Incompatible lip types?

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

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LouisXVI
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:14 pm

Incompatible lip types?

Post by LouisXVI » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:26 am

Hello,
I am interested in learning, but I keep reading that for some people it is impossible to play the flute due to the shape of their lips. As it is impossible for me to find this searching on the internet, could you be so kind as to tell me which lip types exactly are incompatible? I have averagely-thick (not thin, not thick) lips with a very slight 'downwards protrusion' at the centre of my upper lip. Thank you.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1840
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Incompatible lip types?

Post by pied_piper » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:32 am

LouisXVI wrote:Hello,
I am interested in learning, but I keep reading that for some people it is impossible to play the flute due to the shape of their lips. As it is impossible for me to find this searching on the internet, could you be so kind as to tell me which lip types exactly are incompatible? I have averagely-thick (not thin, not thick) lips with a very slight 'downwards protrusion' at the centre of my upper lip. Thank you.
For most flutists, the shape of the lips is not an issue. Only for someone with a major deformity (i.e. a cleft lip or palate) or major trauma to the lips would it be impossible to play the flute.

The slight downward protrusion of the lip center is often called a tear drop shaped lip. I too have a slight tear drop, but it has not kept me from becoming a proficient flutist. The tear drop shape just means that you have to adapt the embouchure (the position of the lips while playing) to avoid having the tear drop distort the air stream.

This web page shows the great variety of lip shapes on a number of successful flutists. It includes several with the tear drop lip. The player can avoid the tear drop distorting the air stream by either pushing the lips slightly forward (which raises the tear drop out of the air stream) or moving slightly off center. You will see both in the photos of the web page.

http://www.larrykrantz.com/embpic.htm
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

LouisXVI
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:14 pm

Re: Incompatible lip types?

Post by LouisXVI » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:08 am

Thank you :)

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