How To Play The Flute
If you are thinking about learning to play the flute, there’s a few things you should do beforehand. This post is primarily for keyed flutes but there is also some good advice for keyless flutes.
- I would advise that you talk to a flute teacher or a professional flute player, they will be able to provide you with some vital info and they may help you choose a flute which is best suited for you.
- Once you have decided that you want to become a flute player, you should do some research on flutes and purchase a flute which meets your needs and is within your price budget.
When people begin to play the flute, or any instrument it can be intimidating.
The first thing you should do is try to master a few basic steps, this will be a good starting point.
- You should listen to other flute players and develop a good music ear.
- Once you start practicing and playing on a daily basis, your skills will improve and playing the flute won’t be a difficult task.
- It’s very important that when you start learning to play the flute that you become familiar with your new flute. Flutes consist of 3 main parts, the head joint, the longer body joint and the short foot joint.
Once you have completed the above, you will be in a good place & you are now ready to start playing your flute.
- When learning to play the flute, you need to ensure the instrument is kept in a horizontal line.
- When practicing, you should do it in front of a mirror, as this will help you maintain the correct position.
- You need to hold the head joint with your left hand and place your lower lip on the wide side of the embouchure.
- Put your right hand on the open end of the head joint and cover it.
- Tuck the corners of your mouth in a little and gently blow across the hole.
- When blowing, avoid puffing your cheeks, as the air should rise from your diaphragm. You should practice this for at least a week.
- When playing, use your left hand thumb and place it on the triangle-shaped key on the back of the body, while your first finger will be placed on the second, small key on the front, skip the next key and place your second and third fingers on the next two keys.
- Place your little finger on the lever which extends out from the body. Your right hand should only be used to support the flute.
- The first, second & third fingers of your right hand will be placed on the last 3 keys before the foot joint.
- The smallest finger of your right hand will rest on the semi-circle key at the top of the foot joint.
When you start playing, you will feel awkward, but don’t worry this is only temporary.
The main things you should keep in mind when playing, is that you must keep your mouth, throat and fingers as relaxed as possible. Some beginners hold body tension and this results in them not being able to produce a smooth and rich sound. When playing, place the flute to your lips to blow, depending upon how much air is used, the note produced is either a low B-flat or a high B-flat.
You should purchase a beginner lesson book and use a fingering chart, this will allow you to slowly work your way down the scale of the flute from your original B-flat.
Once you start playing and practicing on a daily basis, you will see your skills improve immensely. Like with any instrument at the beginning, it can be frustrating but with practice & patience you will get there!
Best of luck! Go n-éirí leat!