How to Learn Flute Notes for Beginners

flute image by saied shahinkiya from

Things You'll Need

  • Flute
  • Fingering chart
  • Scale book

The flute is a woodwind instrument without a reed. Therefore, the sound of a flute is produced when you blow into the mouthpiece. In order to generate sound from a flute, your lips have to be in a very precise position. At times, producing the sound can be more difficult for beginners than learning the notes. Flute notes are formed by a combination of different fingerings. By learning the proper hand position, studying the fingering charts, and practicing scales, beginners can learn flute notes.

Learn the proper hand position for the flute. In order for beginners to learn notes, it is necessary to understand where your hands need to be placed. When holding the flute, the left hand is held over the first set of keys, with the thumb facing toward the left. The right hand is held over the second set of keys, with the thumb facing toward the left. The fingers rest on the large round keys, not the small keys which lie above them.

Study the fingering chart. In order for beginners to learn flute notes, it is necessary to become familiar with fingering patterns. Most beginner flute books have a chart at the back of the book that displays the name of the note, and the keys that need to be pressed in order to produce the note. As you study the notes and their corresponding finger patterns, try to play them. Playing the note while looking at the fingering chart will help you to remember how to play the note when you do not have the fingering chart in front of you.

Practice scales. Scales are an excellent way in which beginners can learn flute notes. Scales cover a select group of notes. The B flat major scale is the scale that the beginner typically learns first. The reason for this is that it has the two flats, B flat and E flat, the two most common flats of flute music. When practicing the scales, repeat each scale more than once. Do it until you feel comfortable with it and have memorized the notes.

Do other exercises in the flute book. Beginner flute books generally also have brief songs or finger exercises that correspond to the scale at the beginning of the lesson. Therefore, in order to become more proficient with your memorization of the notes, practicing the songs and exercises is a good idea. Another reason why the songs and exercises are beneficial is because the notes are not in ascending or descending order, as they are in a scale. This provides you with yet another way of making sure that you really know your notes.