How To Play Flute: An Easy Guide For Beginners

By Woodwind | Flute Advice

Aug 10

When it comes to playing any instrument, it’s always best to start with the basics. Once you’ve chosen the best type of flute and you’ve got the basics mastered, then you’re on your way to becoming a professional player. If you put in your fair-share of practice, that is. When it comes to playing the flute, how and where do you begin?

I. Assembling Your Flute

When you want to learn how to play flute for the first time, you have to know how to assemble your flute in the first place. Your flute won’t be in one piece all the time. It’s taken apart into pieces inside a carrying case, and you’ll have to assemble it before you can use it.

#1:  Start by picking up the body (usually the biggest part of the flute), and hold it using your last three fingers of your left hand. Make sure to hold it at the headjoint receiver. Be careful not to handle the keys or posts.

#2:  Pick up the foot joint using the right hand, and hold down the B or C key gently. Twist back and forth in order to connect. Once connected, make sure that the post of the footjoint is aligned with the keys of the body.

#3:  While holding the body with your left hand, twist the headjoint gently onto the body. Don’t hold the lip plate. Make sure to line the embouchure hole with the keys on the body. Some flutes have markings to help you match up the body and headjoint correctly.

II. Learning to Blow the Flute

Making a sound on the flute is made by blowing into the lips of the instrument. It’s not just any type of blowing. You need to work on your embouchure. Embouchure basically means the shaping of the lips to the mouthpiece of a wind instrument. When it comes to playing the flute:

#1:  Begin by practicing your pout. Make sure to keep your bottom lip flexible.

#2:  A good embouchure is when the lips are relaxed and rested on half, not covering the entire, embouchure hole.

#3:  The lower lip must be placed at a distance from the embouchure hole, but only a short distance.

#4:  The upper lip should be somewhat firmer than the lower lip.

#5:  The bottom lip should be laid slightly at the edge of the hole on the flute’s lip plate.

#6:  Practice blowing. When you do, make sure the cheeks don’t puff out. The air should only come from the diaphragm.

III. Learning Proper Body Mechanics

If you find yourself getting tired and your body getting strained after playing the flute, you are most likely not observing the right body mechanics. In order to get a better sound, proper body mechanics are key, just like vocalizing.

#1:  Posture. Whether you are playing while sitting or standing up, your back should remain straight. This helps to elongate the diaphragm. This will also prevent neck and shoulder strain later on. When you’re reading a music sheet, make sure that the stand is placed high enough to be at eye-level.

#2:  Hands and fingers. An important thing to remember in regards to the position of your hands and fingers is proper alignment. A session with a flute instructor can help any beginner to balance flute alignment with his or her unique body structure.

#3:  Wrists. Because you will be holding your flute, it is best that you keep your wrists in a neutral position. There should be no extreme extension or flexion. This will help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome later on.

#4:  Right Hand. The right thumb’s job is to support the instrument as it is being played. It should be placed under the flute. The second, third, and fourth fingers are placed on the last three keys of the foot joint. The pinky finger is placed on the small key at the beginning of the foot joint.

#5:  Left Hand. The left thumb should be placed on the long key found at the back of the flute. The second finger is placed on the second key from the top of the flute. Place your third finger on the fourth key and fourth finger on the fifth. The pinky finger should be placed on the small key that extends from the body of the flute.

IV. Practice!

If you want to know how to play flute for the first time, you should invest in the best type of flute and the time to practice, practice, and practice. 10 minutes a day is not a long time, will not take away from your daily activities, and can help you in the long run.

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