Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bach Chaconne free pdf bwv 1004 flute solo

Dear Flutelovers,

A wonderful free arrangement of the J.S. Bach Chaconne for solo violin, transcribed for flute:

Bach Chaconne for Flute in pdf

Level: Advanced.

The above is Tom Sargeaunt's transcription, and it seriously rocks!
Enjoy! (Huge thanks to Tom!!)

See Denis Bouriakov play it. Video:  Part 1. Part 2.

Bach Chaconne BWV 1004 performed/arranged by Denis Bouriakov.

Part 1:

Part 2:

If you're wondering where to add slurs, listen to the Bouriakov video, and play with it.
(use the pause button frequently.)
Hours of fun!
a lifetime of fun!

Also of interest: Emma at 14

A captivating interview with 14 year old Emma Resmini.
See pg. 1 and pg. 4 at New York Flute Club Newsletter Jan 15/15: here.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Free Pleasures of Pan, Vol. 1-5 online in pdf

(click on jpg of index above to enlarge.)

Free Sheetmusic aux Bon-Bons

Brigham Young University Library recently uploaded a printable pdf version of five of the volumes of the old 1918 anthology Pleasures of Pan. These are flute and piano solos and they are super fun.
Apparently these books went out of print in 1951. But there must be a few copies out there in the world...see my P.S. below.

Thanking my emailing flute professor friend who sent the links and, naturally, full of fervent flutey-teacherly interest, I sat down and played through the collection. Oh my.

 Is it ever Doppler-esque,
Kohler-esque, and wantonly

These are parlour pieces from the late 1800s, but the collection overall contains a shower of traditional showpieces that are still in the repertoire. (My flute professor friend says "The goofier ones are known as "Bon-bons" because they are very sweet, and you can't have too many at once or you feel slightly yuck...ah ha ha.)

But several are outstanding repertoire solos (see if you can guess which ones by reading the titles, or like I did, by playing through the many that were unfamiliar!).

While sifting through which ones to print, and then one heavenly, blast-fest week of playing these pieces, I also find that some of the works have fun pedagogical applications like extensive rapid chromatic legato passages, or B-flat finger switches/choices, or multiple tonguing while playing sweeping arpeggios that are more beautiful than regular scale-book arpeggios etc.

So fun for all. :>D
Even if you never perform them all, many have rewarding swoopiness if nothing else. :>D

At the top of this blog post you can click on the jpg of my marked up "Pleasures of Pan" general index  to take a preview of what is in the collection. I've put dots next to those works that I find playable and of interest.

Then go to the links below to get and print your own "Pleasures of Pan" sheetmusic.

Five of the Six Volumes available online in pdf are at these links:

Volume 1: Flute and Piano parts.

Volume 2: Flute and Piano parts.

Volume 3: Score only

Volume 4: Flute and Piano parts.

Volume 5: Score only

There is no library copy of vol. 6.
The library person has accidentally uploaded the fifth book and the third book reversed in their catalogue.  03 is marked 05 and the reverse.

To download and print the pdfs:

Look on left sidebar to choose Black&White pdf, and download it to your hardrive, to later print just the pages you want. I print in black ink only.

Some volumes are missing flute parts, and have score only. Those with flute parts have them at the end of the score.

If your computer equipment is a little old fashioned, perhaps your printer may choke if you try to print too many pages in one fell swoop; each of these library-scanned pages go through "flattening" process, it seems. The blue bar takes ages to send the information to the printer. Try setting the printer to only print a few pages at a time.  Walk away if you must. :>)

I found for some that it was easiest, especially with flute parts, to print one page only at a time, by choosing "Print page showing" especially if the flute part pdf page numbering is causing printing confusion.

But technological printer chokes aside, do enjoy.
You can play these works right off the computer screen to check them out if nothing else.

