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How to Find Hole Placements for Flutes

By Georga Hackworth ; Updated September 15, 2017
Many styles of flutes

It wasn't long ago flute making was viewed as something that only Native Americans or wood crafters did. However, more people are taking an interest in learning how to make their own wooden or bamboo flute for the personal experience and because they want a flute that is unique. No two handmade flutes are the same. Each produces its own unique sound based on a number of factors, including hole placement. Hole placement isn't an exact science, but is done based on what you want to achieve and in what key you want your flute to play.

Create the mouth hole. Use the measuring tape or ruler to measure the diameter of the inside of the flute tube. Multiply that number by two thirds. Measure that distance from the end of the flute stopper -- not the end of the flute -- and mark the flute. That is the center of your mouth hole. The placement of all remaining holes are measured from the center of the mouth hole. See Resources for an online calculator to help determine where to place your holes if you are uncomfortable determining the distances yourself.

Measure the distance from the center of the mouth hole to the end of your flute.

Place the center of the first hole 43 percent of the distance from the center of the mouth hole down the flute body.

Place the center of the second hole 50 percent of the distance from the center of the mouth hole down the flute body.

Place the center of the third hole 58 percent of the distance from the center of the mouth hole down the flute body.

Place the center of the fourth hole 68 percent of the distance from the center of the mouth hole down the flute body.

Place the center of the fifth hole 73 percent of the distance from the center of the mouth hole down the flute body.

Place the center of the sixth hole 83 percent of the distance from the center of the mouth hole down the flute body.

Tip

You can made the notes higher by placing the holes closer to the mouth hole and lower by moving them further down the body.

About the Author

Georga Hackworth has been working as a freelance writer since 2005. Her expertise includes SEO web content, homeschool curriculum, training manuals, and movie, product and web content reviews. Hackworth has written for Hands of a Child, Tattoo.com, and Event Chaser. She majored in biology and animal health at Manor Jr. College.