The Flute Academy
Can you play the flute with thick lips

Flute Q&A #29: Can you play the flute with thick lips?

Aug 23, 2022

In this Flute Q&A, Donna wants to know how having thick lips affects her sound on the flute. It's a great question, so watch this video for how to improve your tone, regardless of your lip shape.

Can you play the flute with thick lips?

Donna, register for the free mini-course to instantly improve your tone here

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Playing the flute with thick lips

Welcome to flute Q & A #29. This question comes from Donna. My name is Jane Cavanagh. I'm a flute teacher. And the question today from Donna is, do you have any students who have thick lips? I cannot play with the flute on my lower lip, but in turn, my tone is not consistent. I've been playing for a long time with a tone I'm not happy with. Thanks. You're welcome, Donna. I haven't done anything yet, but I will answer your question.

Free flute mini course

So in the free mini course, Donna, that you might have done already, if anyone would like to instantly improve their tone, join at It takes you through 3 tiny little adjustments to make to your embouchure - so that's your mouth and  the way you use your mouth, when you play that instantly improve your tone.

Aligning the flute embouchure

One of the things, and Donna's could be referring to this. One of the things that I say in that minicourse is to put the edge of, I should say, align the edge, the closest edge of this embouchure hole on your flute to exactly the join in your mouth. There's more to it. So watch the minicourse for more information.

Adjust flute further up bottom lip

But in this aspect, I've had some feedback from people, Donna, with bigger lips or at least bigger bottom lips. And they say that they need to move their flute up further from what I say. And they say that it works a treat. So that was really interesting feedback because I mean, I don't have particularly big lips, no Botox going on here or what's it called collagen? I don't even know it's called. I mean, people with naturally bigger lips seems like from the feedback that I've got, that they need to move their lip plate on their flute up a little bit higher.

Correct flute embouchure

So try that Donna, because from what I've heard, it definitely works for bigger lips. And the other thing I wanted to say to you, if you are thinking that the reason you're getting a fuzzy tone is because you have bigger lips. I can 100% guarantee that's not the case. The reason is everybody who is learning the flute - everybody struggles with getting a clear tone at first and often for quite a while after they start playing, especially if they weren't taught the correct embouchure to start with.

Fix flute embouchure

So this is what that mini course teaches you. It's basically how to fix your embouchure in case you didn't learn it correctly in the first place.

Flute playing with bigger lips

So Donna don't be concerned, um, thinking that bigger lips are not suitable for playing the flute because yes they are. What we do with our mouth when we play the flute is so arbitrary, it's not natural. It's really just a very specific movement and habit we get into and it suits anyone with any shape lips. So don't worry about that.

Anyway. I hope that answered your question. Now I can say, you're welcome, cuz you said thanks at the end of your question. Sorry. That was really lame. Anyway. You're welcome. bye.

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