Low notes are often a problem, particularly for beginner flute players. Creating that perfect low note embouchure, regulating the air and being sure of your air direction are all important factors you need to consider when developing that beautiful rich low tone! Here are my 6 tips to improve your low notes on the flute!
If you want more tips on how to improve your flute embouchure in general, see our other articles.
So how can we improve your low notes on the flute?
1. Make sure your air direction is aimed to the ground!
This may seem an obvious point, low notes need to have their air directed low, but this is so often forgotten! In order to aim the air down you want to make sure that your top lip is over your bottom lip. Alternatively, some people find it easier to think of their bottom jaw moving backwards. Once you manage to do this, you will find that you can easily aim that air to the ground!
2. The size of your embouchure (aperture) can be slightly larger than when you play high notes!
Normally we are told to have the hole in our lips quite small! It is often referred to as a grain of rice! However, for your low notes we need the air to be slightly more spread out. Make sure to look in the mirror when you are practicing this!
3. Keep your throat open
We’ve all heard our flute teachers say this but what does it mean? The easiest way to think of this is to think about yawning. When you yawn, your soft palette, at the back of your mouth, lifts up and your throat gets more open. Think about saying ‘AWWW’
4. Keep that embouchure relaxed
For your low notes, your embouchure should be very relaxed. You definitely don’t want a smiley embouchure! The more tension in your embouchure the more unlikely you are going to be able to execute point one above! You need to be flexible!
5. Don’t blow too hard!
It is all too easy to try and blow as hard as you can to get these low notes out, but this will not work at all! The harder you blow the less likely the notes are to come out! Practice your long notes to develop this.
6. Make sure the lip plate is firmly placed on your bottom lip
If there is any space between the lip plate and your lip, rest assured those low notes will not come out. You need to a have solid seal otherwise you will find that lots of your air will actually just escape!
Let me know if any of these tips have helped you to improve your low notes on the flute! And if you have any more tips – let me know!