The flute is in three parts: headjoint, main body and footjoint.
Take out the headjoint and hold with your left hand at the closed end and with the palm of your right hand over the open end.
The flute sound is produced, by blowing part of the air into the flute and part across the mouthhole.
Rest the lip plate on your lower lip, covering about a third of the mouth hole.
Blow across the hole just like blowing across a bottle top and move the air stream around using your jaw, until a note sounds.
See Figure 1
Embouchure is the name given to describe the shape of your lips.
Take care not to pull the lips back in a smile shape, but to keep them relaxed.
At the beginning it is about experimentation to find the note and keep it steady. Practice in front of a mirror to observe how your embouchure looks.
Figure 1: Blowing on the headjoint
When you are able to make a sound on the headjoint, repeat by starting each note with the syllable “Te” or “Tu”
Using the tongue is called articulation and adds clarity to the beginning of the note.
Repeat the clapping rhythm from earlier in this lesson, but this time play using your head joint and tonguing each note:
Video: Putting your flute together
Video: 3 Balance points
Video: Hand positions
First Note: D
The fingering for middle D helps make it a stable note. Keep both little fingers curved and relaxed just above their keys.
First Note: Middle D:
Second Note: A
Play the exercise below using our first 2 notes:
In music, notes can be raised or lowered, generally by a half step or half tone. The symbols used to give us this information are sharps and flats.
♯ this is a sharp sign and raises the note by a half tone
♭ this is a flat sign and lowers the note by a half tone.
If sharp or flat signs are placed at the beginning of the staff, they indicate the key signature. They are positioned on a specific line or space to tell us which notes have to be sharpened or flattened.
Our first lesson and duet are in the key of D major. D major has 2 sharps, F# and C#. These sharp signs are shown at the beginning of the staff and indicate that every F or C needs to be sharpened.
Play the exercise below using all our new notes. Remember to look at the key signature that tells us which notes need to be altered:
Take care when playing the C#, concentrate on your 3 balance points to help keep the flute stable and don’t forget to use your right hand little finger!