Flute Care Instructions and How to Play Your Flute
To get a beautiful sound on the bamboo flute, pay most attention to the breath; where it comes from, where it goes through, and where it finally hits the edge of the bamboo.
To Get Sound
- The flute is played extending to the right side.
- Pick up the instrument without covering any holes.
- Put it up to the lips, placing the near edge of the breath hole to the bottom of the lower lip.
- Gently blow a thin stream of air on to the far edge of the bamboo.
- Rotate the flute slightly toward or away from the lips until a clear sound is made.
- There must be no air leaks under the fingers when covering the holes.
- Place the first finger of the left hand over hole #1, closest to the breath hole.
- Get a clear sound on that note.
- To help get a clear sound lift the finger up and down as you blow a steady breath.
- Then leave the first hole covered and cover the #2 hole, repeat this process until ass six holes are covered.
- Or play only the first three holes until you can play them easily then move onto holes 4, 5, and 6.
- The first three fingers of the left hand covers holes 1, 2, and 3, the first three fingers of the right hand cover holes 4, 5, and 6.
- The hole that is open closest to the breath hole is the one making the sound.
Watch the Breath
- The breath is controlled first of all by the stomach. It then moves to the lips, which directs it to the flute. The more relaxed the lops the more it is possible to feel the breath and direct it.
- The shape of the lips should be just beginning to smile with attention at corners of the mouth and center where the breath is passing.
- The breath forces the lips out a little as it pushes its way through.
- Imagine the breath being split by the edge of the hole and rubbing across it like a violin bow does to a string. The smoother the bow rubs the string the sweeter the sound, likewise with the breath rubbing on the edge of the bamboo.
- The breath hitting the edge is the connecting place between your feelings and the flute; the better the connection the more accurately your feelings are expressed in pure sound.
- There are two octaves on most bamboo flutes, on some two and a half
- Blow a slower, gentle breath for the lower octave, and a more compressed faster moving breath for the higher octave. With each progressively higher note the breath is slightly faster and more condensed.
- On the lower octave you want to bring in the crispness that comes easily to the higher sounds; and on the higher octave you want to bring in the mellowness that comes so naturally to the lower sounds. This is done by rightly compressing and relaxing the breath.
Things to do
- Work on playing the scale with a short breath for each note, then again with a long steady breath for each note.
- Make your own music by experimenting with fingering and types of breathing.