In this article we will cover playing your first Native American flute scale and begin to familiarize yourself with the basic fingering and notes of this wonderful instrument.
There are many books and videos about how to get started on the Native American flute. Odds are when you purchased your new NAF you may have got one from the maker. But just in case you don’t have one, you lost it or you need a quick, easy refresher we’ll quickly go over the basics in this article, along with some handy playing tips that you can use all the time.
EASY TO PLAY.
The Native American flute is a fipple flute. There are many fipple flutes around the world. European recorders, tin whistles and penny whistles and ocarinas to name a few. Fipple flutes, unlike silver flutes, pan-pipes and other wind instruments do not require you to produce the sound with the shape of your mouth. This makes playing a musical note very easy. You just put your lips to the mouthpiece and blow. In fact you can do it without covering any of the finger holes.
Go ahead and try it now. Leave open all the holes and just blow into the mouthpiece.
HOW TO HOLD YOUR NAF
Hold your flute with the first three fingers from each hand and both your thumbs. The flute should be at about 45˚ from your body. Stand up straight, hunching your shoulders will hinder your breathing. The holes are covered with the first three fingers from each hand. Most people cover the top three holes with their left hand and the bottom three holes with their right hand. However, you may switch hands if you feel that is more comfortable. Use the fleshy pads of your finger-tips, not the tips themselves. This helps prevent air from leaking past your fingers.
Let’s assign numbers to the finger holes of the NAF, starting from the bottom and working our way up to the top of the flute. The hole closest to the bottom of the flute is Hole #1, the next one up is Hole #2, then hole #3, and so one until the last one hole which is hole #6. This way of numbering conforms to the basic scale of the flute. (fig. 1)
READ THE REST IN SCOTT AUGUST' NEW BOOK:
The Complete Guide to the Native American Style Flute
Get your copy today at Cedar Mesa Music!
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