This is addressed to everyone who loves the sounds of the Native American flute and has a calling to learn how to play one. It is particularly for those who have been reluctant to take the first step in learning to play, concerned with not being able to make music.
Before going into depth here, please allow me to say that you should never be intimidated at trying your hand at the Native American flute, and especially so if the sounds of these instruments have been speaking to your spirit. Native flutes are some of the easiest musical instruments in the world to play. This is because there are no set rules to follow. If made correctly, these instruments practically play themselves.
For the many of us who do not know music well, if at all, the idea of playing a wooden flute is to go by 'feel' and 'inspiration' during your learning process. This is how some of the most beautiful, heartfelt native flute music is born.
I personally never read music in the conventional sense. I remember when I first started out many years ago. I was terribly reluctant in trying out these instruments; thinking books and videos were my only hope. And to be honest, I wasn't even sure if books and videos could help me.
However, not too long into my practicing, I realized those instructional materials were confusing me, actually throwing me out of balance during my learning process. This is because I was never able to grasp music in the conventional sense. And so, I ended up putting my books and videos away, and never looked back.
What I discovered along my personal journey is that a beginning flute player does not need to know conventional music when learning to play these instruments. I think of the Native American flute as a 'tool' - a tool for self expression. Once I learned how to leave my mind out of the learning process, everything drastically changed for me. I was able to relax and play little melodies in short order, and with hardly any effort.
It is my hope to inspire others who long to play the flute. to take the first step. Once you do, you'll find that the sky's the limit on playing these instruments when the sounds come from one's own spirit. Focusing on your breath to flow through the flute will open many doors for you to play successfully. And once you are the keeper of a Native American flute, you will find that these instruments are like your children. Each flute will be different to you, offering their own unique sounds and vibrations.
So please don't allow reluctance to stand in your way if your spirit is speaking to you with a desire to learn how to play. It can be a life changing experience, just as it has been for me.
If you are wondering which flute you should start on, I recommend my Pacific Northwest Cedar Flutes. They are relatively lightweight and comfortable to handle. I also add beveled finger holes on most all of my instruments which greatly assists the beginner to play comfortably.
(Key recommendations for beginners new to the Native American flute are High D, Bb (b-flat), Mid A, Mid G and Mid G#. Lower tones from Mid F and Mid F# are recommended for beginning flute players who have larger sized hands.)
The key to playing the Native American flute without any experience is to relax, don't try too hard, and enjoy the journey. Everything will fall into place and you'll soon be producing your own songs from the heart.