat. Play a long note and try to change the position of your aperture. Move it backwards and move it forward afterwards. How does it effect your sound? Does it make any difference? Could you maybe find a better position for yourself, in which your sound is bigger, richer, more focused?

Why would a 3D embouchure change your sound?

If you were wondering how come it changes your sound, here’s a short explanation: by changing the position in depth of your aperture you get further away or closer to the headjoint embouchure hole. You change the angle and the amount of air that can hit the wall of the headjoint. In addition, you slightly change the air pressure and air quantity that comes out of your mouth. The combination of all these changes results in a different tone color and quality.

 

Try it out and let me know how it feels.

Enjoy experimenting,
Ory

Ory Schneor is a principal flutist with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra and member of the Geneva Camerata. He is teaching masterclasses around the world and he is the founder and instructor at FLUTEinWIEN

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