Flute B flat scale

The flute B flat scale is one that is usually learned first by students, primarily because it is the first one learned by the entire band in school band programs.

It is an easy concert key for all the instruments to play in. C-pitched instruments are in B-flat, with two flats.

Instruments in the key of B-flat, clarinets, trumpets, and tenor saxes, play in C Major--no flats or sharps!

Alto saxophones, pitched in E-flat, play in the key of G, just one sharp.

French horns, in F, play in the key of F, with just one flat.

All in all, a win-win situation for all members of the band. An easy scale for beginners to start with.

For flutists, there are three options for playing the actual B-flat...

  1. One and one - Left index and right index fingers
  2. Thumb - Slide the left thumb to the left key
  3. Left B-flat lever

The problem arises with band directors who are not familiar with flute fingers. Band method books typically teach option 1 for the B-flat fingering, totaling neglecting option 2, and never mentioning option 3.

This is really too bad. Option 2 is so valuable and can be used most of the time, except when playing keys that don't have a B-flat. That doesn't happen too often in band!

Fingerings are much easier when the cross fingering for the B-flat is not necessary.

The flute B-flat scale is typically played in two octaves--move up one-half step to the B scale and many flutists are playing this scale in three octaves with a B-foot joint.

See my video below...

Question: Do you know what the B flat scale is for flute? Thanks so much.

Answer: Sure, I do! The notes are...

B-flat C D E-flat F G A B-flat

See my video for more help in playing this scale...

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