Breathtaking beats

Breathtaking beats

Flute Treat

It’s common to find people playing the flute or creating rhythm on mike but it’s a treat to see someone playing the flute and adding beats to it.

For a student, who has never laid his hands on beatboxing or flute formally, fluteboxing came as a challenge for Arvind but he took it up in his stride.

The passionate youngster, a final-year student of Computer Applications from CMR Institute of Management Studies, started learning beatboxing from his friend at the end of his second year of PUC. He then sharpened his skills by learning from videos by the famous beatboxer David Crowe on YouTube.
 However, during the search, he chanced upon a fluteboxer called Nathan ‘flutebox’ Lee and Greg Pattillo on YouTube and decided to jump into fluteboxing as a hobby, without knowing the ‘F’ of flute. Taking them as inspiration, he learnt flute and fluteboxing on his own, five months back and practised religiously for three hours everyday. He also participated in different college fests. 

It is quite a visual and an auditory treat to see him play an old Bollywood song and beatbox along with it. “It’s extremely challenging as I am self-taught in both flute and beatboxing. Flute is one of the finest wind instruments and needs a lot of practice. While fluteboxing, it’s very important to focus on breath control, rhythm and beats and have proper timing. You’ve to know when to come in with the beats. I like doing freestyle fluteboxing and covers of different songs by Eminem and from old Hindi films.” 

Talking a bit about his passion, he says, “Prior to fluteboxing, one has to perfect flute. In the beginning, I applied the basics of beatboxing to fluteboxing such as ‘boots and cats’ and the sound levels in beatboxing like snare and high snare.” 

In beatboxing, Arvind has a lot of feathers in his hat as he has participated in different fests conducted by Seshadripuram College, Sindhi College, Bishop Cotton Women’s College, Christ University, Kristu Jayanthi and CMR Institutions. He has also beatboxed in various events conducted at Gopalan Mall and the Cosmopolitan Club. “My biggest moment was winning the fest conducted at Seshadripuram College,” he says.  

 “Once I perfect the art on a wooden flute, I want to take it further and start fluteboxing with a metal flute. Classical metal flute is tough because it has eight holes and one needs to be properly in control with their voice.”  Arvind considers his biggest support systems as his family and friends and says, “Beatboxing is full fledged here because we have a good hip-hop culture but fluteboxing still has a long way to go. We have to bring in more competitions and fests exclusively for fluteboxing so that people get more exposure as just one or two fluteboxers may not make a difference.” 

Arvind considers the transition from beatboxing to fluteboxing as a simple one but the initial stage of picking up both the skills as difficult. “For a beginner with no experience in either, it took time to pick up. I haven’t achieved anything and I am still striving to achieve them. I’m still learning a lot and hope that I master the art someday.” When asked about when he practices, he chuckles, “I beatbox in class a lot and get enough practice.”