A flute is a musical instrument that has been around for centuries now. It is one of the oldest instruments used by man. Since it is played by blowing in air from the mouth, it is counted in the 'wind instruments' class. As it is a wind instrument; it produces a smooth and soft tone. A flute can be generally used in almost all types of music such as instrumental flute music, soft rock, blues, classical, and other soft genres. Learning the flute or any other wind instrument has some exceptions. Any wind instrument is not to be learned if the aspiring musician has a breathing problem.
Buying a Flute
The first step in learning to play the flute is to get one for understanding the basics. There are many different types of flutes available in the market today. It is certain that you will get confused as to which one would be suitable for a novice flutist. Typically, you will find two kinds of flutes; one being played by blowing air straight into the end and the other which is played by blowing air to the sides.
The former ones are referred to as notched flutes or fipple flutes, whereas the latter ones are known as transverse flutes. Furthermore, these two categories are again divided into subtypes which differ much in tuning patterns. It is suggested that you visit a musical instrument shop and ask for proper counseling as to which one is appropriate for a beginner. If you do not want to buy the flute, you do have the choice of renting it.
Playing the Flute
Before you start playing the flute, you have to assemble it. The head joint should be added to the middle part by simply pushing it in. The lip plate which has a mouth hold should then be properly aligned with the top rod. The foot joint is the smallest part, and should be added to the end of the body of the instrument. The posture in which you play the flute is very important for producing proper sound. Always stand or sit in an erect position to enable free passage of air. Note that holding the flute with a little downward slant will produce clearer sounds.
Hold the flute to the right, with the lip plate just beneath your lower lip. Place the left hand on the nearest key of a flute; and the right hand further down on the remaining keys. Blow into the flute as if you are saying a long 'too'. You will need a fingering chart to learn the individual notes that are produced by each key. Now, tune the flute to the concert A tone. You can adjust the tone by pulling and pushing the head joint, and using an electronic tuner for accurate tones. In order to be proficient in the skill, you necessarily need to practice correct playing techniques daily.
It is always recommended to take music lessons from professional teachers and musicians. Remember that playing the flute is simply a matter of using breathing techniques with a coordination of the fingerings on the instrument. After you become pretty familiar with the playing techniques, you can go in for step-up models made by brands like Yamaha, Pearl, Jupiter, etc.