Flute Pet Peeves

As soon as I saw this picture I knew that I needed to write something about it. This represents perfectly one of my pet peeves.

When younger students take a break and need a place to put their flute, they often have a tendency to set it on the music stand. I’d recommend NOT doing this because you never know if the stand is loose and the weight of the flute will cause the top part of the stand to move down or tip forward and possibly cause the flute to fall off. In addition, with other fellow band students walking around during a break, your flute could very easily get bumped and fall off. I know these scenarios happen because I’ve seen them. When either of these things happen, then you have created a bigger problem of bent keys or a dented flute.  A better suggestion is to ask a trusted friend to hold it for you or invest in a reliable flute stand such as a Hercules stand or take it with you while you get a drink from the drinking fountain.

Another pet peeve of mine is younger students learning the wrong middle D and E♭ fingerings. Low D has all fingers down except both pinkies, which are up. While you can overblow on the low D and still have the next octave D sound, the tone is not as clear. You MUST lift your left hand index finger on the second octave D.

Similarly on low E♭, all fingers are down except the left pinky. Again, you can overblow on the low E♭ and still have the next octave E♭ sound, but again, the tone is not as clear. You MUST lift your left hand index finger on the middle octave E♭ also. No matter how fast you are playing, the left hand index needs to be up when playing middle D and E♭. Your tone will be much more clear. And I am a full supporter of playing the flute with a clearer and more focused tone.

So please act responsibly when you are finding a place for your flute when not in use and remember that the fingerings for Ds and E♭s are different for each octave.

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