Learning to play the flute is often something that people start doing when they’re a kid. But what if you’re an adult learner? How hard will it be? Well, these tips for beginner flute players make it as easy as possible for all ages to get started.
You might wonder what brought on your eagerness to play the flute. You’re not sure whether you’re choosing the flute, or whether it’s somehow choosing you. It just feels as though it should be your instrument.
This might be some kind of genetic desire, as the flute is one of the most ancient instruments.
A Brief History Of The Flute
Flutes have been popular for more than 43,000 years.
The earliest flutes originated in the Palaeolithic era. These are primitive and skeletal creations, which continue to be discovered by archaeologists pretty much all over Europe. The oldest relic currently appears to have been crafted in Germany.
This flute, discovered in the Hohle Fels cave in 2008 is made from vulture bones, has five holes and was cleverly designed to include an intricate V-shaped mouthpiece. Pretty impressive for something that’s estimated to date back 35,000 years!
Flutes are also thought to have affected our development as a species. Early models like the one discovered in the Hohle Fels are thought to have helped to piece together the behavioral and cognitive connection between Neanderthals and early modern humans.
Today’s flutes are available in a staggering variety of shapes and forms. There are little piccolos, huge bass and contrabass flutes, and the most common kind of flute: the concert flute.
Orchestras often use a variety of different flutes, with many using a combination of concert flutes and piccolos to bring out beautiful melodies to create sounds akin to birdsong.
On the other hand, there are more jazzy, bluesy, aggressive rockin’ – hybrid styles of flute playing. Rock, jazz and blues flautists play on instruments made from silver, gold or platinum.
The flute is diverse, expressive and wonderfully portable.
Now we’re sure you’re even more set on becoming the nation’s next James Galway or Ian Anderson. But how to get started? To help you set off on your tooting journey, here are Zing’s 6 Practice Tips For Beginner Flautists:
Tips For Beginner Flute Players – 6 Recommendations To Help You Learn
1) Pull A Sad Face
Even though you’re really happy to have this beautiful instrument in your hands, pull an unhappy face to practice your embouchure.
Your bottom lip should always make a frown shape whilst pressed against the lip plate. This helps focus the air you breath out into the body of the flute, which makes the notes fuller, and improves the tone.
Try doing some daily breathing exercises to improve your playing. For example, gently breath in for 8 seconds hold your breath for 5, and slowly breath out for 10.
By controlling your breath using these relaxation exercises, you will be able to play notes for longer, and control dynamics more effectively.
3) Play Along With A Backing Track Or Metronome.
Playing as part of a group sounds fuller and help you get a better ‘feel’ for the piece of music. To play together, you need to be able to play in time. Using a metronome when you practise will help you become more in time and it can be fun.
Try slowing down and speeding up the music you are learning! It’s enjoyable and will enhance your rhythm and technique.
There are an abundance of beginner books out there with inclusive backing CDs or download codes. Try one out and enjoy the improvement in your timing.
3) Practice, Practice And Practice…
Never give up! Learning a new instrument is difficult, but not impossible. Focus on playing parts of songs that you find challenging and reward yourself by playing your favourite pieces. You could even reward yourself with chocolate. Whatever works for you.
5) Do Your Research
Look up different teachers in your area, visit websites and ask your local music shops for contacts. Think about what style of music you enjoy the most, and try and find a teacher who shares your interest in classical, jazz or popular music.
Finding the right teacher for you will encourage you greatly. The wrong teacher can do the exact opposite.
6) Get Inspired!
Make a point of listening to lots of different flute music.
This will help to broaden your interests, and motivate you to learn new styles and techniques.
Another idea is to join an all abilities orchestra. These groups are full of like-minded, music enthusiasts that can help support your learning by giving you new pieces to play, and low-key concerts to perform at.
There is usually no pressure to play or push new starters out of their comfort zone within these groups. You can go to relax, learn have fun and get a feel for playing as a group.
So what is the best way to learn the flute?
Stay inspired, practice lots, be consistent with your rhythm and relax. Remember to pull a trout-like face for fuller, brighter notes, and, if you choose to go to a tutor, pick carefully. Follow these 6 tips and you’ll be trilling your way to success sooner than you can say pan pipes!