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There are a plethora of choices available when it comes to spending our leisure time. If you have social media accounts, it’s so easy to just scroll through that news feed and whoa—you didn’t realize you’ve spent your entire break just checking out the latest posts! Or perhaps, you go binge-watch your favorite vlogs on YouTube.
There is nothing wrong with those activities. Social media isn’t bad. It’s up to you how you’ll use your free time, but if you’re constantly engaged in those activities, your brain may not be getting enough stimulation since those are mindless tasks.
Parents are advised to encourage their children to choose more productive hobbies. There’s a wide range of activities that stimulate both the mind and the physical body including playing sports, reading, making art and learning how to play musical instruments.
Now, let’s talk about playing musical instruments. Some of us may not be musically inclined, but there are many benefits that come with learning how to make music, specifically by playing an instrument. The benefits include gaining new skills, making the mind sharper and fostering healthy attitudes like patience and discipline.
Why Play the Flute
“But where to start?” you ask. You may struggle to choose an instrument if you’re a beginner. There are countless options to choose from! Of course, some are more popular than others. Most go for either piano lessons or guitar lessons as novice musicians.
That’s okay. Even so, we want to remind you that there are still other choices to try like the woodwind instruments. The flute is a great way to start. It has been around for some 40,000 years. It literally grew with human history. It’s ancient but never grows old. Classic is what best describes it. Read more about that here.
What you’ll love about it is that it’s versatile—it goes well with different kinds of ensembles and genres. You can play it with a jazz band, in an orchestra or just enjoy its sweet, lyrical melody alone as you go through the learning process.
The good news is it’s pretty simple and easier than figuring out how to play string instruments like guitar. You’ll learn it fast and you’ll be playing a whole musical piece before you realize! Of course, we’re talking about the learning curve in general. It would still depend on case-to-case basis among students.
Besides the fact that it’s fun to play and that you can be very expressive and sentimental while doing, you will also reap additional physical health benefits.
Playing the flute in tune requires proper breathing and core control. This is not just a stimulation of your mental powers as you gain a new skill. It’s also a great exercise for your respiratory system. Your lungs will thank your flute lessons later.
Practicing it is also very convenient. You can carry it around everywhere since it’s quite lightweight and portable. Whereas, carrying around a bulky guitar can be a bit of a hassle and that grand piano isn’t coming with you throughout your day!
Tuning Your Flute
Now, this is where the tricky part starts. Guitars need constant tuning and doing so is not rocket science if you know the basic rules and tricks. Guitar tuner apps do the work faster too.
On the other hand, did you know that flutes need tuning, too? This is particularly important if you’ll be playing with a group like an orchestra. As a musician, you need to accurately play the notes in the piece as they were originally intended by the composer. Without proper tuning, you cannot achieve such goal.
First, you’ll need to understand the factors that can affect its tune. Did you know that temperature is one important factor? For example, the higher the temperature your flute absorbs, the more it has a tendency to play sharp, in which the notes sound higher than they’re normally intended.
On the other hand, the lower and cooler it gets, the more it’s going to produce a lower pitch. What can we learn from that? You need to set your flute to ideal playing temperature.
As mentioned already, you need to practice proper breath control so your flute will produce an ideal sound. You need to master how to properly blow air into it in the right speed, direction and amount. Try to use insufficient breath and you’ll play flat. Overblow air into your flute and your ears would get irked by that higher than high pitch.
You can also get the right tune simply by readjusting the distance between its parts: the head joint, body and foot. Ultimately, the easiest way to tune it is to choose one among the best flute tuners out there and keep it handy at all the time. You can also use most of these for multiple kinds of instruments.
Some developers have also created tuning apps you can download for free. It is also a good idea to have a physical tuner as well to serve as a backup in emergency situations. Having various plans and options is always the way to go especially if you have an important performance such as a recital, audition or concert.
The flute is definitely a great choice as a first instrument to learn as an aspiring musician. It’s convenient, versatile, sweet, expressive and easy to tune. It also compels you to do breathing exercises which could strengthen your respiratory system. And take note: Learning it isn’t as complicated as you think. In fact, it may just be easier than the good old guitar your high school friends became first crazy about. Try it now!
- What You Need to Know About Playing and Tuning the Flute - September 4, 2019