Frequently Asked Questions

I just purchased a bamboo flute with six holes in G major.  I am looking to figure out where to place my fingers for different scales or modes, particularly the minor scales.  I don't want to purchase a flute for every key. So I am pretty sure I should get your modal method charts, right?  What do these charts consist of?  I need to know where to place my fingers and which holes need to be partially covered, will your charts show this?  Can you describe to me what these charts look like and what they do for me?

A sample from the Key sheets can be seen on the Keys page, where 3 scales based on the key of E (for an E flute) are listed. The sheets you can download here have a total of 40 such scales. An example of the layout of the Mode sheets can be seen on the Modes page. The seven modes listed there each represent a whole section with variations on the Mode sheets, with 82 total scales listed on each sheet you can download.

The Key sheet for G contains 40 different G scales (that is, scales all starting with G as the bottom note on your flute, all holes covered). It will show you the notes to play for each scale, highlighting all the "gray areas" where you will have to use half-holes or alternate fingerings. 

The Mode sheet for G aims to minimize the need for odd fingerings, so here you can see the different modal scales and variations available for easiest playing, given your particular flute key. That means you can keep the basic fingering of G major, only starting from different points in the G major scale to produce scales in the other keys: A dorian, B phrygian, etc. Of course getting into the variations of each mode produces a few odd fingerings along the way.