How To Play The Native Flute - Beginners Guide
A 5-min video lesson on how to play the 432 Hz native-style wooden flute.
Learn the basics and start your flute journey with this easy beginner-friendly video.
Before we begin, you might need a flute
Check my Collection of Flutes and Woodwind Instruments. The instructions will work with any Native American style flute but the one in the video is 432 Hz Walnut Bass Flute Low C#.
1. Check the block position
Make sure the block at the top is securely tight and doesn't move back and forward. Untie the knots and secure the leather straps if necessary. Straighten the block and slide it to the very edge of the sound hole.
2. Position your fingers - cover all the holes
Avoid using the fingertips, instead lay the first part of the fingers flat, covering the holes completely. Position your fingers diagonally to increase the reach. Use the index, middle, and ring fingers on each hand to cover all six holes.
3. Warm up the flute - the first note
With all the holes closed, take a deep breath in and blow out steadily through the mouthpiece. Play around increasing and decreasing the force of your breath until you hear a steady low tone. If you hear "squeaky" sound, most likely the air is escaping under your fingers. A great exercise is to play in front of a mirror to check which holes are not completely covered and adjust your fingers 🪞
4. Play the scale - the main scale
With the 3rd hole from the top always closed, start opening the holes one by one from the bottom until you reach the top. Play this scale for 5-10 minutes a day for about a week. It will help you develop the finger memory and increase your speed. This scale is also known as minor pentatonic Native-American scale.
5. Find your rhythm - play from your heart
Once you are comfortable with the main scale, it's time to mix it up. Only close the holes of the note you want to play. The beauty of this flute is that you don't need to know the music theory. All notes in this scale perfectly good together regardless of what succession you play them. So go ahead and start playing from your heart ❤️ You'll soon discover your own unique style of playing.
Bonus tips: the major scale and styles
To switch it up a little bit, try holding the 4th hole from the top always closed. You'll discover the major pentatonic scale that has a different feel and mood to it. During your play you can alternate between different scales, play with the volume, make the notes shorter or longer, or slowing down or picking up the pace. There are many styles and even more complex scales that can be played with this flute. Those are just recommendations, and I encourage you to experiment and share the healing sounds of the flute with others.
Looking for songs to play? Check the Calm Forest Song Book (it's available on Kindle or as a paper book, that was the first book I started my flute journey with):
Please, please, please, let me know what you'd like to learn next and I'd be happy to share with you more tips or even offer a lesson. You can comment below or reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org