I played the best ones into my Zoom recorder and then on a second and third track played the right and left hands of the piano part (octave transpositioning of course) to hear the chords; lovely stuff. :>)

Best, Jen

P.S. If any flutist reading this has a copy of  just the flute part for the Doppler "Chanson D'Amour" opus 20, please let me know. I'd love to play along with the Aitken recording I found of it; never knew it existed! And it's Doppler!  Stun!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Flamenco Etude - Adam Walker

Dear Flute Lovers, A wonderful Flamenco etude played by Adam Walker. Enjoy!

 Adam Walker plays  Flamenco Etude no. 1 by Zgraja: video

Artist Profile: Interview clips: video

For the Zgraja flute sheetmusic (very advanced): see here. ($12)

More flutey blogposts to come. I've been busy with book writing and music arranging.
Feel free to use the comment button below.
Happy New Year!! :>D

Best, Jen

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dec 1st Finals of Geneva Competition live-stream

(click to enlarge or use pdf links below)
Dear Flutists,

Update December 5th

Viviana Guzman interviews Adriana Ferreir by video to ask about memorization skills, preparation and learning experience. See video.

Robert Dick wrote to the email flute groups reminding readers of his (great!) essay with all details of being a judge at the Geneva competition. So much is so well explained.
Read here: Robert Dick talks about Geneva Flute Judging

Update: December 2nd:

The Geneva International Flute Competition 2014 finals are still online for full viewing:
Watch the three finalists here: Video of Mozart & Jolivet played by three finalists.

If your computer speed is too slow for streaming, click on "HD" at the lower edge of the film, and change to a lower speed.

I voted for the second candidate to win.
He's so musical, so confident, and so relaxed.
An amazing prodigy at 17 years of age. He started flute at 9 years old.
I could NOT believe his soft fingers, and only noticed the offset to the right embouchure half way through. What an amazing player! See for yourself.
I found the two female players far too tense. (I don't blame them, of course).
The tension inhibited their performances, I felt.

Who won?
See the results here.

Norman Lebrecht writes about the Geneva results: short post.


Update Nov 28th:
Sebastian Jacot who recently won the Nielsen competition, himself responded to questions about his not passing to the semi-final round with detailed account of his experience at Geneva.  (quoted below):

Sébastian Jacot writes:
Dear all,
I am very surprised at how many people actually follow what i do, i had no idea i was under such high surveillance I just want to answer the question “why do i do competitions”
I have never pushed myself technically musically physically psychologically further than i did during these competitions.
i have learned so much about myself, what i can do and what i cannot what i could do i what i cannot do anymore and i don’t regret anything from it.
For this Geneva Competition i only had a month to prepare and learn by memory about 15 pieces. If i had not participated in this competition, i would have never imposed myself such a task.
I don’t see the competitions as a goal in itself, i rather see it as a good challenge and exercise.
When i came to Geneva i already had a feeling i wasn’t gonna go all the way to the end.
I had worked 300 hours on a program almost completely new to me in a very short time and was extremely tired. And by looking at who advanced to the second round and who did not it was already clear that they were eliminating imperfection and waiting for the last two rounds to take into account the personality the musicianship maturity and integrity of the players.
Not that they didn't judge these aspects in the first two rounds but they were clearly not the main criterias.
I still wanted to see how far i could push myself.
If my goal was to win Geneva i should not have come or should not have taken part in the Nielsen Competition before and prepare longer.

The jury’s decision is fair i think because they have been very clear and consistent about what they were looking for specially in the first few rounds.
Clean precise and well prepared playing.
I could provide all these aspects in the first round but in the second with such a challenging program of 9 pieces i was a few days short of sleep or preparation and i could not be as impressively precise as they were expecting.The program i had prepared was also not made to impress but rather to touch. Wrong choice maybe this time.
I had just bought a new Lafin headjoint a month before and the broken wooden headjoint from Nielsen came back fixed only a week before the competition tuned a quarter tone lower than before and thus forcing me to play Schumann on the metal flute..the judges don’t want to know why or how or any excuses…they heard me play Schumann bit out of tune and they judge this.
Let’s say it was an entertaining, exciting and well executed program for a concert but just not perfect enough technically for this particular competition where so many young perfect technicians came.
Now i will finish preparing Jolivet concerto for the final so i have one more concerto to my repertoire and i will not have waisted the 250.- of inscription fee..
I will probably do ARD but will be more prepared in all subjects and improve from what i learned here at home In Geneva.
All my best wishes to you all!

