What is good marching band posture on the flute?Aug 11, 2020
Good morning to you from Sydney!
What is good marching band posture on the flute?
I was asked a really interesting question the other day...
"What is good marching band posture?"
I've got a really straightforward answer for you! (And it's probably not what you think).
Hope your flute playing is bringing lots of joy to you during this tricky year...
How to keep posture straight when playing flute
Transcription of video above
Hi there. Someone emailed me the other day and they said, Jane, how do I keep my posture straight when I'm playing a flute in a marching band?
And I'm like, that is a really good question that is worth making a video out of. So the short answer, there is only one short one answer, and it is short. You can't. You can't keep your posture straight or aligned when you play the flute in a marching band. And here is the reason why, actually I'll going to tell you who I am first.
Proper flute technique
My name is Jane. I am a flute teacher. I live in Sydney in Australia, and I love teaching people the proper techniques on the flute to get them faster progress.
The easy way to play flute high notes
At the end of this video, I'm going to show you exactly what I mean by proper techniques by teaching you the right way to play high notes. Actually, it's the real way to play high notes. It's a free mini-course. I'll let you know more at the end of this video.
Good, aligned flute playing posture
So back to marching, which is why I'm standing in this video. It's actually impossible to keep your posture in a good-aligned, flute playing posture when you march. I'm going to tell you why, and I'm going to give you the solution, because even though it's impossible, there is a solution. It's just not what you think it is.
Demonstration of marching band flute posture
Okay, here we go. If I'm marching towards you, I want to have my body facing towards you. Obviously, if I had my body facing towards the right, which is the right way to be aligned for playing the flute, I would be crab walking in my marching band, which is not a good look.
So to walk in a straight line towards you, to walk in a forward direction towards you and to have my flute straight, I'm going to be really squashed in here so my left arm is squashed against my body. My right arm is thrown back like this, and it feels really awkward.
Pain from holding the flute
And I'm going to cause myself some pain if I do this for a long time, days on end weeks on end. So you're really squashed. Your arms are squashed against your body. There's not much space between your flute and you. The real way to play the flute, as I just mentioned, is to have your body turn to the right a little bit so that you've got space in here on your arms and not squashed against your body, but you'll be crab-walking.
Now there is a solution. Are you ready? There is a hint. You can see if you look at this screen, there is a hint. Can you see it? Okay. Here's the solution:
Piccolo in marching bands
Play Piccolo in the marching band. And it's so much more comfortable except for your ears, which I'll address in a second. Piccolo's the same as flute. You have your body turned a little bit to the right, but because it's not as long, it doesn't need to be turned to the right as much, which means when you play straight on like in a marching band and walk straight towards you, it doesn't feel anywhere near as squashed.
Piccolo is your solution!
So that's your solution. If you can play Piccolo instead of flute, Oh My goodness, it's so much easier on your body.
Let me give you some demos. So this is good position for playing the flute where I turned my body a little bit to the right. And luckily I had to memorize that because I do play in a marching band and it is a professional marching band, but it's only part-time. So I didn't have to suffer with pain here and down my arms for two reasons. It's only part-time and I don't ever play flute in the marching band. I always play Piccolo.
Good flute alignment while marching in a band
So that was good alignment for the flute, turned to the right a little bit. If I faced towards you, which is what you need to do in a marching band. And I play the same thing, its going to feel pretty squished. Oh, that feels awful. Try it out and you'll see what I mean.
And the solution Piccolo fixes your posture, but comes with another set of problem as well, instead of one hearing. So I always suggest that you always wear earplugs when you play the Piccolo.
Piccolo is more comfortable than flute
I'm not going to play the Piccolo because I'm going to wake up my neighbours if I do. This is really loud, good Piccolo posture is this and marching band Piccolo is this. So it's not comfortable, but it's way more comfortable. It's way less uncomfortable than flute in a marching band.
Easier high notes on the flute
Speaking of high notes, that mini-course that I mentioned, come and join me at www.flute.school/highnotes. And I'll teach you for free over a period of three days, how to play high notes properly. This is high notes on the flute, but they also apply to Piccolo.
I'd love to see you there. Bye!