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 Post subject: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:51 am 
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Hello All,

If you own or have played an M&E 6 Key flute, would you please share your experience?

When you played it did the birds sing and the flowers bloom, or did it put a wart on your lip? Perhaps, your experience was somewhere in between.

It seems a good price for a 6 Key.

Scouter


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:37 pm 
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Location: Wheeling, WV
I had one for a while - I bought it directly from Michael Cronolly for an incredibly good price ($500US for an ABW flute was awesome). It played fine, but eventually went the way of most of my old flutes when I graduated to a John Gallagher 8-key. I really can't remember any specifics (it was probably 7-8 years ago), but I definitely don't remember anything bad about it. I really prefer block-mounted keys and his were post-mounted and kinda cheap-seeming, but the sealed fine and it played ok. Hope that helps. Oh yeah - I have played/owned his keyless delrins as well.

Pat

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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:48 pm 
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Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
I'm responding without knowing your skills, experience or ultimate interest in flute-playing and based on brief playing on other's instruments. With those caveats, I'd suggest that this may be a very good introductory instrument, and one that may carry you for years, but that at some point you may find that you are looking for a step or two up on the quality scale. M&E has a great price for what you get but you may eventually find there are features on more expensive instruments you desire.

Them's my thoughts.

Best wishes.

Steve

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"[Some flutists] place the flute between the upper lip and the nose, blowing the instrument from below. This position does not prevent good playing, but it does not look graceful."
~ Antoine Mahaut, 1759 in a tutor for playing the transverse flute ~


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Thanks for the first hand opinion, Pat. It is helpful to know that someone who has owned and played it did not pooh-pooh the idea of that name brand flute.

Steve, I have been playing flute since Feb. 4th of this year. But, I am not new to music. The keys on the simple flutes correspond well with the keys on my oboe. The entire fingering system is quite close and so I find myself progressing along on my Tipple quickly. However, I cannot play long stretches because I do not have the long fingers that would go well with the Tipple or a Pratten patterned flute. My hands ache after only a short time. I practice faithfully every day.

I would like to buy a flute that will satisfy me for a at least a year while I decide on a finer flute. I asked about good beginner flutes before and went from seriously considering the Burns and M&E, to a three way split with the Somers added in, ha ha.

M&E: fully chromatic, delrin, heavy
Burns: real wood that sings, small hand friendly
Somers: delrin, light weight, medium finger reach, best looking of the three.

My ideal: fully chromatic, elegant, light, small hand friendly.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...


Scouter


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:21 pm 
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I have tried out one of his keyless flutes and liked it, and I assume the keyed flute would be similar, although heavier. I will say that I can see a benefit to having the keys early on, despite what some might think. I have a keyed flute that I got a while ago and is quite nice, but I hardly play it because I learned on a keyless and haven't really gotten around to figuring out the keys. I'd imagine having them from day one might have been helpful. And M&E is by far the most cost effective way of doing this, especially if you're looking for a new one.

That being said, a benefit of the Burns Folk Flute is that, as you say, you will probably want to upgrade at some point. If you really like the Burns flute, he makes higher end flutes, and you'll know exactly what you want from him.


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:24 pm 
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My suggestion, FWIW, is that you get a good unkeyed flute for the first year or two. I would rather play a good unkeyed flute than a less good keyed flute, though I routinely play keyed flutes. If it really is a good flute you can keep it forever (or sell it) when you move up to something better, which may well have keys. The unkeyed flute will keep you busy enough.


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:48 pm 
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I have a M & E 8 key. I use it as a desk flute. I have a good wood flute and sometimes want to just grab something and play a bit without taking anything out of the case. I know that sounds lazy, but I have found if I have something within reach I use it more. Sounds strong and clear and is good. It is not as complex a tone as the wood flutes I have played, but it is a pleasing flute to play. It is rather heavy if that issue for you. The only complaint I had about it was the c natural key was shorter than I am used to so I began to avoid it. The issue was solved by going to my local band instrument repair person. He soldered a piece of a clarinet key on it for $75 and I have now have the easy reach to that key I am used to.


