The Flute Academy
Does pulling out the flute head make you play IN TUNE

Does pulling out the flute head make you play IN TUNE?

Jul 09, 2019

Did you know that the head joint of your flute should be pulled out a little when you play?

Does pulling out the flute head make you play IN TUNE?

If you're thinking "Oh yes, I knew that - it's so that you play in tune"...

Well, that's not quite true. It helps you play in tune, but it definitely does not make you play in tune.

So this video teaches you 2 things:

- The 3 genuinely interesting reasons WHY you pull your flute out.
- What really does get you to play in tune. Whoopee! (Playing in tune is GOOD).

Jane xx

Pull your flute headjoint out a bit 

I'm going to show you in this video, why you pull your flute out a bit when you play. Lots of people think is so that you play in tune, which is not quite true. So I will reveal why you pull this out and how you actually play in tune on the flute in this video.

Flute School

My name is Jane. I teach the flute. My business is the Flute Teacher School. This is one of the rooms that I teach in at a school in Sydney. And I had a student coming earlier today with their flute, pushed all the way in like that. Now no surprises if you know what this does, but they were sharp. So pulling your flute out a little bit for me, it's about that far, is where your flute, all brands are designed to be fairly in tune. Okay? That's point number one, but that is not how you play in tune.

Headjoint all the way in will be sharp

So flutes are designed to be in tune when they're pulled out a bit. If you push your flute all the way in, you will be sharp Guaranteed. If you pull your flute out this far, you will be flat, guaranteed. So it needs to start approximately there. Now the exact place that you put it depends on three things. One, who else you are playing with? 

Tune with your accompanist

If you're playing with a piano that hasn't been tuned for a few years and all the strings are a little bit stretched, that means they're gonna be flat, which means you need to be pulled out a little bit further than usual. You need to obviously play with the piano to work out exactly where you need to put this or playing an A is a very common way of tuning the flute. So other people that you're playing with, you need to have your flute in tune with them. And this is how you do it.

Weather affects flute tuning

The second thing that affects where you put this is the temperature of the day. Okay? So if it's a really hot day, for example, and I am gonna show off because I just learned Fahrenheit. I'm so proud of myself. It's taken me my whole life, but I now understand Fahrenheit. If it's, you know, up around a hundred degree, mark, I have never said in my life, for people like me up around the high thirties, probably even lower than that actually, if it's a day, when it feels really hot, you are going to be sharp, which means you need to compensate by making your flute longer and lower to compensate.

Cold weather affects tuning

If it's a cold day, cold enough for you to be freezing, your flute is going to be flat, which means you will need to compensate by making your flute shorter and sharper. Probably not all the way in though. And the third thing that affects where you will need to put this is how you blow the flute. So here are some demos for you. If you play like this, you're going to be sharp. You'll be sharper. The higher you go. So I'm gonna be really sort of tight with my lips pulled back, and it's gonna be a thin sound. This will make you sharp.

Airstream affects flute tuning

So that was sharp. That's hard to play like that. Okay? If you play too far down into your flute, you will be flat all the time. Here is a demonstration. That will be flat all the time. So the way you blow affects where that needs to be. However, this brings me to the point of how you play in tune. There is a far, far, far better way of playing in tune than moving this around. The only time that I or other professionals would need to move this is temperature related. If it's a particularly hot day, particularly cold day, or you're playing with other instruments that are, let's say a piano, that's flat. So you need to move this to match the atmospheric temperature or other instruments.

Improve your flute tone

The real way to play in tune is to improve your tone. Now I know that might seem totally unrelated, but it's not okay. I'll give you an example. If you play with a fluffy sound, you are going to need to blow harder when you're up higher, which is gonna make you sharp. So this is an example of playing with a fluffy sound and it will be sharp up high, For example.

Fix flute embouchure

So your first step for playing really well in tune like this. Now that would be pretty well in tune. If you played that with other instruments that are also playing in tune. Your first step to playing like that is to improve your tone, which leads me to the fact that I can teach you how to start playing with a heap better sound.

Free flute mini course

So my student, my next student, my lovely next student has just arrived. So I'm gonna finish off this video by saying, go to And I will teach you how to improve your tone really quickly. See ya.

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