Why is it so Hard to Play the Flute When My Hands are Cold?

Why is it so hard to play the flute when my hands are cold? What can I do about it? This is the question for today and no worries, I have the answers.

If you’re here reading this today, I’m going to assume that you’ve had an experience trying to play the flute when your hands were cold or frozen. It’s hard isn’t it? This article is all about why it is so difficult and what you can do to fix that.

We need to really ‘feel’ our keys.

Now for those of you who don’t know, I live at the very top of Utah which is a very cold part of the United States. The plus side of all the cold is that we have a lot of snow and I get to ski a lot and ice skate. My family and I have found a plethora of winter sports that make it fun to live here.

On the downside, there are some things we just can’t do in the winter. That entails about 6 months of the year. One of them is playing our instruments outside. Especially the flute. Luckily, we always have heated areas indoors to play our flutes and keep them safe from the cold. But, it’s still really hard when your fingers are freezing, right? So the solution is to warm those muscles up.

I have found a few different techniques that really have helped me. The first thing I do when my hands are cold, you know they feel creaky or achey, is that I run them under the sink tap with very warm water. I turn it on, let it get warm, or even close to hot and let my hands bathe in it for a couple of minutes at least. Let them warm clear into the bones. This is probably the very easiest, quickest and most common technique for warming up some hands before you have to play your instrument.

I remember reading “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” when I was younger. I’ve never forgotten how Mrs. Popper had to learn to play the piano with gloves on. It’s not quite as simple to play the flute with gloves on. We need to really ‘feel’ our keys, and having our flute slip out of our hands is definitely not wanted either!

Some other techniques I use to warm up my fingers is to sit on my hands. I also cross my arms and put my fingertips or even my whole hands under my armpits. If you’re in a performance type situation it’s probably pretty warm under there and it will do the trick. 😉

If you have a technique that works quickly and really well for warming your hands before playing your instrument leave a comment below and help us all out!

It’s always nice to have all of you flute friends and we can put our heads together and come up with solutions that can benefit everyone.

I can’t wait to hear all of your ideas.

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller



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