How to Play the Flute Without Visual Images

How to Play the Standard C Flute For Beginners

An accessible chart for fingerings on the flute.


Produced by: Green Gables Fan, and other people who took part in this project.
Click here to skip all the contents and begin reading!

  1. An overview of the flute.
  2. How to assemble the flute.
    1. The head joint.
    2. The body.
    3. The foot joint.
  3. Things you need to know before reading the chart.
    1. Musical symbols.
    2. Symbols used to describe different keys.
  4. The fingering chart.
    1. Common Notes with no Sharps and Flats.
    2. Common Notes with Sharps and Flats.
    3. Uncommon Notes with no Sharps and Flats.
    4. Uncommon Notes with Sharps and Flats.
  5. Disassembly of the flute.
  6. Credits.
  7. ***Producer Note***

Overview

Perhaps you are blind or visually impaired, and have found it hard to memorize the key combinations on the flute just by having someone tell you. Why not have written down into an accessible fingering chart that can be easily understood by the blind? This documentation will take you through some ways you can make your flute playing more successful. Now who says that vision is required to play this instrument? No one. No one says you have to have vision to play the flute. It is just the matter of how charts are accessible. For this documentation, we will be discussing the C Standard Flute, which can be divided into three parts and packed into a one-foot case. If you are unsure about what symbols mean, refer to the reference section of this manual.
People have been trying to make charts accessible; some books claim to have charts that have numbers, which can be easily understood. This is not the case. We are going to use a different format which is simple and is meant for the blind.

Assembly

For the first time, you may not know how to set your flute together. Follow these steps so you get to learn how to set it up. When you look at the parts, you will see a lot of different things. The springs on the body is called the Bohm mechanism. This allows keys to either move independently, or to move together. You need to be careful not destroying the mechanism and or the keys.

The head

The first thing you want to work with is the head joint. The head joint, or the head, is the left part of the flute. It has the blow hole inside. For practice, why not play a tone by blowing across the hole, like when you blow across a bottle to make a sound. If you are successful in playing the note, you may be able to play the flute once assembled. Take the head and follow the next step.

The Body

When you have gotten the head, you will be unsure as how you will put the two parts together. There is a way to tell which part of the body you want to insert the head. On one side of the flute you will feel two ring-like circles. This is where you want to put the head into. Slowly put it in, be careful not to grab the keys of the flute, and slowly turn it till the hole is aligned with the keys. You may want to angle it more towards the springs, just so you can get used to the feeling and be able to play easier.

The Foot

The foot is the last part of the flute you need to put together. This part is easy to figure out where to go since the head and one side of the body is taken. So, that leaves you with the opening on the right. To make sure you put the foot in the right way, make sure the pinky keys are facing left towards the head of the flute. Now insert the foot piece and you should have a fully assembled flute.

Before You Read

Here are things you need to know before you continue to the chart below. The symbols used will be represented in table form. This section will explain these symbols and what they are used for. Some symbols relate to music, some others are related to the new combination system.

The symbols used in music will be described below.

Name of symbol Description
C#-Db C-Sharp or D-Flat
D#-Eb D-Sharp or E-Flat</td
F#-Gb F-Sharp or G-Flat</td
G#-Ab G-Sharp or A-flat
A#-Bb A-Sharp or B-flat

The symbols are related to the new combination system and will be shown below.

Name of Symbol description
* If a note can be changed just by changing the way you blow, and keep the same fingering, there will be a * (star) sign in front of the note. Example: *G. There will be octave numbers so you can tell which octave you can go up. Refer to the harmonics table for more instructions.
TBb Thumb with Bb key. The thumb key has a little key underneath it. It looks like an upside down l.
Pinky1 the very first pinky on the left of the foot joint.
Pinky2 the second pinky key to the right of the first pinky key on the foot joint.
Roller the roller is slightly above the second pinky key on the foot joint.
Nob1 the first button-like key on the left nearest the head joint. Note: You will hardly use this key. It is used for fast trilling’ between C and D.
Nob2 the second button-like key to the right of the first key. Note: You will hardly use this key. It is used for fast trilling between C and Eb.
Left Pinky

the left pinky key is located below one of the combination keys on the body. This key has a bar-like shape. When pressed, a pad will open behind the flute.

The Chart

The chart will be given in table form, the notes on the left, and the combinations on the right for both fingering methods explained below. They will be in a table you can navigate with your screen reading software. Most screen reading programs allow you to navigate one column to the left, one row down, one column to the right, or one row up. You can also move by cell. Let us say you want to know what the combination for D is. you would get to the table, then you will go down to the third row, because the first row is the header, the part that tells you what is in each column. Move to the first column. To look up the combination for that note, you will either move right one or two cells to the right. Here are some commands used to navigate by table.

alt+ctrl+left: moves one cell one column to the left.

Alt+ctrl+right: move one cell right one column.


Alt+ctrl+up: moves one cell up one row.


Alt+ctrl+down: moves one cell down one row.



Note: this will work within a table only.

All numbers will start from left to right. If there are any keys that involve thumb and pinkies, those will be the first before the actual combination. The first two keys, which move together when you press on either one of them, will count as two different keys. The first one is not a key. All the others will be separate.