Semifinalists list:

_________________ Original post:

Background info. on the contest:

Thanks Dianne for all your helpful updates! :>)

Friday, November 07, 2014

Electronic Tuner or Tuning CD?

Which should I practice with: The Tuning CD or an Electronic Tuner? I've been trying to use both simultaneously and I'm confused.

Jen's Answer:

Well, basically, the Electronic Tuner can analyse if you are playing all your notes sharp, or all notes flat, but it's no substitute for actual human ears, and it doesn't know what you're doing in a musical context. :>)

1. The Electronic Tuner does not know what key you're in so can only be used to occasionally match a piano, and no other instrument.

And because of the way pianos are actually tuned (by humans), the higher notes of the piano may often be sharper than the tuner shows, and the bass notes flatter.

See this chart of typical pianos after being tuned and note the sharpness of the flute range notes and how they are not predictable (nor would the electronic Tuner be set up to mimic this phenomena.) Stunning information, isn't it?

Source of above diagram:

To play in tune with any other instrument that can change its pitch (woodwinds, strings, brass etc.), every note in the scale of a key must be slightly higher or lower than what would be shown on the electronic Tuner.
The Tuner cannot know what key you're in, nor what interval you are tuning, and will only show Equal Temperament and will therefore be wrong.

Here's the chart of higher and lower for each interval below. Notice how wrong the tuner would be for each "in tune" interval.

  Table of intervals expressed as cents

Ratio          Interval         In Tune     Electronic Tuner (wrong)
 1/1         perfect unison     0 cents - Tuner would say: 0
25/24  "small" minor second    71 cents
16/15  "large" minor second   112 cents - Tuner would say: 100
10/9   "short" major second   182 cents
 9/8    "long" major second   204 cents - Tuner would say: 200
 6/5            minor third   316 cents - Tuner would say: 300
 5/4            major third   386 cents - Tuner would say: 400
 4/3         perfect fourth   498 cents - Tuner would say: 500
36/25      diminished fifth   631 cents - Tuner would say: 600
 3/2          perfect fifth   702 cents - Tuner would say: 700
25/16       augmented fifth   773 cents
 8/5            minor sixth   814 cents - Tuner would say: 800
 5/3            major sixth   884 cents - Tuner would say: 900
 9/5          minor seventh  1018 cents - Tuner would say: 1000
15/8          major seventh  1088 cents - Tuner would say: 1100
 2/1         perfect octave  1200 cents - Tuner would say: 1200

As you can see: The Electronic Tuner is wrong most of the time.

2. The eyes are not good at hearing "in tune-ness".

Musicians need to tune 'on the spot', all the time, and very quickly. Therefore their ears have to be very fast at picking up what is in tune and what is not.
The eyes looking at an electronic tuner are not connected to the ears in this way.
The eyes see the indications of flatness and sharpness, and then make the slow correction of telling the body to adjust to play flatter or sharper.
The ears are usually ignored while this is happening.
This is exactly as crazy-making as attempting to train your ears to hear "sky blue" or "ocean green" or "yellow sunshine".
The ears are not good at eye tasks either.
It's far smarter to train to use the ears for musical tuning, not the eyes.

3. In modern music, the key center changes constantly:

If you're in the key of G major, and you're playing in tune (the major third B-natural, is 14 cents flat to what the tuner says it should be, and it sounds beautifully in tune to the G root), and then the composer suddenly modulates to E minor, or D major, then your pitches must now conform to the new key.

