The Flute Academy
How to Align the Flute Head Joint Properly

How to Align the Flute Head Joint Properly

Oct 08, 2018

Do you know how to align a flute head joint properly?

 There's the simple way (line the embouchure hole up with the keys), and the more complex way (which takes other factors into account).

This "more complex way" isn't actually complex - it's just a lot more interesting!

It factors in your face shape, your natural (habitual) way of already playing, your hand shape, and the weight distribution of the keys on the flute.

The HIDDEN BENEFITS of lining up the flute this way is that your flute will be a lot more balanced, meaning you can concentrate on getting better at the flute. (Not spending wasted energy on holding on to your flute so it doesn't wobble around!)

See you in the video!

Jane x

This question is How do I align my flute correctly? Meaning this in line with what down here, there's a simple answer and a slightly more complex answer. The simple answer is basically have this on embouchure hole lined up with the first of these keys. Now it doesn't need to be exact. And I'll explain that in a second. The more complex answer is that's just a starting point. It's a very good starting point. And I would recommend putting a little mark on your flute like this. I have that's black, permanent marker, but you can also use liquid paper. Permanent marker is great. It's not actually permanent. This keeps coming off every like few weeks and I have to keep drawing it on cuz this flu is particularly slippery. This gives you a really good starting base for the content of the complex answer, which is it's very specific to each player.

How much more detailed you need to get with a position than it just being in line with the first key. So the things that can affect how this specific position varies. Shape of face, shape of chin, shape of with lips, how big one's hands are, the habits that you're in when playing the flute. The more important question to ask beyond having that in line with these keys is how is the embouchure? You want this hole interacting with your embouchure perfect. Once you get that position and that interaction excellent, that by the way, I describe in the YouTube videos of how to get a good sound on the flute first go, or how to make a great sound or how to do a flute embouchure or something like that. It's in two parts. It shows you the exact alignment of this with your mouth, like exact alignment.

Once you've got that, then you look at your hands. So some people say that they get these keys should be level with the floor. That looks pretty. But in actual fact, there is so much more weight on these rods than on the other side, that your flute's naturally going to tip that way if you have the keys lined up with the floor. So you want the flute tipped forward just a little bit so that it counterbalances this heavy side, it's more got a centre of balance. And it means that you are not spending your hand energy, trying to stop the flute from rolling. It can basically be quite balanced in your hands. Now, if you put your hands in that position and the embouchure hole is aligned in the way that I talk about with your embouchure. That determines how specific you get here. That is what tells you how specifically you line up this with this, or if a little bit turned in or a little bit turned out.

There you go. That was a very comprehensive answer.  If that was too comprehensive and you're really just beginning, go back to the simple answer. Line up the embouchure hole with the first key and start there. That is the perfect place to start from. See you.

Do you want more flute playing tips like that? I mean, things that make a really big difference to your flute playing straight away. Well, my name is Jane, by the way, Jane Cavanagh from The Flute Teacher School. I live in Sydney, Australia, as you can tell, maybe from my accent. If you want a free little course that teaches you exactly that specific technique to get you instantly better at the flute, then just put in your email address in the link below or on this screen. And I will send you some free stuff about how to get your sound so much better and a whole bunch of other things that really make an instant difference.


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!

Find out more

The Flute Academy acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways of Australia.