Home flute How to Use Nose Flute: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Use Nose Flute: A Comprehensive Guide

by Madonna

The nose flute is a unique wind instrument that has been used for centuries in various cultures around the world. Unlike traditional flutes that are played with the mouth, the nose flute is played by exhaling and inhaling through the nostrils. This distinctive method of playing produces a distinct sound that is both captivating and mesmerizing. In this article, we will explore the art of using the nose flute, from understanding its origins to mastering its technique.

Understanding the Nose Flute

The nose flute, often referred to as the “flute of the nostrils,” has a long history rooted in different cultures, including Polynesian, Native American, and Southeast Asian societies. It is typically made from bamboo, wood, or plastic and features a narrow tube with one end closed and the other end open. The player covers one nostril with the thumb while exhaling or inhaling through the other nostril, creating vibrations within the tube to produce sound. Despite its simplicity, the nose flute is capable of producing a wide range of tones and melodies.

Choosing the Right Nose Flute

When selecting a nose flute, it is essential to consider factors such as material, size, and pitch. Bamboo nose flutes are traditional and offer a warm, resonant tone, while plastic flutes are more durable and easier to maintain. Additionally, the size of the flute can affect its pitch, with longer flutes producing lower notes and shorter flutes producing higher notes. Beginners may find it helpful to start with a medium-sized flute with a comfortable fit for their nostrils.

Getting Started with the Nose Flute

Before diving into playing the nose flute, it is essential to familiarize yourself with its basic components. Hold the flute with one hand, positioning the closed end against your upper lip and the open end near your nostrils. Use your thumb to cover one nostril while leaving the other nostril open. Experiment with different angles and positions until you find a comfortable and secure grip on the flute.

Mastering the Technique of Using the Nose Flute

Playing the nose flute requires coordination between your breath and nostrils to create consistent and melodious sounds. Start by exhaling gently through your nostrils while maintaining a steady airflow to produce a clear note. To change notes, adjust the angle of the flute or vary the pressure of your breath. Practice inhaling and exhaling through your nostrils to explore different articulations and dynamics. With patience and persistence, you will gradually develop greater control and fluency in playing the nose flute.

Once you have mastered the basic technique of the nose flute, you can explore various musical expressions and styles. Experiment with different rhythms, melodies, and scales to create unique compositions or improvise alongside other instruments. Incorporate techniques such as vibrato, trills, and glissandos to add depth and nuance to your playing. The nose flute’s versatility allows for endless creative possibilities, making it a versatile instrument for solo performances or ensemble collaborations.

Tips for Nose Flute Players

Maintain Proper Hygiene: Keep your nose flute clean by wiping it down with a soft cloth after each use to remove moisture and debris. Avoid sharing your flute with others to prevent the spread of germs.

Stay Relaxed: Relax your facial muscles and maintain a natural posture while playing the nose flute. Tension can affect your airflow and tone quality, so take frequent breaks and practice deep breathing exercises to stay relaxed.

Experiment with Resonance: Explore different resonances by adjusting the shape of your oral cavity while playing the nose flute. Experiment with smiling or pursing your lips to produce brighter or mellower tones.

Listen and Learn: Listen to recordings of experienced nose flute players to gain inspiration and insight into various playing techniques and musical styles. Attend workshops or seek guidance from a teacher to refine your skills and expand your repertoire.

Embrace Mistakes: Don’t be discouraged by mistakes or imperfections in your playing. Instead, use them as opportunities for growth and improvement. Practice regularly and maintain a positive attitude towards your progress as a nose flute player.


The nose flute offers a unique and engaging musical experience that transcends cultural boundaries and captivates audiences worldwide. By understanding its origins, mastering its technique, and exploring musical expressions, players can unlock the full potential of this extraordinary instrument. With dedication, patience, and creativity, anyone can become proficient in playing the nose flute and enjoy the joy of making music with their nostrils.

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