The Flute Academy
Why your flute tone is fuzzy

The 4 reasons why your flute tone is fuzzy!

Aug 29, 2022

In today's mini-lesson you're going to learn the 4 reasons why your tone suddenly goes fuzzy (or has always been fuzzy!)

Why your flute tone suddenly goes FUZZY!

Join me in this 7-minute video to learn:

- What used to make my tone fuzzy, but doesn't anymore.


- The classic errors that will turn anyone's turn fluffy, and what to do about it.

I can't wait to show you!

Jane xx

Faster flute progress through learning proper technique

If your sound on the flute has suddenly gone fuzzy, you are in the right place. I'm going to show you today. The 4 real reasons, really the only reasons why your tone would suddenly go fuzzy. My name is Jane Cavanagh, and you probably guessed that I'm a flute teacher.

You probably also guess that I'm Australian. I love teaching quick fixes on the flute and by quick fixes, I mean proper technique on the flute that gets you real progress, faster progress.

So here we go. Really the four only reasons why your tone would suddenly go fuzzy.

Having a break from flute can cause tone to go fuzzy

Number reason is if you've had a break from flute playing. For example, if you've had a break for a week, if I should say, if I've had a break for a week, I come back and my tone is fuzzy to start with, but it's back to normal within a day. So let's go down to one end of the spectrum of how much of a break is a break.

May take longer to achieve the good tone on the flute after a longer break

Let's say that you have had a break for many months or even years. It's going to take you a little bit of time because the fine muscles in your embouchure are not used to refining themselves into the small enough, specific enough hole that makes a good sound.

So if you've had months or years off, it's going to take you more than a day to get back up to your normal, good sound, but you will get there. It might take you days, weeks.

If you've had years off, it'll probably take you weeks, but you will always get back to your good original sound way faster than it took you to get there in the first place, like way faster, 10 times as fast or more.

Small break from flute playing

Now, the other end of the spectrum about what is actually classified as a break is overnight. So if you haven't been playing while you sleep, of course you haven't been playing while you sleep. So overnight, when you don't play, you get up in the morning a lot of flute players find that their tone is fuzzy first thing in the morning, and within sort of 10 minutes, you're back to normal.

So there are two ends of the spectrum of what a break is. Months or years off, or just overnight, because obviously you don't play it in your sleep.

So in a nutshell, if your tone is fuzzy because you've had a break, however long that is just play the flute. Play the flute and it will come back pretty quickly.

Now, if your tone is always fuzzy, if you're thinking, yeah, my tone, actually hasn't ever been that clear. I have the solution for you. So hang on for number 4 in today's video, and I will show you the solution for an always fuzzy tone.

Tension in flute embouchure

Number 2 reason why your tone suddenly goes fuzzy on the flute. It's if you're getting tension creeping into your embouchure.

When I play my tone is always better in the morning than in the evening. And it's because this is the culprit for me over a busy day if I'm teaching too many students in a day, or I'm trying to pack too much in, or I'm just feeling generally stressed or busy, tension creeps into my embouchure.

Now, this is not ideal, but it's a reminder for me to slow down, not try and pack so much into day, or maybe just take a lunch break or something and have some time off.

So if you find that your tone gets worse during your day, it could be because you're sort of trying, even if it's subconsciously, trying really hard to make your sound clear and clear and clearer through the day, and you're actually causing tension. If this is the case, then a break, have a break.

Even have a break for a day, just get sort of give yourself time to physically relax and come back to it the next day.

Now, if you find that your embouchure, the way you're playing is tense all the time, it doesn't sort of get worse during the day. It's just all the time, a bit tense and a bit hard to relax your embouchure, then stick around for point number 4, because the solution is in there for you as well.

Eating right before flute playing can effect tone

The number 3 thing that can make your flute tone suddenly fuzzy is if you've eaten something strange. Now, this used to bother me when I was a student and I was learning to play the flute at a high level. I was, I felt like I was really sensitive to certain things like lemon. It felt like lemon just like pocket my lips and I couldn't play clearly. Salty things - same thing.

It sort of like felt like a shred with my lips up. Dairy would make me salivate a lot. And then the other thing is just generally dry lips. So make sure you're having enough water throughout the day. Use lip balm, not necessarily right before you play, but just generally speaking.

What is a big thing, because if you're dehydrated, it's going to go to your lips and it will make playing with a clear sound harder.

Good flute embouchure will help achieve clear tone faster

However, I found coming out of my twenties as I got better and better at playing the flute with good technique, I found that good embouchure and good playing technique overcame all of that. So now when I play what I've eaten, doesn't affect anything, like at all.

So I learned that good embouchure technique, or I should say good technique and a good well-formed embouchure overcomes everything. And if you think this is bothering you, then the best way to do this is to work on getting a really good embouchure.

At the end of this video, I'm going to show you - actually, it's coming out of point number 4, which is next. I'm going to show you how to get a really good embouchure and keep a really good embouchure.

Constant fuzzy tone means that you need to correct your flute embouchure

So that takes us on to the point number 4. If your flute tone is always fuzzy, for example like this, or instead of clear like this. If your tone is always fuzzy, then this is an entirely different ballgame. It means that you need to fix your embouchure.

Your tone can be fuzzy and your embouchure can be off a number of reasons. Like for example, the placement of where you put your flute, like down to a millimetre can be wrong.

Flute embouchure too big

If that's wrong, it's going to make it hard to play with clear sound. The hole in your mouth could be too big. That makes a huge difference to how clear you sound or your embouchure in general. You might not have formed your embouchure in the correct way.

But I have good news, the fixes to those things, once you figure out what your problem is, and you get the fix for it, it's an instant improvement like instant.

And I love teaching this so much because it was so straightforward when you know what to fix, that I made you a free 3 day mini-course, because obviously it's not all going to fit in point number 4 of this video.

Instantly improve your flute tone

So come and join me at

And I'll show you how to instantly improve your tone on the flute by showing you how to form a correct embouchure with correct placement and correct blowing that instantly improves your sound. I'd love to see you there. Bye.

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