Everything your want to know about:


Have fun with extended techniques! Using them also gives you better flute control!

Keyclicks in short:

Key clicks are short percussive sounds made by the keys. It is possible to play key clicks with or without regular flute sounds.


Key clicks can be played with or without flute sound.

Key clicks without flute sound
Key clicks without sound are indicated by the shape of the note. Composers often use a cross as notehead.

Key clicks with flute sound.
There are different ways composers notate a key clicks with flute sound.

This is the notation Edgar Varèse used in Density 21.5:

Some composers use a cross through the regular notehead:

Piccolo - alto flute - bass flute

This technique can be used on all flutes.

Composer information

This technique can easily be realized as a separate technique. It becomes a little more difficult when combined with flute sound, when used in complex rhythms or when alternating with traditional sounds.

When the embouchure hole is closed (by the tongue or covered by the embouchure), the key click sounds a major seventh lower on a flute with a C foot joint.

Key clicks without flute sound only work in the first octave. The second octave will sound the same as the first octave. Add a little bit of flute sound to get the second octave.

Flute players

Studying key clicks without flute sound and key clicks with flute sound is useful for:
– Coordination left and right hand
– Coordination of the fingers, tongue and abdomen.


A Flute Colors arrangement including key clicks without flute sound:

A Flute Colors arrangement including key clicks in combination with flute sound: