The Flute Academy
How NOT to sit when playing flute!

How NOT to sit when playing flute!

Mar 16, 2021

This video shows you the 4 WAYS TO NOT SIT when you play the flute!

How NOT to sit when playing flute!

Do you ever get uncomfortable when you play the flute? (Especially in your shoulders, neck, or upper arms).

It could well be because of how you're sitting (or standing) when you play!

Watch the short video to explain the 4 ways of holding the flute that always causes tension and pain, and make playing difficult!

Jane xx

Four demonstrations on how NOT to sit when playing flute

Are you ready for four demonstrations of how not to sit or stand when you play the flute? These four demos are going to show you things that can affect your breathing, it can affect how you sound on the flute. And of course, comfort levels. Whether you're getting little niggles of pain.

My name is Jane and I teach flute players how to make tiny little adjustments to their playing technique that gives them dramatic improvement in how they sound and how easy it is to play.

Don't rest your arm on chair when playing flute

Oh, by the way, at the end of this video, I want to show you how to make some of these tweaks, these adjustments to your embouchure to instantly get it, get you a better sound. So I'll tell you about that at the end of this video.

Okay here is demonstration number one of how not to sit when you play the flute. If you're sitting in a chair like this one with the back, make sure that you don't throw your arm over the back of your chair. See how twisted I am. I can still play, but it's not going to be very comfortable and it's not going to sound that great.

Give yourself plenty of room when playing the flute

It's way more comfortable for me to have enough space around me and play more freely. Now I know that didn't sound that much different because I've got a lot of practice in playing and making it sound good in all sorts of positions. But if you're learning, you definitely don't want to get into the habit of throwing your arm back over the chair.

This happens a lot in bands and in ensembles, or you just don't have enough room between you and the person next to you.

So try and spread yourself out so that you've got room between you and the person on your right as a flute player. And that you've got room to shift around with your chair to be comfortable.

Don't have your flute music flat on the table

The number two way of how not to sit or how not to stand when you play the flute is to have your music on a table in front of you. So this is no good. And I'll show you why.

If I'm playing and I have my music on a music stand in front of me, I can be quite straight. And this is not just so that it looks nice.

It's not an aesthetic thing. It's a balance thing. If I have music down on the table in front of me and I tilt my head forward, there's two things that are going to happen. I'm going to get neck pain because my head is tilted forward. And the weight of the flute goes forward in your hands.

Which means that you're gripping on with your hands to stop your flute from falling forward. Which means a couple of things, you're going to probably get shoulder and arm pain because you're tight in your hands and that's traveling up the rest of your body.

And your hands are going to be tight, like I said, and that's going to slow down your fingers because your fingers are gripping onto the flute and they can't move swiftly and freely and quickly when they're gripping onto your flute.

So that is a great reason to not have your music on a table in front of you, but to have it up on a music stand or if you don't have a music stand, put it on a bookshelf at eye level or just below eye level.

Proper flute playing posture

Now the third way to not sit and not stand when you play the flute is - I'm going to turn on the side to show you this, make sure that you are bringing the flute up to you and not you going to the flute. If you stick your head forward like this, even just a tiny little bit, you're going to get neck pain. You will get neck pain.

And if you don't get it straight away, but you probably won't get it straight away.

But over the weeks, the months and the years you are going to get neck pain. You won't even realize that you're doing a little bit of that. When you get neck pain, that pain goes down your arms and it goes into your shoulders, into your hands. It causes pain.

Slow fingers if using bad flute playing posture

Now all of this part of you and it slows down your fingers as well. It also restricts your breathing. So you really want to make sure that you bring the flute up to you. Think of a string coming out of the top of your head. This is all the time. Get yourself out of the habit of doing this and into the habit of bringing the flute up to you and thinking nice and tall with your body in your neck.

So again, it's not an aesthetic thing. It's a technique, a playing technique, a postural thing that affects your playing. So there you go. That's the third thing of what not to do.

The fourth way of how not to sit and not to stand when you play the flute is the most subtle way. And people often don't realize that they're doing this wrong. So look closely at your own playing. Feel how you're playing and see if this is you because if you can get out of this habit, you're going to do wonders to your playing.

Chair slightly turned when playing the flute

So the number four way of how not to sit and not to stand when you play the flute is to have your body facing forward. Have a look at this. If I'm sitting forward in a chair towards you and you're my music stand, watch what happens to my shoulders when I put my flute up. You're going to see this shoulder go back.

Can you see that I've suddenly twisted my torso? So I'm effectively playing the flute like this. That does nothing great for your breathing because you're tense. And it does nothing great for your sound because you're tense and it does nothing great for keeping you pain-free.

You're going to cause yourself pain if you do this for weeks on end, months, years, you will cause yourself pain.

Like, look how uncomfortable this looks. That is flute playing position. If you start with your body facing forward. So if you're on a chair, if you're sitting in other words, turn your body to the right and twisted. You've suddenly got space in here and you feel a whole lot freer.

The other thing you can do is turn your actual chair to the right, like this.

Now that's how a lot of, actually this is how most, probably all orchestral band, good band players that you see, they will have their chair turned to the right a little bit. I know this is well. If you're more comfortable to shifting on your chair, that works too.

So all of a sudden you can see that when I'm facing to the right, but I'm playing to you - you're my music stand, everything's straight. I've got space and I'm not squished. My arms are not squished against my body like this that's bad and painful. Now I'll just put my chair back.

If you're standing point your feet to the right a little bit, it untwists your body. And it means that you can get yourself nicely aligned with your torso straight, space in here, and your arms not squashed against your body like this.

Tiny shifts to your playing make flute playing more comfortable

That is a great example of how you can make a tiny shift to your playing that makes playing so much more comfortable. You're breathing more freely. It affects your sound and it gives you more air to play with.

Instantly improve your flute tone

So another example of making tiny shifts to your playing is in the mini-course that I've created. It shows you three tweaks to adjust your embouchure, which gives you an instantly better sound. I'd love you to come and do it because it really shows you how to instantly improve your tone by learning the proper technique. And that's what I love teaching.

So come along to Register there. It's free. And I'd love to see you in the first lesson there. See you later.

Faster Progress Through Proper Technique ™

Learn how making the right tiny adjustments to your flute playing accelerates your progress.

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

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