LFP 065 | A Very Common Flute Mistake

Home » LFP 065 | A Very Common Flute Mistake
LFP 065 | A Very Common Flute Mistake

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, you will learn all about a very common flute mistake that beginning flutists usually make.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 065.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • Why this mistake is common among flutists
  • How to tongue correctly
  • A demonstration from Rebecca on her flute
  • What you can look forward to learning from listening

Learn Flute Podcast 065

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

Hello and welcome welcome to the Learn Flute Podcast. This is episode number sixty five, and I’m Rebecca Fuller, your host and complete expert at all things flute related especially in the area of learning how to play the flute. Today we’re going to be talking about a very common flute mistake, and what you can do to avoid getting caught with this problem that affects your playing.  Be right back!

Again, welcome to this episode. I’m kind of excited to talk about this today because for me, who- if you’ve heard enough episodes on this learn flute podcast then you may already know that when I was a youngster, I really really wanted to know how to play the flute well- and I also didn’t have very great instruction for the first few years.. In fact, I was basically on my own- and so I would have literally been extremely interested and excited if there was any information I could get my hands on that would further my skills- because I really loved the way the instrument flute sounded. It’s so pretty, and it not only sounds shiny, but it looks shiny too! I was just always drawn to music and especially the flute.

When I was a bit older, I began teaching others how to play, and since I was always seated as the first chair player I was expert enough to give others some pointers too. Well, fast forward a lot of higher level instruction and pedagogy training later, I’ve added to my offline studio and put it online so that I can reach more people just like you who are also seeking to know the truth and wisdom you need to navigate playing this instrument. It’s awesome, and I’m so glad you’re here.

Let’s get started with the subject chosen for today. It’s kind of a fun one because it’s super important and basically I’d say, one of the main pinnacles to playing the flute correctly so that it sounds right. And this is also one of the issues many new players – especially if they are learning on their own or possibly in an environment where no one knowledgeable is listening and checking up on them. Ok- are you ready to know what it is? It’s such a common mistake that you must take notes here. It all has to do with your tongue. Yup! Your tongue.

It’s so so common for people to pick up a flute and just start blowing and wiggling their fingers. Those are the two obvious parts of playing the flute that people don’t get mixed up on.. Haha, but what is actually happening inside their mouths is the big mystery.

Let me explain what can happen and what is a problem. First of all, assuming we get the flute into the proper place on our face and start blowing in puffs of air hoping to make a toot toot sound, we could probably totally get it. And, we can probably even make longer and shorter toots as well, right?.. So that part isn’t really too complicated- but what isn’t really known is that the tongue inside our mouth is there for a few different reasons. One of them is that it is there to help us with our tone. Yes- that famous word that I talk about all the time. Tone is how we sound – clear, fuzzy, smooth, etc. The tongue plays a key role in how we produce our notes as well.

So, if you have taken my flute lessons here online, then you’ve hopefully studied carefully how I show you to produce your first beautiful sounds on the flute. I show you exactly where to place your tongue- and I’m coming from an expert position because there are a few different ideas floating out there. So hopefully you take notes and do exactly as I say.

If perhaps you’ve studied in school band, or with a neighborhood teacher (who has not had any formal training in especially pedagogy) then you may have learned how to use your tongue in a different way. And, I’m here to tell you that it’s true that there are different methods, and eventually we use them all, but the first way that you will use over and over and over and over again is the special way I show you in the online lessons here at Learn Flute Online. And, it’s super important to helping you learn to have the proper habits that make and keep your tone clear as a bell- which we can learn to get more and more full as time, practice, and your level goes on.

Then the next thing you can know that your tongue does is not only produce the beginning of your notes, but it also has a job to stay away while we form the shape and sound of the middle of our notes. I have to do some pretty good tricks with my tongue to get it out of the way because I think my tongue is kind of big.

And lastly, and this is where the big mistake comes in that’s the whole point of this audio today. What happens to some flute players is that they can’t really think of any other way to end their notes except for to put their tone in the way of the air stream so that it stops it- and then they can move on to the next note.

Hmm. This is a problem because not only are we double doing what’s happening – meaning if we stop our current note with our tongue and then start the next note with our tongue, then we’ve just double-done the space between the notes.

And, this may not seem like that big of a deal, but if you’ve ever heard someone or even it may have been yourself sounding sticky like your notes are stuck in the mud and a bit resistant to moving into the next ones- then this totally could be your issue. I’m going to give you a demonstration here today – usually I just talk on these audios, but this one I think requires a quick aural demonstration.

Here are a few notes that are being tongued properly. (Rebecca playing flute demonstration)

And here are the same few notes that are under the influence of an improper tongue method like I’ve described to you with the end of the note being stuck in the mud with the tongue. (Rebecca playing flute demonstration)

Sooooo, can you hear the difference?   I can!

Listen again:

Proper ending- (Rebecca playing)

Improper ending – (Rebecca playing)

And…. it does matter! Now, in this audio today I’ve only just started to scratch the surface of what we need to do with our tongue because in the module videos I have set for you in the Gold Level , and also continuing in the Intermediate Level and on to advanced I show and tell you exactly what, how, when, why, and where we should be using our tongue So we can avoid sounding stuck in the mud.

It’s just such a common and very understandable mistake that players make because it’s just not something you can see with your eyes, so unless you have a higher level instructor who can explain, demonstrate, and encourage you then you also can fall prey to a very common flute mistake that will stunt your growth as far as flute playing goes.

So get yourself into the membership areas of Learn Flute Online dot com and you will find the information and all the videos that go along with this so you can sound fabulous.

I hope you’ve already come into the online studio today and taken a lesson from me. If you are wanting to sound great then it’s in your best interest to go back and review the basics of tonguing I give you in the first few lessons and then continuing all the way through the articulation lessons. Which, by the way is a whole other subject that we’ll explore a bit in the next episode. If you need help getting into the membership area of Learn Flute Online dot com then don’t hesitate to email me. I’ll be right there on the other end to help you quickly. You’re probably already on the email list, but just in case my address is: rebecca at learn flute online dot com. That’s it!

There’s just so much to talk about – I love that you’re here learning and growing. That’s for being interested in one of my favorite subjects, and I will see you on your emails and in an online lesson very soon!

Bye now!


Thank you for Tuning In!

Please consider subscribing and taking a minute to leave a review and rating for the podcast on iTunes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute and about a very common flute mistake that beginning flutists usually make. 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Step 1 of 3

Choose which best describes your flute level:

Step 2 of 3

Where should I send your lesson info?

*Step 2 of 3

Where should I send your lesson info?