Raffaele: Put the bottom lip over the top; let the bottom lip droop over, especially if you have thin lips. Keep the cut of the embouchure hole under the red-“vermillion line’-down on the lip. Not too high on the lip. Personally, I prefer slightly left side, too.
September: You have a sizzling fast, light tongue technique. Where do you place the tongue?
Raffaele: I say French-tu and du on the palette on the teeth but not touching the lip. If you have a stretched smiling embouchure, the tightness will create a false syllable like “twah-twah”. Rampal was a master for speed and lightness. You must tongue lightly and connected (more legato) to play fast. Try the syllables le-le-le-le, de-de-de, ge-ge-ge, in an almost unpronounced, legato way. No accents. You must single tongue all rhythms for hours, months, and years, then do double and triple tongue. Unfortunately there is no short cut. Moyse wrote another great book: 50 Articulations on the Allemande of J.S. Bach. It’s a real workout but not to be done all at once! Study a few rhythms at a time.
Double tongue uses the back of the tongue where the tongue connects to the throat. The key is the back part of throat, used as light as possible and only the little part of the tongue! One other thing, to get a really good detaché you have to have a very clean focused sound-so here we are again at the importance of Sonorité. Detaché is sound production. If the sound is good then the articulation will sound clear and strong. The better the sound the better everything is. Don’t reinforce the tongue in detaché; not strong but incredibly light strokes- no hard syllables. Try leh-geh, leh-geh, then geh-geh, geh-geh, then go back and forth -leh-geh-leh-geh until you can’t decipher between the two sounds. Blow and play leh-geh in a flute position by putting your finger under lip to emulate a flute embouchure. Emphasis the “L” not the “E”.
So, to recap-play scales and Sonorité all day long because it’s the basics to the to understanding and controlling the complexities of the flute
September: Anything about vibrato?
Raffaele: No diaphragm in vibrato. Use the throat.
September: You get unusual colors in your playing. Do you change vowels?
Raffaele: For color I use different vowels but not in the mouth. I change the direction of air in the embouchure hole--I play over and under, and a tiny bit more open without losing focus. I don’t use the chin for color although it’s possible, it depends. Blow more in to the head or up. Jimmy’s (Sir James) school is to blow more into the flute keeping about 1/3 to half open hole in head piece.
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