Embouchure with teardrop lip?

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

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GettingThere
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: United States

Embouchure with teardrop lip?

Post by GettingThere »

I just got my flute on Tuesday. I was so excited about this instrument. I love the flute, the way it sounds and everything. And when I started trying to play, they key fingering came so, so easy. But, I have been trying to learn to get a good embouchure., and I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't working for me. It seemed that I had a dip in my top lip that kept the air flow from really getting out right. I did a search on how to make a good embouchure, and read that I was right-I have a teardrop-shaped upper lip, which gets inthe way of a good embouchure.
I've read a lot about how someone with this shape to their lip can't play the flute because of it. But I have also read that it can be overcome. I really like this instrument so much, and I want to play it, but I am so frustrated.
Is it true that I will have to give this instrument up? Has anybody had this problem and overcome it? Any suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper »

My first suggestion would be to get with a good flute teacher and have him/her evaluate your lips and embouchure. Most people have a teardrop in the center to at least some degree. Yours could be within the "normal" range but simply not forming the embouchure correctly.

There are ways to work around it if it's large enough to interfere with forming a standard embouchure. I have a bit of a teardrop that I would say is not extreme, but perhaps slightly above average. If I use what is considered a "standard" embouchure, it tends to split the air stream and distort the sound. A teacher can help determine if your lips will be a problem.

The teardrop typically is found more on the outer portion of the lips. For me, I tend to form the embouchure more to the inside of my lips by rolling them very slightly outward to avoid distorting the air stream. If the teardrop is too large, I have heard of some players forming the embouchure slightly off-center of the teardrop. Again, a teacher can help you determine what might work best for you.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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MrBaz
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Post by MrBaz »

I had a good friend that has your exact same problem. She learned to play with a 'crooked' embouchure. All the instructors would always tell her she was playing wrong, but THEY must have been wrong cause she was always on my tail (battling 1st and 2nd chair in school).
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Current Member of Pikes Peak Flute Choir of Colorado.
Previous member of 'Flutes Furioso' in FL.
Previous guest member in the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.

asoalin
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Location: Central Florida, USA

Post by asoalin »

I was looking at books on Amazon and found a book that discusses this issue. You know how you can view excerpts from books on Amazon sometimes? It figures that the excerpt cuts off just before explaining what to do with the teardrop lip situation. As I was reading I remembered seeing this post a couple of days ago and figured I'd share my find. Its not a very cheap book (on Amazon), but maybe you could see if your library carries it. Here's the link...

http://www.amazon.com/Flute-Manual-Comp ... 315&sr=8-2
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." -Sergei Rachmaninoff

GettingThere
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: United States

Post by GettingThere »

Thanks a lot. You're replies are encouraging. I especially appreciate the tips on embouchure, pied_piper. Also, I really want to see if I can get that book at the library that asoalin suggested.

I think I've been getting the first octave of the C scale okay. It doesn't sound great, though. I'm trying both side embouchure, and what pied_piper said about rollng your lips out. I've heard that you are not supposed to (how do I explain this?) put your top lip over your bottom one, but this seems to work for me because then that teardrop doesn't get in the way. I doesn't seem the best, though. I really do need a teacher, I just don't know how to find one within driving distance right now.

asoalin
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:22 pm
Location: Central Florida, USA

Post by asoalin »

Have you visited these sites for finding a teacher?

TeachList.com

PrivateLessons.com
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." -Sergei Rachmaninoff

AnnaJ
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:42 pm

finding a teacher

Post by AnnaJ »

"Men have not found the words..., but they have found the music."

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