NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE
KEYS, FINGERINGS, AND SCALES

On the chart below, find your flute's key in the leftmost column. This is the lowest note it can play, termed its root. Your flute should be able to  play each note in the row to the right, which represents a chromatic scale.

Some fingerings are difficult, however, and are played with partially-covered holes.
(Depending on its construction, not every NA flute can easily play every note in the chromatic scale or play the highest notes.)

The fingering for each note is indicated in the lowermost row containing the flute diagrams. Note that some holes are half- or partly-covered.

The pentatonic minor scale for each key is shown in red in it's row to the right.

The pentatonic scale is a five-notes per octave scale (the sixth note is the same as the root, but an octave above). Pentatonic scales are common in much folk, Asian, and ancient European music.

Almost all traditional NA flute music was composed for the pentatonic minor scale,
and NA flutes are constructed to play it easily in tune.

 

 A

A#

B

C

C#

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#
 G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

 G G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

 F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

 F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F# G G#
D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

 D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G# A A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

 C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C# D D#

E

F

 C C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#  A A#  B

C

C#

D

D#

E

 B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#
 A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diatonic major scale is shown in blue for each key in it's row to the right.

The diatonic scale is a seven-notes per octave scale (the eighth note is the same as the root, but an octave above). Diatonic scales are the basis of Western classical music, allowing construction of  various intervals (thirds, fifths, etc.)

While any well-constructed NA flute can play a diatonic scale in tune, one note's fingering is difficult. The note (RE) one whole tone (two semitones) above the root must be played by barely covering the lowermost hole of the flute.

 

 A

A#

B

C

C#

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#
 G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

 G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

 F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

 F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F# G G#
D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

 D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G# A A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

 C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C# D D#

E

F

 C C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#  A A#  B

C

C#

D

D#

E

 B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

D#
 A#

B

C

C#

D

D#

E

F

F#

G

G#

A

A#

B

C

C#

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RE

 

MI

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