Visualize breathing for flutists

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Visualize breathing for flutists

We flutists have a different job to do in the world of music.  We have to inhale and exhale like an elephant!

While it can appear easy, once you try it you’ll have a whole new respect for the flute-learner/player/performer.

Within the walls of this website are many, many strategies and tips that are very valuable. This page is going to give you a visual.  Visualization is AWESOME for musicians because many times we can’t exactly see what is going on with out bodies while we play.

Picture your chest and tummy area expanding and contracting fully.

I found this 27 second video that I feel gives a great visual for your lungs for inhaling and then exhaling fully.

Watch it here I think it’ll give you a giggle:


Just remember that inhaling to FILL your lungs fully is the best practice – even when you are only needing to play one note.  (re-read that)

When exhaling, you need to press from the tummy area (bellybutton) so that you get the best chance at “pressurized air”.

HINT: We need all of the above for clear tone.

Clear tone is what EVERY flutist on this green and blue planet is striving for.  Ask them, you’ll see.

The bellows are a lot like our bodies.  Picture your chest and tummy area expanding and contracting fully just like you see the bellows.

Next time you are practicing you will find being able to visualize breathing for flutists a helpful tool, and maybe you just might learn to breathe like an elephant, but not exactly have to sound like one.  haha




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

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

19 thoughts on “Visualize breathing for flutists”

  1. This is perfect timing for sharing this tip! It has helped me blow clear and sustained tones in the lower notes of Scarborough Fair. I’ve found too that poker straight erect posture is essential in order to exhale deeply from the belly. With good posture I hold the flute straighter, and I can control air flow much better, so that I don’t huff it all out on the first three notes and then run out of air three quarters of the way through the phrase. So many things to remember when playing the flute!!! Thanks for this tip.

    1. Hi Sue-Anne,
      I’m so glad you were able to use this tip to help your playing. Way to go! This is wonderfully said and you’re right, good posture while playing allows you to control your breathing and airflow much easier. Keep up the good work. -Rebecca

  2. Thank you, Rebecca, for your great tips. It also helps to look at a picture of the lungs and how they are placed in the body as they go all the way up to the collar bone and down and around the spine. A good yawn will fill them up:)

  3. Pingback: Secrets to Not Feeling so Winded on Flute - Learn Flute Online: Flute Lessons for Learning Beautifully and Fast.

  4. Thank you for these lessons about breathing. They are very helpful. I loved the video also.

    1. RebeccaFuller

      Great Carol, thanks for paying attention and seeing the little details we need to be good flutists. See you again soon! ~Rebecca

  5. jorge alminaza,Jr.

    wow! that’s great.i think i have to do breathing exercises first before practicing cause when i don’t do i felt dizzy.thanks rebecca

    1. Hi Jorge, I know what you mean. I was very dizzy when I first started – but I kept learning and growing and understanding, and it definitely went away. Good luck. ~Rebecca

  6. January 11, 2016?


    I use a tuner when I do long tones. It help me with pitch. If I over blow or roll the flute in or out is what tend to do.

    How do I correct rolling the flute in or out? It is very slight I don feel it it does affect the tone.

    1. Hi Diane, I’m glad you use a tuner. The best way to play is to use your mouth position and air direction to ‘tune’ your notes as opposed to rolling in and out. Rolling in creates a ‘pulling’ in your face which causes all sorts of issues including sounding kind of thin and shrill in the higher register. I hope you’re able to go through the Gold Level lessons so I can ‘show’ you exactly what I mean in the video lessons as we learn to play higher and higher studies. There’s definitely a best method for sure. 🙂 Rebecca p.s. this is a great question!

  7. Hi Rebecca,

    Thank you so much for this visual. Think it will help greatly. NOW to work on my pitch and get that right.:-))

      1. Pixie, I have some vocal coach friends – and we have often compared notes. It’s very much like singing. Thanks for pointing that out. ~ Rebecca

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