Covering the Holes

Now that we’ve learned to hold the flute properly, let’s start making some noise!

Picture of Hands Gripping Flute

We'll start off by playing a simplified version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" that uses just fingers T1, T2 and T3 (see picture above - "T" stands for Top- Hand/ "B" stands for "Bottom-Hand"). The trick here is that you seal each hole completely. If,for example, you do not seal the note "B" (T1) completely, the next note below - "A" (T2) will not sound fully or at all.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb Simplified Version

New Technique: Articulation - "Throating" & "Tonguing"

You should notice from the video example that we have to interrupt our air flow to sound out repeated notes (for example: “lit-tle lamb”). This technique is called Articulation. I mostly articulate with my throat – using it as a valve to stop or free the air coming from my lungs. The act of articulating with your throat is called “throating”. When performed, it feels a bit like lightly clearing your throat.

You can also articulate with your tongue by “saying” syllables such as “ta” or “da”. Articulating in this manner is called "tonguing".


Now, try playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb in D". This will require you to be able to seal all six holes properly since the lowest note in the tune is the low D note.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Chart of Mary Had a Little Lamb in the Key of D