Chiff and Fipple Forums

sore thumbs
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Author:  Tom [ Sun Jan 27, 2002 11:36 am ]
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I am a very new flute player,has anyone expierienced getting sore thumbs from playing.I am trying very hard to relax them while I play.Any suggestions?

Author:  peeplj [ Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:16 pm ]
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Without actually seeing you hold the flute, I can't give specific advice. However, here are some pointers that may help.
--Never grip the flute tightly. Everything should stay pretty relaxed.
--Keep the thumb straight to the wrist and the wrist straight to the arm on both arms. This keeps the arms away from the body which helps breathing too.
--Don't use the thumbs to hold the flute up to your lips. Instead, think of it this way: the right thumb pushes gently out, not up. The flute rests against the knuckle of hte left first finger, which is a fulcrum. The chin pushes gently out, which is your third point of contact.
There are pictures of this on my website at
I hope it helps! Best wishes in all things,

Author:  jomac [ Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:45 pm ]
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I had the same trouble. If you keep at it, working on relaxing, it goes away in a month or 2.


Author:  Kiri Miller [ Sun Feb 17, 2002 1:23 pm ]
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Yikes! My left hand and thumb actually do cramp up while I am playing. I am a new flute player (recorder and whistle are my main instruments). As I understand the pictures that James posted on his website, you aren't actually supposed to rest the weight of the flute on the left thumb (Which is of course exactly what I am doing). I've spent quite some time analyzing the photos, and I still find myself balancing the flute on that darn thumb.

My question is, do you actually sort of tip the flute forward on the left index finger, or do you 'crook' the index finger more to cradle the flute?

Thanks for helping,


Author:  peeplj [ Mon Mar 04, 2002 11:02 am ]
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When I hold the flute I am not holding it up from the bottom with any finger or thumb. 3 points of contact: chin pushes out, side of left hand first finger pushes in (*not* up!), and right hand thumb pushes out (again, not up but straight out).
I know it doesn't seem like it should work, but what it does is create a lever and fulcrum, and with these three points of contact, the flute is stable with only light pressures involved.
Don't think so much of holding it *up*: if you've got three good points of contact, you've already taken away every direction in which it can fall, so it's safe.

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