Photos of Various Flute EmbouchuresMany thanks to Pauline Mancuso for scanning the photos and for her generosity in helping to create this page. Thanks also to Jim Lasota for putting me in touch with Roger Stevens.
The following material has been taken directly from:
by Roger S. Stevens
Hollywood: Highland Music Company. (1967) pp.14-16
(currently out of print)
"The flutists whose embouchures are illustrated are highly accomplished musicians with better than professionally average tones. Most are professional or semi-professional career people, although one or two are strictly students with fine tones.
The purpose of these illustrations is one of demonstrating the wide variation in embouchures capable of producing a good flute tone."
B: Natural, symmetrical, making excellent use of the lower lip, and retaining optimum distance from the embouchure hole.
C: Natural, symmetrical, inclined to be almost too far from the embouchure hole.
D: Natural, slightly pulled to the left side; lower lip in position for maximum use.
E: Natural, pulled slightly to the left; full upper lip retained high so that inner, more sensitive area of lip is used.
F: Natural, symmetrical, flexible lower lip capabilities; slight "tear drop" in upper lip pulled flat rather than to one side.
G: Nearly symmetrical but with upper lip irregular in contour and therefore rolled slightly out to use inner surface where irregularities are controllable. (Caution: upper lip must not move too close to embouchure hole.)
H: Natural, pulled to the right, with only the playing surface of a full upper lip rolled outward; lower lip in excellent position to perform.
I: Both lips full and both lips irregularly contoured; embouchure pulled to the right and located between the irregularities; both lips rolled slightly out to obtain use of more sensitive, inner surface.
J: Symmetrical, upper lip almost straight across, thin lower lip rolled out to provide good playing surface.
K: Extreme pull to the left to avoid heavy "tear drop"; air enters flute at an angle from the left. (Problematical.)
L: Pulled to the right, heavy lips rolled out for sensitivity; no "tear drop".
M: Nearly symmetrical; large "tear drop" virtually eliminated by muscular pull in upper lip, lower lip in excellent position for use.
N: "Tear drop", both lips irregular, appature pulled to the left, lower lip inadvantageously located, danger of upper lip smothering embouchure hole.
O: Very large "tear drop" avoided with appature pulled to the right, lower lip rolled out for maximum sensitivity at point of aperture.
P: "Tear drop" avoided by rolling upper lip up and out; relatively irregular lower lip, nevertheless in good position for optimum use.
Q: Extremely large and heavy "tear drop" avoided by pulling only upper lip to the right; lower lip nearly symmetrical and in good, natural position for effective use.
R: Both lips unusually heavy and irregular; aperture located to the left with flute moved to the left to coincide.
Return to Teaching Tips