Flute Punch

Basic Breath Support

Posted on: September 14, 2008

Courtesy of Ann Yasinitsky, Clinical Assistant Professor of Music, Washington State University

To produce a beautiful tone, it is absolutely necessary to breathe and support from the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle under the lungs. Stand or sit up straight, relax stomach muscles, open your throat and breathe in deeply as though yawning. Do not raise the shoulders. If the stomach moves out gently while inhaling, that is correct! Now that you have properly inhaled, you must be sure to release the air correctly. While playing (blowing out), resist the natural tendency to let the stomach muscles collapse inward. This is done by pushing out against your waistband or belt with your stomach muscles. That is breath support from the diaphragm! While there is no secret to achieving a gorgeous sound, the most important key is breath support.

from “A Little Bit About Flute Playing”

I was fortunate to study with both Ann and Greg (saxophone, jazz studies) at WSU. I like to loan her album Intuition to my students as an example of a full, quality sound thoughout all registers.

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