The Flute Academy
How to sing into the flute like a jazz player!

How to sing into the flute like a jazz player!

Sep 14, 2020

If you've ever wondered what makes a jazz flute player sounds so, well... jazzy...

How to sing into the flute like a jazz player!

...well, one of their techniques is singing and playing at the same time.

Let me show you how to give your jazz flute playing a bit of swagger in this 3 minute mini-lesson!

It won't turn you into a jazz musician overnight, but you'll learn one of the techniques behind many great jazz and rock flute players. (Like Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull, and the infamous Ron Burgundy in Anchorman!)

And it's a bit of fun to try out, at the very least!

Jane xx


How to sing into your flute and sound like Anchorman

Hey there in this video today, I'm going to show you how to sing into your flute and sound like Anchorman. Well, at least like a jazz flute player. It's a pretty bizarre sound, it almost sounds electronic, but it's not. I'll show you the two different ways of singing into your flute.

One is where you sing the same note as what you're playing. And the other one is where you sing a different note and they sounded totally different, but they both sound weird.

I love teaching flute technique

Before we get started, my name is Jane and I live in Sydney in Australia. I'm a flute teacher and a flute player, and I love teaching flute technique.

The reason I love teaching flute technique is because it's this proper playing technique that gets you so much faster progress than you would from just practising for hours. An example of that proper technique is getting a good tone on the flute instantly improving your tone. I'll tell you more about that at the end of this video.

So singing into the flute, like I just demonstrated can be used in jazz flute, like in the Anchorman jazz flute scene.

Rock music on the flute

It can be used in rock flute, like in the band Jethro Tull. And it's called an extended technique that's used in contemporary classical music. There’s a great example of this, which is called The Great Train Race by Ian Clark. If you look that up, you'll see the most amazing piece which uses flutter tonguing like I showed you in last week's video.

How to play two notes at once on the flute

It uses multiphonics and you'll find another video of mine on multiphonics, how to play two notes at once and also this technique, which is singing into the flute.

Singing into the flute

So there's two different ways of singing into the flute or to different things that you can do with it. One is singing the same note and one is singing a different note. So I'll sing an A still, and play a different note. The easiest way to start doing this is to just do exactly what I did. So sing the note first and then play it. My favourite is when you sing the same note because it like adds to the resonance of the note that you're playing and it gives this kind of weird vibration to the sound.

Jazz flute players

And then if you move around, you get a really interesting sound like that. Jazz flute players use it all the time. I'm not a jazz flute player, so I'm not going to demonstrate because it's not going to sound that great.

I am a classical player, which means generally when you're a classical player, you have an intense understanding of the technique that goes into playing all types of flute, including jazz. So I can show you the mechanisms of how to do it, and then you take your little jazzy self and run with it and start improvising using this technique.

How to instantly improve your tone on the flute

If you find that you can't actually get a clear sound when you're playing. If you still struggling to get a good clear sound, come and do the free mini-course at www.flute.school/free. You can register there and I'll show you over three days, how to instantly improve your tone on the flute. So I'll see you there, or I'll see you next week for another mini-lesson like this one, or I might even see you in both places. See you later.

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