Here is a general position to hold your flute. Place your left hand index finger on the second key. Skip one key, and place your middle finger on the fourth key. You now place your ring finger on the fifth key. You should now have 1, 2, and 3. You fingers should be facing towards you. For the right hand, you skip the two keys, and put your index finger on the eighth key. Put your middle finger on the ninth key, then add your ring finger on the tenth key. You should have 4, 5, and 6. Your fingers face away from you this time. Here is how this would look to someone using the normal fingering.
2, 4, 5, and 8, 9, 10. To make sure you know you are putting your fingers on the right places, you need to know where you are going to place your left index finger, since there are two keys that move together. You put your finger on the second key, which will be 2 on the standard chart.

Common Notes with no Sharps and Flats.

Name of note Combination with standard fingering
*C5 Pinky1+2
*D5 TBb+4 5 8 9 10
*E5 TBb+pinky1+2 4 5 8 9
*F5 TBb+pinky1+2 4 5 8
*G5 TBb+pinky1+2 4 5
*A5 TBb+pinky1+2 4
*B5 Thumb+pinky1+2

Common Notes with sharps and flats.

Name of note Combination with standard fingering
*C#/Db5 Pinky1
*D#/Eb5 TBb+pinky1+4 5 8 9 10
*F#/Gb5 TBb+pinky1+2 4 5 10
*G#/Ab5 TBb+Pinky1+Pinky2+2 4 5
*A#/Bb5 TBb+pinky1+2

Uncommon Notes with no sharps and flats. including high and low notes.

Name of Note Combination for low notes combination for high notes
C4 TBb+Pinky2+roller+2 4 5 8 9 10 TBb+pinky1+2
D4 TBb+2 4 5 8 9 10 TBb+4 5 8 9 10
E4 TBb+pinky1+2 4 5 8 9 Same fingering for highest octave.
F4 TBb+pinky1+2 4 5 8 Same for highest octave.
G6 N/A TBb+Pinky1+2 4 5
A6 N/A TBb+pinky1+2 4
B6 N/A Thumb+2

Uncommon Notes with sharps and flats only with high and low notes included.

Name of note Combination for low notes Combination for high notes
C#/Db4 TBb+Pinky2+2 4 5 8 9 10 Pinky1
D#/Eb4 TBb+pinky1+2 4 5 8 9 10 TBb+pinky1+4 5 8 9 10
F#/Gb4 N/A TBb+Pinky1+2 4 5 10
G#/Ab6 N/A TBb+pinky1+LeftPinky+2 4 5
A#/Bb6 N/A TBb+Pinky1+2

Flute Disassembly

To disassemble the flute, follow the steps as when you were assembling the flute, except this time you will be taking it apart. If you need to clean your flute, be sure to do each part individually. When done, put each part into its right compartment in the case if it has it. Some cases may have different compartments than others.

6.

I would like to thank everyone who took part in this project and I hope it is successful with blind individuals. Your support will not only be help to me, but help to anyone who is struggling to learn the combinations all at once. This is a good way to sit down in front of a computer and make a simple table like combination fingering chart.
There may be some parts that you may not understand, but I have put a lot of effort to explain in great detail about how the flute works.
Thanks so much for your support!

***A note to blind and visually impaired users***

It is always a good idea to see a band instructor to make sure you are not missing anything important such as blowing differently
to make different notes. Playing the flute should not be hard if you have had experience with blowing bottles. It is the matter of you changing the way you purse your lips to change notes. To produce low notes, loosen your lips. For higher notes, tighten your lips more and overblown into the hole. Just experiment and find the best way to blow solid notes into it.

Harmonics

We would like to add another table which will describe what will happen if you encounter notes that are different when you have a fingering for a different note. This is what we call harmonics. Harmonics may sound a little sharper or flatter than regular tones just by a few microtones that they are hardly noticeable. There will be a table describing each note going chromatically just to give you an idea of what other notes you can expect when you have the fingering. We will use octaves to indicate where on the piano it would be at. Note: middle C is called C4 because it is the fourth octave. The top row will have the original notes and below that will be other rows that will contain its harmonics going up.

Original note C4 C#/DB4 D4 D#/Eb4 E4 F4 F#/Gb4 G4 G#/Ab4 A#/Bb4 B4 C5
First Harmonics C5 C#/Db5 D5 D#/Eb5 E5 F5 F#/Gb5 G5 G#/Ab5 A5 A#/Bb5 B5 C6
Second Harmonic G5 G#/Ab5 A5 A#/Bb5 B5 C6 C#/Db6>

D6 D#/Eb6 E6 F6 F#/Gb6 G6
Third Harmonic C6 C#/Db6 D6 D#/Eb6 E6 F6 F#/Gb6 G6 G#/Ab6 A6 A#/Bb6 B6 C7
Fourth Harmonic E6 F6 F#/Gb6 G6 G#/Ab6 A6 A#/Bb6 B6 C7 C#/Db7 D7 N/A N/A
Fifth Harmonic G6 G#/Ab6 A6 A#/Bb6 B6 C7 C#/Db7 D7 </A N/A N/A N/A N/A

As you see, there are many different possibilities when you are playing harmonics. You only use harmonics when you want to quickly change from one note from another without having to change fingerings. Do not get confused with normal notes. Depending on your head joint, and the size of the tone hole and instrument, some harmonics may be sharper or flatter than normal notes. We hope this gives you a good idea of how the flute works.
Good luck playing!

Disclaimer

This manual is under the general public license, meaning that the user is free to distribute the manual to others.

The end-user of this manual should understand that this is intended for the sole use of the product mentioned, and is therefore not suitable for other products.w

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