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How to Love Your Flute
A Guide to Flutes and Flute Playing
OR
How to Play the Flute, Choose One, and Care for It,
Plus Flute History, Flute Science, Folk Flutes, and More

By Mark Shepard

Preface by Paul Horn
Illustrated by Anne Subercaseaux

General Info
Reviews and Comments
Contents
Sample Text

Here’s a complete guide for anyone who plays the flute or ever wanted to. Use it along with flute lessons or even to teach yourself! This book covers everything you need and more—selection and care, flute technique, fingering, playing by ear, reading music, flute history, flutes around the world, and modern folk flutes. How to Love Your Flute will appeal to all flutists, from beginning to advanced.

Mark Shepard is the author of How to Love Your Flute, hailed by Paul Horn as “a model for our times,” as well as the craft guide Simple Flutes. He has played flute professionally in a folk music trio, as a modern dance accompanist, and as a solo theater musician.


Shepard Publications
Paperback ~ 1999
(Reprint of the 1980 edition)

Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository


Reviews and Comments

“Shepard has come up with the most unique flute manual I have ever seen. It is direct, complete, informative on every aspect, and—most important—comes from the standpoint of pure love and respect for the instrument. . . . [This] book serves as a model for our times, and it is an inspiration for those who want to get more out of life through the joys of flute playing.”—Paul Horn, from the Preface

“Shepard’s soul-felt passion for the flute resonates through his book like music. It’s a comprehensive guide with something for everyone, from novice to professional, and so well written that it’s a pleasure just to browse through it. This book inspires.”—Diana Barich, in The Next Whole Earth Catalog

“Comprehensive and concise. . . . A highly readable and inspirational guide for flutists of every age and ability.”—Jeanne Baxtresser, first flute, Toronto Symphony Orchestra

“This book is guaranteed to have one of three influences on readers. For those who currently play, it’s an affirmation to continue playing. For those who haven’t picked up their flute in a while, it’s encouragement to resume playing. As for those who’ve never played, Shepard provides a good compass for beginning your own musical journey.”—Linda Dailey Paulson, Dirty Linen, Oct./Nov. 2000

“Highly recommended.”—Midwest Book Review’s The Bookwatch and Internet Bookwatch, Aug. 2002


Contents

Preface, by Paul Horn

Introductions
My Love Affair With the Flute
About This Book
Common Questions From Beginners
How to Love Your Flute

Flute Lore

The World Family of Flutes
South America
North America
Africa
The Middle East
Eastern Europe
Western Europe
India
China
Oceania
Japan

The Story of the Western Flute
The Baroque Flute
The Boehm Flute
Since Boehm
Materials and Manufacture
Looking Ahead

Selection and Care

Finding Your Flute
Buying Name Brands
Metal Flutes—The Flute Hierarchy
Wooden Flutes
Flute Quality—General
Plateau Model, French Model
Other Options and Variations
Features to Look For
Checking Out a Used Flute
Other Sizes of Flutes
Electronic Amplification

Caring For Your Flute
Assembly, Playing, Disassembly
Minor Maintenance
Head joint cork
Repairs
Professional Servicing and Overhaul

Flute Technique

Embouchure and Breath
Getting a Sound—Basic Embouchure
Basic Breathing

Posture
Flute Assembly and Hand Position
Head and Arms
Torso and Legs
Other Aspects
Practicing Posture
Posture Checklist

Playing Notes
Fingering and Blowing Principles
Fingerings
Articulation

More About Embouchure and Breach
Taking Breaths
Intonation
Volume Adjustments
Developing Tone
Exercises

Fingering Technique
Difficult Combinations
Runs

Tuning
Concert Pitch
Tuning With Others

Advanced Techniques
Vibrato
Tonal Variation
Alternative Fingerings, Trills, Tremolos
Multiple-Tonguing

Special Effects
Acoustic Effects
Electronic Effects

Making Music

Scales and Chords
Scales
Chords

Playing by Ear
Copying
Improvisation
Help for the Tone-Deaf

Reading Music
Learning How
Staff and Clef
Timing
Key Signature and Accidentals
Rests
Repeats
Volume and Dynamics
Tempo and Expression
Miscellaneous Symbols
Transposition
Learning a Piece of Music
Interpretation
Nonclassical Music

Living Music
Expressive Techniques
Beyond Technique—Playing From Within

Modern Folk Flutes

Finding a Folk Flute
Why a Folk Flute?
Where to Find Folk Flutes
Side-Blown Flutes
Shakuhachi
Other End-Blown Flutes

Caring for a Folk Flute
Bamboo
Other Materials
Corks

Playing a Folk Flute
Side-Blown Flutes
Shakuhachi
Other End-Blown Flutes

Appendix

How the Flute Works
A Tube With Holes
Harmonics
Octaves

Miscellaneous Fingering Charts
Baroque Flute, One Key
Eight-Key Flute
Modern Flute With Open G-Sharp Key

Reading List
General
Flute Technique
Other Flutes
Miscellaneous


Sample Text

Basic Breathing

A major part of flute playing is learning to manage the flow of breath from your body into the body of the flute. Much of the expressiveness of your music will come from the degree of control and flexibility you have in your breathing.

In flute playing, breathing is done mainly from the diaphragm, a muscle that extends horizontally across the bottom of the chest and presses against the bottom of the lungs. To find your diaphragm, push your stomach way out as you breathe in; then pull it way in as you breathe out. (Make sure you're not getting the directions backward!) The muscle that does that is the diaphragm, as it moves down to allow the lungs to fill (stomach out), then up to squeeze air out of them (stomach in).

Here is an exercise to give you the feel for proper breathing: Stand erect, holding your elbows away from your body. Now push your diaphragm straight down, and your chest muscles slightly outward. The sensation should be that your entire upper body is a bellows that's filling up, evenly and all at once. Your stomach should not protrude very far forward, as it did in the initial exercise given above. Instead, there should be a slight expansion in the stomach, and a similar expansion in the small of the back, directly behind it. An even smaller expansion should be felt around the chest, in the front and back. There will be a very slight raising of the shoulders, but this should come only as a result of the chest expansion, without any movement of the shoulder muscles themselves.

Fill your lungs only as much as is comfortable, then exhale by reversing the above instructions. When you have the feel of the breathing, use it while blowing a note on your head joint.

Though this is actually a very natural way of breathing, many people do not normally breathe fully, and they may have trouble with it at first. You may have to build up the strength of your diaphragm slowly over a period of time. The extra oxygen in your system may cause dizziness and tingling feelings in your limbs, especially the hands. This is called hyperventilation. Beginning players usually aggravate the condition by using much more air than is necessary to produce the sound. Hyperventilation will stop bothering you as you get used to the extra air in your lungs and learn to blow more efficiently.


For more info, treats, and resources, visit
Mark Shepard’s Flute Page at
www.markshep.com/flute