So you have hired, borrowed or purchased a flute and you want to learn how to make
a sound and play beautiful tunes. The first step is to make a sound. So how is this done?
Let’s have a look at five points.
1. Breathing:
I ask students, especially the younger ones, “what happens to your tummy when you breathe 
Most students will reply…….actually, what do you think they say?
…They usually say, “the tummy goes in.”
Then I ask them what happens to a balloon when you blow into it?
They reply,” It gets bigger.”
I then tell them that when you breathe in, air goes into your lungs and they get bigger, just 
like the balloon, and so your tummy goes out.
Let us understand this further.
The diaphragm is the dome shaped muscle at the base of the abdomen.  When you breathe
in, the diaphragm goes down, the lungs fill with air and the abdominal muscles move
out.  The arrow is pointed to the diaphragm in the picture blow.
When people say “breath from the diaphragm”, you breathe deep and you need to be aware
of the tummy moving out and then moving in when you breathe out.
It is important be aware of your breathing in order to produce a good sound on the flute. 
To Enhance Your Awareness:

i.  Place one hand on your tummy and one hand on your back about the same position. 
    Then breathe in and out and focus on the movement of your tummy. 
    Does it go out and in, out and in? I hope so. Even your back goes out a little when you 
    breathe in.

ii.  Lie on the your back on the ground.
     Place some books on your tummy.
     Breathe in. Do the books rise? Well they should.
     Breathe out. Do the books come down? Yes they do. Good.

2. Lip Hole Size:
The size of your hole should be no wider than the width of the flute hole and not too big.
After blowing and practising you will get the feel of a suitable size because you will
hear your sound improving. If the hole size is too big then you lose too much air and the sound
will be weak. And you will not be able to blow so many notes in a breath.
To find a hole in your lip, firstly say MMMMM, then P and purse your lips such that the
corners feel like they are going down, kind of like the opposite to smiling.
Alternatively you can put a straw in your mouth and squeeze it. Feel the lips surrounding
the straw completely. Then remove the straw keeping the oval hole shape within the lips.
Then position your lips on the flute hole, headpiece alone to begin with and then the whole
flute, and blow.

3. Positioning of Lips on the Flute Hole:
The lower lip needs to cover the flute hole about a third. To get a feel for this, place a finger
underneath your lip such that the lip goes over a little. Then pick up the headpiece of the flute
and place the hole underneath then lip. Have a look in the mirror view your placement.
The far away edge of the flute hole should be slightly towards you so that when you blow
across the hole, the air splits and some goes down the flute and some goes out of the flute away
from you.

4. Angle of Air Into Flute:
When you start off learning the flute you play lower sounds.
To feel the angle of air into the flute firstly blow on your hand, which is placed in front of
your lips. Then blow straight across. Now move your lower lip in towards you such that the air
is now going lower on your hand about 2 cm. This is the angle you are aiming for when
blowing across the flute hole.

5. Blowing:
To get a good sound on the flute you need to have a suitable air speed to match the note you
are playing along with any dynamic, accents, articulations you are putting into the note and
suitable angle of air into the flute.
To start with you can try and make a sound from a plastic or glass bottle. Fizzy, wine and
beer bottles work really well. In fact if you get a number of these bottles together and fill them
up to varying levels , then you can play a tune!!
If you haven’t got a bottle on hand, go out and get one. You don’t have to drink all the contents.
But the less liquid you have in your bottle the lower the sound.
So place your lips at the edge of the bottle top, feel a hole in your lips and blow gently across
with a suitable angle of air as indicated above. You may have to adjust something to get the
sound eg you may have to blow more or less. Once you have a sound you can have a blow on
your flute.
Get a sound out of your headpiece first and then put it together for some sounds.
Place your lips on the flute hole, get a hole in your lips and blow across with an angle of air like
in the hand exercise above.
You may get a sound straight way. Or it may take you weeks to get a sound. If the sound isn’t
coming or is weak, work at changing something like your hole size, placement of lips on flute
hole, angle of air into the flute and speed of air. Another point to check is to whether your lips
are placed in the centre of the flute hole. If they are slightly to one side then that will stop
the sound from being produced.
Just keep playing, looking in the mirror if you can
and you will get a sound in no time.
                       Happy Fluting

P.S While you are working on your sound 

       it is a good idea to learn how to play 

       some notes using a flute tutor book.