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How to get a CLEAR sound on the Flute

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Hi, it's Amelie.

Today we are going to talk about how to get a clear sound.

(flute music)

with beginners, what I usually do

is that we start with only the head joint.

And usually we put the hand in the beginning on this part

we close the flute and then (flute sound)

it gets easy like that.

Then you remove it (flute sound)

you can even go (flute sounds)

and make different sounds.

But I feel that doing it like that

is really only to get your first sounds.

Because it's very different from blowing in only this part

and blowing in the whole flute,

because you need more air to fill out the full flute.

And the air is what makes the sound.

The lips are only guiding the air.

And a lot of people are very stressed

about their lip position,

and I think overly stressed about their lip position.

and, but I'm gonna address that

because I feel its a need.

I'll say what you shouldn't be doing first.

You shouldn't be kissing like this,

bringing your lips forward, like that,

none of this, so, if I do it,

wait I didn't put my embouchure in the right spot.

Oh yeah, it's okay.

Like this...

(air sounds)

I can't even make a sound.

You shouldn't roll your lips in either like this,

you know, or like this, or...

(air sounds)

I can't make a sound either.

And you shouldn't smile.

(airy flute sounds)

this way I can, but it's not very nice.

Or frown too much, you know to (air sounds)

anything that's really

extreme you know (air sounds)

because what you wanna do is just keep it neutral

as if you were just talking.

Your lips, they're close to your teeth.

They're not glued to your teeth

but they're close to your teeth.

The corner of your lips are together

because you want a small hole in the middle.

You don't want too big so you bring them together

and you make a small hole like this. (blowing air)

and you blow forward, a little bit at an angle like this.

The air goes on an angle because you want the air

to go touch the other side of the,

you know you have the lip plate,

you have this hole here,

you want to touch the other side

of the hole with the air

so you get this whistle you know.

There has to be air on both sides but mostly inside.

So just in that angle.

(flute music)

so, that's for the lips,

but don't be obsessed with the embouchure position

and the lips.

A middle position that allows you to go in different

registers with suppleness is what you need.

And it's just guiding the air.

It's not making the sound.

The sound is made by the air.

So, once you've found your sweet spot

by doing as little as possible with your lips really,

just keeping it neutral,

bringing, making a little aperture and then

(air sound) blowing in an angle here

in towards your flute,

you found your sweet spot.

Now you need to blow air constantly.

So, you need to breathe well.

Briefly, keep a good posture

so that you have space to breathe.

If you're collapsed, you won't have,

the air can barely get in and out.

So, keep a good posture.

Bring your chin inside, don't bring your head outside.

Don't be afraid to expand, you know,

in the back, in the front, on the sides.

You know, breathe in three dimensions, like

(breathing sound)

and then use your muscles around

to (air sound) push the air in a very constant way.

So, (flute music)

and I don't change the way I blow the air

depending on the fingers.

I can just...

I blow the same way and I move my fingers.

But when you work your sound,

the most important thing is your ears.

You need to listen to yourself

and be aware of yourself.

And you need also to make a reference point

in your head of what is a good sound,

like a mental image of the sound that you want

and then you can reproduce that sound.

Because if it's not clear to you

what a good sound is,

then you don't know what you're working towards.

(air sounds)

So, listen to some flute

and you can also choose a note that sounds good

and start on that note

and that is your reference note

when you practice your sound exercises.

Using a mirror is also very efficient.

This way you can see what you are doing

and see what sounds good and what sounds not as good.

(air sounds) and you can experiment in front of a mirror

trying to find your sweet spot, like (flute music)

you know trying to figure it out.

You shouldn't be covering more

than a third to a quarter of the flute here.

So, don't cover too much of the hole.

Keep it open because you need that whistling.

While you practice in front of a mirror,

make sure you don't do this,

'cause sometimes people get tired

and their arms go down but the head stays in the same line

and then the angle is not good any more

and it's difficult (flute sounds) to have a good sound

if your flute is not aligned.

So, many things you can look at in the mirror

and also listen and be very aware of your own sound.

Of course, your flute needs to be stable.

If it's moving around, like this you know,

it will be a problem.

So, it has to be solid, sturdy on your chin

or on your lip, your lower lip

and then you need to have the fulcrum points

that are here on the chin,

this part of the left hand, that index finger,

then your thumb of the right hand.

It has to be able to hold like this.

And you need stability.

Stability in the lips, stability on the flute

and then (air sound) constant air.

Now, I'm going to do a little sound exercise

and you can do it with me, play along with me.

I'll put my metronome at 60

and I'll play one beat, the first note

and three beats the second note.

I'll go from B above the staff

and I'll go one semi-tone lower each time.

So, B, B flat, then I breathe.

And I go B flat A, I breathe, A, A flat.

So, I repeat the second note every time.

(metronome ticking)

(flute music)

you can practice this exercise

slower if you can or a bit faster

it depends on your lung capacity at the moment.

And you can practice with vibrato,

without vibrato it's both good.

It's really about the sound.

I'm gonna do the high register.

So, I'm gonna go from the same B above the staff

and I'm gonna go all the way up.

So, B, C, then C, C sharp,

then I repeat C sharp and I go to D.

(metronome ticking)

(flute music)

so, I stopped at the high C,

but you can stop before that if you need to.

To recap, I would say,

don't be obsessed with your lip position.

Have a very clear mental image of the sound that you want.

Be aware of that and thrive to get that.

Use a mirror when practicing.

And also, focus a lot on the air stream

and having a air column that's very steady.

I hope this was helpful.

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and thanks for watching.

(flute music)

(air blowing)