How to Have Pretty High Notes on the Flute

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How to Have Pretty High Notes on the Flute

There is actually a recipe for how to have pretty high notes on flute. Let me walk you through some of the skills you’ll need to consider and learn about so you can feel better and sound better as you are playing your instrument.

The high register of the flute is where we are heard the best, especially in band and orchestra, but it tends to be super sharp in pitch! So the questions is…how can we play well in that register without going sharp? Here are some tips to consider as you practice your high register.

Figure out your personal balance for each of those notes.

1)      If you get sharper the higher you go, it’s because you are not balancing out the support and the space in your mouth with the intensity and width of the vibrating frequency. Let me re-explain that again in English. 🙂

If you want to purchase something from the market that needs to be weighed, you would put it in one basket of a scale, and then put the correct amount of weight or money in the other basket until they became equal. If the customer wanted to buy more food, they would add weights or money until it evened out again. This is the same the higher we go in the flute register, we have to keep the weights even. The higher we go, the more space we have to have in our mouths, the lower our support has to be, the more relaxed we need to be.  But not too much either way, remember, it has to be balanced. 🙂

2)      If you sound is tight or pinched in ANY register, try pulling down lightly on the muscle underneath your nose. This is automatically give you more space, while giving you the opportunity to relax your jaw in the process.

3)      One other thing you can do is think about having a flat embouchure. Not a stretched or tight embouchure, but a flat one. Then see if you can make the sinus cavity under your eyes vibrate, then raise your eyebrows slightly.

Practicing long tones up into the high register is important because it helps you figure out what is your personal balance for each of those notes. And, if you’re like me you really do want to learn how to have pretty high notes on flute. I don’t think we would ever want it any other way. Happy balancing!! 🙂


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

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

5 thoughts on “How to Have Pretty High Notes on the Flute”

  1. Huh, I thought the higher we go, the NARROWER our mouth space needs to be? Unless I’m confusing mouth space with the flute’s mouthpiece hole space.

    1. Hi Arthur, great thinking. You are correct in the idea that our embouchure (the hole you make with your lips for let the air out) needs to be smaller the higher your notes are. However, in this post I am referring to the mouth space as the actual space inside your mouth. To help your high notes sound more round and not tight and pinched we need to open the inside of our throat almost like we are taking a yawn breath, but with our mouths closed. I hope this helps to clarify your understanding. Happy fluting! -Rebecca

  2. Sorry, maybe I am not clear about flutes, I am just a beginner, that’s why I could not get this article well. Is the piccolo a high register flute?
    Does high register mean high volume or high frequencies?

    1. Rebecca Fuller

      Great question Hitesh, the term ‘high register’ means that the bulk of the tones we hear are high in pitch (not volume). The piccolo is even higher (an entire octave higher, actually). I’m so excited you’re here learning. We’re going to have a ton of fun. 😊 Rebecca

  3. OK, thanks! I was just having trouble with this right before I found this article! Perfect timing!
    Thanks so much!
    <3 Clarebugg

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