Flute/Trill keys


Hi, Nathan.
When using the two RH trill keys, should you stick to fingers 3 and 4 (piano finger numbers), or can you use finger 3 for both?
Thanks, Rose


Thanks for your question.  Most flute teachers would say use finger 3 for the left trill and finger 4 for the right trill.  You don't have to use the very tip of the finger to hit the trill key. Ideally you will move the least amount possible from the primary keys of the flute.

If you were to use finger 3 for both trills, it would tend to pull your right hand position to the right, likely cause some strain on that hand which could lead to long term issues.   But mostly it will cause you to lose a slight bit of facility, whereas if you work on fingers 3 and 4 you will have a better setup.

Ultimately, it's up to you though.

Best Wishes,


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Nathan Muehl


I feel very comfortable answering questions regarding classical music. This includes performance of music on woodwind instruments, theory, history, etc. I am happy to answer questions about careers in music and collegiate study. I am also able to answer simple questions in the field of Audio Engineering.


I have played the flute for 25 years. I am very active in professional music organizations, and I have had several students go on to successful careers.

I am currently a member of the Conductor's Guild, the National Flute Association, the American String Teachers Association, West Virginia Music Educators Association, and Ohio Music Educators Association.

I hold a bachelor of music education degree from The Ohio State University along with a business minor. I have a Master of Music degree from the same institution. I am currently a professor at a college in Florida.

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