Flute is one of the oldest and highly valued musical instruments in world today, learning which is not that difficult (This site is dedicated to describing how to play the flute even to beginners). It is held with great respect among musicians, due to its elegance, historic value and its sonority.
I first got a flute as a gift on my 11th birthday. And that was what flared my musical instincts. Ever since, I have been experimenting with the flute and dare to say that I have become quite a decent flautist.
Note that I never had a flute teacher to make me learn flute.
I had just a book of fingering charts and learnt the main part of playing the flute myself, with trial and error. What does it mean? Not that you must do it the hard way too, but that playing the flute is not as difficult as the cogs and wheels (the keys and holes) on it seemingly make it for any layman. You can do it too. And with proper guidance (I volunteer to be your flute training guide!), you can learn the flute basics within a week or two. Then it is up to you to scale it up and either become a professional flautist or keep it as an impressive musical hobby in your repertoire of skills. Not many people can play a flute skillfully; but with proper guidance and all the tools you will find on this site, you can. Go ahead, go through the guide.
As you might know, a flute is a hollow tube of wood, or of some metal (in fact, most flutes, today, are made of precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, just to make them stand out in the hands of the flautist), that produces sound when the flute player makes the stationary air inside it vibrate by blowing across the hole provided at its mouth, making the blown air strike the opposite face of the hole to split the direct force of the air stream.
The sound range of every flute is 3½ octaves although you would usually not touch the extreme limits in most cases (trust me).
The flute belongs to a category of instruments termed as the “woodwind instruments”, a family that includes a kind of piccolo, three oboes, an English horn, three clarinets, a bass clarinet, three bassoons, and a contrabassoon. But, since it is the highest pitched of all the listed instruments, it is usually the king of all of them wherever you look for it (although it’s younger brother piccolo produces even higher notes, it has not become as popular: which makes me call it younger). The reason for this is that the flute is capable of producing almost every kind of music, from classical, to jazz, to rock, to even traditional Indian music. Flutes are of many types, namely:
- Western concert flutes (the C note or B note flutes, etc, made of metals and stuff)
- Indian flutes (made primarily of bamboo)
- Chinese flutes (made of bamboo, wood, jade and iron, usually)
- Japanese flutes (many end-blown and transverse varieties)
We will continue our practices with western concert flutes, which you will be using in case you ever plan upon making flutes your profession, or even your primary hobby.
How can you play the Flute right away?
Here on this site, I will teach you in minute detail, to play the flute with an expertise you did not know you possessed when you came here. We will begin with basic details about the flute, the materials and a basic guide for you to purchase a nice flute for yourself; the various parts of a flute and how you need to handle each one; the materials you will be needing before you begin your musical adventure in the world of flutes; the “personal” modifications you will possibly need to do to make yourself more competent and gain more in a less amount of time; your time schedule for practicing flute playing; breathing techniques for optimal flute tunes, along with your correct posture; and much more. We will start from the very basics.
This is a one-of-a-kind website for A to Z flute learning; something you will never find anywhere else for free. Stay with the schedule and you will be playing the beautiful glossy flute you plan to buy (or have bought) by the next week. You shall go by the sequence of this guide, for getting the best possible result from this guide.
Here are a few videos to assist you in learning how to play the flute for free. They are a supplement to the written guide, and describe flute playing in great detail.
Using the headjoint:
Holding the flute correctly:Read More
So you have decided to go ahead and purchase your flute. You are going to love it. But not just yet. You need to get the perfect fit for you, to actually begin loving your asset. There are mainly three kinds of flutes, according to my knowledge (nowadays, even applications make music, so it is difficult to judge). They are:
- Student models: This is the basic flute you’d like to go for, if you are just starting and do not wish to spend a lot on something you are in a dilemma of learning (who knows, flute might not suit you too). These flutes are silver-plated nickel flutes (usually), and are completely automatically made in machines. The springs are usually made of stainless steel, instead of pricier metals. This is how their prices are low (you might get a decent flute for $400 to $900). This model will not be including a lot of options. You might not get much customization either. On some student model flutes, you will find hand-made and curved headjoints, which effectively mimic the sound quality of a more expensive instrument.
