Jen Cluff ~ Help for buzzing lips
Canadian Flutist and Teacher
Buzzing lips in high register piccolo or flute playing
fast air, loose lips, and diaphragm support only to do
longtones and octaves up to the piccolo high register.
Open the lip aperture up,and, [protect your ears with
earplugs!] and just use AIR SPEED ONLY to get the high
notes. This is purposefully using the gut muscles only as
the air-pressure increasers and is usefuly as an
Don't change your face or jaw at all. Keep the piccolo/flute at the same angle for middle then high octave. Don't anticipate when the second octave will sound.
Think instead of your torso being powerful and the air rushing up throught an open throat. Create super legago crescendos. Think of a singing-style for octave leaps using : "Ah AHHHH!!!! and experiment with tremendous, loose embouchured crescendos as you leap up into the higher octave. This is to experiment with how it might be possible to reach high notes with ONLY an airspeed increase using lower muscles in the abdomen to spin the air up into the mouth.
overdo it. Just experiment for several minutes.
Others would press the lower lip vertically upward against the upper lip, on either side of the lip aperture, but not in the lip centers. You want to have the lip centers poised to say "oooooh", and creating a circular opening that is not tense.
The upper lip is NOT pulled down. Only the lower lip is pressed upward.
Experiment with these lip pressure changes, and also return to "air speed only" to find the minimal lip motions that work.
experiment with syllables like "Puuuuuuu" and
"whoooooo" to find more flexible lip
You should feel the upper lip move straight vertically upwards very slightly (like a rabbit.)
slight change in shape can help release the lip center,
and prevent buzzing as well as give you some options of
tone-colouring in the picc. high register.
You may need to release alot of fascial and jaw tension downward, if you used to strain for high notes.
Instead, forget aiming or angling so high on the piccolo.
Drop the jaw down and see if you can change the octaves by just moving the lip corners forward a tiny amount.
relaxed, open jaw also lends deeper resonances and open
mouth cavity, relaxes the jaw hinges (preventing jaw
strain) and lets you practice longer without fatigue.
Get a copy
of "De La Sonorite" and read the actual
instructions to "sudden relaxation while still
sounding a high note". Really really helps.
longtones, do longtones, do longtones. Don't expect to
relax your entire embouchure in one day; let a few weeks
of gradually ascending one semi-tone at a time get you
there more naturally.
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© Jennifer Cluff