LFP 019 | Why Is The Low C So Hard On Flute?

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LFP 019 | Why Is The Low C So Hard On Flute?

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, I will answer the question of “Why is the low C so hard on flute?” as well as give you some great tips to help you play it well.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 019.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • Why the low C is so hard to play
  • How you can improve your low C
  • Whether or not your flute needs to visit a technician
  • Where you can find more online flute podcasts

Learn Flute Podcast 019

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

Hi again, it’s me, Rebecca here on the Learn Flute Podcast. This is episode nineteen!

Well, welcome, welcome today for this episode number nineteen of the Learn Flute Podcast where I, Rebecca Fuller am here to help you through your journey of learning how to play the flute. On this podcast I give you hints and tips and tons of flutey-ideas and other education that makes it fun and interesting.

Now, many of you listeners are probably here because you are having a ton of fun on this quest to make your hobby of playing the flute a really great experience, and something you can enjoy forever. I’m excited for that because it’s also something I’m passionate about.

I’d also like to give you a quick reminder that the video lessons and awesome courses that go along with this podcast are on the website Learn Flute Online dot com, where you’ll find the mother-lode of all online flute lessons. As of the time of recording this podcast, I saw the count on my video hosting company of over eight hundred learning videos. 

Yes, I know that might sound a little more over-whelming than fun, but I assure you that I have a perfect method to my online learning programs, and all of the lessons are set in perfect learning order. The lessons build upon themselves, so you can really learn how to be a great flute player. And have something to share forever.

Today’s subject is something that I’m positive you have run across while you have been practicing and discovering your instrument, and that is Why is the low C so hard to play on the flute?

Well, I have a couple of different ideas to explore with you right now that will help clear up why that low C is such a trouble maker on the flute compared to many of the other notes. And, the first thing we need to talk about is the actual shape your instrument is in. 

Now, you may think your flute is in pristine condition because it’s still all shiny and new looking, but in reality if your lowest notes are so hard to get out, there is a good chance that there is a slight issue in your mechanism that needs to be cleared up before you’ll be able to pop that low note out easily.

One thing that made me think about this subject is that a couple of weeks ago, two of my students got new flutes. Yay! I love new flutes. Well, anyway the first thing that both students noticed as they were quote trying on new flutes was that the low D and C were so big and bold and easy to get out compared to the flutes they were used to playing on a day to day basis.

Now, is this because the new flutes were new? Well, partly – but the biggest difference was that these new flutes had been seen and combed through by a very thoroughly  and by good flute technician before they were sent to my studio.

So, what I’m trying to say is that flutes in really great condition play really well,.. especially on those lowest notes. It’s very noticeable. Brand new flutes oftentimes arrive in super great shape, but this isn’t always true. Many lower end flutes were built in a factory. And, as hard as these factories try, the instruments don’t always come out all perfect. 

So, if you do have a new flute and you are a seasoned enough player that your low C should be popping out clear as a bell right when you want it to, but it’s not — then you know that your flute needs to see a really good technician.

It’s sometimes difficult to find a good repairman who really knows their stuff. I don’t want to affiliate myself with any one person here on this podcast, but if you live in a developed country, you should be able to do some homework and get it taken care of in a relatively short amount of time.

Now, that being said, I will caution you not to take your flute to the local band teacher. That’s a mistake that will cost you your tone in probably ninety five percent of cases.

I’m a pretty picky flute teacher, and I want my students to sound really, really great. And, I’m sure you would agree that the ability to play without being hampered by the condition of your instrument is kind of common sense.

Okay, next let’s talk quickly about the other reason that low C just doesn’t like to pop out as clearly and quickly as it should.

Perhaps you have heard this before, but I”ll let you know that the direction your air is being blown and the shape of your aperture (which is the little area including the hole in your lips) is key to being able to get and keep a low note nice and full.

Picture these two images right now; a pull-down spotlight lamp like the kind my grandma-van used while she was sitting in her rocking chair while knitting. She would sit down and then reach up and pull the lamp down so that it shone directly on her lap so she could really see what she was making.

The other item I want you to visualize is a football. Now, not any football, but I want you to picture a football that has been sitting in the yard too long and has lost some air. We have some of those around here.   It’s kind of squashed-looking.

There, now you have the visuals you need to understand the next concept. The higher notes on a flute are played with a small, spotlight shaped aperture that can bend and direct light on a downward angle depending on exactly where it needs to be.

The lower the notes are, the more flat and ‘squashed’ your aperture needs to be – like the shape of the football that has lost some air. If you can learn to close your lip hole and keep the direction of your air coming straight out, then you have a better recipe for getting that lowest C out clearly.

Now, of course there are always a few other pieces to the puzzle, but for today this will give you something to bend your mind around. And of course you can always come on over to the Learn Flute Online dot com website and get yourself signed up for the lessons and module courses so you too, can feel confident and happy about your flute-playing abilities.

You can come relisten to this episode on the podcast page under the menu bar titled “Bonus Flute Lesson Content” .  I really hope you are enjoying this podcast series, because I enjoy making them for you. Have a fabulous day. I’ll see you next time!
Thanks for listening today, remember this is where people of all ages, such as you, can come, learn, and play the musical instrument flute in an easy to follow organized manner and in the privacy and comfort of your own home, on your own schedule.


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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute today as we answer the question – “Why is the low C so hard on flute?”. Join us for the next episode.

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

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

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