- Conservatory flutes (for pre-professionals): These flutes are handmade, and sound almost as fine as the professional flutes. The body of these flutes is made of silver-plated nickel, and includes a hand-cut headjoint, made of solid silver. The springs are made of stainless steel, but are carefully placed by hand. Usually, the material of the flute makes a much less impact on the sound, than the method in which it is made. Machines can never replicate the preciseness with which humans tenderly hand-make a flute. You can get one of these flutes from $2500 to $9000, depending on the quality and the customizations the manufacturers have made.
- Professional models: This is the heaven for a flautist. The flute makers (usually just one flute making professional makes a complete flute for you) labor to make these flutes the top of the lines, with the best materials, and most precise craftsmanship. It takes months to build one of these, perfectly. Queue for these flutes can be up to three years long. You can choose the complete specifications, the thickness, material, the weight, the number of keys (you can get extra ones too), the shape of headjoint (you can usually get different headjoints to suit your needs, over a defined period by the manufacturing company), and a lot of other things. You can also get these flutes engraved, to make it a perfect masterpiece. The prices can be from $10000 for silver flutes, to about $40000 for gold flutes. You can also get custom made platinum flutes if you are going totally off on playing the flute.
See below for all the kinds of flutes, and take your pick.Read More
On this website, we are talking about the Western Concert C Flute, but there are many other types of flutes that you might like to know about as well. Here I will describe some of the main players of the flute family, from Piccolo to the Fife. Here we go:
The piccolo is the main element of the flute family, and the center of attraction when you visit any concert. The piccolo is a small musical instrument that plays a higher octave than the Concert C flute, which is the distinguishing factor when you are listening to the orchestra. The piccolo can be heard above all other instruments due to its high octave. Piccolos come in metal, various types of wood, and even carbon fiber models today. Some piccolo players rant about it as the flautist’s revenge: the perfect instrument that stands out among all other instruments, without any effort. It is not as difficult to play as the flute (nor does it look as much elegant, to be true), but the music that comes is the most melodious and high pitched that you can possibly make a woodwind instrument sound. It is called the “shrieking twig” by some loving enthusiasts.
The Alto Flute
It is used rarely, because it plays lower than the Concert C flute by an interval of a fourth. Its sound is a velvety, delicious melody, which most people prefer for calm music. The alto flute is quite bigger than the regular flute, and because of that, it sometimes has a curved headjoint, which makes it more comfortable to play.
The Bass Flute
The bass flute is even bigger and lower than the alto flute, and is pitched inn C. It plays one octave lower than the regular C concert flute. This satisfying instrument is rarely seen in choirs and hardly ever seen as a solo performance.
The Contrabass Flute
It is still lower in sound, a full octave lower than the bass flute. This flute is pitched in C. All-flute choirs often need proper bass, and that is where the Contrabass Flutes come in. This impressive instrument is played vertically (it cannot be held sideways). The tube of this flute is usually about 9 feet long, and usually comes with a special stand, so that the player can adjust the exact height of the flute. It does not play loud, but does sound intriguing.
The Flauto d’Amore
It is fondly called the “Flute of love”. It is pitched either in B or in A, a step/minor third below C flute. It has been spotted in historic texts and scriptures; in the Baroque and Romantic periods. It provides the player with dark tonal quality and feels like a C flute under fingers for more technical possibilities.
It is a traditional military instrument. It is a small transverse flute, usually made of wood and pitched in B, C or D, with six holes and zero keys. The fife has a penetrating sound, which makes it a perfect companion for drums, which were used during the American Revolution for battle songs. This instrument was made in the Medieval Europe, and was commonly paired with drums at the time.Read More