The Native American or American Indian Flute is fun and easy to play.
The Native American is different from a Tin Whistle in that it is based on a pentatonic scale. A pentatonic scale has five notes and is commonly used in Native American and Asian music. A Tin Whistle is based on a diatonic scale and uses eight notes (as does most traditional western music).
Additionally, the Native American Flute is different in that it is a bi-chambered instrument. Air is blown in the first chamber, escapes through a hole, and is forced by a channel in block of wood (called the "fetish") to travel to a hole at the top of the second chamber where the air is split. The vibration of this splitting air resonates and causes the sound. This is what makes the instrument unique.
Native American Flute
Put all fingers down and give a gentle blow. This is the first note, or tonic note, which begins the scale. For the sake of simplicity, this note is called D. That actual tuning or key of your instrument may vary, but the fingering remains the same.
- Lift up the ring finger on your right hand. This makes the second note, F.
- Lift up your middle finger of your right hand. This sounds the third note, G.
- Lift up the index finger on your right hand, this makes the fourth note, A.
- Lift up the middle finger on your left hand. This plays the fifth note, C.
- Lastly, lift up both your index and middle finger on your left hand (keeping your ring finger down). This sounds the final note of the scale, the high D.
- The "red whistles" show the notes in the Aeolian Scale.
- The "white whistles" show grace notes that can also be used to enhance your songs. Grace notes are played briefly with a quick flick of your finger.
- There is another scale or mode that you may like to try, the Dorian Mode.
- If you study the Aeolian closely, you will see there is a spot where you "skip two" notes. If you compare it to the Dorian, you will see that the two notes you skip are in a different place. The low notes are the same for both scales, the differences between the two modes are in the higher notes.
Blow gently, this is not a loud instrument.
|Place down the third finger on yor left hand and blow gently. While holding the tone, adjust the "fetish" to get the best sound.|
|If you are trying to fill a room with sound, use a microphone and an amplifier. Play with the
microphone near the air hole for the best sound.|
|An echo effect "box" may be used between the microphone and the amplifier to make the sound even more haunting.