• Flute Facts
    1. To find the correct holding position, hold the flute "up and down" in front of you. Slowly turn the flute sideways until it leans against the left pointy finger.
    2. Bring the flute to you/your mouth.
    3. Embouchure tricks: - say "em"
    - blow as if blowing through a straw (use a straw to feel it)
    - blow as if blowing bubbles
    4. The flute rests below the mouth where the red lip meets the face's skin. The lips slightly covers the embouchure hole.
    5. When tonguing, say "too" with the tongue touching behind the top teeth. (Not between the teeth or lips!)
    6. Be careful of the rods when putting together or taking apart the flute. Do not grip the rods.
    Oboe Observations
    1. Before playing, soak the reed for one minute.
    2. Push the reed all the way into the oboe until it stops.
    3. When holding the oboe, the left hand is above the right hand.
    4. The thumb rest should be near the thumbnail.
    5. Bring the oboe to you/your mouth.
    6. The lips are rolled slightly over the teeth. They make a cushion for the reed to rest on. Lip pressure should come from all sides of the lips; therefore the corners of the mouth should be slightly in.
    7. Keep the jaw open - do not bite the reed. The reed must vibrate to make the sound.
    8. The lower the note, the less the reed is in the mouth. The higher the note, the more the reed is in the mouth.
    9. When tonguing, use the tip of the tongue to the tip of the reed.
    Bassoon Briefs
    1. Before playing, soak the reed for a little less than one minute.
    2. Push the bocal all the way into the basson until it stops.
    3. Sit on the seat strap firmly. Use the seat strap to adjust the height of the bassoon...carefully.
    4. When holding the bassoon, the left hand is above the right hand.
    5. The lips are rolled slightly over the teeth. They make a cushion for the reed to rest on. Lip pressure should come from all sides of the lips; therefore the corners of the mouth should be slightly in.
    6. The top lip almost touches the first wire on the reed.
    7. The jaw is pulled back slightly (over bite).
    8. Keep the jaw open - do not bite the reed. The reed must vibrate to make the sound.
    9. When tonguing, touch the tongue on the bottom of the reed.

    Clarinet Clues
    1. Before playing, soak the reed as you assemble the clarinet.
    2. When putting together the clarinet, hold the upper joint keys so the bridge keys do not bend.
    3. Keep your head up and your clarinet down.
    4. When playing the clarinet, the left hand is above the right hand. Fingers are curved.
    5. The thumb rest is near the thumbnail.
    6. Bring the clarinet to you/your mouth.
    7. The bottom lip is covering the bottom teeth as if putting on Chap Stick. It is a cushion for the reed to rest on.
    8. The top teeth are anchored on the top of the mouthpiece. The top lip comes over the teeth, meeting the moutpiece.
    9. The lips seal around the moutpiecee the way a duffle bag closes. They are firm all the way around the mouthpiece.
    10. Do not bite the reed. It must vibrate to make the sound.
    11. When tonguing, use the tip of the tongue to touch the reed just enough to stop the reed from vibrating. (Do not tongue between the tip of the reed and the mouthpiece.)

    Saxophone Summaries
    1. Before playing, soak the reed as you assembling the saxophone.
    2. Put the neck strap on before putting together the saxophone, and click the saxophone to the strap.
    3. When playing the saxophone, the left hand is above the right hand. Fingers are curved.
    4. The thumb rest should be near the thumbnail.
    5. Adjust the neck strap to bring the saxophone to you/your mouth.
    6. The bottom lip is covering the bottom teeth as if putting on Chap Stick. It is a cushion for the reed to rest on.
    7. The top teeth are anchored on the top of the mouthpiece. The top lip comes over the teeth, meeting the mouthpiece.
    8. The lips seal around the mouthpiece the way a duffle bag closes. They are firm all the way around the mouthpiece.
    9. Do not bite the mouthpiece and reed. The reed must vibrate to make the sound.
    10. When tonguing, use the tip of the tongue to touch the reed just enough to stop it from vibrating. (Do not tongue between the tip of the reed and the mouthpiece.)

