To generate free content for you when you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How to play the flute - Masterclass

how to play the flute

Playing the flute is a beautiful and rewarding experience that can bring joy to both the player and their audience. In this masterclass, we will take you through step-by-step instructions on how to play the flute. From assembling the instrument to producing your first notes to mastering advanced techniques, we have everything for you. 

Whether you are a complete beginner or have some experience with the flute, this masterclass will provide valuable insights and techniques to improve your playing. By the end of this masterclass, you will have the skills and confidence to play beautiful melodies on your flute and impress your friends and family. So, let’s begin this exciting journey together and explore the world of flute playing.

Purchasing a flute

Well! the very first thing you have to do is to buy a flute. However, before you make a purchase, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to ensure that you choose the right flute for your needs and budget. Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. Your budget: Flutes come in a wide range of prices. It ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Determine your budget and look for flutes within that range.
  2. Your level of playing: Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player? Choose a flute that is appropriate for your skill level.
  3. Type of flute: There are different types of flutes, including beginner flutes, intermediate flutes, and professional flutes. Each type has different features and quality levels.
  4. Material: Flutes can be made from different materials such as silver, gold, or even wood. Consider the material and how it affects the tone and playability of the instrument.
  5. Brand reputation: Research the brands you are interested in and read reviews from other flute players to ensure that you choose a reputable and trustworthy brand.
  6. Maintenance: Flutes require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep them in good condition. Consider the cost and availability of maintenance and repair services in your area.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can set yourself up for success in your flute-playing journey.


What is the ideal material for my flute?

The material of a flute can significantly impact the instrument’s sound, playability, and cost. Here are some common materials used in flute making and their characteristics:



Most beginner and intermediate flutes are made of silver-plated brass. The silver plating gives the instrument a bright, clear sound and enhances the instrument’s durability. Silver-plated flutes are also relatively affordable and easy to maintain.



Plastic flutes are lightweight, affordable, and durable, making them a popular choice for beginners and young students. They are also easy to maintain and don’t require as much upkeep as metal or wood flutes. However, plastic flutes may not produce the same quality of sound as metal or wood flutes.

Precious metal


Professional flutes are often made of precious metals such as solid silver, gold, or platinum. These materials produce a warm, rich tone and offer a high level of playability, making them popular among professional musicians. However, precious metal flutes are expensive and require careful maintenance.



Wooden flutes are often used in classical music and produce a warm, mellow tone. They are typically made of grenadilla wood. Grenadilla wood is a dense and durable wood that can withstand changes in humidity and temperature. Wooden flutes require more maintenance than metal flutes and are usually more expensive.

Ultimately, the material of your flute will depend on your playing level, budget, and personal preference. Beginners may want to start with a silver-plated or plastic flute, while more advanced players may opt for a precious metal or wooden flute. 

How to start playing flute

Now that you have chosen your flute, it’s time to start playing. Before, you must know that learning the flute takes time, patience, and practice. In the following section, we will outline some basic steps to get you started on your flute-playing journey.

Importance of breath

how to play the flute

Breath plays an important role in playing a flute. It is a fundamental element of playing the flute, and it’s essential to understand its importance in producing a clear and beautiful sound. When playing the flute, the player must use their breath to create a steady and consistent flow of air that passes over the instrument’s mouthpiece, causing the air column inside the flute to vibrate and produce sound.

Breath is essential to playing the flute for several reasons:

  • Producing sound: Breath is crucial for producing sound on the flute as it causes the air column inside the instrument to vibrate and create sound.
  • Tone quality: Good breath control is necessary to produce a clear, resonant, and consistent tone on the flute.
  • Dynamics: Breath control is necessary for producing different volume levels or dynamics on the flute.
  • Articulation: Articulation refers to how the player starts and ends each note on the flute.
  • Expression: Breath control allows the player to add expression and emotion to their playing.

By understanding the importance of breathing and practicing good breathing techniques, flute players can produce beautiful and expressive music on their instruments.

How to produce sounds with a head joint

To produce sounds with a flute head joint, place your lips on the embouchure hole and blow a steady stream of air across the hole while maintaining a firm and steady embouchure. Adjusting the position and angle of the head joint can also affect the tone and pitch of the sound produced.

How to change the pitch

Changing the pitch on the flute is achieved by altering the length and size of the air column inside the instrument. Here are some ways to change the pitch on the flute:

Changing finger placement

Changing finger placement is the most common way to change the pitch on the flute. The flute has a series of keys covering tone holes along its length. When a key is pressed, it opens or closes a hole in the flute’s body, changing the length of the air column inside the instrument. The length of the air column determines the frequency of vibration, and therefore the pitch of the note produced.

