How To's

Learn how to play the various musical instruments I make and sell! When selling in person, I always give demonstrations and short lessons, and I usually give out "Learn to Play" cards. Here you will find additional instructional videos and instructions. 

Playing the flute handle takes PRACTICE. Don't expect to be able to play it on your first try - many people can't even make a sound right away! It is a musical instrument, and playing an instrument takes some work. Keep trying! 

 
 
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Placement

There is a hole at the top of the handle that is larger than the other holes. That is the blow hole. Make sure the handle is on the right, with the other holes in the handle facing away from you. Position your lips on the handle so that your air stream will go across the hole with the handle pressing into your bottom lip. Engage your mouth muscles and make the smallest hole with your lips that you can. Think of it as blowing over a bottle top, only much smaller. It might help to try this in front of a mirror to make sure you have the right position. 


How it works

Now it's pure physics. When you blow, think of your airstream as a solid column. That column is going to come straight from your mouth and hit the far edge of the sound hole. When the column of air hits that edge, the edge splits the column in half, and that creates vibrations which creates sound! For a lot of people, it helps to really visualize your air as a column. Try it out! 

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Blowing

Now you send your airstream through your lips - you have your muscles engaged, right? - and across the blow hole! DO NOT blow softly. DO NOT try to play quietly. The more force behind the air, the better you will be able to play. Think of it like spitting. If you lazily spit, you end up with it down your chin. If you spit with force, it will fly. Spit your air with force across the hole! If you're not getting sound, experiment with different angles. Change the position of your lips, the handle. Again, it might help to try it in front of a mirror. 

Changing notes

Now that you've gotten a sound, you're ready to play different notes! The holes on the front of the handle are made to be covered by your four fingers. Start covering them from the top down, starting with your index finger. Then add your middle finger, followed by your ring finger, followed by your pinky finger. The notes will get lower as each finger is added. Then lift your fingers in the opposite order, starting at the bottom with your pinky finger. The notes will get higher. The air will always leave through the closest open hole. If the top hole is open, it will leave through it. The further the air has to travel to reach an open hole, the lower the note will be. When all of the holes are closed, the air will circle all the way through the handle and back out through the blow hole, which is why that note is so much lower than the rest - the air has to travel more than twice as far. 

I'm working on videos that give you even more info on how this works.  For now, there are several demo videos of me playing flute handles on my Instagram page. You can follow the link in the navigation bar, or visit the videos directly by clicking here here here here here or here.

Keep practicing!