Tambre Thompson Flute Instruction

Flute & Piccolo Lessons in Concord and San Ramon

Flute Tips

 Sit or stand up straight. Think of your back making a straight line.

5. Keep your head up. Imagine balancing a book on top of your head.
6. Your shoulders should be back and down.
7. Arms should be away from the body.
8. Push the air through the flute at a good speed- like you are blowing on hot soup.
9. Angle your air stream down into the flute.
10. Put the air under pressure.
11. Always start each note with a “too”- touch tip of tongue to roof of mouth behind
12. Support the air with your stomach muscles. Cough. Use those muscles to push the
air through the flute.
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13. Keep your throat open and relaxed. Imagine you are yawning- keep that open
feeling in the back of your throat. (Don’t fall asleep while doing this!)
14. Good hand position means keeping your fingers near the keys but not resting on
15. Make sure your left index finger is wrapped around the flute and your right thumb
is not protruding forward.
16. Do not hold the flute too tightly- it should be balanced and stable, but don’t force
the flute into your face or put too much pressure on the keys.
17. Use a fingering chart to check your fingerings frequently. I find the most common
mistakes could be fixed easily if more students took this advice. There is a
fingering chart in every beginning flute book.
18. Practice long tones and scales. These are the quickest and most effective way to
get better. There is a reason flutists all around the world all do these warm ups.
19. Have fun! Play some songs just because you like them.
20. Make sure you practice new material, but save some time to review already
learned songs. This is a very important part of making music.
21. Listen to your tone and play your favorites as beautifully as you can.
22. Enjoy playing your flute.
23. Listen to good flute players. Start building your flute music library.
24. Classical music improves your IQ- try listening to classical music while studying
or doing homework.
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25. Open your flute case and play the flute everyday. Even if you only have a few
minutes, try to develop the habit of spending time with your flute everyday.
26. Quality vs. Quantity: make sure you are playing correct notes, correct fingerings,
with good posture, and good sound at all times.
27. Fifteen minutes of concentrated good quality playing is far better than hours of
unfocused, sloppy playing.
28. Always practice in a quiet place where you are not distracted by siblings, TV, etc.
29. Always clean your flute and put it back in its case after you are done practicing.

 When playing the flute, stand with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Make sure your feet are in line with your knees and hips. Bend kness slightly to avoid locking knee joints.

 Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed while playing the flute. Do some head rolls to loosen up before you play. Keep your shoulders back and down. Do some shoulder rolls also! 

 Use your stomach to breathe. An exercise to practice this is: Lie on your back, put your hand on your stomach. See how your stomach rises and falls with your breathing. Now stand up and put your hand on your stomach and push the stomach out when you breathe in. Use your stomach muscles to push the air out so your stomach should go in when you breathe out.  

When practicing your scales, start back at the beginning if you make a mistake. It's important to play the whole scale through perfectly from the first note to the last. Don't just go back to where you made the mistake, go all the way back to the beginning of that scale. 


  • "Tambre is an amazing teacher, instructor, and flutist. She is also one of the kindest people you will ever meet. She is insightful, and very informative on how to Improve your ..."
    Jordan Brinkman
    Student for 4 years
  • "As an older student who is trying my hand at playing my flute after decades of leaving it fallow, I feel that for the first time, I am learning to play the flute correctly and s..."
    Lois Boyd
    "Mature" student