Flute Finger Positioning Tools
One of the biggest problems that I have had with my beginning flutists is that of finger position. There are several different tools that can be added on to the flute to help students remember where to put their fingers and how to properly hold the flute, some of which work better than others.
To start with there is the problem many beginners (and experienced flute players) have with improperly positioning the right hand thumb. Most flute teachers recommend that the thumb point upward toward the head joint and be centered under the first finger of the same hand. The tendency is to let that thumb rotate outward so that it is pointing away from the flute. In a pinch I have simply placed a little strip from a band-aid on the spot where the thumb should sit, providing a tactile response that helps the student remember to keep the thumb in that spot. Of course, this does not really address the orientation issue, and for that other commercial products work a little better. One of these is the Bo-Pep Thumb Guide. Selling for under $10 this little piece of plastic clips on to the bottom of the flute and has a slightly flattened shape that guides the thumb into the proper orientation.
For the left hand Bo-Pep also sells a clip on rest that helps adjust the position of the hand so that the index finger does not have to be so cramped as it plays. It basically pushes the hand out and away from the flute just a bit to allow the first finger to rest more naturally. For professionals and those that play/practice a lot this can be incredibly beneficial to prevent injuries and pain
Another big problem with many flutists is the â€œflying fingersâ€ issue where the student raises their fingers far off of the flute when not in use, often bringing them back down on the wrong keys. The flute Finger Position Corrector (sold by FluteWorld.com) is a simple piece of clear plastic that clips to the instrument and prevents the user from lifting their fingers excessively. Also selling for around $10 it might be a good investment for a band teacher to have in their bag of tricks.