Tonight was a late one! But I had some great moments!
Practicing my flute and realized that if I put my lip plate higher up on my lower lip…..voila! I get a clearer and more focused sound! Seems like all the Piccolo practice I am doing for the Daphnis picc part is really helping……So……If I play my flute like I play the piccolo….. I sound better!!
This reminds me of a comment that Eldred Spell made to me back in June last year as we were recording my Handel CD…. regarding the placement of the lip plate on the lower lip and telling me that he now encourages all his students to play higher. Guess what? It works!! Why didn’t I do more of this before now? I think it also has to do with practicing piccolo! So all those negative comments we flutists make …. like “my tone is awful today!”… “too much piccolo playing”… is completely incorrect after all? Maybe…. Just maybe piccolo playing is not BAD for us flute players… but maybe it is actually good for us!
Another thought… when playing the piccolo it is necessary to make your embourchure hole really small and focused… but not tight…. so that also seems to affect your flute sound….. for the better I think. The smaller the hole, the more focused the sound! Wow… seems so simple. Why didn’t I think of this before????
I am always trying things out…. you know. Probably not always a good thing for me…. but perhaps this is? Sometimes I have made my playing worse when I try things out but sometimes in fact I have made it better. This seems to be one of those times.. for the better that is.
Another thing that I came to by trying out things myself without a teacher telling me to do it though was puffing my cheeks when playing. Moyse has a comment on this in the De La Sonorite where he suggests to release all the tension in your jaw when playing in the high register on flute( for his high register tone studie). I worked on this years ago for a long, long time until I could get the corners of my embourchure to relax enough to play with puffed cheeks. Nowadays…. I read in Flute Talk all the time about how we need to keep air in our cheeks when we play. So…. it seems sometimes that if we experiment oursleves we make progress. What a novel thought!!
So…. go to it! Experiment.
PS ( I hear that Takahashi does this too! Experiment that is….Not having ever studied with him…. unfortunately ….since I would have loved to…. but have heard this tidbit through the “grapevine” that apparently he seems to experiment too)…. as I said before…. maybe not a bad thing to do when practicing!
Try it…. it may work for you too!