Date: Sat, 20 Sep 97 20:43:28 +0100
From: Joe Auty <>
Subject:Fluttering lips

Since starting school, I have been experiencing a fluctuation of sensatoins in my face when I wake up in the morning. I have found it counterproductive working with this inconsistency and have become frustrated when high notes won't speak, or I tire fast, or I just get can't any flexibility out of my chops, etc. I have found maybe not a cure for this common aliment, but certainly something which seems to help a great deal.

I have found that by fluttering my lips to variable amounts of time, I can reduce/eliminate the swelling, and return my chops to the sensation/state in which I like them to be in. This helps start off the day well without having to compensate for the difference of sensation in the face. Morever, it is something which can be done off the horn, with no real expense except time. Some days it takes a lot of fluttering to produce the results I need, but other days it works almost instantly.

This whole lip fluttering thing is a big facet of Bobby Shew's warmup, and I was sort of inspired to do this via a clinic I have of his on video (with his permission). I hate to speak for Bobby, but in a nutshell if I can summarize his words, fluttering the lips oxygenates the lips and gets the blood going which does all sorts of medical stuff and is the near equivilent to a "warmup" in the literal sense (e.g. a runner stretching or running on the spot lightly). After fluttering for a bit, I also sometimes stretch the rest of my face (e.g. mouthcorners) lightly, open my mouth as wide as it will go, and then puckering all in one motion, and other simple little non-rigurous exercises for the face.

I used to try to return my chops to my favourite state by doing 20+ minutes of long-tones and other exercises and I found this to be more of a wear-down then a warmup... as Bobby would say, it's like starting your car and putting it in idle until it runs out of gas. I'm not discounting the productive uses of longtones, but I have found that trying to produce the sensation I need in my face for a productive day via longtones is counterproductive for me (although maybe not for others). I have found that once I get my chops feeling well, I can go onto longtones and flexibilities and stuff and treat them as an exercise wiht specific goals in mind, rather than a face massage. To me, it's a better use of time.

Try fluttering the lips to start the day, it doens't hurt! Try to attend a Shew clinic if you can, or wait for him to write a book (does he have one??)

I must make a disclaimer that much of what I'm saying is not a direct quote from Shew, so if you want to attack somebody attack me, and not him! =)

<<->>JOE AUTY<<->>