Resonant space: At all times, you can remain open and relaxed in these areas: chest, throat, jaw, tongue (down and relaxed when slurring, only raising the tip for articulation).
Air flow: Avoid holding tension in the abs or other areas of the torso and back so that you can "fill the container" completely upon inhalation. Imagine your entire torso and back and a large container with stretchy walls when you fill up, then hold those container walls firm (but not tense) as you evenly disperse air.
Embouchure: If air is flowing generously and your resonant space is open (see above), your only other job is to gently guide the air stream with the lips, or embouchure. Playing the flute should be like speaking--we do not hold a rigid, fixed position with the embouchure, but maintain flexible, movable lips for maximum efficiency of aim on the headjoint.
The rest is air direction, and this can be practiced on the brilliant Pneumo-Pro, found here, or simply by blowing up and down on the hand in a straight line, from wrist to finger tips. When you are blowing towards the top of your hand, or trying to hit the top fan on the Pneumo-Pro, your bottom jaw pushes forward, which aims the lips forward and more across the hole. You can also think of the syllable "ooo". Conversely, as you work your way downward, to your wrist or the bottom fan on the Pneumo-Pro, your bottom jaw drops down and back, causing you to aim more air down into the headjoint. You can think of saying the syllable "aw".
By blowing higher ("ooo", or lips/jaw forward), you can accomplish the following:
- playing higher notes in the range
- playing quietly
- raising pitch
By blowing lower ("aw", lips/jaw pointing down), you can accomplish the following:
- playing lower notes in the range
- playing loudly
- lowering pitch
For some ideas on developing a well-rounded tone workout, read my previous blog posts,