Flute practice tips

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Have you ever wondered if there were flute practice tips to study in a more efficient way but in less time? That is why you might need some flute practice tips!

flute practice

Whether you need to study for, let’s say a flute ensemble, whether you are a beginner flutist or a pro, whether you play flute jazz, and other instruments in a band, whether you look for an actual flute job or you need to prepare any other flute genre, you will have asked yourself if there was a more efficient way in a short amount of time to become confident with the sheet music or the Jazz solo.

You will already have created your very own and personalized flute practice with the help of your teacher’s or colleagues’ tips. Whatever flute you play, even the pan flute, which flute tunes you are trying to study or if you are preparing for an audition with orchestral backing and piano accompaniment, you will need to make sure, you don’t waste any time or are even studying in a way that actually diminishes your performance.

So the question is:

What do they really mean when they say “you better go, and study some more at home”?

 

How to study effectively in short time at home                                                             5 flute practice tips


 

You only have 20 min now and then? Make sure you use them wisely. You don’t need your flute for the first two flute practice tips.

 

—-> Flute Practice Tip 1

  • The very first step is to get an idea about how it should sound in the end. In your head, without playing any of it, look at the flute sheet music and turn the flute notes into a sound in your mind.

Breathe with the imagined melody and give it a direction. Is the phrase leaning forward or backward? Would you play it bold or intimate? Do you wish for a clear, warm, mystical, deep, seductive sound or are you just telling a story? Is it narrative or contemplative? Does the phrase consist of a question and an answer? Or just one big feeling?

Try to identify the inner meaning of whatever you are about to study and sing it inside your body. Try to locate the sound. Does it come from your belly, your feet, your back, your elbows, your head? Does it move? If you have trouble imagining any of it, listen to recordings on YouTube.

 

—-> Flute Practice Tip 2

  • Sing it! I know you won’t like it, but you should try to sing whatever you study, in any register or octave, but sing it. This part you can do in the shower, car, elevator or on a walk.

 

—-> Flute Practice Tip 3

  • Now you will probably know why you became a flutist and not a singer, and be thankful that the flute can produce any sound in more than 3 octaves.

While keeping your flute in your hand, go over the sheet music again imagining the flute sound. Then move your fingers on the flute while still playing the piece only in your head.

 

—-> Flute Practice Tip 4

  • At this point you actually put your flute in a playing position, breathe and sing with your flute, yes I mean really sing and play simultaneously. This will get your air support system ready, open your throat and connect what we have done so far with the flute playing.

Don’t skip this step, it is very important to link playing the flute to the things you can do to study flute music without the flute. You will gain deep understanding of the music and intonation.

 

—-> Flute Practice Tip 5

  • Play the piece just once and don’t judge any of the aspects. You will wish to play it again, but I recommend not to. Leave it there and go practice 20 min of scales and arpeggios. Then another twenty minutes of sound quality. Then sing and play again in the third 20-min portion of your time.

And only after that go and play it. You will have played it only twice (without singing) but it will sound like you played it all your life. Because it has phrasing, breathing, direction, meaning and all the musical expressive elements that are available to you at the present moment.

 

Flute yoga – whole body flute practice tip


 

Have you ever noticed that they use flute music for yoga? It’s because it is deeply connected to our air stream, so the basis of our life. Whenever we breathe we express ourselves, we take in and produce a certain type of energy. This happens independently whether you think about it or not.

Actually most people don’t and live in constant reaction to something they can’t seem to control. Whenever we control our breathing, match it to the result we wish, we are in charge, controlling our life. So we flutists actually have a gift. We can use that to calm down others and make them aware, but also for ourselves.

Let us own our choreography of airflow,

flute air flow coreography, controlling your expression by controlling the movement of your air streamlet us decide its velocity, pressure, angle, volume, directness or indirectness. Whether it circles in our mouth before getting out, whether it does that inwardly or outwardly (clockwise or anticlockwise).

Does it resonate in our head and gain harmonics or just leave our body? Or maybe it creates a very direct flute sound?

We can choose whether our inner mouth and neck position matches an “o” or an “i”, where we use a decisive or soft consonant to start the sound and to end it. Whether we use one at all.

