Here are some of the methods and studies that I call my “Flute Bibles.” These contain the exercises that I consider essential to developing and maintaining the foundations of my technique.
If some of them sound familiar, it is because they are longtime standards of the repertoire. They are so widely used because they work if you work them purposefully and intelligently. And thoroughly. And consistently. And come back to them years later to discover new things you can do with them and get from them. . . . you get the idea.
These are available from Amazon (links provided) or from your favorite flute music sources. If you want to know more about how I use them, or have suggestions of others, contact me at email@example.com
Marcel Moyse is considered to be one of the godfathers of flute technique and this book is possibly the best known and most widely used technique book in the world. If you don’t have it, you should!
Trevor Wye has a unique way of highlighting and isolating individual technique issues so you can figure out the causes of technique issues so you can solve them.
Another classic by Moyse. I find the interval work especially useful for improving tone quality and consistency in all registers. Also improves my ability to play in all keys. Try his suggested practice schedule for a concentrated dose of serious practice!
Scales in all iterations, concentrated finger studies, another hardcore workout that covers all keys forwards and backwards. EJ 14 is my special favorite, as it is a great base for daily practice of all articulations.
Volume 2: Technique by Trevor Wye
The ‘Machiavellian’ exercises are my favorite finger tuneups. If you want to improve fine motor control beyond what the Moyse and Taffanel can do, these will do the trick.
This combines technique and tonality work in short, easily memorizable patterns. Consider them a little reward after working on any of the above!
Not really a daily exercise resource, but is great to pull out and test flexibility with some delightful tunes. Maybe I have yet to plumb the depths this has to offer . . .
Yes, another Moyse book, there are so many to choose from! This is another rep standard you at least have to be familiar with. After you have done all those tone development exercises, put your hard work doing more hard work in actual music! Moyse collected some of the most beautiful melodic passages from solo, operatic, and symphonic works so we can work on playing everything beautifully. Remember, EVERYTHING is a tone exercise!!
While most of the other recommendations in this list can be started by players of almost any skill level, this is for advanced players. It provides a through working through all keys and many asymmetrical time signatures, as well as work on dynamics and articulation. Give yourself lots of time to spend to get everything you can out of this. I think this may be my project for the summer!
Extended techniques have becoming more and more commonplace in the modern flute repertoire and you need a reference besides Google. This will get you more than started on your way to mastering multiphonics, tone effects, etc while improving your understanding of tone production as a side benefit.
All 6 of Wye’s individual technique books available in one volume. Tone, Technique, Intonation and Vibrato, Articulation, Breathing and Scales, and Advance Practice.
Here’s a little self-promotion, awhile back I wrote an ebook, Improving Intonation Skills : How to Practice With an Electronic Tuner so if your are wanting to learn more about how to practice with a tuner, check this out!
These are only my personal stalwart go-tos, but there are scores more offering ways to work on all areas of flute technique. Anything you think I missed? Let me know and maybe I’ll add it to my list! firstname.lastname@example.org