For example, when the player covers all the tone holes with their fingers, the air column inside the flute is at its longest, producing the lowest note, which is usually a C. As the player lifts their fingers off the keys, the air column shortens, producing higher notes or pitches. By using different fingerings and combinations of keys, the player can produce all the notes on the flute’s range, from the lowest to the highest.

Adjusting the embouchure

Adjusting the embouchure is a technique used by flute players to change the pitch of the instrument. The embouchure refers to how the player shapes their lips and mouth around the flute’s mouthpiece. The position, shape, and tightness of the embouchure can affect the air column’s length and size, which in turn affects the pitch.

To adjust the embouchure on the flute, follow these steps:

  • Hold the flute horizontally, with the embouchure hole pointing towards your lips.
  • Place the center of your bottom lip on the embouchure hole and gently close your lips around it. The top lip should be slightly above the bottom lip, forming a diagonal line.
  • Move your lips forward or backward on the mouthpiece to adjust the pitch. Moving your lips forward will produce a higher pitch while moving them backward will produce a lower pitch.
  • Adjust the angle of your lips by tilting your head up or down. Tilting your head up will produce a brighter tone while tilting it down will produce a darker tone.
  • Adjust the tightness of your lips around the mouthpiece to control the airspeed and produce different pitches. Tightening the lips will produce a higher pitch while loosening them will produce a lower pitch.

How to hold a flute properly

To hold a flute properly, follow these steps:

  1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Hold the flute with your left hand on the top and your right hand on the bottom.
  3. Rest the flute’s lip plate on your lower lip and the chin on the chinrest.
  4. Keep the fingers of both hands curved and close to the keys.
  5. Use the pads of your fingertips to cover the holes completely.
  6. Keep the flute at a slight downward angle towards your body.

Remember to maintain a relaxed posture and avoid tensing your shoulders, arms, or hands. With practice, you will develop a comfortable and natural grip on the flute, which is essential for producing a clear and resonant sound.


Remember things while playing the flute

Here are a few things to remember while playing the flute:

  • Sit or stand up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed. This will help you maintain good breath support and produce a clear sound.
  • Use your diaphragm to control your breath and avoid shallow breathing. This will help you produce a clear and resonant sound.
  • Regular practice is key to improving your playing. Set aside time each day to practice and stick to a consistent schedule.
  • Pay attention to the sound you are producing and make adjustments as needed. Experiment with different embouchure and breath techniques to find the best sound for you.
  • Tension in the body can hinder your playing, so make sure to stay relaxed while playing. Take breaks as needed to avoid fatigue and strain.
  • Don’t forget to focus on musical expression. Experiment with dynamics, phrasing, and tone color to add expressiveness to your playing.

Is flute easy to learn?

Learning to play the flute can be challenging at first, but it is definitely possible to learn with dedication and practice. The flute requires a good amount of breath control and coordination between the fingers and the mouth, which can take some time to master. However, with regular practice and a good teacher, many people find that they can make progress relatively quickly. It’s important to be patient with yourself and enjoy the process of learning, as this will help you stay motivated and make steady progress over time.


Q: What is the best way to clean my flute?

A: The best way to clean your flute is to use a soft cloth or a cleaning rod to gently wipe the inside of the instrument. You can also use a flute cleaning kit to remove any dirt or moisture from the keys and pads.


Q: Do I need to have previous musical experience to learn to play the flute?

A: No, you do not need to have previous musical experience to learn to play the flute. However, having a good ear for music and a strong sense of rhythm can help you learn more quickly.


Q: How often should I practice playing the flute?

A: It is recommended that you practice playing the flute for at least 30 minutes a day, ideally at the same time each day. Regular practice will help you build muscle memory and improve your playing.


Q: Can I learn to play the flute on my own, or do I need a teacher?

A: While it is possible to learn to play the flute on your own, having a teacher can be very helpful in providing guidance and feedback on your playing. A teacher can also help you develop proper techniques and address any issues that may arise.


Q: What are some common mistakes that beginners make when learning to play the flute?

A: Common mistakes that beginners make when learning to play the flute include not holding the instrument properly, playing with too much tension in the lips and throat, and not using proper breath support. It’s important to focus on proper technique from the beginning to avoid developing bad habits that can hinder your progress.

Final Thoughts

Learning to play the flute requires patience, practice, and dedication. Starting with the basics of holding the flute properly, controlling your breath, and adjusting your embouchure, you can gradually learn to play different notes and scales. 

It is important to practice regularly, use proper techniques, and seek guidance from a qualified teacher. With time and effort, you can develop a strong and expressive sound on the flute and enjoy the beauty of playing this wonderful instrument.

Get more quality reviews