How to “Sit” for Flutists

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How to Sit for Flutists

The title of this article is kind of funny, I know.  But, I’m so surprised to see how many don’t know how to achieve a good feeling back and body while sitting and playing the flute.  This article will describe how to do it easily.  There are more descriptions, videos, and pictures within LearnFluteOnline.  Don’t worry.

Sitting for flutists…I remember always asking my stand partner (in band/orchestra) if I could please sit on the right side of the stand.  It didn’t matter what chair placement my teacher/conductor had ranked me in, I always asked to switch.

My back hated me if I didn’t.

Imagine this; place a sheet of music directly in front of you (hopefully on a music stand) and sit down on a chair (no arms on the chair) that is also placed directly in front of the music stand.  This is our starting place.

1. Take your chair and scoot it so that it is angled slightly at 10:00 or 11:00.  Keep your distance, don’t get too close.

2.  Scoot forward on the edge of your chair.  Keep enough cheek on there to not fall off though!  Your nose should be 3 feet away or so.  (translation: your back should not be anywhere close to the back of your chair)

3. Now, take your right foot and slide it back.  It’ll be pretty close to your chair legs.  Your left should be in front of your chair about a foot.  You’ll notice what is comfortable.

4.  Now you can raise your flute.  Keep your nose and your left toes pointed at your stand.  We’re almost there!

5.  Push your right arm forward so that your flute end is slightly in front of your body.  Now your back should be happy.

6.  Chin-up.

7.  Right elbow down.

8.  Watch those wrists.  Remember, the less kinking, the better chance of warding off carpal-tunnel syndrome.  (bad, bad stuff)


You did it!  Be proud.


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

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

4 thoughts on “How to “Sit” for Flutists”

    1. Great question – if you’re the player on the left of the stand, make sure your chair is positioned on an angle so that your right arm and flute doesn’t hit your neighbor. Also make sure you have enough room so that you’re not feeling like you have to pull your right arm back behind you as you play (this will cause your back to hurt a lot). Left leg still in front. Good luck! Rebecca

  1. Thanks for that tip. Most helpful. I remember when I first started to play I couldn’t sit to play at all. My breathing and tone was affected but I can now!

    1. It would be really great if musicians could stand at all times… I don’t even have chairs in my teaching studio. We always stand because it’s best. Thanks for the comment- I’m happy to see your improvement. Rebecca

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