Top 9 Flute-Playing Tips for Beginners

Updated on December 21, 2018
Hayley Dodwell profile image

I have played professionally as a flautist all over England for years. I love sharing advice with budding flautists.

Source

Flute Tips

I originally played the flute (an instrument I loved playing) in my school days. Then, I discovered rock music and spent many years behind a drum kit! However, around 12 years ago, I felt the urge to pick up the flute again, which I did—and I have never looked back.

I spent the first year reteaching myself to play, as well as taking many music courses and attending workshops. Then, I nailed my first professional booking. I played background music at an event at the stunningly beautiful Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire. Since then, I have played at events all over England, including at many beautiful stately homes, folk festivals, country shows—you name it!

With the new year approaching, it is the perfect time to start a new hobby or revisit an old one. I highly recommend playing the flute—if you used to play, pick it up again—it is fun, exciting and a timeless, classic instrument. Don't think the flute is all about classical music, either—I play jazz, folk, rock, blues, pop and country, too.

Want to get your flute on? Yes, of course you do! Well, here are my top tips to get you started.

  1. Purchase a flute.
  2. Learn how to assemble your instrument.
  3. Get a flute teacher.
  4. Do mouth exercises.
  5. Practice every day.
  6. Play to an audience.
  7. Study music theory.
  8. Take care of your flute.
  9. Enjoy yourself.

Source

1. Purchase an Instrument

In the words of Julie Andrews, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start... First, you are going to need a flute. Don't think you have to spend a lot of money on your instrument. Purchasing second hand is fine. Look on eBay, Gumtree or your local selling sites. Or, you can get a cheap flute brand new.

I have always used a Jupiter flute; I bought it new from a music shop. It cost £249 and has always been good enough for me. But for brand new, I would say don't go below around the £180 mark. You get what you pay for when you buy a new flute. However, it is always worth having a look in your local music shop; they may have a sale on.

2. How to Assemble Your Flute

Flute sorted! When putting the flute together, which is in three pieces (the head-joint, body-joint and the foot-joint), always be careful. Don't touch the keywork—you could damage it.

Gently twist and turn the head-joint in the body-joint, and line up the blow hole with the first key on the flute. Then gently twist and turn the foot-joint into the body-joint.

Blow a few deep breaths into the blow hole to warm the flute up.

Source

3. Get a Flute Teacher

Okay, there are some brilliant flute-teaching videos on YouTube and many great "flutes for beginners" books out there. But if you are a complete flute newcomer, I highly recommend getting in touch with a flute teacher for some beginners lessons.

With professional instruction, you will be shown how to hold the flute properly, how to breathe, how to blow, the basics of reading music and music theory. You'll also have someone to ask questions to. A single one-hour lesson per week will be plenty; you can practice and continue to self-learn at home. Plus, a bonus with the flute is that it's not a noisy instrument, so your neighbours will be cool!

4. Do Mouth Exercises

Flaustists need strong lips. Give these exercises a bash.

  • Stick your bottom lip out, pout!
  • Twitch your top lip up and down—kissy, kissy.
  • Or, make up your own!

You use your tongue to start a note on the flute. Practice saying "Twen-ty Tur-tles" several times. Then play a note, thinking the same words "Tuu-Tuu-Tuu-Tuu." It will become natural after a while.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice for at least half an hour every day. It is much better doing that than practising for a few hours just one day a week. Like an athlete, you have to keep your training up. Practice difficult bits, as well as the easy ones. With whatever you find difficult, play it slowly until it becomes easy.

Be patient with yourself! I remember getting so annoyed at myself when I started to learn to play middle E. It just wouldn't come out right! Then, of course, one day it came out perfectly, and I have nailed it ever since.

Source

6. Play to an Audience

Practice often, and play your flute to anybody who will listen—family, friends or pets. Be it a small audience or a larger one, get used to having eyes on you while performing early on. It will instill confidence in you and your ability to perform.

If you feel nervous to begin with, remember that the only person who knows that is you! Nobody else will know. Just smile away! A smile hides everything.

7. Study Music Theory

Music theory is important. Once you can read music and have mastered the notes, you will be able to play every piece ever written. Learn your scales; they will always come in handy.

Start memorising pieces early on, and get yourself used to playing from memory. The earlier you start, the more natural it will become. You will find learning pieces by heart will become quicker and easier as you advance with your playing.

8. Take Care of Your Flute

Always clean the inside of your flute after playing. Take it apart to clean it, but never pull the rod all the way through the flute, in case it gets stuck.

Wipe the outside with a soft cloth. Then, always put the instrument safely away in its case. You don't want to accidentally step on it!

9. Enjoy Yourself

Most importantly, enjoy your flute. Enjoy learning, challenge yourself and set goals for yourself. Join a flute group or a local orchestra. If you are still learning, tell them that, as every musician had to learn at some stage. Just go for it! The flute is such a magical instrument that will fill you with joy.

Being social with your flute is a great way to make new friends and learn together. Once your standard is good and your performing confidence is up, branch out and start asking around at local events to see if you can play background music. Just get yourself out there.

Good luck!

Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Hayley Dodwell profile imageAUTHOR

        Hayley Dodwell 

        9 months ago from United Kingdom

        Thank you so much Linda! Very happy you enjoyed my article... I'm sure if you picked up the flute again you'd remember what as a child you learnt - it is such a joy to play!

      • lindacee profile image

        Linda Chechar 

        9 months ago from Arizona

        What an informative article for beginners. I took lessons during elementary school and really enjoyed playing the flute. Sadly, I gave it up after a few years. ☹️

      • Hayley Dodwell profile imageAUTHOR

        Hayley Dodwell 

        10 months ago from United Kingdom

        Very wise words, thank you Tim. Brilliant, also, that you enjoyed my article. Awesome!

        Yes, music is just incredible! One of the huge joys of this world!

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        10 months ago from U.S.A.

        Hi, Hayley,

        I loved this article. I like reading about tips for different types of instruments and how to master them. I spent time with the violin, but found my love with the piano.

        My music teacher taught me an important point: Once you master an instrument, you will always have a wonderful friend able to change your moods, spend time with you, and never borrow money, but help you make money.

        I played piano for blue grass bands, rock'n roll groups, jazz combos, etc. and finally, worked as a choir director when my ""friend" started returning the investment I made in our relationship.

        great article with wonderful tips and advice.

        Keep up the great work, Hayley, and if you ever visit the U.S. or I reach the U.K., I know of a competent musician to jam with.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)