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5 Important Tips that Flute Players Must Keep in Mind

 With an ability to create music as mesmerising as Nature, the flute is, interestingly, the oldest known instrument to humankind. This musical instrument can produce a diverse range of music (from sharp to deep), depending upon the flute's size and material. Playing the flute and progressing through the stages is a soul-satiating experience. But poor techniques, incorrect posture, and irregular practice can hold you back from reaping the best of this musical journey. 

Flute players

Flute players, especially the newbies to the instrument must note these essential tips to keep themselves motivated in their Flute-playing journey. 

Mastering the Breathing Technique

The flute is an instrument that transforms soundless breath into incredible music! To play this musical instrument, one should learn the correct breathing technique. The workout starts with learning to hold your breath for longer, especially to master playing higher notes. The method deploys diaphragmatic breathing, which is good for both flautists and everyone. It strengthens the diaphragm and the lungs, enabling players to hold their breath for long without getting exhausted while playing the flute. 

One essential exercise in learning the proper breathing technique is practising Pranayama, which translates into controlling the life force. Practising this exercise helps flautists to focus on breath, where they inhale (through both the nostrils) up to their lung capacity, then hold it for as long as they can, and exhale it entirely through both the nostrils. 

Flautists, especially beginners, must regularly practice holding the notes (Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni) on the flute for as long as possible. Playing Sargam (or the seven notes) ensures a better understanding of the sound of every single note and enhances breathing. Most of the offline and online flute lessons come with the different course levels, so you can choose the right one according to your experience in playing flute.

Correct Finger Techniques

Flute music relies entirely on breathing and the correct finger movements over the instrument. The simple-looking flute usually has seven holes, but it deploys all the fingers to create music. Initially, holding the flute might also seem daunting, but with patience and practice, the fingers get in tune with the flute. They tend to develop muscle memory & sub-consciously hit the right notes at the right time. They work in tandem with the player's breath and adjust themselves to play the lower, middle, and higher octaves. P.S- This control over the flute comes with a lot of practice, and one must not lose patience in the process (for at least three weeks of consistent training). 

To master a fluid finger movement on the flute, one must practice Sargam (ascending and descending order) regularly, moving further to playing the Taans (combinations of different notes). There comes a time when flute enthusiasts can play complex note combinations effortlessly with consistent practice!

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Understanding the Music, You Wish to Create 

Unlike other musical instruments, the flute does not have a sound of its own. This fact makes the initial stages of flute playing comparatively tricky. The flute heavily relies on breathing and finger techniques to produce worthwhile music. It is thus vital to understand the music one wishes to create. One must know the sound of every single note played at different octaves (lower, middle, and high). This understanding comes with regular practice. For example, if you are trying to play higher Ma, you must know the sound of it. So that when you play it wrong, you immediately realise that you need to practice more. Your ears become the ultimate guide to your flute playing. Great flautists believe that to produce a tune on the flute; one must get in tune with themselves first.

Repeating What You Learn 

Learning any instrument is a gradual process and expecting to master a musical instrument overnight is sadly unrealistic. Especially when taking up a musical instrument, it is vital to repeat what you have learned previously! Polishing the basics every day lays a strong foundation and helps one assimilate the complicated concepts of playing the instrument.

In the case of the flute, learners are required to practice breathing and finger exercises regularly. Students must play Sargam and Taans as a ritual before jumping on to Ragas or songs. Even the previous learnt compositions (be it a Raga or melody), must be practised on the flute without fail. Revision aids in building muscle memory and makes flute playing an outstanding experience. 

Patience and Practice are the Keys 

Every minute of practice without losing patience will help flautists experience this musical instrument's magical capabilities. There are so many techniques possible on the flute that can add colours to flute music. Some of them are the vibrato technique, multiphonics, harmonics, tongue ram, and much more. Mastering the basics to build a strong foundation in flute playing is the most time-consuming process and requires utmost patience plus consistent practice. Once the basics are at your fingertips, these complicated techniques also become easy to cover. In fact, with solid basics, you tend to develop and innovate your unique style of playing this fantastic instrument. Only through patience and practice you can give endless possibilities to your flute playing.

Experience the Magic of Playing the Flute

Learning to play the flute is a rewarding experience. The moment you learn to create music from the breath for the first time is one of the most precious thing. Connecting with music- vocal or instrumental is like connecting with the divine. That's why no matter what instrument you pick up to play, keeping it in good condition is vital! The flute is a simple but delicate instrument. Be it a wooden or a metallic flute, one should always protect it from getting hit by a hard surface. Even a minor crack in a wooden flute or a small dent in a metallic flute may affect the flute's tonal quality. Cleaning the instrument regularly and keeping it devoid of dust particles is also essential for the flute to last longer. 

Summing It Up

Thus, by following the tips mentioned above, this extraordinary instrument will become your companion for life. These tips will keep you motivated to upgrade your flute-playing skills and allow you to enjoy the music created by you. And if you are a beginner thinking of how to play flute, then for sure, these tips can help you a bit as the first step.

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