Do you know if your right hand is properly placed on your flute for optimal performance & health?
The right hand should be comfortable when on your flute. When playing, you want your wrist to have no tension and in order to do that, you need to have a good hand position. When you’re putting your fingers on the flute, put them as close to natural as possible. Begin by making your wrist and hand (off flute) in a natural, flopped position. With your wrist and fingers loose bring your wrist upright keeping the fingers loose. Where does your thumb fall? How do your fingers curve? If you look at it, most likely there is a natural curve to the fingers and the relaxed thumb either falling underneath the first finger or in between finger one and two. Keep that position in mind as you put your right hand on the flute. It’s how you want your hand to look like when it’s on the flute.
Do this now. Put your right hand on your flute with your thumb underneath finger one, or in between one and two. It may be slightly different for you then me, it may be a little close to one, or it may be a little closer to two. Somewhere in that space is where most people feel most comfortable.
Next place your other fingers on your flute. You want to put the pad of your finger on the hole it’s covering, or just on the key if you don’t have an open hole. As you put the other fingers on, you want that same curve in your fingers that you noticed earlier. But you don’t want your fingers to have a high curve. That would mean that your wrist is too high. The curve should be lower which means lower your wrist to a comfortable position but not the elbow.
In order to find the exact spot for your elbow, I have my students pick their elbow up, keep their wrist down so that the hands are still correct. Feel the tension in your wrist when your elbow is up too high. This would be caused because your elbow to your wrist are at right angles. So, lower your elbow until that tension disappears. This then, is the best place for your elbow.
Make sure that your elbow, fingers, wrist aren’t in a position that looks like you are hanging on a bar. That is a difficult position for your fingers, and can cause problems in the long run. It’s also not an efficient position for your fingers. That is, your fingers can’t move fast in this position.
Take a look in the mirror and see what it looks like. When you look in the mirror your fingers will look like they are flat but if you take your lip off the lip plate and look sideways at your fingers you should see the curve. Your elbow to wrist is bisecting maybe at a 45-degree angle. The pads of your fingers on covering the holes.
Whatever you do, if you feel tension in your wrist, modify your hand position. Never, never play your flute with that tension.
Try that out and let me know how it feels.
Watch me demonstrate this: FluteTips 22 Right Hand