But an electronic tuner doesn't know that your piece of music has modulated.

In the key of D major, the B-natural is the sixth note of the scale, and has to be 16 cents flat to the tuner.
In the key of E minor, the B-natural is the fifth note of the scale and needs to be 2 cents sharper than what the tuner says.

So as the piece of music modulates from key to key, the B-natural would have to change to be in tune against the new tonic.

If you're using the Tuning CD, and your etude, piece or solo modulates, you just change the drone from G to E or B.
You play along with a new drone.
If it modulates back to G major, you just switch back to the droning G on the Tuning CD again.

This can also happen even quicker, and in an even more subtle way; if the composer borrows chords from a nearby key if even for a split second  while still staying in the home key.

In colourful music, sometimes the added "colourful" chord might be, for example an A major chord with a C# in it, in G major! This chord may well be resolving to a D major chord, which then resolves back to the basic G major chord.  (V of V, going to V, going to I ) This all happens in a moment.

During these colourful chords, to play in tune might mean bending certain notes only for a fraction of a second.
(The C# in the Amajor chord will be resolving "ti-doh" to D major, so that's where it will get its tuning from.)

This is all done much faster by ear, and all the while, the Tuner will never know what you are doing and why.
It cannot figure it out like you can. :>)

4. In ensembles, the pitch changes constantly:

The Tuner is no use when the entire ensemble starts at A-440, and then through physical increases in heat or cold then sharpens or flattens progressively, or even momentarily (Causes: air conditioning, drafts, heated bodies in small rooms, some players playing sharper and sharper over several minutes to hear themselves more clearly etc.)

Ensembles do not stay at A-440.
You can use your tuner to check any professional recording. You will be surprised.

Using a very accurate tuner, during an exciting 6 minute Overture, a professional orchestra was once clocked at rising from A-440 to A-448 from beginning to ending, six minutes later.
They did it through EXCITEMENT and PANACHE.

There would be no point telling them they are now incredibly sharp; they all have to follow each other no matter what and end up in tune with eachother.

Then there are physical factors:

In a very cold rehearsal space, the instruments that go flat from cold (brass/woods) can only push in their tuning slides so far.
In a very warm rehearsal space, the instruments that go flat from heat (strings) cannot stop playing to retune each individual string, so may have to stop using open strings to remain fingering the notes higher as the room heats up.

All of this has to be momentarily accomodated while still continuing to play.
The Tuner cannot know any of this is happening. Only your ears can.

5. Your good tuning also depends on whether you're the Root, the Third, or the Fifth or Seventh of a Chord.

An electronic tuner does not know which interval of a chord you are playing.
While the person on the root of the chord may be fine consulting a Tuner, the person on the third of the chord needs to be 14 cents flatter, and the person on the fifth needs to be 2 cents sharper than what the tuner says.

If any of the other factors come into play (hot/cold, excitement of playing sharper to be heard, or any instrument playing out of tune for any reason) then even the person on the root of the chord can be incredibly "wrong" and yet they will sound their note, regardless.
If so, everyone else in the chord must shift their notes to accomodate the root or tonic they are being given to play with.
This happens constantly in any ensemble.
A tuner cannot know any of this is happening.

So use The Tuning CD and here's why:

The good news is that on notes of quick duration, bad tuning is not as audible, as there is very little time for the ear to hear the "beats" of out-of-tune intervals.
This is also true of very low pitched instruments: the "beats" that annoy the ear are quite slow, and will only be noticeable if a chord is held for several seconds.

But for high instruments, where "beats" are fast and annoying between out-of-tune notes (high woodwinds, sopranos etc.) even quick, short notes can be heards as annoyingly out of tune.

Also, in a melody, intervals between notes of the melody are more noticeable the slower the melody is.

That means that the intricacies and expertise in tuning of chords and melodic intervals is more needed in slow music, or on notes of long duration, where the out-of-tune intervals are more audible.

