Learning to produce vibrato on the flute can be challenging for some, while for others it just flows naturally. If you’re having trouble developing your flute vibrato, try one or more of the following tips…
Cut a small Post-It note into a narrow strip (1/4 inch by 2. 5 inches) and stick it on the lip plate just past the blowing edge and as you vibrate, watch it bounce up and down. Visuals are really good for some students. It the glue on the Post-It gets ruined, use some tape to keep it in position.
Practice vibrato in a variety of widths, speeds and dynamics.
Use just the headjoint by itself for this exercise. Put a one gallon twist and tie plastic bag on the open end of the headjoint. Fill with air by blowing directly into the embouchure hole of the headjoint.
Then blow into the headjoint and make the plastic bag bounce up and down. Look in a mirror when you do this. Use a continuous stream of air. Use the metronome to practice at an even tempo.
Hold the headjoint with your left hand. Place your right hand in front of your face going up and down and then in and out with your vibrato speed.
Rotate back and forth between a regularly fingered note and a harmonic of the same pitch with vibrato.
Practice throat staccato (hah, hah, hah) on scales, arpeggios, chords.
Play along with other flutists who have good vibrato and think of emulating their sounds.