RetrainiIng your emboucher

RetrainiIng your emboucher

RetrainiIng your emboucher    07:17 on Tuesday, January 27, 2009          

(31 points)
Posted by lastarz9

I have been playing flute since i was young and taken private lesson since high school but no one every noticed that my emboucher was preventing me from reaching a higher level in music.I am now in college with a very good teacher and she is retraining my emboucher and I never thought that i would never have to relearn what i already know on flute ,but it isnt as easy as i remeber it when i was younger. Has anyone ever had this happen and maybe give me so advice?? I have been doing the exercises my teacher gave me and I am hearing a major difference in my sound but it still really hard not slip back into my old habits since I have some really hard music this semester

Re: Retraining your emboucher    07:46 on Tuesday, January 27, 2009          

(445 points)
Posted by vampav8trix

I am not suprised. Most teachers will tell you something a little different to help you with your sound. Some of them could be telling you the wrong thing. You have to find the sound that you like and try and figure out how to make that sound. A good teacher should be able to help you.

I am glad that you found a good teacher.

I never got to take lessons when I was younger. Who knows how far I may have gone with my flute playing if I had some good teachers. I started playing again last year. My embouchure was wrong. I was holding the flute wrong. The list goes on and on. I am still working on a lot of things.

Remember what works for your teacher may not work for you or your flute. The basic technique should be mostly the same but the shape of your lips and jaw might affect how you ultamately blow into the flute. My instructor wants me to turn my headjoint out more and try playing that way. I have been trying and my sound is very airy on my flute. I will keep trying and I will work hard but I don't know how it will finally work out. I have to cover the hole on my headjoint more to get a nice tone. If I play another flute, it is a little different. I have the headjoint turned out a little more on my Armstrong.

My instructor told me the other day that she used to make all of her students try and play the flute by blowing out of the center of their lips. After about 30 years of instructing, she has realized that some people make a better sound blowing out of the side of their mouth. She just wants a good tone. She doesn't care what it looks like.

There have been several discussions on this forum about emboucher. There are some professionals who play out the side of thier mouth.

I am trying a Powell right now. I played it for about two hours last night before I could figure out how to get the top end in tune. The embouchure is quite different than the Muramatsu. I don't know if I like it. I am going to see if I can try the flute for a couple of more days so that my teachers can hear it. The video camera did it no justice and I had just taken it out of the box 15 minutes earlier.

College is hard work. Enjoy.

Re: RetrainiIng your emboucher    07:54 on Tuesday, January 27, 2009          

(1335 points)
Posted by Bilbo

Hi Beca,

Some comments about your issues.
First, Embouchure is a life-long process. It can be very confusing with all of the information and teaching methods out there. Now, from your educational process. You have moved on from your first teacher so I'd not blame them for a problem that you've run into. Sometimes this has to do with your receptivity to the information or method. Sometimes it may be the teacher's fault but I'd simply move on....just like playing a piece of music. look forward in your education.
The other constant problem in your learning process is that you have been trained to work for deadlines. This started with the first homework assignments and tests. Now you face a physical, mental learning process that you want to get right BUT that will have deadlines involved. Music majors have tests also. The problem is still that you have to assimilate the knowledge and be able to use it in a physical sense. This can take much time, practice and dedication. You want the right embouchure but the profs. want you to spew your scales. So you will be always making choices between getting the new concepts and refining the old. I'm still retraining and rethinking after 40+ years of trying to learn the flute. In this respect pretty much everything that I learned when I was in public school is done differently and yes, sometimes, I do revert to the old ways. The difference now since university is that I can spend as long as I want on a learning task. Such as reworking my embouchure or working on my double tonguing.
The answer, focus on your sound. Pay attention to what you produce in the sound of your music, study the best way to modify your playing to produce the best improvement. Lately for example, I'm working on my high E3s in ppp, with good tone and articulation. I want to be able to play the 24 Bach studies SMC #5 and #6 musically in tune with a quiet, concise tone. This gives me an outstanding workout for my embouchure tongue and fingers daily.

Re: RetrainiIng your emboucher    14:27 on Wednesday, January 28, 2009          

(471 points)
Posted by leighthesim

i am going through someting like that right now, not because i have changed teacher but because i have just got braces, so i have got to change. but all teachers use a differant method, and if what your teacher told you makes you sound better then use it if it makes you sound worse then speak to her about it and you can try something new, don' worry about old habits, just do what you have to to make the tone better and then you you will quickly move to the better sound, it will be alll worht it just perservere(sorry i can't spell that)

Re: RetrainiIng your emboucher    18:10 on Wednesday, January 28, 2009          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

Slipping back into the bad habits is very common. The reason you do it is becuase your body has this thing called muscle memory. It takes a long time to correct or retrain the old behavior of your mucles.I am not a big fan of changing the embouchre itself. I do believe that if your other muscles (jaw, tongue,thoat, and shoulders)are in proper arrangement your embouchre will naturally do what it needs to do.

What I suggest to my students is to start small and let your subconcious do a lot of the work. Try to spend only 5 minutes on a new technique at a time. If you can put 5 minutes before breakfast, 5 minutes after lunch, and 5 minutes before you go to bed. Rather than spend an hour straight on trying to do it right, do a lot of small practice sessions. I find most poeple get mentally tired on new techniques after 10 minutes. After that they are just spinnig their wheels. As your body learns what you want you can then work on it longer.

Re: RetrainiIng your emboucher    18:59 on Sunday, February 01, 2009          

(31 points)
Posted by lastarz9

Hey guys it been about two weeks since I have started changing my emboucher and I am very happy about my sound and it getting a little easier to play in the higher octave. Doing long tones helps alot my morning practice is nothing but long tones and scales. I am very happy with my progress and after a couple months it will be alot easier. I will still have to work as hard i am now but its worth it in the end.


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