MusicSmith Flutes | A Native American Style Flute | Handmade by Dave Lusk
Native American flutes were first created and played by Native American people. They are instruments of beauty, magic, ceremony, healing, and entertainment. They bring out the music that dwells in all of us.
This instrument has a full, warm sound. Made from western red cedar, it’s protected with non-toxic waterproofing, inside and out. Each flute is embellished with a unique design handcrafted with a wood-burner. A thumb-rest is offered. This innovation stabilizes and balances the flute while playing by positioning your lower hand correctly. Place the thumb of the lower hand against the bottom of the thumb-rest. The index finger covers the hole right above.
Playing your Flute |There are no wrong notes! All notes harmonize melodically. Reading music is not needed.
- Press your lips against the mouthpiece to gently seal it.
- Cover the holes with the finger pads, not the tips or nails.
- Adjust the air pressure until notes sound clear.
- The note played with all the holes closed is the key of the flute. It’s called the flute’s fundamental note.
- Use the fingerings shown below. Cover and uncover the holes one at a time in order.
- The third hole down on a 6-hole flute always stays covered to play the minor pentatonic scale and uses all the notes shown on the chart.
- For a major scale, start and land on the second note up from the bottom of the flute.
- Start going up and down the flute, slowly and evenly. Gradually pick up speed. Next, vary the rhythm. Play melodies by playing the basic scale but put intervals between the notes. For example, cover all the holes followed by another finger pattern. Doing so will always sound melodic and harmonic.
- Embellishments and more scales can be added for more musicality once you’re proficient.
- Have fun!
Tip: The third hole down always stays covered in the minor pentatonic scale and uses all the notes shown on the chart. For a major scale, start and land on the second note up from the bottom of the flute. Once proficient, embellishments and more scales can be added.
Caring for your Flute | Keep your flute at a steady temperature. Do not let it get too hot or cold. Temperature variations expand and contract wood. This can cause your flute to crack. If the flute is cold, warm it with your hands and gently blow warm air into it. Do not leave it in a car when it’s either hot or cold. Avoid direct sunlight.
Remove the block after playing to dry the flute out. Wipe off any moisture. To retie the block, position the front edge of the block at the back edge of the sound hole. Tie tightly. Experiment with its placement for the best tone. Push it slightly forward to raise the pitch higher (sharp), move it back to lower it (flat).
Troubleshooting | Fuzzy, unclear, sour, airy, or shrillness
- Cover the holes completely or else it will squeak or sound airy.
- Adjust air pressure. Are you blowing too softly or too much?
- Make sure the block is tied down tightly (see above).
- Poor tone quality occurs when moisture collects inside the flute, especially between the mouthpiece and the block. To remove it, hold the flute tightly and briskly shake the whole flute. Try covering the sound hole with a finger and blow hard to push the moisture out. Release your finger while still blowing. Wipe off.
- The bottom note is the hardest to play. It’s important to make sure all the holes are completely covered. Use a mirror. This note will jump an octave if too much air is used.
- MusicSmith Flutes Info
- Store| Native American style wood flutes for sale
- Playing tips, flute care, troubleshooting
- Flute Music | Scales | Embellishments | Lessons
- Musical Sound Bath Tune Up
- Musicsmith Flutes info, tips, etc. (pdf to download/print)
- Contact us anytime.
By appointment only ♥ Not a retail store.