I've played sax for around 20 years. I recently picked up a cheap student flute from a pawn shop. Can anyone provide tips on proper embouchure? Any other tips on getting a decent sound would be greatly appreciated, as well.

  • You probably know or have noticed that on the flute the fingering doesn't repeat at the octave as it does on the saxophone but "alternate" fingerings are used. – Ulf Åkerstedt Dec 20 '12 at 22:28
  • Yeah, fingerings are different. Learning them slowly. – Tim Coker Dec 21 '12 at 14:29
  • Huh? Of course flute fingering repeats at the octave, just as sax fingering does. – Scott Wallace Jul 5 '16 at 17:31

Tips on proper flute embouchure:

  • Aperture (space between your lips) should look like a flat football. Use a mirror!
  • Think of whistling = corners of mouth together and open aperture, then bring corners back and down (like a frown.)
  • Lips should be smooth so air stream can be smooth.
  • Aim air stream for edge on the far side of the opening (that's where the air stream is split.)
  • Flute should be perpendicular to the player (parallel to floor).

  • Don't blow too hard - most people think you need to blow really hard to get a sound. False. Air flow should be gentle.

  • Practice getting sounds on plastic bottles and jugs first - getting used to aiming the air stream. Then move to getting a sound on the head joint of the flute only.

  • After getting sound on the head joint, add the rest of the instrument.

  • Feel free to roll the flute back and forth to find where it sits comfortably, but don't get into the habit of having to roll your way into place every time you go to play.

A good sound on flute:

  • large columns of gentle air
  • smooth and consistent air stream
  • large oral cavity (pretend you have a tennis ball in your mouth)

These tips are by no means comprehensive, but should at least be able to help you get started.

Hope that helps.

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