Everything your want to know about:

Pizzicato / Slap tongue

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

Pizzicato / Slap tongue in short:

Pizzicato, also called slap tongue, is a short percussive sound. There are two types of pizzicato: lip pizzicato and tongue pizzicato.


Composers use different ways to notate pizzicato/slap tongue. Here are some possibilities:

Option 1:

Option 2:

Option 3:

Option 4:

Always read the composer’s notes first. Then you know exactly what a composer wants you to do.

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 is advisable to have the flute player choose lip pizzicato (l.p.) or tongue pizzicato (t.p). Lip pizzicato can only be used for short period of time and not in fast(er) passages. This technique becomes more difficult with fast passages, long passages and when alternated with traditional sound.

Pizzicato only works in the first octave and the first notes of the second octave (up to F5-leave the first finger of the left hand up for the E5 and F5). If you want pizzicato in the second or third octave, have the flute player add a little flute sound.

Flute players

Studying pizzicato/slap tongue on the flute is useful for:
– Coordination tongue and abdomen
– Extending your pallet


In this Flute Colors arrangement, pizzicato/slap tongue alternates with traditional sounds.