2020 February Left Hand Fingers - FATB 3

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Playing Tips for Flute Players by Zoë Booth

Warm-Ups for Flute Players - Improve Your Playing by Exercises by Zoë Booth (published by Pipeblower Publishing, RRP £8.95)

If you’ve enjoyed Zoë’s hints and tips for free here, you can also purchase her book, packed with loads more exercises and in-depth descriptions  - a beautifully presented treat for yourself or a  flute-playing friend!

“Thank you. It’s brilliant! Looking forward to my practice session tomorow.”

“I love the prescriptions for 30 minute and 10 minute warm-ups; it’s easy to work out which exercises to do with limited time.”

February 2020
This month: Left Hand Fingers
Welcome to my flute-playing free Hints and Tips Page; a new page is posted here on the first day of each month.

I hope this email finds you well. It has been a VERY busy January for Flutes at the Barns, starting with a busy period of bookings as new events were added to the website. We also held our first event of the year, a Flute Day at Trestle Arts Base with a Focus on Tone - I'm looking forward to seeing the February participants for the alternative date of this event tomorrow actually. As well as all this, we've got courses coming up in March, April, June and July for which preparations are in full swing, not least for all the plans for FATB visiting Croatia later in the year!

This month we'll focus on fingers, namely in the left hand. If finger-movement, hand position, playing faster and suchlike are things that interest you, do remember that there are still a few, final places if you wish to attend the FATB Flute Day in May on the theme of Fantastic Fingers - a day dedicated to digits!

When it comes to hand position and posture, it's always worth remembering that just because something feels normal to you, it doesn't mean that it is right; do examine what you do (use a mirror if needed) to check that your left hand looks natural - fingers should be gently curved (yes, even the little finger) with tips on the keys. If you're not managing to achieve that, remain your 4 O'Clock position; without a diagram you'll have to think this through, but imagine the hands on a clock at 4 O'Clock; next, notice the angle between those hands, and look in a mirror to see if you can map that angle onto angle between your wrist and left hand in supporting the flute. It's not uncommon to see this flattened out instead of angled, and the fingers having to stretch to touch the keys; by adding that slight ben in your wrist, the fingers should be able to be curved over the keys, including the G# key.

As a reminder, when the fingers are down, they should just close the keys, try not to use any pressure to press them down. As you play faster, it's tempting to slam the fingers down somewhat harder. When the fingers are up, they should be just above the keys; the closer they are, the more potential efficiency! Again, as you play faster, you may notice your fingers get higher and higher. Finally, although most people don't suffer from this, it's worth mentioning that fingers should always be just above the keys that they're assigned to pressing... if you put your little finger under the flute, for instance, when you don't have G#s, it's not known as good technique, and is a habit to catch right away.

Here come some finger exercises to focus on the left hand. Playing them slowly is valuable, it's all about precision; you might also challenge yourself to gradually play them faster too. Do always slur though, so that you can hear any uncoordinated moments.

Click here for this month's .pdf, February 2020, Left Hand Fingers>>


See you here again in March when I've got some particularly memorable tips on day-to-day playing!

Happy flute-ing,


P.S. Please send your questions and comments to me at info@flutesatthebarns.com

Next Time, March 2020: Memorable Tips

01727 765511
07976 613750

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Registered office: 30 Whitecroft, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1UU.

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