with Jane

December 2010

The Flute Academy

Faster Progress Through Proper Technique

Join Jane in The Flute Academy to transform your flute playing - one clever tweak at a time!

Find out more

Flute Questions

👉🏼 3:26 Bronwyn asks: Do you pull the flute head joint out every time you practise, or only in the warmer months?

👉🏼 6:11 Cath asks: How do you play dynamics on the flute? Does it just depend on your air speed?

👉🏼 11:05 Cath also asks: How do you play notes that have staccatos as well as a slur over the top?

Here's the piece (Andante in C) I used to demonstrate for Cath.

👉🏼 13:49 Lesley asks: How do you play a tune off by heart? What is an example of a good tune to try and accomplish this with?

Here's the piece (Minuet) I used to demonstrate for Lesley.

👉🏼 19:05 Inga asks: Do you have a suggestion how to quickly warm up? Many times I can't warm up properly when I play with the guitar group and my playing doesn't sound as clearly as it should.

👉🏼 21:37 Elaine asks: When playing the flute is it best to use a T sound with your tongue or a P sound in your embouchure?

👉🏼 25:34 Andrew asks: I experience difficulty with tone production in rapid finger passages, for example Bach’s C major sonata, second movement with all those semiquavers. I think it is body tension which is causing me problems, from shoulders to elbows wrists and fingers — and the embouchure. Can you recommend a way to work on releasing this tension which will help free up my playing and get everything flowing better? So, relaxation exercises well suited to flute players? Ways of warming up with and without the flute? Ways of practising extended rapid passages without tone production closing down as I go along?

Here's the piece (Bach C major sonata) I used to demonstrate for Andrew.

👉🏼 32:26 Margo asks: Is it more effective to play with your flute lower on your chin or is it okay to play with your flute higher on your lip?

Here is the link to the free mini-course to improve your tone, Margo.

👉🏼 34:11 Kaandis asks: In what cases would you use thumb Bb instead of long Bb or even lever Bb? I've gotten too used to using thumb Bb for every Bb I play, that I'm now having difficulties when there are many accidentals on B.

Here is the mini-lesson, "Which Bb fingering on the flute is correct?" for you Kaandis.

👉🏼 36:06 Sean asks: Do you have any suggestions for flute maintenance?

👉🏼 38:21 Moss asks: Is it common for flute players to get “tennis elbow” or tendinitis? I have it in my left arm and have been unable to play for weeks. I must be holding the flute incorrectly because I never play for longer than one hour. Could you show me the correct way to hold the left arm please?

👉🏼 42:47 Helle asks: I was just wondering today, if having a more expensive flute would make it easier to hit the 3rd octave G, and above? I cannot get 3rd octave A at all. The G is as high as I can go. If you need an expensive flute, what price range would you suggest?  Also, how is a professional, more expensive flute better? Does it improve your sound quality if you know the technique?

👉🏼 50:58 Marisa asks: My question is about nagging problems with directing my airstream. I’m trying to learn to play the upper octaves more successfully, and I’m having trouble with getting the airflow going in the right direction, especially when coming from notes in the lower range. I’m doing the overtone exercise where you blow a low note and then move your jaw/lips forward to redirect the airstream higher in order to get the next octave and overtones (rather than just pushing the air harder to achieve the overtones); but I often end up moving my lips forward so much that I eventually direct the air up and over the instrument without getting any of the overtones during the whole process. I can’t consistently get the overtones solely by moving my lips to redirect the air, which means I’m compensating by blowing harder to get the notes in the upper registers. Is there something specific I can do, or do I just need to be patient and wait for it to get better with time?? Thank you!

👉🏼 56:17 Frank asks: What is the best way to maintain intonation when going across all 3 registers - low, middle, and high?  Especially jumping from low to high.

👉🏼 59:36 Sue asks: How do you consistently achieve a low C on the flute?

Here is the mini-lesson, "Why you can't play low C on the flute" to help you Sue.

👉🏼 1:02:18 Phil asks: Here’s one thing I find tricky, if not nearly impossible to do quickly and precisely - that is descending an octave from the second ‘D’ to the first (D6 to D5). There has to be a way to do this D - D in a piece such as a jig without completely fudging the second D. Going uphill seems much easier.

👉🏼 1:04:42 Marie asks: How do I learn how to roll my r's for flutter tonguing? Can you help me devise a way to roll them?

Here is the mini-lesson, "How to Flutter Tongue on the Flute" to help you further Marie.

👉🏼 1:06:55 Jasmine asks: How do I get a less airy sound on the flute?

Here is the free mini-course to improve your tone Jasmine.

👉🏼 1:07:32 Kate asks: I've figured out that if I use the vowel sounds to change where my tongue and soft palate are in the back of my mouth, it really is almost all I need to do to make a diminuendo or crescendo with almost no change in tone colour or pitch. I also change this for getting the second and third octaves and tone colours. All my life I was taught just to use my embouchure, so I was just wondering if this is a correct way to do things. I'm actually thinking this must be a lot of the 'breath support' flute teachers talk about. It seems to work so much better. My aperture does change a little but in a very relaxed way.

👉🏼 1:09:54 Jane asks: Does wearing lipstick affect playing the flute?

👉🏼 1:10:38 Jennavie asks: Can playing the flute regularly expand my breathing capacity or do I need to do certain exercises to expand it?

👉🏼 1:13:20 Yosi asks: I had a serious accident and two of the ligaments in my right arm were severed. Basically, It's hard for me to hold up the flute. I prop up my arm with a post which I put just below my elbow. It's far from perfect, but at least I can play. Do you have any ideas how I could better support my arm?

👉🏼 1:15:18 Rob asks: How do you stop your flute from rolling off when playing C and C#?

👉🏼 1:17:31 Gwyn asks: What is the point of tonguing? How do you do it?

👉🏼 1:20:16 Emer asks: How do I play the most amazing high notes with no extra air sound?

Here is the free mini-course to improve your tone first Emer, and then do this mini-course to learn the proper way of playing high notes.

And this is the piece (from The Nutcracker Suite) I used to demonstrate tonguing to Emer.