Not all instruments are created equal, in fact they are all different. The specific way the music is written for a flute needs to be learned even if you already read notes. Even if you already read music you need to know that flute sheet music is slightly unique.
I receive this question almost weekly here on the LearnFluteOnline.com website: “I already know how to read music because I play piano. Do I have to go through your reading lessons for flute?”
It’s a two-fold process to each note
The answer is always a resounding, Yes. Yes, it is necessary to learn to read flute music specifically for the reason that we flutists have some different symbols and articulations to read that are not normal to a pianist. It’s very much like learning to read the up-bow and down-bow symbols for a violinist.
We flutes have to use many part of our body to create tones, pitches, and beautiful phrases. It’s not quite the same as punching a button on the piano and having a sound immediately come out. Knowing how to read the notes on the paper and instantly creating the finger combinations that coincide with those notes, we also have to use our tongue and breath to work through the duration of the notes. It’s a two-fold process to each note.
The fingers are in charge of the pitch (notation) and the breath and tongue separations determine the length (rhythm and counting). Then it takes a whole set of other factors, mostly having to do with breath dynamics to create more musical feeling in a particular phrase. These ideas are found (much of the time) written alongside, above, or below the notes on sheet music.
So as you can see, it is extremely important to start at the very beginning of learning how to play the flute, and not skipping over the reading and flute-theory skills. They are as important to your development and musical proficiency as learning about your instrument is.
Here at LearnFluteOnline.com, there are membership areas where the lessons are divided out into specific modules where unique skills are presented and practiced in a set of exercises, lessons, and tunes. I (Rebecca Fuller) show you in video lessons exactly what you need to know and how to accomplish learning these things. Then, the next lesson continues onward and upward through the learning sequence.
Students who like to bounce around through the member’s areas have a harder time getting the full benefit of these sequential lessons because they usually are missing some skills. Not have every technique learned causes frustration when trying to play something on a higher level. Check yourself often, and prepare the best you can before moving on.
I’m so happy you’re here to learn more about flute playing. Leave a comment or question here about this subject.
2 thoughts on “Flute Sheet Music is Slightly Unique”
Rebecca – I just finished your Silver Level Learn Flute Online course and absolutely loved it. I’m a COMPLETE beginner and love the structure. I’m going to likely sign up for a monthly subscription to continue on- but I have a specific question for you:
I’d like to be able to play sheet music but my music tastes are pretty eclectic- popular and not necessarily widely distributed from smaller artists. If there’s a particular song I really like and it’s not widely distributed, would I still be able to play the sheet music for that song on the flute once I get good enough and have followed your structured course?
Thank you so much,
Hi Amanda, YES you most definitely will be able to play the musical selections of your choice after moving through the modules here at Learn Flute Online. This program is set up to give you the tools and technique to play it ALL. So much fun! I also have genre-based mini-courses here that you will really love (like Folk Rock from the 60’s-70’s for example). I can’t wait to see you here in the members area soon! 🙂 Rebecca