Before learning how to hold a flute properly, it’s important to understand the position of the hand when holding it. The hands of a flute player should be relaxed and in a C shape, as outlined by Quantz. The left wrist should be bent slightly, so that the third finger of the left hand can rest directly under the first finger on the right. The hand should have a slightly curved shape with fleshy pads covering the flute’s holes.
The right thumb touches the final three keys with its body joint. The left hand doesn’t have a thumb key, so the thumb should rest on the right side of the flute’s body. The right hand palm should face out and fingers should form a loose C shape, with the thumb resting on the last key at the foot joint end. If you’re not sure where to place your fingers, refer to the flute’s manual to find out where they should be placed.
The right position for playing the flute is crucial for beginners. The flute should be brought close to the student’s lips. The student should avoid holding the flute in an in-between position. This position makes playing the flute much harder. While holding the flute parallel to the ground is safe, holding it above it could lead to injuries. It’s a common mistake for beginners to hold the flute too high, too low, or too far away from the student’s lips.
The left hand controls the keys closest to the mouthpiece. The right hand should rest the thumb on the first key, with the middle and ring fingers positioned over the other two keys. The left hand should also rest its pinky on the second key. Once the right hand is in the correct position, it will feel more natural and comfortable. When holding a flute, remember to keep your fingers loose so that they won’t interfere with playing the instrument.
The left hand controls the keys closest to the head joint, which is where the embouchure hole is located. The flutist blows into the hole, which is located in the head joint of the flute. The left hand should rest on the keys closest to the mouthpiece with the index finger, middle finger, and ring finger resting on the keys in the right hand. The left hand should never touch the keys on the first or the third key.
Another common problem occurs with the right hand. This habit often leads to a protruding thumb. The right hand is naturally more comfortable when the thumb is in a more natural position, but this may be difficult for some students to break. Taking the time to correct postural issues is essential to achieving a natural right hand position. Fortunately, Dr. Carolyn Keyes is a flutist and arts advocate and joined the faculty at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. She shares the same concerns about how to hold a flute as any other instrument.
The proper posture should be upright and relaxed. Avoid slouching and keep your head level. Avoid leaning forward, as this causes air to be restricted and can cause injury. Also, do not lock your knees! This posture will restrict blood flow and may even cause you to fall over. In short, it’s best to be upright as much as possible. So, remember to practice in a comfortable manner to ensure a good performance.