I am very new to flute, but I have played various instruments over the years. A thing I am having issues with is when I go from the fingering for G4 to the fingering for A4 (according to all the fingering charts I have seen), it actually jumps to something closer to B-flat. Do I just suck right now, or is something odd going on with my flute?

  • It shouldn't sound like that so I am wondering if your Bb key is maybe a bit sticky?
    – Jomiddnz
    Mar 11, 2020 at 0:28
  • @Jomiddnz A sticking B-flat key will not affect an A.
    – PiedPiper
    Mar 11, 2020 at 12:11
  • Yes, either you are doing something wrong or your flute is not working properly. Or maybe both. Without seeing your flute and/or hearing you play we have no way of telling what the problem is.
    – PiedPiper
    Mar 11, 2020 at 12:14
  • @PiedPiper thanks for the information. I was just trying to solicit some advice before taking it in. Just seemed like something odd was happening. It sounded odd to my ear and when I went to the tuner, it was showing it as almost a semitone off for the A fingering but was pretty much right on for the G fingering. I'll take it into my local shop and see what they say.
    – David S.
    Mar 11, 2020 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


Several possibilities here, but you’re probably not going to get a definitive answer without standing in front of a more experienced flautist and showing them.

  • as @Jomiddnz suggests, perhaps your Bb key is stiff
  • the padding on your B or A key may be leaking
  • you may be subconsciously tightening your embouchure in an effort to ‘make’ the higher note
  • you may be subconsciously changing the horizontal angle of the flute against your lip, or rolling it inwards
  • you may be touching a key further down the flute, perhaps on your right hand, to steady the flute as your left hand has less contact

Or it could be a combination of more than one of the above, or something else I’ve not thought of!

  • If the Bb key is stiff that's not going to affect the A at all. If a pad is leaking that will affect the G more so than the A. If OP is touching keys farther down the flute that will lower the pitch rather than raise it. Tightening the embouchure or turning the flute in, is unlikely to raise the pitch almost a semitone.
    – PiedPiper
    Mar 11, 2020 at 12:19
  • Could it be that the G4 is actually closer to an F# and the A is an A?
    – Duston
    Mar 11, 2020 at 13:57

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