How to Make Pitches With a Flute

Playing the flute and making pitches with the flute require the instrumentalist to have a solid understanding of hand position, breath support, proper playing technique, posture and flute fingerings. With so many things to learn, beginners often find themselves overwhelmed. Break each aspect down into a single component to learn to play the flute in an integrated and fluid manner. With practice, you will learn to play the flute effectively and compete with other flutists.

Step 1 Hold the flute properly by supporting the top portion of the flute with your left hand. Place the first three fingers of your left hand on the first main keys on the top of the flute. The pinky will play the extension keys.

Step 2 Place your right hand with the thumb underneath the flute and press down the next three keys with your index, middle and ring finger. Rest your pinky finger on the extension keys at the bottom of the flute.

Step 3 Align your lips with the center of the mouthpiece to produce the best tone.

Step 4 Breathe in from the diaphragm and blow over the top of the flute. Do not blow into the hole. Blow in the same manner as you would blow over a bottle to produce pitch.

Step 5 Use a flute fingering chart to learn how to play pitches. The more keys you press from left to right on the flute, the lower the pitch. The exception are the extension keys which change the pitch by an octave.

Playing at the side of the mouthpiece makes it easier, but it reduces the quality of your tone. Warnings Don't grasp any of the moving parts as the keys can bend easily and will require professional repairs to correct any bent portions of the flute.

References; Getting a Sound on the Flute; Mark Shepard []
"How to Play the Flute: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Flute"; Howard Harrison; 2002
"How to Assemble and Hold your Flute"; Jennifer Cluff; 2003 []

Resources (Further Reading)
I Learn Music: Flute Fingering Chart []


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