Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I own a germienhardt flute that works fine but every time I try to play it I get all dizzy and light headed. People say its because I'm inexperianced and havn't developed a correct embecher (I don't know how to spell it correctly). Do any of you sax players know what I mean? any suggestions? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
496 Posts
Playing flute actually uses more air than you think, Yes with the correct embouchure you can be more successful at this. But really think of how much air is going over the top of the tone hole, that is air that you "are not" using. It actually takes more air to play a flute than a tuba. Just like sax, practice long tones, and get a beginner book, it will really help.
 

·
Prodigal Son and Forum Contributor 2008
Joined
·
10,794 Posts
Martin Magna Commitee Sax said:
I own a germienhardt flute that works fine but every time I try to play it I get all dizzy and light headed. People say its because I'm inexperianced and havn't developed a correct embecher (I don't know how to spell it correctly). Do any of you sax players know what I mean? any suggestions? Thanks.

It sounds like you have an air problem and might be hyper-ventilating.

The first year method books have long slur exercises. Shed, shed, shed.

Flute breathing control really helps my sax playing. I'm still freakin' powerful and push a lot of air. (Even with all my transgressions.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
You need a narrow airstream (so you don't use too much air), and you need to direct it in the right place. Look at an experienced flautist's embouchure (closely), and then go and practice and imitate (preferably with just the head joint) right in front of a mirror.

Time your long notes, and work on getting them longer. Try to use less air, and make sure you have plenty of breath support.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Many beginners have this problem. Your body is not used to using so much air, and having it stored in the lungs under pressure.

It will gradually get used to the latter.

You overcome the former by developing a decent embouchure that produces a decent sound without wasting air, as has been said. A flute teacher can help a lot.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,030 Posts
As mentioned, you are loosing air and not having the lips closed enough. The Suzuki method for training small children uses rice spitting. They take some uncooked rice in their mouth and make the lips tight enough to have the rice exit (one kernel at a time) without any extra air. It works for some people.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
bruce bailey said:
.....The Suzuki method for training small children uses rice spitting. They take some uncooked rice in their mouth and make the lips tight enough to have the rice exit (one kernel at a time) without any extra air. It works for some people.
When I started flute that is how I tongued, and years later, it was a hell of a job to retrain my tonguing, and retrain my embouchure not to need the support of my tongue against my lower lip!

I wonder how many Suzuki kids do what I did?
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
Martin Magna Commitee Sax said:
I own a germienhardt flute that works fine but every time I try to play it I get all dizzy and light headed. People say its because I'm inexperianced and havn't developed a correct embecher (I don't know how to spell it correctly). Do any of you sax players know what I mean? any suggestions? Thanks.
You're not alone! This is a pretty common problem. Try visualising the aperture you are creating for the air to pass through your lips towards the intstrument. It needs to be well focused (you will find pix of good lip position in books though i think the look of the aperture will vary from player to player). Use a mirror while practising single notes and tonguing so you can check this and check that your embouchure is well placed. The air you blow into the flute needs to be focused. At the moment you are wasting air and taking so much on to compensate that you are hyperventilating. All the best.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Here are some embouchure photos of good players.
http://www.larrykrantz.com/embpic.htm

Note how different they are. That is because people have different shaped lips. But what they have in common is a small aperture between the lips. You must not pull your teeth tight around your lips, or over-smile, in order to get that small aperture, but rather press your lips slightly tighter together, otherwise you will never get control of pitch and volume of the high notes.

It takes time and practice to do it effectively. The lip movements involved are minute. Try it in front of a mirror.

With a smaller aperture you will also need to push the air out a bit harder, as you do when blowing balloons. Some people call this "breathe support".

An effective exercise to help with this is simply time a single breath long note, played reasonably loud, and keep trying to make it last longer and longer. (Leave the soft playing until you have mastered good tone with louder notes. On flute, soft notes, particularly on higher notes, are a relatively advanced skill.)

If you are a sax player trying to play flute, then the following possibly may help. (They're from the home page of saxontheweb.):

First Note From a Flute
http://www.saxontheweb.net/Resources/FluteLessons2.html

Flute Lessons by Email
http://www.saxontheweb.net/Resources/FluteLessons.html
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
624 Posts
actually I thought flute players were light-headed to begin with (because they chose the flute!) :shock:

<hides from flying objects>
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
436 Posts
This reminds me of the first recital I went to my freshman year. There was the usual bevy of female flute education majors that enter because they couldn't think of anything else to do. (We're not talking creme-of-the-crop here). The most timid of the lot had a solo in the recital. Because her nerves got the best of her, she failed to maintain focus with her embouchure. The resultant enlarged aperture caused her to hyperventilate; at which point she began to wobble and collapsed into the arms of the chairman of the dept of music. Needless to say, she was no longer a music major after that...:cry:
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
It may not have been an embouchure thing.

When we perform in accoustics that swallow up our sound, we can automatically play louder to make it sound the volume we are used to at home.

Therefore we use up more air. It has caught me a number of times, not fainting, but prematurely running out of breath.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top