Jen Cluff- Flute Scale information

Canadian Flutist and Teacher

Flute Scale Information

Quote from Angelita Floyd from pg.123 of 'The Gilbert Legacy'

According to Gilbert's teaching there is a definite distinction between facility (ease of playing) and "technique"; facility being the ability to move just the fingers quickly, whereas technique includes quick fingers in combination with proper sound and musical expression. Consequently, when practicing for scales and arpeggio facility, flutists should concentrate on the technique of sound and musicality as well. In Flutetalk articles, Gilbert explained:

"Almost every student aspires to be a virtuoso but they don't have virtuostic technique. Too often students try and learn the flute by just playing pieces. If they would spend more time acquiring technique by playing articulated scales in all possible forms and arpeggios BEFORE they come to a piece, it would save them hours of time. Then rather than wasting extra time learning a difficult passage, they could spend more time on improving tone and intonation."

Flute scale kit and scale links

Jen's flute scale practise advice:

Use The Tuning CD to drone the tonic of the scale you're playing (choose a different one each day) and add the metronome at your own chosen tempo. Create your own patterns and rhythms. Use great tone quality. Add articulations. Check for finger evenness and lightness. Check for clarity of articulation. Mix creativity and listening to great tone in tune with the drone, and then add a sprinkling of creative-discipline; to find out whether scales are getting more even, more musically interesting, rhythmically exciting. You can even record yourself to hear your improvements in scale quality and to capture greatmusical improvisational ideas. Stay creative!

Other questions:

Q: My high register is particularly bad when I play two octave scales. What do you suggest?

A: High register longtones (of course, only after low and middle registers are ringing and clear) and Filas 90 Top Register Studies. These Filas etudes for high register are fabulous done slowly with tuning CD!

Q: I'm running out of ideas for improvs over the tuning CD's drone. Any suggestions?

A: I use The Brooke Method Complete Method for Flute simply because it has some of the most creative scale patterns that I've ever found, all in one book. For example, if I'm practising a certain key signature, I look up that key in the Brooke and use tuning CD and metronome to play it evenly and cleanly. I improvise,  I play at my own tempo, and create pauses over various different natural pausing points (moving them around for variety.) After several run -throughs of a pattern, I play it as written.

Q: How does scale practise fit into an overall good practise routine?

A: In the Brooke Method you'll find this excellent page, where all the best practise plan advice is all in one place.

 Question: 'Help, I've never really understood or practiced my flute scales. What do I need to know about majors and minors, and where can I find them for flute, online?'

Flute Scale Kit:

Here's what you need:

Flute fingering charts

Jen's Scale Book for Flute Students (free 40 page pdf)

Creative Scale Practice for Flutists with examples.

All Jen's free pdf scales for printing


James Galway teaches how to play scales:

Jen's blog articles on scales including play-along backing track mp3s

How to practice scales for intermediate flutists:

How to practice scales for novice flute students


Free downloads of flute scales available online

All two octave major and melodic minor scales for all flute students in PDF

Teaching Flute Scales for beginners or novices:

Flute scale books worth purchasing

How to practice flute, article by Hahn:

Free flute scales from H. Lindholm. One octave and two octave [PDF files from his flute basics manual] 

Free flute technique book by H. Lindholm

 Still more flute scale idea links

James Galway teaching scales (free):

Galway teaches scales on youtube:

Galway's teaching mp3s on scales and etudes:

[404 Not Found]/chatfile/chatfile.htm


Galway video on on scales and etudes:

[404 Not Found]/scales_studies.htm


Watch three 20 second short videos of Galway performing scales - Major, minor, Taffanel & Gaubert's  E. J. 4 or 'scale game'

Flute scales that are written out for intermediate flutists.

Free pdfs you can download for printing:

Free scale pdf - I - Chromatics, Whole Tone, Major, Harmonic Minor Scales.

Free chord pdf - II - Chords of all kinds from Moyse's Exercises Journaliers

FreeScales in Thirds pdf - III - Scales in Thirds Major & Harmonic Minor

Samples of variations for scales that make practicing more fun!

Jazzy Modes, Extended Major Scales (C1 to B3), Four kinds of four note 7th chords

How to understand and Memorize whole tone scales and dom/dim sevenths

Melodic Minors with all Articulations for Exams in pdf (free)

and from other authors:

All two octave major and melodic minor scales for all flute students

Free flute scales from H. Lindolm. One octave and two octave

Flute scale books worth purchasing

[easiest books listed first]

Intermediate Flutist's Scale Books:

Mel Bay: Indispensible Scales, Exercises and Etudes by Mizzy McCaskill

Omibus Edition: Trevor Wye ~ Practice Books for the Flute. Volumes 1~5

Progress Press: The Flutist's Vade Mecum Walfrid Kujala

Cundy-Bettoney: Brooke's Complete Flute Method: Alfred Brooke

Alphonse Leduc: Exercises Journaliers; Marcel Moyse

Alphonse Leduc: 17 Daily Exercises; Taffanel-Gaubert

International: Flute Workout; Robert Stallman


To learn more about HOW to practice technique see: Angelita Floyd's book: The Gilbert Legacy

All the above books can be found at or ordered through your local music store.

For Novice to Intermediate/Advanced flute players; Herbert Lindholm's complete manual for free:

Herbert Lindholm's full bookof exercises, warmups, fingerings, scales, trills and technical practice ideas are in his FLUTE BASICS manual.

Go to:

Lindholms manual is in four parts. The first has one octave and two octave scales, Blues scale, chromatic scale etc. Part two has patterns to use as daily scale exercises (uses your brain and trains your fingers!) lip flexibility exercises, and Parts three has tone exercises, octave and third patterns, tonguing, multiple tonguing and vibrato. Part four has both trill and basic fingering charts. All four parts print out as 41 pages that can be hole punched and put in a binder. Help yourself: Lindholm is a smart flute teacher and very generous. :>)

More of Jen's Scale Links:

for those who are bored with playing scales alone :>)


Easy pace flute scale backing tracks for fun practise

Intermediate flute scales with harp accompaniment

The "Scale Game"  sheetmusic and playalong backing tracks:
(Note: Scale Game is same as Taffanel Gaubert Daily Exercise no. 4 from "17 Daily Exercises" by Taff-Gaubert.)



Back to Jen's Homepage

© Jennifer Cluff