The key to being great at playing any type of musical instrument is how you hold it. If you are not holding the flute correctly it will be nearly impossible to hit the notes. If you do get lucky you will not be able to continue hitting the notes in succession, as all songs require. It may seem like a pointless part of playing the flute, but it is one of the most important aspects of playing any instrument.
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One of the biggest keys to holding, and playing, the flute properly is your posture. Without it being correct it does not matter how you hold the flute because it will cause you to have difficulties hitting the proper notes, as well as causing pain in your neck and back. You should be sitting, or standing, with your spine straight and upright. Position your head squarely above your body, aligning like the way your body was designed. Do not slouch or bend forward. Do not allow yourself to become too stiff, otherwise you will get cramps and you will not be able to breathe deeply and effectively.
Left Hand Position
Once you have your posture perfected it is time to work on your hand placement. Your left-hand position to be exact. This is the hand that controls the keys that are closest to the mouthpiece. You will want to rest your thumb on the first key on the bottom of the flute, with your fingers wrapping up and over to the top. From there your index finger will go on the second key, your middle finger goes on the fourth key and your ring finger will rest on the fifth. You will be holding the weight of the flute with your left hand, cradling it against your palm and thumb, with a little help from your index finger.
Right Hand Position
Your right hand will form a “C” on the foot end of the flute. This is the hand that you will move when you need to change the flute sheet music on the stand in front of you so it needs to be loose and mobile. Tuck your thumb under the instrument to help support the weight and wrap your fingers around the instrument, making sure the palm of your right hand is facing away from you. Your fingers will rest on the keys by the foot of the flute.
Parallel to the Floor
As you continue to play the flute you will need to pay close attention to how you are holding the instrument. It should always be held parallel to the ground to ensure that you are in the proper posture for optimal playing. It may seem like a good idea to move your head up and down with the beat of the music, and even though it is fun to get into the song in such a way it will disrupt your posture. This in turn will cause your notes to be off, and it will make it hard to hit the notes on time.
The flute is a beautiful instrument that has a unique sound. It can be easy to play if you let it become one with you as you are playing it. If you fight to position it correctly, and you are always having to reposition your lips and hands, you will have one of the most stressful experiences of your life.
What it all boils down to is that you need to hold your frame upright and in proper form, but in a relaxed enough of a way that you can play the music without struggling and fighting yourself. Just put the music sheets on the stand, pick up your flute, and start making some music.