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 help playing C
Author: janlynn 
Date:   2008-10-11 21:29

o-kay i got my new/used flute this week and started out not being able to play a thing. i got some books today and it took awhile but finally started getting some notes out. but how to you hold the flute to play a C without using your left thumb key?

I will be having my first lesson next week but wanted to get going on it before then.

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 Re: help playing C
Author: sylvangale 
Date:   2008-10-12 22:35

Your left hand index finger and chin hold the flute up while your right hand thumb and pinky keep it from rolling.

The left hand finger and chin help create a spot where the flute is supported by your head and not just your hands.

Check out youtube for videos of flutists with closups of hand position. Seeing it in action works best:

Nina Perlove - Instruction & performance

James Galway - Master class & interviews

Jennifer Cluff - Instruction

♫ Stephen K.

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 Re: help playing C
Author: janlynn 
Date:   2008-10-23 14:08

do most beginners have trouble holding the flute while playing C? I'm getting there but struggling. My gosh, you would think the flute weighed a 100 pounds when I try to play that note. lol

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 Re: help playing C
Author: Claireinet 
Date:   2008-10-28 01:53

Don’t forget your right hand thumb is also supporting the flute! I would definitely second looking at Jennifer Cluff’s videos and her website (and all of the others mentioned as well).

Here is a link to her alignment articles: (I'm not sure how to make this a hotlink... )

I especially liked the “What’s the best way to align my headjoint?” and “Rockstro Flute Holding Position: Description of MODIFIED ROCKSTRO & other flute positions: “ articles, but they are all fantastic. She really has done a wonderful job on her website.

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 Re: help playing C
Author: Pam H. 
Date:   2008-10-31 02:01

I had trouble at first. Don't be afraid to press it into your chin. Also for most notes (except D natural) you can leave the Eb anchor key down.

Another thing that helped me in the beginning was purchasing these little things I think are called Bo-peps. They are small and black and just snap onto the flute body and may help keep your hands in the correct position. You just have to be careful that they don't move around and block your keys any. For me they helped at first but after a while were just a bother and I took them off.

It is a totally different position than holding a clarinet - that's for sure!

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 Re: help playing C
Author: kawallace91 
Date:   2010-05-27 04:26

I'm having the same issue right now (clarinet player learning flute this summer). I thought that getting a sound out would be the hard part, but it turns out that holding it has been the real challenge! I've been trying to resist the urge to rest my left thumb down below the keys when I play C, but I feel like I'm starting to put way too much pressure on my right pinky finger (I think I'm almost bending it backwards and it's getting very painful). I'll definitely take a look at those videos later!

I didn't realize playing the flute was such a balancing act! Like Pam H. just said, it's not at all like playing the clarinet where you have a thumb rest!

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