We can decide the dance the air performs before leaving our body and the vibration it creates in the flute and surrounding area. If you feel intimidated by all these possibilities, do some more of the 5 steps for effective flute practice and when you get excited about expressing the feeling and sound you now understand try some flute yoga again.

Breathe and be excited of what your air stream does to express your melody. Just observe, don’t judge. Be excited and curious. There is no right or wrong at this moment.

 

Create your personal flute practice routine


Choose your very own practice every day. Look for routine parts and varying parts, make it part of your flute playing every time you play.

For more tips and tricks read also —-> flute hacks

Most important of all, own your playing, the flute is part of you, not the other way around.

Play with joy and a wish to share.

Enjoy every moment of it.

I would love to read what you think and how you feel about my ideas. Maybe you have some more helpful flute practice tips and tricks?

Thank you for reading my blog on flute practice tips and have a wonderful topflute life.

Janie

founder of

Jana Theresa Hildebrandt

                   topflute.com

and      myflutelife.com

 

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12 Replies to “Flute practice tips”

  1. Great hacks and points here! I personally do not play the flute, however, have played many other instruments for over 20 yrs. A lot of these steps are something I can attest to be effective techniques for any instrument!

  2. Thank you Janie for a great article. Having been a musician all my life, I can hear your passion and expression in your words. I thought your perspective on “visualizing” the piece and actually learning to hear the song through the sheet music before you ever play it is brilliant. Your techniques take a musician far below the surface to reveal the dynamics that turn a player into a musician.

    Thank you so much.

    Michael

    1. Thank you, Michael! I can’t tell you how happy I am that another professional musician thinks that my very personal ideas that helped me in all those years can be of use to others too. I can feel by how you write about it that you have always been a true musician, with expression and communication, reaching the audiance and playing with them and the overall vibration like a true virtuoso!
      Thank you for your comment!

  3. Bravo! I watched your music video and all I have to say is bravo! It reminds me of two artists from my country that you are probably familiar with. Have you heard of Two Cellos? I like the sound of the flute as well as every other classical instrument. You two are a fantastic duo and I like your sound! Thanks for sharing your tips and hack on how to play smarter and faster.

    1. You compare me to THE two cellos?? I love them, absolutely adore them. They have taken a classical instrument that they play at a high level and shown that it is also rock, music is everything and not least, classical instruments’ musicians do not have to be old, white-haired and a little snob…they can be very good at what they do, have fun, spread fun to everyone and also be good-looking. I didn’t know that they were from Kroatia. Thank you so much for your comment of appreciation. We are a German-Cuban Duo in love with Italy and it’s music.

  4. You are a brilliant musician and you obviously know what you’re talking about! I’ve played the piano for many years when I was still in school, so I can relate to some of the tipps & tricks you have explained here. However, it never struck me to SING with the melody! Thinking about it now, it makes total sense. By the way, great video 🙂

    1. Thank you James! I wish more musicians would sing what they do, it involves your body, resonates with you and then with others, too. Thanks for watching the video! Happy you enjoyed it.

  5. Excellent post for all aspiring musicians. When my children were young, it was always a challenge to get them to consistently practice their instruments. This would have been useful. I’m sure many out there will appreciate this. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much. I wish to give musical practice it’s natural place in our lives, our music becomes part of us, even in the very beginning. One note will resonate in our body for hours and hours, the more we integrate and ease our practice the more the time we practice has actually value and will be efficient. Thank you for commenting!

  6. I really enjoyed reading this article on flute practice tips, even though I’m not a musician. I love the idea of practicing the notes in your mind. I believe this is something you can do with any learned skill to improve performance. Practicing the flute notes by singing sounds good, but I don’t think I’d enjoy doing that in a lift full of people lol!

    I love the way you beautifully describe how to sing a flute sound within, connecting with energy, and imagining it as a feeling. I really enjoyed the video of you playing the flute, you’re very talented!

    1. Dear Kathy, thank you so much for taking the time! I love how you engage with the practice and am sure you can use it in any field in the end. It is really universal as an idea. Thank you for watching my video and leaving a comment,
      all the best,
      Janie

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