Low Flutes: Quantity, Speed and Angle
The Low Flutes (Alto, Bass and Contrabass) are unique in the issues to air quantity, air speed, and embouchure angle. These instruments all require much more air to excite their wider longer body tubing, a slower air speed and possibly a closer angle to the back wall of the embouchure tone hole. AIR QUANTITY The quantity of the air used to play the contrabass flute well, sompared to the flute is almost double. Really! You need to fill up the lungs, drop the diaphragm and extend the intercoastal muscles of the rib cage. This manner of breathing and inhalation will allow your low flute to sing like a cello with a fine bow. Also do not neglect the chest cavity. As a fine Opera Tenor once stated, Älways leave the chest up and open....ready to do it's job." Well there are varying degrees of this technique, but please use in moderation, as an overuse can cause problems with your back and neck. The basic concept: fill your body with so much air, then top it up with even more. Overtime your can here some dramtic tonal changes in the quality of your sound and musical phrasing. SPEED QUALITY The air speed on the low flutes will be slower and the embouchure will be a bit wider in shape. I set my blowing in a reverse psychology and convince myself that as I blow out my air in coming in. A great method to slow down and control the air speed of your embouchure.