Playing the Native American flute: Lesson Two

Playing the Native American Flute: Second Lesson

Now that you have learned how to make six different sounds (notes) on your flute it is time to start using these notes to make music. Our body, mind and soul love to discover new things to do. The desire and capacity for learning new things is just amazing and enjoyable. We will begin by building on what you have learned in lesson one.

Before you make any sounds let’s make sure you are using your breath properly. Stand up and put your right hand over your solar plexus or stomach area. Now take a breath in and let it go out through the mouth. You should feel your solar plexus rise as you breath in and fall back down as you breath out. To do this you do not need to take a big, deep breath. Just be sensitive to the rise and fall as you breath in and out. When you feel this rise and fall you know that you have a foundation upon which all the rest of your playing can be built.

Blow into your Native American flute and sound the fundamental note. Pause and breathe in and blow again after raising the ring finger of the left hand to sound a second note. Keeping the ring finger up take and breath and raise the middle finger off of it’s hole and blow into your flute again to sound the third note. Do the same with the index finger. Skip the ring finger of the right hand and raise the middle finger of the right hand and blow into the flute to sound the last note on the scale. Pause and raise the index finger of the right hand and blow to sound the second octave fundamental.

Now, do the same thing in reverse. Keeping all the fingers off of their holes blow into your flute. Pause, put the right index finger down and blow. Pause, put the next finger    down and blow. Continue in the way back down the flute until all the holes are closed again and you have sounded the lowest note. You will want to do this many times until you feel comfortable with it. You are playing scales.

Let’s try going up the scale in one breath. Breath in and blow into the flute sounding the lowest note and then lift the fingers one at a time while continuing the single breathe until you get to the top. Keep your fingers up. Pause, take a breathe and blow into the flute while lowering your fingers one at a time going down the scale until you are back to the lowest note. Do this exercise until it feels comfortable.

Try going up and down with a single breathe. Blow the fundamental and go up 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And, without pausing 4, 3, 2, 1, fundamental. This can be called a run up and down the scale. Play with this for as long as you like.

To take what you have learned and turn it into music all you need to do is change the time intervals that each note is held. In musical terminology the time length is called whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and eight notes. Simply stated you hold one note longer than another. Try your scale holding different notes for different lengths of time. You will discover that these changing periods of time you hold the notes sound pleasing. This, in its simplest form is music. Go with what sounds good to you. You are making music.

If you want more information on playing the Native American flute and flute making you may go to my website <a href=”http://atflutes.com/”>http://atflutes.com/</a> for more complete information.

 


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