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How to Play the Flute: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Flute Paperback – February 9, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Howard Harrison is a freelance composer, teacher, performer, and writer. He lives in Exeter, England.

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Product Details

  • Series: How to Play
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1.10.2002 edition (February 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312288611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312288617
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 22, 2002
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I got this book because of the great reviews and I wasn't disappointed. I can't believe I'm actually playing the flute! I think it's a great beginners book which moves at the right pace and has a good solid introduction. It took me about 3 weeks to reach the end of the book and play 95% of the pieces most of which are popular so you'll know if you're playing wrong or not.. There are pieces like "Greensleeves" (my fave), "Swan Lake", a lot of classical pieces whose melodies I knew already but not their titles.
I'm now trying to look for a second book to continue with.
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I'm learning to play the flute from this book after having taken a few lessons in junior high. What I love about this book is that it doesn't include a lot of unnecessary information. It covers what you immediately need to know to start playing, and adds some pointers on tone later on. Very straightforward. For the money, it's an amazing deal because you get a LOT of songs, from beginner to intermediate, so you won't need to buy another songbook too quickly. I bought another flute book with CD and DVD from Hal Leonard and I haven't used it at all. This book is much better.
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I had always wanted to play the flute since I was forced to play clarinet throughout middle school band. Eventually, I purchased a flute and taught myself to play based on the instruction the flute players got in class. Years later, I decided I wanted to get back into playing music again and needed a refresher course on the flute.

I wish I had this book the first time I wanted to teach myself the flute! The book goes far beyond some simple tips, charts for where to put your fingers for each note, and songs to play. There is in depth advice on how to hold the instrument, how to breathe, how to achieve the best tone, when to use alternate fingerings, and much more! I am so impressed by this book. There are plenty of practice songs too and better songs than I've found in most of these kinds of books. I enjoy listening to myself play them! The best thing about the pieces is that most are designed to teach something (such as a new note, a new key signature, a new time, etc.) and since they are actually nice songs it's much more fun to practice and learn.

Even though I had previous musical experience and could already read music and knew a little about the flute, I think that I could have taught myself using this book. I used to have difficulty hitting higher notes too and this book had really helped me. The quality of my playing, especially my tone, has improved greatly and even though I can play much more advanced pieces now I still come back to this book to review and practice. This book would be a great resource for a new player in a band or music program or taking lessons as well as someone who is self-taught.

All teach yourself to play books should be like this one.
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This is a great book for learning to play the flute. It has complete and detailed instructions for the beginner and really helped me get started. Within a week of getting my book and following the instructions, I was playing a scale! My tone still needs work but thanks to the instructions in this book I know what to do to improve it. I bought several other books at the same time as this one and none of them including the Band Essentials book that is used in most school bands, was even close to the instructional quality in this one. This is the only book I use now. The illustrations are clear, easy to understand and it teaches you the simple fingering first before progressing to the more complex. It adds one finger at a time which was really good for me and made learning the fingering easier than the Band Essentials which starts with the key of Bb with two flats. It also demistified reading the fingering charts and clearly explaines how to play in different octaves. It even has breathing exercises to help you develop your breath control. I already knew how to read music but if I had not known, the instructions for that were in there also. This book is the next best thing to having your own private instructor at your beck and call. A Very comprehensive learning tool for the beginner.
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This is one amazing little book-as a beginning flute player in middle age with previous experience on classical guitar,this guide has outdone another method book I'd gotten even tho it came with a DVD. Lavishly illustrated,the author shows you how to get the best tone,how to hold the flute,how to get higher notes vs lower notes,and most important he explains the "why?' behind all of the proper way to do this or that. Easy to read diagrams make learning to read music a fun and delightful experience. Highly recommended!
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I had learned to play the flute in grade school, but had not played in about twenty years. This book has an excellent layout of the basics, with charts and helpful hints, as well as music in increasing levels of difficulty. A reasonably priced guide (worth more than the list price, in my opinion), whether you are a beginner or looking for a refresher course.
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This is a good book for someone with little or no prior musical experience, but for an experienced musician trying to learn a new instrument, it is a bit weak. Approximately 90% of the text is about really basic music theory (ie, how to count 4/4 time, how a whole note is notated, etc), and very little is devoted to technique particular to the instrument. Don't get me wrong, there is a fair bit of flute technique, but I find it frustrating to have to wade through pages and pages of rudimentary material to find it. The amount of material that is helpful to the beginning flautist can probably be compressed to 10 pages.

Disclaimer: I have only had a flute for 48 hours, and have read through the book only once. Perhaps I'll find more gems on the 2nd or 3rd read through...but I don't look forward to the re-reads.
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