Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Get to the Bottom C on a Flute

The low C on the flute is middle C. For student model flutes without the B extension, this is the lowest pitch possible. Keeping a loose embouchure and steady airflow helps when trying to play this low pitch. Familiarity with the lowest pitches through consistent practice will improve your low range. Using proper posture, a solid embouchure and proper fingering, the low C will become much easier to play.

Step 1

Sit up straight or stand with your shoulders in a relaxed position. To achieve proper airflow, you must have good posture and take breaths into the diaphragm. Avoid the tendency to take shallow breaths that stop at the chest.

Step 2

Play an E above low C. Hold this note out for four beats.

Step 3

Play chromatically from E down to low C on whole notes. Use a fingering chart if you have trouble remembering the fingerings. Use a loose embouchure to allow the lips to vibrate slowly.

Step 4

Hold the low C for eight beats. Crescendo and then decrescendo on the C to gain familiarity with the pitch. The low C is fingered by pressing down all of the keys on the flute with the pink of the right hand depressing the D flat and C keys.

Tips


Practice daily; if you can only get down to a low D then stop there and try to go lower the next day. Eventually, you will be able to play the low C.

References


Cyberflute: Low C on flute [http://www.cyberflute.com/low-c-on-the-flute.html]

The Woodwind Fingering Guide: First Octave [http://www.wfg.woodwind.org/flute/fl_bas_1.html]