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Introductory Flute Tutorial

Flute Lesson 1 – So You Want To Learn the Flute?
Congratulations. By reading this article, you’ve taken one of the first steps towards becoming a flautists. Although learning the flute can seem like a daunting task, by taking step by step approaches you’ll quickly find yourself becoming increasingly confident with your ability, and before you know it you’ll be putting on concerts for all your friends!

When beginning to learn the flute there are a few key items you’ll require:

– Most importantly — a flute! If you want to learn the flute, but aren’t ready to buy your own, renting a flute might be a good idea. Flutes come in all different sizes, styles, and colours. To begin with, you just want a basic model — something your local music store or teacher will be able to help you with.

– A cleaning rod and cloth. It’s very important to keep your flute clean, and as a result a cleaning rod and cloth (both readily available from your local music store) are a must.

– A music book. There are plenty of beginners books available, and your teacher will usually have one or two they prefer to use. This book will help you master the basics of the flute, as well as letting you play a few fun tunes.

– A music stand. This will hold up your music while you’re playing. Music stands come in a variety of styles and fun colours to choose from, and are often quite inexpensive. Although it might seem unnecessary to buy a music stand, they are crucial in helping you maintain good posture while you play.

Now that you have all the necessary items, it’s time to get started!
The first step is putting your flute together, which can seem like a daunting task. A flute is made up of three pieces, or ‘joints’: the head joint, the body joint, and the foot joint. These pieces are all designed to fit smoothly together, so never force them in! Consult your teacher or your new music book (which will usually have a diagram of how to set up your flute) if you’re unsure of how to set up your flute. Alternatively, find a video explaining how to set it up. If you’re unsure, wait and ask your teacher. Forcing the joints together could seriously damage your flute!

The flute can be a difficult instrument to make a sound on as a beginner. This is because the embouchure (position of your mouth) is tricky, and because rather than blowing into the flute, you need to blow over the hole. Once your learn how to position your mouth, practice using only the head joint. Why? Because it’s much easier to make a sound on the head joint than on a whole flute. The trick here is to be patient. It might take you a few weeks to be able to make a good sound using your head joint, and even longer to make a good sound with your entire flute, but before long you’ll be wondering why you had so much difficulty as it will begin to come naturally.

The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ rings true for learning all musical instruments, and the flute is no exception. If you want to be good, you’re going to need to practice for a long time. Thirty minutes a day is often the suggested length of time, but you may want to set other goals. For example, maybe you want to practice until you can consistently make a strong sound using your head joint. The important thing is to practice every day. If you do this, you will see yourself improving quickly.

After you’ve finished practicing, don’t forget to pack away your flute! Flutes should never be left lying around, as they could easily be damaged if they are placed the wrong way or knocked off things. Packing up your flute is easy — simply do the opposite to what you did when you set it up. The only difference is that when you’re packing up your flute you need to clean it. This can be done using your cleaning rod and cleaning cloth. Your cleaning rod will have a hole at the top of it, and you simply thread the cleaning cloth through this, then put that into the joints and twist around to clean. NEVER try and push your cleaning rod all the way through the body joint, as it will most likely get stuck and end up damaging your flute when you try to yank it out. Remember to clean the outside of your flute gently to keep it sparkling and clean. When your flute is all cleaned, put it back into its case and place the case somewhere safe until tomorrow’s practice!

Happy fluting!

Author: Sim K


Sim K


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