Pick up the flute with your left hand. Rotate it so that the nozzle is facing you. The flute should extend to the right.
Fold your left hand around the flute and place your middle three fingers over the three holes closest to the mouthpiece. Raise your right hand, and with the palm facing out, place the three three fingers over the remaining three holes.
Pouch your lips and lift the flute so that the nozzle is slightly in front and slightly below the hole you have created. The bamboo flute is a reedless woodwind instrument, so to create sound you need to create a column of air inside the flute. To do this, you need to blow air over the nozzle, rather than into it.
Lift up all the fingers and with shy lips blow a steady stream of air over the mouth hole. Experiment with holding the flute in different positions and blowing the air through your lips in different ways until you can produce a stable, clear tone.
5. Place your index finger on your left hand (the finger closest to your mouth) over the first hole. Blow air through your lips in the same way as before to produce a tone. The tone will be a note higher than the one produced with all fingers up.
Continue to place your fingers over the corresponding hole while blowing air over the hole to produce continuously higher tones. To play a full scale, play each note until you reach the ring finger on your right hand. To reverse the scale, lift each finger one by one, starting with the right ring finger until all fingers lift up and the original tone sounds.
Mix and match notes on the scale to create or mimic a melody.
Tips and warnings
The bamboo flute has a rich tradition for use throughout Asia and America. While played like a regular flute, the wooden frame gives a rich, clear and unique tone. Learning to play the bamboo flute is challenging, but extremely rewarding.