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4. Whistletones

Purpose: Even more flexible embouchure.

Credit: Conor Crimmins - Limerick, Ireland 2016


As in the previous exercise, allow the embouchure to 'give up' to relax. If the pitch lowers, that’s a positive sign. Now, we will stretch the embouchure even further. The note B is typically the easiest for this exercise.

  • Form the inside of your mouth to match the note you intend to play; in this case, B.

  • Without the flute, whistle the note B, then slightly open your mouth.

  • Now, blow into the flute on the note B in this exact position, using a minimal amount of air.

    • A very small quantity of air is required.

    • If you think it sounds 'mysterious' or 'odd', then you’ve likely succeeded!

    • If you don’t achieve a whistle tone now, that’s okay.

    • The objective is to stretch the embouchure.

Now, we’ll transition from this 'whistle-B' back to a regular B.

  • Reverse the embouchure from the whistle tone all the way up to a robust and clear B.


  • Visualize a 'spectrum of relaxation' for your embouchure.

    • On one end, it’s stretched into what’s known as a 'smiley embouchure'.

    • On the other end, it’s completely relaxed.

    • The goal is to stretch the embouchure from one end of the spectrum to the other, without resorting to a smiley embouchure.

    • This practice will significantly enhance your awareness of where your embouchure should be positioned to produce the best possible tone.

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