How to Properly Play a Flute
- Acquiring good posture is key to obtaining a good, clear sound when you play. When you begin to play, your back should be straight, and your shoulders wide. Relax your body, and have your instrument angled slightly toward the ground. Keep your feet flat on the floor. This will let your air travel smoothly from your lungs and out your mouth.
- Embouchure is your mouth's position on the mouthpiece of the flute. Having a satisfactory embouchure will help your sound as well as good posture will. Position the embouchure plate under your bottom lip so that you get the correct proportion of air going into the embouchure hole to air skimming the top of it. Make sure that the corners of your lips are pulled back, but not so much that they become tense. Keep your lips soft and relaxed.
- Good breathing habits will develop naturally the more you practice. Breathing is quite an important factor, since the flute requires lots of air to make a tune. When you take a breath, do not raise your shoulders. Your belly should swell up, not your chest. The more you experienced you become, the more notes you can play in one breath.
- Tonguing is when you separate the notes in a song by whispering 'too' into the instrument. If you don't do this, everything you play will sound overly legato or just sloppy.
Assembling the Flute
- Before you even try to play, you must know how to put your instrument together. The flute has three main parts: the head joint, the foot joint, and the middle joint. The head joint is the part with the embouchure hole and embouchure plate. The middle joint is where the majority of the keys are, but the foot joint does have a few keys. When you slide the parts together, the embouchure hole should line up with the keys on the middle joint. The foot joint goes on the bottom, and can be rotated to any degree you like.
Holding the Flute/Fingering
- Each one of your fingers has a separate key that it sits on. On the middle joint, there are two small keys, near the top. Your right index finger should rest on the second small key. None of your fingers should press the next key. Skip that one, and put your second and third fingers on the next two keys. Near the middle of the instrument is a key that somewhat resembles a golf club. This is where your pinky should go. Your right thumb should go on a key on the bottom of the flute. The fingers of your left hand will be placed on the last three keys of the middle joint, and the first key on the foot joint (the E-flat key).
This is an example of good posture and embouchure, however, her right pinky is not touching any key.
-Keep your left thumb directly underneath your left index finger. -Wet your lips before you play. -Relax your body and keep your fingers naturally curved. -Practice songs in chunks, not as a whole. -Clean your instrument regularly.
For more info visit: WikiHow: How to Play the Flute