If you have ever taken private flute lessons, you know that they can be quite expensive. I wrote a post a few months back asking: Are private lessons necessary? Now, I want to share some tools and resources for self taught flutists, because lessons aren’t always realistic.
Since finishing my degree in music performance, I have significantly decreased how often I take private lessons. They are no longer included in tuition costs, and it can be hard to schedule them. Now that I have a full time job, scheduling lessons is even harder.
So, I want to share some of my favorite tools and resources that can help you improve your flute skills, even if you aren’t taking lessons.
There are dozens of videos on YouTube that can help you learn everything from the basics of the flute to advanced techniques. There are many flute and general music YouTubers who post tips and tutorials on various music topics.
One of my favorite flutist-YouTubers is Joanna Tse, or JustAnotherFlutist. She posts tutorials and flute reviews as well as funny stories that make her super relatable. I haven’t been able to find any other flutists on YouTube as funny as her.
Then, of course YouTube is also a great place to find free recordings of music you might be working on. When you don’t have a teacher to demonstrate how a phrase or piece should sound, recordings are a great option.
You can listen to multiple recordings to get different interpretations, and you can use different ideas to create your own sound. Even if you do take lessons, YouTube is the best place for free recording. Plus, the video format usually (not always) allows you to see the flutist in action.
Trevor Wye’s Practice Books for the Flute
If you are at the intermediate level or above, these books are perfect for you. Trevor Wye includes some text to describe how different exercises should be worked on.
The six books in the omnibus edition include: tone, technique, articulation, intonation & vibrato, and breathing & scales. The last book covers advanced exercises, and that one has a ton of reading material.
I use some of his tone exercises for my tone warm up, and it is amazing how those exercises help. The exercises in his other books are also great for improving in those areas of flute playing.
Trevor Wye’s Proper Flute Playing
Wye also wrote a book that goes with his practice books, except that it is meant for reading. There are no exercises, but he does go into different concepts of flute playing.
If you want to read about how to play the flute well, get this book. Proper Flute Playing talks about almost anything related to the flute.
Taffanel & Gaubert Daily Exercises
This book is really only for advanced flutists, but it is super helpful. If you have worked through various beginner and intermediate books, and you have started on Trevor Wye’s books, this is another resource to look into.
This is another book that work out of almost every time I pick up my flute. I have worked on some of the exercises so much that I know them by heart. That’s how good this book is.
The T&G book has 17 different scale exercises including different patterns and finger twisters that can be played in each key. It is a relatively expensive book for what you get; my copy cost about $20. But for advanced flutists, it is worth it.
If you are a beginner, these exercises are going to be intimidating, so I would recommend working through some beginner method books and then the Trevor Wye book before jumping into this one.
If you want a one stop shop for a lot of music stuff, Amazon is (almost) perfect. While you should definitely avoid most of the lower cost instruments, they also carry sheet music and flute accessories.
I have purchased many different pieces from Amazon as well as my piccolo swab and all of my various flute and piccolo stands. If you are an Amazon prime member, you also get free two day shipping.
The great thing about Amazon is that you can use it as a resource for more than just music. You can get all of your flute accessories, clothing, and even groceries from one website. It’s amazing.
Blogs, like this one
Of course I have to mention my blog as a resource for self taught flutists. While I do want to branch out from the music niche a little, I do still plan on writing posts about music in the future.
There are a few other bloggers who write about music and the flute, such as Jennifer Cluff and Bret Pimentel. They are both super interesting to read. Pimentel is a woodwind doubler, so if you play any other woodwinds, he is definitely a good resource.
But, reading this post, you have obviously stumbled onto my blog. So, have a look around, and I hope you find something that piques your interest.
Do you have any other favorite resources for flute? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to follow me on Instagram (@killerharmony) for behind the scenes pics!