BEGINNING TO PLAY
When you are first starting to play your flute there should be a “PLAYING IN” period. Start to play your flute for short periods of time at first, 5-10 minutes. Moisture collects around the mouth piece and soaks into the wood. If too much moisture gets into the wood at once it is possible for the flute to split at the sides between the mouth piece and the animal totem. This will also apply if you have left your flute sitting for a long period of time. Beginners will have more moisture collect at first. Holding your flute horizontal while playing, as apposed to downward towards the floor will help in this matter as well.
My flutes are guaranteed should anything happen to them, however this is one way of preventing the most common problem.
(This has not happened to any of my flutes in 12 years👍)
Your strap has two sets of ties. One set is really skinny and the other is fatter.
The skinny straps tie the strap that holds your totem onto the flute. You probably won’t have to adjust or untie these very often, however the strap is leather and will stretch over time. If you find that you are having trouble getting your totem to sit tight onto the flute, then it is time to untie the first knot on the skinny straps, pull the straps by gently lifting each one and pull it tight, retie the knot. The fat strap is the one you will use to ensure the totem is tight on the flute, each time you play your flute. Your totem needs to be tight in order to give you a clean, clear sound.
The totem needs to sit in a certain spot to give your flute a clean, clear sound. If it is too far forward it may be squeaky, breathy, or may not make a sound at all. If it is too far back, the flute may sound very breathy or muffled and not be in tune.
There are two holes under your animal totem. The bottom of the front edge of the totem, needs to sit on the edge closest to the mouth end on the second hole from the mouth end. The second hole from the mouth end should be exposed, the one closest to the mouth end should be covered.
The mouth end is the smallest end, closest to the totem.
MAINTAINING YOUR FLUTE
Moisture will collect in your flute from blowing into it. Beginners will leave more moisture in their flutes at first. There are a few ways to deal with this:
REMOVE YOUR TOTEM WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED PLAYING
Do this by just sliding your strap and totem off of the flute, towards the mouth end. Wipe the sound holes and the bottom of the totem. Slide the totem back on, with the straps hanging centered from the bottom of the flute. Tighten the strap by GENTLY pulling on the fat strap. Make sure totem is in the proper position.
STORE YOUR FLUTE WITH THE MOUTH PIECE DOWN
Stand flute up on the mouth end, so moisture will drain out.
IF YOU ARE STILL PLAYING
Moisture can collect while you are playing and make the sound of the flute unclear. Should this occur place finger in front of totem and blow hard into mouth end. This will remove moisture that has collected under the totem and will give you a clear sound again.
NOTES ON YOUR FLUTE
Notes will vary for each different key, however the fingering for each flute for individual notes will be the same.
All holes closed
All holes closed except bottom one
All holes closed except bottom two
All holes closed except bottom three
Third, fifth, and sixth from bottom closed
Fourth, and sixth from bottom closed
Fourth from bottom closed
First, second, third, fourth from bottom closed
Second, third, fourth from bottom closed
An extended scale can be achieved by only covering the holes half way with your fingers. Depending on the holes and your skill level you could cover 1/2 of the whole and get extra notes. JONNY LIPFORD has a “learn how to play” DVD with information on scales, and playing techniques as well as sheet music to play these flutes. He now also offers online tutorials.