When playing really any instrument, but especially the flute, we all need to have good hand technique. There are many reasons for this. So if you have the question of, “How to hold my fingers when playing the flute” here are just 3 great answers for you:
1. We need to be able to play quick runs!
2. Some fingerings can be a little tricky
3. So we don’t create any leaks on the keys
Pretend like you’re looking through binoculars but they’re really your hands over your eyes… Now take them away from your eyes still in that “binocular” shape. Separate your two hands and 4 fingers from your thumbs. You should have two letter C’s (one the right way, one mirroring it). Keep those same shapes on each of your hands as you put your flute in them. You’re going to have to move your left hand pointer finger to create a “chair” for your flute to sit on with the flute resting on the side of your right thumb. Other than that you should have curved fingers on the tops of your keys.
Your fingers are so much more coordinated
Now that you’ve got awesome hand positioning skills, here are the reasons why we do so in a little more depth:
We need to be able to play quick runs! When our fingers are flat or straight on the keys, our fingers can’t move as fast. Our hand position is almost the same as a pianist. They are excellent at playing those fast notes and none of them have straight/flat fingers! The same goes for flutists. The more we play on the center of the key with our fingers curved, the faster we are going to be able to play
Some fingerings can be a little tricky. When you have good hand position, it’s easier to move between the fingerings and play those tricky fingerings or patterns. Your fingers are so much more coordinated!
Creating leaks in the keys of our flutes is a side effect of either having our fingers too far forward on the key, or having flat fingers. Leaks are not cheap to fix. Granted, we do get leaks, but not near as many as when we keep our fingers curved and on the middle of the key.
Some flutists I have heard of have had to have their wrists in braces, or even quit playing the flute because of a hurt wrist. I do not want this happening to you! So, practice your good curved flute fingers. Having good hand technique can only help and improve your playing.