So always spend more time tuning slow moving music, and higher pitched instruments, always listening to the root of the chord, and assessing your distance above it, to eliminate "beats" in the sound.

All you have to do:
Start by tuning long held notes with the Tuning CD until your ears begin to witness the restful feeling of being "in tune".

Everything else you'll do starts from a simple scale, played slowly, against a constant drone.


Drone G on the Tuning CD (plays G to D perfect fifth interval plus octave G above).

Play a slow scale spending much time on each note. Listen and adjust until you find beauty and serenity on each note.

Jiggle the note you are playing until it sounds beautiful against the drone. Some will bend up, some down.

"Beats" will disappear and the sound will become smoother as you get closer to the pure intervals.
(for hearing "Beats" listen to this mp3 of flute with the Tuning CD; they sound like "Wah-wah-wah". Your job is to bend your note until the wah-wahs disappear).

The most important intervals for ensemble playing are:

Root, Third, and Fifth.

Playing these in tune with the Tuning CD will lead you to adding Seconds, Sixths and Sevenths, which are also super beautiful to hear when they are in tune (especially seconds which are complex and full of motion.)

Have fun.

Your ears will soon know what they're doing.
The Electronic Tuner will never learn anything new. :>)

Best, Jen

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Amy Porter - Masterclass & livestream recital today

Dear Flute Lovers,
Early-birding it again... I got up at 7 am this morning (it's a three hr. time difference for us here on the West Coast) to watch the enthusiastic and totally helpful Amy Porter teach a masterclass streaming online. I later realized it's in replay at these links all day!
Hugely entertaining!

So yes, so far, you can still watch it in repeat even if you didn't get up early like I did (peep!):

Saturday Oct 11th, 2014 from 10 am 12pm (east coast)
Master Class:

Four students perform: Stamitz, Jolivet, Boehm and Mozart, and receive instruction.Broadcast from Skidmore College. Super interesting to watch another teacher with so many well-tested ideas.

Amy Porter performs CONCERT tonight: Oct. 11th, 2014
This evening  is Amy Porter's recital at this link:


(5pm live stream west coast time, 8 pm east coast North America)

Just watched the entire recital in replay at the above link.
What wonderful showmanship! So spicy the rep. and so nicely filled with contrasts.
Amy Porter opened with the Poulenc Sonata (loved the tempo), by memory, with elan! And even though the audience applauded between movements she was gracious and yet impulsive! It was refreshing!
Bold opener! Great!

Next, Amy came out on to the stage alone, and played an all new interpretation of Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 (two mvmts.). Fabulous! Piazzolla-like flourishes made the opening into an extravaganza of ideas. Loved it.

For the third piece, Christopher Caliendo's latest 11th Sonata.
Totally hilarious!
Got to see!

After a long intermission (skip ahead), there were three contemporary works including Ian Clarke and Daniel Dorff's new work "Three Lakes".
Wonderful contrasts! Well done!

Best, Jen

Saturday, October 04, 2014

How to Warm-Up to practice flute

Question: What do you do to "warm-up"?

I have played flute for a few years, on my own, and the more I read on the internet about flute practice, the more I realize that I'm supposed to be "warming up", but I don't fully understand what that means. I'm doing more like what this fellow in the painting above is doing; I'm sitting down, playing through my pieces; just sort of blasting through them until my tone clears.
I know I play better after awhile, but am I wasting my time if I'm not doing a "warm-up" on flute?
And what do more advanced players do when they warm-up? Where should I be heading?
Thanks for your suggestions.

Jen replies:
Here are some flute warm-ups that I would recommend:

For Beginners:
A typical warmup might consist of 5-10 minutes very simple, plain, single tones or very simple songs.
Because the tone is often airy and the method of blowing not very developed, the simpler the warm up the better. The low register is an easy way to start as it does not take much co-ordination to sound

Low Longtones and warmups: free printable pdf.

