Requirements to play the flute
Requirements to play the flute
I like a perfect setting for doing anything, be it gardening (in which case, I need a perfect shady atmosphere, with a good lot of greenery, an end which I strive to achieve), or playing a musical instrument. If you are anything like me, you will need some important things to build the necessary ambience and tune and motivate yourself to playing the flute.
And you thought that there was no such requirement except a flute and yourself! Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind and possibly in your repertoire for the best performance in flute playing:
- The exhilarating enthusiasm which led you to purchase the flute and led you to this place.
- The persistence to make it through and become better at playing one of the oldest and most melodious musical instruments in the world. You must keep to your practice schedule strictly to become an expert sooner rather than later.
- Self-retrospection of your progress. Do not begin to think that you have already become a master flautist, by the time you begin assembling your flute properly.
- Taste for music and the ability to reproduce at least simple tunes, maybe with trial and error. Some inbuilt musical talent is a must for any musical exploration.
- Unending love for whatever you are doing, and the confidence that what you do is actually the right thing to be done.
Things you might need
A few tools are essentially needed to begin learning to play a flute. Most of these can be produced on a makeshift basis, so you don’t need to worry a lot about spending a fortune. I’ll try to provide you with everything you will possibly need while playing a flute. Later, when you are confident that you can progress further in your quest to play the flute, you can purchase professional versions of the tools. Here they are:
- A music stand: Posture is the most important thing in your quest to play a flute. To stand straight, and breathe well (I will tell you about this as well), and stay focused are one of the primary things you need to do for learning to play a flute. So to start off, better not read music in an improper posture by keeping your notebook on a bed or table. Get a musical stand or create a simple one by hanging the notebook on a way with some padding at its bottom. This will encourage you to have a proper posture while playing your flute.
- A mirror: Mirror, mirror on the wall; who is the best flautist of them all? It’s you, sire (you expected the answer, didn’t you? Do not let this flattering praise get to your heart, or your flute learning exertions will slump). And you have to make sure that this is true in reality. You need to keep track of your lips, hand and body, and make sure they stay in their correct position (you can consult my guide on posture). Motor senses can mislead, and I mean it. You might think that you are standing upright, while your back might be humped (maybe even slightly).
- A metronome: Now what is this thing? A metronome is a piece of technical hardware that produces rhythmic clicking sounds to help you keep track of your rhythms and keep your tempos in sync. Since you are just starting off, an online metronome ought to be your “device” of choice. You can try one for free, and probably stick to it, since moving around will only push you back in your schedule. Later on, you can strive to achieve perfection by using a proper electrical one. I am providing you one below, for your ease (you will need to enable iFrames in your browser to use this one):
- A tuner: Now you have heard about tuners if you have been in any musical surrounding ever. People use tuners for guitar, violin, and what-not tuning. You will need one too. No, there is nothing to tune in a flute, but yourself: the pressure with which you blow, are you doing it just right or not. Believe me. A tuner can be hugely helpful in getting you on the right track in a very short time. Now tuners come in many shapes and sizes, and range from cheap to costly (evident). But for now, I would suggest you to use an online tuner to test your works. You will need flash, and a microphone, and a room without much external noise, to make it work perfectly. Here, try this one (you will need to have flash in your web browser. Allow when the tiny flash popup asks permission to access your mic). You might need to shift the input level control to make it “hear” your microphone’s sound optimally:
- A recording device: Yes, you’ll be needing this one if you want to retrospect and improve upon your notes. But then, as with every other thing, you can do this with a free substitute on your computer. But do record whatever you do, in case you plan on making a journal about your path in learning music.
- A couple of cloths for cleaning and polishing: You want to keep your awesome flute looking and feeling awesome, don’t you? Then you need a cloth or two just to keep it in prime condition. Two soft dry cloths, preferably of silk will do. When you blow, you expel water-vapour, you might know. And you need to prevent it’s buildup in the flute. Therefore, do not use water to moist the cloths. Dry ones will do fine. Besides, outward looks matter equally. Don’t they? You will need to keep polishing your flute to remove the stains, and signs of wear like fingerprints and grime on the surface by constantly polishing it. Just do not use a wax polish or any sort of abrasive substance. It would be best to use just a plain simple piece of silk to softly wipe out the stains and fingerprints. Keep to it and your glossy and elegant flute will catch anyone’s eye, even before it catches their ears.
- Pad papers: You will need these to keep your keys dry, without water bubbles, and prevent stickiness which develops on your flute keys. You can use “official” ones from your favorite music store, or even use cigarette papers. Just make sure that your cigarette papers are not gummed (which happens to be a common thing, indeed: beware), else you will be achieving the exact opposite of what was intended.
With these tools in your repertoire, you are ready to learn to play a flute right away, now. So take care and make sure you have each of these under your arms.