    Horn Hints
    1.   The left arm and the horn should make a pine tree.  Keep the left arm relaxed and let it hang off the horn.  Curve the fingers.
    2.  Right hand - beginners - keep the hand on the inside of the bell closest to your
                                               body
                         - older students - keep your right hand on the inside of the bell on the
                                                     side that is away from your body
                         - fingers must be straight and closed with no space in between
                         - think - volly ball grip with straight fingers
    3.  Bring the horn to you/your mouth. 
    4.  Embouchure trick - say "Q" - it brings the corners of the mouth in and chin flat (pointed). 
    5.  Inside the mouthpiece there should be 2/3 upper lip and 1/3 lower lip.
    6.  Low notes have a wide buzz.
    7.  High notes have a smaller buzz, with a faster, focused air stream.
    8.  When tonguing, say "too" with the tongue touching behind the top teeth.  (Not between the teeth or lips.

    Trumpet Tips
    1.  The left hand holds the valves (or the valve casings).
    2.   The right hand 's fingers  must be curved for playing the keys.
    3.  Bring the trumpet to you/your mouth.  Your arms and elbows should be relaxed.
    4.  Embouchure tricks - say "em" and bring the corners forward slightly
                                     - say "pooh" like Winnie the Pooh
                                     - say "Q" - it bring the corners of the mouth forward and chin
                                           flat (pointed).
    5.  Inside the mouthpiece there should be 1/2 upper lip and 1/2 lower lip.
    6.  Low notes have a wide buzz.
    7.  Higher notes have a smaller buzz, with a faster, focused air stream.
    8.  When tonguing, say "too"with the tongue touching behind the top teeth.  (Not between the teeth or lips.)

    Trombone Tips
    1.  The left hand - put the left hand in a pointing position
                            - the pointing finger goes on the slide just below the mouthpiece
                            - the thumb goes around the bell brace
                            - the other three fingers hold the top brace near the slide
    2.  The right hand is loose, and holds the slide between the middle and ring fingers.  Think - Dr. Spock "Live long and prosper."
    3.  Bring the trombone to you/your mouth.  Your arms and elbows should be relaxed.
    4.  Embouchure trick - say "fu" as in kung fu.  This brings the corners forward and the chin flat (pointed).
    5.  Inside the mouthpiece there should be 2/3 upper lip and 1/3 lower lip.
    6.  Low notes have a wide buzz.
    7.  High notes have a smaller buzz, with a faster, focused air stream. 
    8.  When tonguing, say "too" with the tongue touching behind the top teeth.  (Not between the teeth or lips.)
    9.  Always keep the SLIDE LOCK ON when not playing!  (Do not dent the slide.)

    Using Euphonium
    1.  The right hand  plays the keys.  The fingers should be curved.
    2.  The left hand and arm hugs the euphonium.
    3.  Bring the euphonium to you/your mouth.  The instrument will be on a slight angle  when playing.
    4.  Embouchure trick - say "fu" as in king fu.  This brings the corners forward and chin flat (pointed).
    5.  Inside the mouthpiece there should be 2/3 upper lip and 1/3 lower lip.
    6.  Low notes have a wide buzz.
    7.  Higher notes have a smaller buzz, with a faster, focused air stream.
    8.  When tonguing, say "too" or "toe" with the tongue touching behind the top teeth.  (Not between the teeth or lips.)

    Tuba Tips
    1.  The right hand plays the keys.  The fingers should be curved. 
    2.  The left hand holds the side of the tuba or hugs it depending on the type of tuba.
    3.  Bring the tuba to you/your mouth.  The instrument will be on a slight angle when playing.
    4.  Embouchure trick - say "fu" as in kung fu.  This brings the corners forward and the chin flat (pointed). 
    5.  Place the mouthpiece where it is most comfortable. 
    6.  Low notes have a wide buzz.
    7.  Higher notes have a smaller buzz, with a faster, focused air stream.
    8.  When tonguing, say "too" or "toe" with the tongue touching behind the top teeth.  (Not between the teeth or lips.)

    Percussion Pointers
    1.  Stand up straight.  Keep your arms relaxed.
    2.  Set the drum pad or top of the drum about as high as your waist.
    3.  Hold the stick between the pad of your thumb and the 2nd joint of your index finger.
    4.  The ring, middle, and pinkie fingers gently wrap around the stick to guide the stick.
    5.  The back of your hand faces up.
    6.  Move only at the wrist (not at your elbows).
    7.  Let the stick bounce back up after it hits the drum pad or drum.
    8.  Keep your wrists flexible.


Last Modified on December 9, 2014