The flute's middle register can be gradually incorporated to get the  air speed moving and the sound quality more full toward the end of the warmup. I like to do this with melodies.

I fill in the wide leaps in the melodies with relaxed scales (chromatic or diatonic; take your pick).
I play the melodies very slowly like a cadenza, and put pauses everwhere. I relax into them.

All the while, I reference back to how I feel, and how it looks in a mirror when I'm relaxed, poised, and co-ordinated (which believe me is an endless wandering...hahhahaa.)

Yes, the most important focus for the student warming up likely is POSTURE, as the holding of the flute  easily.
Getting used to that, and to then add the lung action are key at this stage of learning to co-ordinate. I suggest standing while practicing the flute, and of course, having a coach (a flute teacher) really truly helps (even if you only have five lessons, at least you'll have a coach at the beginning to spot you!)

Warmup with your teacher at the start of a lesson. They'll help you in no time.

See video on posture called: Easy Posture - Pure Tone

As the beginner progresses with the improvements of the lung action, along with their ease of holding the flute, the hand position is also to be noticed when changing between two notes. A mirror in the practice area and/or a flute coach (during a lesson) are both very useful here.

 I add frequent pauses (play three notes and then hold the fourth, or play two and hold the third note with a great tone....) to any warm-up, so the student can observed their  posture, hands, and listen carefully to the sound without becoming out of breath. Anything can be played in these tiny note groupings.

 This means pausing on any note, and holding it briefly, listening, observing, then stopping, resting every muscle in the body so that no tension is maintained, and then, after a relaxing moment of regular breathing, breathing deeply and restarting on the same note that you just paused on.  Relaxing every few seconds is something that should be emphasized from the very beginning of every practice session.

Typically, trying to play high notes too soon is a frequent human failing. :>)
I like to remind flute students to ease gradually into a fuller sound, and not to blast out high notes until their lower notes sound more clear and full, which may take ten minutes of low register playing.

I think that the longtones in the low register from B natural to B-flat, as slow whole notes is the quickest beginner warmup.
Hand position and posture can both be easily observed when playing such simple two-note slurs.
These two note "Longtones for pure tone warmups" will be mentioned throughout this blog post.

Read about warmups and longtones with pictures:

Low Longtones and warmups: free printable pdf.

Slow, low and lovely melodies can be played in between the longtones. It's never boring when you can apply your tone to beautiful tunes!
I use slow easy solos, bits of Bach, Celtic tunes, and low register melodies from easy flute books, or even famous melodies from great Operas etc. Suit yourself, enjoy yourself, and don't play complex things too soon in your practice session. Warm up to them. :>)
Novices (Played flute 1-2 years or more):

Novices who are studying with a flute teacher will have used beginner warmups for a year or more, and so will know to warm-up the low longtones and play around with low melodies before their sound quality naturally improves after ten minutes or so.

Novices will also have learned to play longtones in the low and then middle register.

Read about warmups and longtones with pictures:

Low-Medium Longtones and warmups: free printable pdf.

When these are familiar, they can be sped up, so that the pairs of notes can be slurred through quite quickly and fluidly. The student will advance to playing three slurred chromatic notes in a row (B-Bb-A with a pause on the final note, breathe, and repeat) in a relaxed way, waiting for their co-ordination and sound quality to improve.

The most common fault of novices is to shorten their warm-up, so that their tone is still fuzzy or unclear, and to right away start playing pieces.
The most important focus for the novice student warming up is tone quality. The tone will gradually become more focussed and more rich in quality. If it is not improving they will need to review their posture and lung action. A quick check list of key points that lead to improvement during the warmup will be something their teacher can help them with in lessons.

Example questions:
Are your feet equally balanced? (you are standing)
Are you creating a long distance between your hips and your shoulders?
Does your head feel relaxed on your neck?
Is your throat open and free?
Is your sound steady and pure?

By checking themselves during the warmup, they can eliminate typical problems that may hinder their best sound quality.

