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Fingering Scheme for Flute and Piccolo

The fingering scheme below describes the text and key images used to represent fingerings in the fingering charts.

 

All Keys Pressed and All Holes Covered

Concert Flute

Bb B 123G#|Bb1D2D#3Eb C# C B

Piccolo

Bb B 123G#|Bb1D2D#3Eb X

 

Left Thumb Keys

B · B-natural lever

Bb Bb lever ("Thumb Bb")
The B thumb lever is the primary thumb key and is located closer to the instrument's foot than the Bb thumb lever. Either lever can be used for fingerings in which the LH middle finger key and/or the RH index finger key are depressed, in which case the thumb is indicated by T and .

Left Hand Main Keys

1 Index finger key (C)

2 Middle finger key (A)

3 Ring finger key (G)

Left Hand Little Finger (Pinky) Keys

G# G# key
The G# key is the only left hand little finger key and is used primarily to play G#.

Right Hand Main Keys

1 Index finger key (F)

2 Middle finger key (E)

3 Ring finger key (D)

Right Hand Trill Keys

Bb Bb trill key
The Bb trill key is located above the first finger key of the right hand and is used to trill A#-B in the first and second octaves as well as to give an alternative fingering to Bb.

C# C# trill key
The C# trill key is located next to the Bb trill key on some flute models. They key is used for certain trills involving C#5, C#6, and G6-A6. (The white key shown in this key image is the Bb trill key.)

D D trill key
The D trill key is located between the first and second finger keys of the right hand and is used for trills involving second-octave D and third-octave Eb and for playing third-octave Bb.

D# D# trill key
The D# trill key is located between the second and third finger keys of the right hand and is used for trills involving second-octave Eb and third-octave D and Eb and for playing third-octave B.

Right Hand Little Finger (Pinky) Keys

Eb Eb key
The Eb key is used for playing Eb in any octave. It also serves as a vent in the majority of flute fingerings, and its use helps balance the flute.

C# Low C# key
The low C# key is the outer right hand little finger key and is used primarily for playing low C#.

C Low C key
The low C key is middle right hand little finger key and is used primarily for playing low C.

B Low B key
The low B key is inner right hand little finger key and is used primarily for playing low B.

High C Facilitator Key (Gizmo Key)
The gizmo key improves the tone and response of fourth-octave C and a few surrounding notes and trills. The key is located on top of the low B and low C keys.

Main Keys and Venting

1 : Depress index finger key ring and cover tone hole.

2 : Depress middle finger key ring and cover tone hole.

3 : Depress ring finger key ring and cover tone hole.

- : Leave tone hole open and key ring not depressed.

0 : Depress key ring but leave tone hole uncovered.

¼ or : Depress key ring but cover only a small part of the tone hole.

½ or : Depress key ring but cover only half of the tone hole.

¾ or : Depress key ring and cover most but not all the tone hole.

Other Symbols

| separates left hand keys from right hand keys.

X indicates that the foot end of the instrument should be closed. For piccolo, use the right hand little finger.

Trilled Keys

Keys to be trilled are indicated in red boldface text and by red key images (e.g., ).

For a fingering involving more than one trilled key, the trilled keys are to be trilled simultaneously unless specified as alternating in the fingering description. Alternating trill keys are also indicated by a combination of red boldface text and red boldface italic text.

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Concert Flute

Flute Diagram


C Piccolo

Piccolo Diagram

Piccolo image courtesy of LeBlanc.

 

 

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by Timothy Reichard
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