How to Play a 6-Hole Indian Flute

By Kochava R. Greene ; Updated September 15, 2017
Six-hole Indian flutes

Much like the recorder, six-hole Indian flutes come in a variety of keys and ranges, but the most common flute is in the key of C and is a manageable size for players of all ages and musical backgrounds. With some practice, you'll soon be able to play a wide range of tunes, from traditional Native American melodies to current popular tunes.

Hold the flute so that your left hand is on top and your right hand is on the bottom. Your first three fingers of each hand will cover the holes later on, but for now just hold the flute.

Inhale through your nose and exhale gently into the flute through your mouth, blowing steadily but gently. The flute should make a low, sighing sound. Practice until you can make this sound consistently.

Blow into the flute and touch your tongue to the tip of the flute, as if saying "ta." This is called tonguing and is how you articulate individual notes on the flute. Practice playing fast notes and slow notes by tonguing as you blow.

Practice blowing harder and softer to change the dynamic or volume of the sound.

Consult the fingering chart provided in the link in the Resources section below. Cover the holes of the flute with the pads of your fingers. Practice playing each note separately and then practice playing scales and patterns of notes. Practice lifting and re-covering holes as you play.

Tip

Practice frequently and consistently. Refer to the fingering chart if you are not sure about how to play a note.