How to use the flute trill keys

How to Use the Flute Trill Keys

Nov 07, 2023

Here's an easy way to remember how to use the trill keys correctly on the flute. You'll see 7 trills on the flute that use these keys, and they make trills easy, and sound really good!

Learn how to use the flute trill keys correctly!

You're going to learn in this video, how to use the trill keys on the flute exactly correctly.

Using the flute trill keys

My name is Jane Cavanagh, I'm a flute teacher. I live in Australia and I teach my students exact proper technique, which gets them instantly faster progress on the flute. So it's great learning faster progress through learning proper technique. This is not so much a technique. This is just correct information that you're going to learn.

The 7 trills on the flute that use the trill keys

So there's really seven common trills on the flute that you use these trill fingerings for, which is crazy, right? Because you might go: there's only two trill keys. How do you use it for seven different trills? And they might not be the trills that you think. A lot of people, you know, flute players, they'll just use these trill keys just because it sounds good, you can make good sounds. But it's not necessarily the right ones that they're using.

The C to D trill on the flute

Okay. Here we go with the seven trills. Firstly, we use it for C to D trill. So that C You use the first trill key with your index finger for C to D. The next trill is C to D but up high. And you use your ring finger for the second trill key. Probably don't have a great background here. So I'll just make sure that you can see what I'm doing.

The C# to D trill on the flute

So they were both C to D - a mid one and high one. The next two trills that you use these keys for are C sharp to D. So C Sharp first trill key. And the C sharp to D above, same trill key. So you use that first trill key with your index finger for both C Sharp to D in the mid-range and the one up high as well.

The C# to D# trill on the flute

The next two trills that we're going to look at, C Sharp to D Sharp. So the low one, I don't mean low, low. I mean, you know, that's, you would call that mid-range of the flute. So ring finger on the second trill key. Now C Sharp to D you above you use both trill keys. So index finger and ring finger, and you use both.

The B to C# trill on the flute

Now the last flute trill that I'm going to give you as an example is B to C Sharp. Firstly, the mid B to C Sharp. You don't use a trill key. You just trill it with your two fingers here for the normal B to C sharp fingering. Some flutes have a special trill key for B to C Sharp, but my flute doesn't, I've only seen one or two flutes ever that have it. So it's a bit of a rare thing. So you just have to deal with doing the normal fingering.

But for the octave above B to C sharp, you can actually use the first trill key to trill B to C sharp, which is pretty amazing, cuz not everyone knows that about B toC sharp trill up high.

Famous flute pieces with trills

Check out this great video on famous flute pieces that use trills - it's a fun video of 5 pieces for flute that use trills. You might even like to try learning these pieces yourself!!

The Ultimate Flute Trill Guide

Now, if you would like to know even more about trill fingerings specifically if you would like to know every single trill fingering on the flute correctly and an easy way to remember them all, good timing for you because I've just released The Ultimate Trill Guide inside The Flute Academy this month. 

The Flute Academy

As a student in The Flute Academy, you'll get access to The Ultimate Trill Guide. Find out more about joining The Flute Academy here:  In this trill guide, you'll learn every single trill finger on the flute and an easy way to remember it.

So there you go. I hope you learned how to use the first trill key and the second trill key used with that finger on the flute. They're pretty fun and they make trills really easy and sound pretty good. See you later. 

Award winning experience

Did you know that in November 2023, The Flute Academy won a GOLD Stevie Award! I travelled to New York City for the awards ceremony and you can watch my 30 second acceptance speech here. I remember the speech that I'd prepared and every bit of it is from my heart - the award is dedicated to you, if you're reading this blog - every adult amateur flute player out there, and especially the ones who have given up but still have the spark to want to play again!

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