Larry Krantz Flute Pages: Flute Holding Position
My Hand Position As Recommended By
Geoffrey Gilbert

  • Each player is physically unique and it is extremely important to keep in mind that what works for one person may not be the correct approach for everyone. Since a picture is worth a thousand words... here you can see the approach to hand position that was recommended to me by Geoffrey Gilbert. It is important to know that I am playing an open hole flute with inline G. Also note that my left wrist is at quite an angle. Some people may experience problems with that aspect of this holding position. If this position does cause discomfort or pain in any way then investigating other holding positions, off set G key, closed holes, or various key extensions and holding devices would be wise. There are many recommendations about those alternatives in other corners of my web site and a visit to John Lunn's web site is highly recommended. My right thumb is straight and placed more toward the back of the tube than under it. There is a very slight curve in the right wrist. Note that all fingers are gently curved and kept over their respective keys. It appears that the keys are sloping back slightly - this is indeed true but the angle of the photo (from above and behind) tends to enhance that key tilting appearance. Because my keys do slope back slightly I have aligned the head joint slightly foreword of center. Unfortunately that alignment is not visible in the photo.

  • Please don't consider this to be the RIGHT way or the ONLY way to hold a flute. It is merely the way I do it based on recommendations by many respected teachers. I recall working long and hard to make my hand position look as similar to that of Geoffrey Gilbert as possible. There are several good photos of Mr. Gilbert's holding position in 'The Gilbert Legacy' by Angeleita S. Floyd (pub. Winzer Press). Angeleita's book is a treasure house of very useful flute information that I would highly recommend.

  • One final and extremely important point: If your holding position is causing pain or discomfort in any way then don't hesitate to find a solution quickly. Playing the flute should NOT cause pain and dealing with performance related injuries is an unpleasant situation that should be avoided if at all possible.
1998, Larry Krantz

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