Becoming a flutist can earn you the opportunity to relish your long-sought musicality. In contrast, poor handling and care of the instrument will hamper your talent. Depending on your level of skill or expertise in playing the flute, there are basics that should be taken into consideration. From preparing the instrument before playing, to its proper storage and care after a practice or presentation, the following are the basics that should be instilled by a novice flutist as he embarks on his promising musical career.
Do Instrument Warm Ups
A novice flutist usually consider buying a second-hand flute to mitigate expenses while honing his craft. This may be recommended for beginners, but it poses risks too, especially if second-hand flutes need more than just fine-tuning. A flute that’s already serviced may discourage a beginner if he does not achieve the right notes. What is more challenging is that it is hard to differentiate a brand new flute from a second-hand one. This is why an expert flutist normally does a warm up of the flute before any practice or presentation. In a warm up, the lowest notes are first played, because these notes are prone to errors. This is then followed by the highest notes, and then the others. A more extensive flute warm up is conducted at the start of every term, before aspiring young musicians would come and try to make it in a school ensemble.
Give Yourself Time
Mastering the flute can be difficult. As you gain ground in using your fingers, begin familiarising with just two notes. Afterward, you may add another one for increased difficulty. If you have already gained quite some confidence at each, try to add another note to suit yourself with the intricate playing. A common mistake of a novice flutist is trying to learn all the notes in a flute in one go, and not doing it in a step-by-step manner. Certain lessons do vary in difficulty, hence a methodical approach in learning the flute is necessary.
Once you are already familiar with the notes and finger techniques, try to adjust to a faster speed. However, always remember that it truly pays to give yourself ample time, especially in learning this craft.
Observe a Typical Flute Set Up
Setting up a flute is extremely stringent and methodical. In fact, some young musicians inadvertently destroy flutes due to improper assembly or disassembly. The primary significant step to remember is that one should refrain from twisting any part of the flute. In assembling the parts, one should correctly and properly align the connecting areas. Both parts must be firmly held near their ends to ensure a precise assembly. A common error in assembling is pushing the parts to be together rather holding them firmly to obtain a correct connection. More importantly, it is necessary to seek advice from your mentor or an expert, or perhaps from the flute manufacturer or technician, so you can gather suitable information on the right assembly and disassembly of the instrument.
Observe Proper Instrument Care
Flutes also need regular and extensive maintenance. Cleaning the inside area is extremely viral after every use. In cleaning, synthetic oil and rough cloth should not be applied. Synthetic oils are not viscous and they easily run out along the holes. Furthermore, the holes need proper and extensive cleaning, hence it is recommended to have the technicians or flute experts do the maintenance for you. As for rough cloths, they may be suitable in wiping out the excess moisture, but they may also leave hard-to-remove specks of dust on the hardest-to-reach corners. To prevent this from happening, a flute cleaning kit may be purchased from reputable makers. Kits may differ in content, but all should have a fine cloth, swab or rod, and a tiny brush. More intricate kits may have more than enough swabs or cloths in them, plus a decent amount of flute lubricant.
Proper Instrument Handling
Like most stringed instruments, the flute may be quite challenging to physically handle despite its small stature. Truly, any flute expert has experienced difficulty in handling it initially. Positioning and posture is important in playing the flute. With its largely spaced holes, kids may find it more challenging with their tiny hands; hence good positioning should be adopted while still young. Do-it-yourself books or Youtube videos may find it cumbersome for many to follow, thus it is recommended to learn handling techniques from a mentor or expert. Normally, a flute is played properly by standing or sitting straight, head upright, and eyes forward. This is typically an open stance of playing, which gives you the advantage of playing more distinct and vivid notes. The same open stance applies when you’re on a pedestal.
Hone your Talent Regularly
Practice definitely makes perfect. For a novice, practice is necessary while ensuring that you are not burnt out in the process. As such, it is not effective to have intensive and rigorous practice sessions in your initial quest to become a flutist. Rather, it is recommended to develop your skill through abbreviated yet substantial lessons. A maximum of 20 minutes daily is suggested for beginners. From that, slightly increase the duration depending on your skill level. It is important to attain something new after every practice, so you do not lose your momentum. For instance, a session may focus on proper note transition, while the next one aims to fine-tune your finger positioning. With regular and methodical practice, you will definitely notice much development in flute playing later on.