Lots of puff is needed to play the flute and it takes time to develop a good tone. Of course you only have to play one note at a time and the flute has such a lovely sound.
Getting Started – Your First Note
The flute is made up of three parts; the head joint (with the hole), the body (the part with the most keys) and the foot joint. To create some actually musical notes would involve assembling the whole flute together, but the hardest part for beginners is to get a good sound before you play any musical notes with the whole flute.
The Head Joint
It’s best to start practice with the head joint only. Have the open tube part facing towards your right side. Place your lower lip against the edge of the sound hole and start to blow. Try to use a “tu” sound using your tongue. Try blowing short and long notes while listening with a critical ear.
The sound Hole
If you slowly tilt the sound hole of head joint towards you or away from you whilst blowing across the hole, you’ll hear the sound getting fluffy or clearer. It’s usually best to be facing a mirror to help you to place the inner edge of the sound hole just against your lower pink lip.
Depending if you have thin or thick lips will eventually decide where the best place is to place the edge of the inner sound hole to you as the flute has to be tailored to your individual needs to get the best sound for you. Some of the air will blow through the hole and into the tube and some will blow across the sound hole to the outer edge of the sound hole which creates the best sound.
Remembering The Embouchure
When you feel you have achieved the best sound and you try to memorise where to place your flute to your lips, you can then try to keep the flute still and move your lips to emphasis the sound even more. When moving your lips into certain shapes is called an embouchure.
The shapes to try are “kissing” shapes as it’s this shape that gives you the high notes for later, and “smiling” shapes which gives you the low notes for later. During “smiling” shapes it helps to think either top lip over and aim the air slightly downwards or lower jaw back while aiming the air slightly downwards. When using “kissing” shapes try to aim the air directly across to the outer edge of the sound hole.
The Full Flute
If you try and persevere for a few days on this then you can move on to assemble your flute fully before trying your first few musical notes, by then you shouldn’t have too many problems with your sound.
Many Styles – Many Size Groups
The flute can be heard playing in most styles of music from classical, folk, pop and even rock music. If you play the flute you will be able to play in most group situations.