How to Play Trills on the Flute

THE BASICS: How to Play Trills on the Flute

Oct 29, 2018

Have you been wondering how to properly play TRILLS on the flute?

 In this 3 minute video, you'll learn:

  1. Exactly what a TRILL is.
  2. How to play them correctly.
  3. Where to find EVERY TRILL FINGERING that exists on the flute!

Happy trilling!

Jane xx

I got an email from someone during the week saying, How do you play trills? There might be something in here that you didn't know. Even if you already know how to play trills, you never know what you might learn. So definition of a trill is a rapid alteration between the note written on the music and the note above. Starts on the note written, trills to the note above and then ends on the note written. That all happens very fast. Now there are some exceptions to what note it starts on, and whether it goes to the note above or note below, but 95 or more percent of the time, this is what it is Starts on the note written and trills on the note above. Now, how do you do it? You need to know the trill fingering to be able to do a trill. If you have the note E written, for example, and there's a little tr or a trill over the top or a little squiggly line, first thing you need to do is know what the key signature is. If there are no sharps and no flats in the key signature, then you are trilling to an F and its regular fingerings E to F back and forward.

If you look in the key signature and there is an F sharp there, then you've gotta trill to F sharp. The fingering for this is not E to F sharp. By all means, try that as fast as you can. But it's not very easy. So because it's not very easy, there is a trill fingering for this F sharp, which is this. So remember this was E to F and E to F sharp.

So to play a trill, you need to know the trill fingering. Sometimes it's the normal fingering for the note that you're trying to trill to. And sometimes it's a different fingering. Sometimes you use trill keys here. There's a free YouTube video on how to use the trill keys, go and have a look at that. And it will explain the trill keys. When you get really good at the flute, you will know every single trill fingering that exists, just because you do, that's part of playing the flute. Half of those notes are just gonna be like the normal fingering. So G to A is this, but the other half are different fingerings. Especially when you get up into the higher register. The fingerings that are already quite weird have even weirder trill fingerings.

Now I have a recommendation for you. There’s a website is called That app is the best one I've seen for trill fingerings. So you can look up the two notes that you wanna trill between, and it tells you the trill fingering. It's excellent. It's free. So you can use that. If you want to know some trill fingerings. See you later.

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