The Flute Academy
One big cause (and quick fix) of slow flute fingers

One big cause (and quick fix) of slow flute fingers

Sep 30, 2019

If your fingers feel slow, stiff, or just plain old clunky when you play the flute, this might be a helpful little revelation for you!

One big cause (and quick fix) of slow flute fingers

Even though your fingers and hands might FEEL tense, they are not the cause of slow and clunky fingers.

They are the SYMPTOM...

There's a culprit, further up your body, that causes tight hands and slows down your flute fingers.

So I made you this 4 minute to show you how to find out if it affects you and how to quickly fix it!

Jane xx


A quick fix for slow flute fingers

Hey there. Welcome back. I'm going to show you today why slow, clunky fingers are not caused by stiff hands. I know it might feel like that, and you might have heard that, but it's not quite true.

Flute School

So I am Jane Cavanagh and I love teaching people in my business about how the absolute fundamentals of playing the flute. So tiny little changes to their technique, make such massive differences to their playing. So stick around to the end of this video, and I'm going to show you how to do just that to your tone and to your high notes.

Clunky fingers slow down flute playing

Okay. Back to your hands, this whole concept about stiff hands causing slow clunky fingers. I'll give you a demo about what I mean. So this is clunky fingers. Can you hear that? You can actually hear the cluck of the keys when I'm playing. That's not the real problem. The problem is that your fingers, when you play like that, they're slow and sluggish, which is no fun for anyone. Actually, it could be fun, but it's not very musical and you can't play fast pieces and nice melodies start sounding clunky.

Grip your flute less to avoid clunk sounds

So for example, can you hear that there was clunks in there and it just didn't sound so smooth? Right, so the cause of that is not stiff hands, and I'm gonna prove it to you. Try and grip your flute less when you play, just try and grip less so that your fingers are not tight and grippy of the flute. And I bet it works. But I bet the problem comes back a hundred percent. The problem will come back. And the reason is that your grippy hands are not the cause. They are the symptom.

Tension in your body when playing flute

And they're the symptom of tension in other parts of your body. Specific parts of your body, the tension flows down into your hands and makes them grip. So the way to get rid of these grippy hands is to address all the different parts of tension, too much tension in other parts of your body.

Relax shoulders when playing flute

The one part that I'm going to focus on today is your shoulders. This is a big one. Tension in your shoulders, flows down to your hands, big time. So the way to do this, firstly, notice if your shoulders feel tight when you play. So play something and see if they feel tight. That's the first thing, become aware of it.

Relax shoulders to release tension

The second thing is let's get rid of that tension. So when you are playing, I want you to deliberately tighten your shoulders and then I want you to deliberately relax them. So try that without playing first, deliberately tighten your shoulders and then deliberately float your shoulders. So they're more relaxed and they'll play something and try and do that when you're playing.

Then when you've got them relaxed, start playing more. So float your shoulders and think of them as light. I've said the word floaty. That's a great description and see how it affects the smoothness of your playing. You're gonna be thinking of quite a few things at once. It seems like it's just one thing, but there's a lot going on in your brain to get this to happen while you're playing.

Release tension in body

So go off, play something and see if you can get your shoulders to be more relaxed when you play by tensing them and then letting go then play and see if your hands free up. If they do, this is good because it means that your tense, slow sluggish hands, fingers has a solution. And the first part of that solution is your shoulders. The next step is to address all the different parts of your body that hold tension, surprising places, and then you are off to the races, quick fingers.

Free flute mini course

Okay. So about that teaching you to play with a clearer tone on the flute, go to www.flute.school/free and I'm going to show you how to quickly improve your tone on the flute and how to quickly get your high notes working much more easily. So I will hopefully see you there.

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