Middle register Longtones (starting with an octave leap from B1 to B2) are the quickest warmup.
Melodies that sustain in the middle register and become gradually more rich in tone as they descend are the most interesting warmups.

High Register could be warmed up and experimented with for up to ten minutes for a novice.
See the last few pages of this pdf:
Low and Middle Longtones and warmups: free printable pdf.

And then over many months, gradually ease your way higher on the flute.
Medium and High Longtones: free pdf

Additional warmups can be added that loosen the fingers, such as slow trills that gradually speed up.
But only do a few moments of this, and really go deeply into what you're doing when it is light, easy and tension-free.

Intermediates: (2-7 years of playing steadily).

Intermediates would warmup the following skills:
- tone quality in low register & then tone quality in middle register free printable pdf.

Depending on resting in between, the intermediate would then go on to warming up their tone quality in high register. free pdf

Posture is, as always, important to self-check.
See video on posture called: Easy Posture - Pure Tone

One of the fastest ways of balancing the body when playing intermediate warm-ups is to walk slowly from one side of the room to the other, in order not to "hold" the body static at the start of
If you don't need the music stand for your warmup, then move freely away from it.
Walk around, sense your balance, listen closely. Loosen up and explore. There's no need to stare vacantly at your music. :>)

High register can also be left for the 2nd half of the warmup, as it  is often demanding on the embouchure at first. You can warmup again later on high notes, dividing it into your second 20 minute practice session. That's the best way to not tire yourself out in the first 20 minutes. :>)
Slow, low and middle register melodies can be played to solidify the  tone quality before continuing with more skilled warmups.

Lung warmups:
Intermediates might be looking to increase their air speed on command.
One of the quickest warmups for this is saying slow and deliberate "HA!HA! Haaaaaaa's" on various long tones.

 Finger action warmups
Intermediates may use chromatic scales or trills to warmup each individual finger.
 Trills, Chromatics free pdfs:

During these trills or scales the flutist can:
- walk around the room to get better body balance
- check hand position for ease by placing pinky fingers first, and repositioning  their thumbs
- play a simple warmups for fingers (short chromatic scales) while looking at hands in mirror

Much of the above is covered in this free article on how to practice the flute:

The most common problem is playing finger exercises with poor tone  quality. The opposite is recommended; never play anything else that's more complex until your tone quality is beautiful.

The second most common fault is avoiding the high register longtones  because they don't sound beautiful at first. This leads to the student  trying to play high notes later in their practice session without any embouchure skills.
The solution is to set aside a skill building 10-20 minutes of high longtones practice in every second daily practice session.
It may not take place in the warmup, but it can be a separate area of focus prior to playing in the highest octave in pieces.

Embouchure experiments may be used in the above, and successes noted.

Read about warmups and longtones with pictures:
Advanced Intermediate:

An advanced intermediate likely practices every day and does not "lose their tone" very often.
If they do lose their tone, looking at the embouchure in the mirror usually shows them how their lips have just slightly changed since yesterday, and seeing it the mirror and changing it back only takes a moment or two.
The more advanced flutist's warmup may be much quicker than less adept students because their basic tone is often already in place from the day before.

Here are the areas that can be quickly warmed up:

1. Tone plus Posture, hand position, body balance - quick longtones in groups (three notes at a time, four notes at a time, one octave at a time, descending chromatically to set the embouchure as in De La Sonorite by Moyse.)

Here are the equivalent exercises that have been linked to all levels of flutists, above:
- tone quality in low register & tone quality in middle register free printable pdf.
- tone quality in the middle to high register. free pdf

2.Easy finger motion - Trills done with each finger in turn, concentrating on lightness.
  and easy Chromatic scales ascending, in groups of notes, turning around and
descending, all while keeping clear tone. Free pdf.

