The Flute Academy

How to Assemble Your Flute Without Breaking It!

Sep 16, 2015

How To Assemble Your Flute Without Breaking It!

In this video I am going to show you how to put your flute together, and then where to put your fingers when you play it. Your flute will come in three parts - the head joint, the body and the foot joint. So take out all three pieces and I will show you how to put them together. Take the head joint in one hand and the body in the other. Hold them so that your hands aren't gripping the keys. Avoid gripping the keys, because when you end up twisting it together you don't want to break or bend the keys as they are quite delicate. With a gentle twisting motion, put the sections together. And now you do the same for the foot joint. Hold the flute, avoiding the keys like you were doing before, take the foot joint and hold it so that you're avoiding the rods and keys. You really want to avoid the rods of the flute as much as possible. Over time they can bend, which will stop your flute from working properly! So get the 2 parts as straight as possible, and instead of jamming it straight on, I want you to twist the parts together. The rod on the foot joint goes in the middle of this key (see video). Some people like to line it up differently (see video), but when the flute is put together like that, you can't play it very well... At the top end of the middle section (the body), some flutes have markings in the silver, little engravings so that you know how to align it with the head joint of the flute. On my flute there are no markings so I put black marks myself so that I know. The way I work out where the black marks go is by looking down your flute with one eye closed. If you look at the embouchure hole here and you line it up with the keys of the body of the flute (see video). To help you get your head joint in the right spot every time you play your flute, you can line it up like I showed you, or you can use the marks that are already on your flute. But if you don't have any marks on your flute and you want an easy way to do this every time, take a permanent marker (on the flute it's not permanent!). You can see on my flute (in the video), a few weeks ago I had two black marks, one on the head joint and one on the body of my flute, and the one on the body is already wearing off. That's just after a few weeks, so don't worry about it damaging your flute. You can do a smaller black mark than what I did, I just had quite a thick texter. If you have a finer one you can do a finer mark than what I did. You will notice that I pulled the head joint out a little bit, instead of being all the way in, it's pulled out a bit. Temperature is an environmental factor that affects whether you are going to be in tune, or if you will be sharp or flat. Just start with your flute headjoing pulled out about half a centimeter or a quarter of an inch. Now it is time to learn where to put your fingers on the flute. If you have a look at my flute there is actually holes in them, but my students' flutes do not have holes in them. I am going to show you this from a few angles because it can be a little bit confusing when you are watching someone front on to be able to copy them. Holding your flute so that it doesn't feel like you're about to drop it is all about balance. I am going to work with you on getting you to hold the flute in a way that is reasonably comfortable and will become more comfortable as you become used to it. As well as being able to move your fingers quickly and with ease. The first thing you want to do is put your left hand out, and you will notice that you have this little squishy bit between this joint and this joint of your index finger, that squishy bit between the two joints is where you want the flute to rest. So when you are holding it, a lot of the weight is going to be on that squishy bit there. Rest the flute on that squishy bit now, see where you have that second key? Somewhere between those. Now put your thumb on this key at the back. Index finger goes on this key. You are going to skip this key and put your next one here, then here. This finger goes on that key (see video). For the other hand... Don't worry if you can't hold it in one hand just like this, but I've got the balance worked right out and you will too. The right hand, first finger, second finger, third finger, and the little finger goes on this key. Sometimes you use down here but for now you use this. The thumb rests underneath. It takes a little bit of the weight here, but not a lot. This joint takes most of the weight. I am going to show you that now in reverse and you will find that it is a different perspective and you might find that it is even easier. Excuse my back, lets do that again. Squishy bit, between these two keys, a bit closer to this one. Thumb on here, flat thumb by the way, not pointed thumb. First finger, second, third, and the little one goes on here. Now the other hand, thumb goes under here and takes a little bit of the weight, and your little finger on here. If you got that, what I want you to do, because I am pretty confident that you will have put your hands in the right position... Don't worry if it doesn't feel comfortable, we are going to work on that. What I want you to do though is take your hands away, hold the flute, hold it like this, by the way hold it right here not here because sometimes the body can fall out of the head joint. Hold it there. Right now I have a bit of a challenge for you. Can you put your fingers back in exactly the same spot? If you need to rewind this video to have another look, that is completely fine. Continue to take hands away and put them back on the flute until you are confident that you remember which keys to put them on. I am going to show you how to put the flute back into the case so that it never breaks. When you are a kid, you no doubt had really basic jigsaw puzzles, where there was a triangle, a square and a circle and you had to put the pieces in the right spot. This is exactly the same. If it doesn't fit perfectly, don't close the case because you might bend something. There are a couple of tricks though to get the flute into the case the right way. I want you to take the foot joint of the flute off, and do it in reverse. Hold it up here with one hand and down here with the other and twist rather than pull. You will see you have one section in the flute case for a small piece, and it goes right in there. This little piece where you put your little finger is going to go near the middle of the case, that's one way to remember this. Take the remainder of your flute, and same thing, twist. Holding in the right spots. The body goes in this way. This little key where you had your left hand little finger is going to sit in the middle in this section. People have been known to put it in this way, but all that happens is you've closed the case and bend this key right off and bye-bye flute. Then take your head joint, and that goes in here. You will see that there is a little indent in the case, for the lip plate so you know where it goes. In some cases you might not have this, but you can remember how to put your flute into the case by this hold goes near the middle. So you have your little finger key here, little finger key here, and the hole here. So they all go towards the middle. If that's a bit confusing, which it can be, take the flute out in three pieces and put it back in. Take the flute out, mix it around and put it back in. That's what I do with my students when they start. It's a bit of a game and it's quite fun. Also, you learn how to put the flute in the case really quickly. You now know where to put your fingers, know how to safely put your flute in its case, I am going to see you in the next video.

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