3. Articuation warmups - All articulations studied as a separate skill in lessons and in practice sessions can be warmed up by short "Tu-Tu-Tu" and "Du-Du-Du" passages on single notes.
If double tonguing is being warmed up, "Tu-Ku-Tu-Ku" and Du-Gu-Du-Gu" can be used on single notes. Any piece of music can be multiple-tongued by just saying "Du-Du-Du" while holding a longer note.

Skill builders that can also be warmups:


4. Downward smeared octaves and overblowing harmonics are fantastic at this point.
The simplest possible wide interval leaping is a skill that could be used  as a warm-up.
These are the BEST!

i) Werner Richter Basic Embouchure Placement exercise (video on embouchure flexibility)

ii) and Leone Buyse "Magic Carpet" overblowing harmonics in three octaves

Click on picture to enlarge.

Notes about the book/source:
 Richter's book is called: Conditioning Training for the Flute Embouchure - see sample of Basic Exercise).

Buyse's Warmup is called "The Magic Carpet" and she demonstrates it on her video online. It was given as a "Super Duper Zen Yoga Warmups" by H.B." handout at the NFA convention some years ago.
The above jpg is a screen shot from page 1 of the handout. Click on it to view the exercise.

 I personally play it by adding the sound of the real fingering at both the beginning and end of each series of harmomic overblowing, to set my lips in their optimal position for relaxed, flexible ease during warm-up.

Also incredibly fast warm-ups seem to always happen using these two techniques:

5. Spit-buzzing by Keith Underwood. This technique brings your upper lip into co-ordinated placement. See video (scroll down) at:

6. Singing while playing by Robert Dick. This technique brings your lung resonance and throat tuning into play. See video:

Lastly, for the very warmed up:

7. Dynamic warmups - crescendos (and not that many diminuendos)

The standard tone development book "De La Sonorite" by Moyse has a great "Fullness of Tone" exercise where the player crescendos to their maximum relaxation and open, big full sound at fortissimo.

"The Physical Flute" by Fiona Wilkinson has some good basic crescendo-diminuendo exercises that are skill building.  Link to the Wilkinson book is here: It's a darn fine basic all around thinking warmup book. Excellent, concise, worth buying:

Great melodies from Moyse's book "Tone Development Through Interpretation" are also useful here. This famous book has melodies in all registers with all dynamics. They are advanced. They take a deep soul and alot of listening and lessening, and increasing.

Or write your own, or play famous violin works, or opera arias. Very fun.
The main thing is to listen to them closely as you warmup, and to create creative cadenzas out of the skills you're warming up.

Only one caveat: don't drill diminuendos. Seriously.

 Remember when diminuendo-ing: 

Tapers and diminuendos can be (don't do this!) tension producing when repeated as an exercise. So never go longer than five minutes without completely relaxing and finding out how you can do even LESS when tapering the sound.

Honestly; another great human error is over-doing it; using too much increased tension to do something "tiny".

Don't add tension. Always release tension when practicing.

Read Whone's great words from his book here. They're edited down for flutists fast reads.

8. Embouchure placement exercises for advanced flutists would then be utilized in all the above, gradually over time:


____________________end warmup ideas

For free pdfs for flutists use these links:

Fast Easy Fingers:
How do I get faster fingers?
Easy trill lifting and chromatic scales: 20 pages
Download pdf including trill chart:

Read about how to use with hand pictures to help relax hands:

Also see, free at my blog:
Longtones and Warmups: (equivalent to De La Sororite first excercise).

Low Longtones and warmups: free printable pdf.

Medium and High Longtones: free pdf

Read about warmups and longtones with pictures:

Additional Practice Materials: Scales and Arpeggios for Daily Exercises (novice to intermediate):

Moyse's Daily Exercises made easier:
Download pdfs of Moyse's work at these three blog posts:
It makes a full book of everything from major/minor/whole-tone andscales in thirds.


If you want to look at some practice plans (how to practice to cover all basic skills), have a read here:
What should I be doing in my practice time?

Hope this helps,
Best, Jen