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:44 am 
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That makes perfect sense to me. I have instruments hanging on the walls of my bedroom because that is where I practice. If you make it hard to practice, you just won't do it as often.

I have decided to get the M&E. In a couple of months, before camping begins, I will try to pick up the Somers flute. In a year or two, if I need a more refined flufe, I will get the Burns R&R or the McGee GLP.

Thanks to all who have helped me decide. Now the waiting begins...is my flute here yet?


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:10 am 
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If you already plan to buy a polymer flute, I don't quite see the point in also having a Somers flute. The M&E will be just as impervious to the elements, and it's a good idea to just play one flute when you're learning. If you're switching up too much you'll never get a great feel for one over the other, and things like embouchure will suffer.

I was in a class with Catherine McEvoy a few years ago, and one of the other students was a flute maker. He said he'd often play each flute he made for a little while before sending it off, to make sure it was ready, but he didn't have one set aside for himself. She was very adamant about him making one for himself and primarily using that one to practice on, because he needed to have one consistent flute to play. And this was even considering that all the flutes he was making and playing were more or less the same!


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:17 am 
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This is an old question, about which reasonable people can disagree. I've also studied with CM and other teachers who wanted us to play just one flute. I think what's going on may be this. At some point in one's career, especially when one is up and running and knows something about what different flutes do, it's probably best to concentrate on one flute, really get to know it. This is the stage most teachers giving this advice are at. But earlier, while one shouldn't 'flit from flute to flute,' it can actually help one's embouchure to have more than one flute, flutes that make somewhat different demands. Another strategy is to play a higher pitched flute, too, since these make greater demands on one's embouchure, which improves accordingly. It's good to know what different styles of flute do, too, so one can make a sensible choice later. So everybody is right. One shouldn't flit from flute to flute, and there comes a time to settle down to one flute, arguably, so that one can really get to know THAT one. But early it's OK to explore different flutes, so as to get to know flutes, and doing so can actually help get embouchure online--to the point where one makes an informed choice and settles down to get to know that flute. FWIW


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:25 am 
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I understand your concerns and I may just take a whistle camping. I wouldn't take a flute with pads and corks camping even if it is made of polymer. Weight and breaking keys is what I fear when packing in to the camp site.

Some instruments I have two of. That way I can travel with them or loan them out while safeguarding my main instrument. Again, I am new to flute, not to music.


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:35 am 
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We had a newer one of these, six keyed, in a class that Isaac Alderson was teaching last year. We swaped flutes quite a bit - all quite good advanced student players, and amongst Olwell's, Magee's, Burns', etc. We were all impressed. It was a bit heavy, but in a good substantial way. The post keywork seemed quite well done. It honked like the Olwell and would hold its own in a session! Would definitely consider, as it is also a good value.


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:54 pm 
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I own an 8 key Ebonite M&E Flute. It is certainly a good value for a keyed flute, and a lot of fun to play. In terms of its finish, the tone holes are fairly sharp to the feel and after playing for a while, the tips of my fingers get sore. As mentioned in other members comments, it is of a substantial weight; however, that does not bother me, but it might be a concern for other players. It has a good tone and is easy to fill and play. I only wish that the sharp edges of the holes had been smoothed off, it would have made it a more enjoyable instrument to play. I don't play it much anymore, as I enjoy playing my Burns 6 key and Somers 8 key. All of that having been said, I think that the M&E flute is a good flute, especially when one considers and factors in the cost. It is my opinion that you get a lot of value, and I feel making available a low cost, quality, keyed instrument is a great thing to do for the Irish Flute Community (for those persons interested in learning to play keys) as it allows many access to a good instrument that otherwise might not be available to them.

I should perhaps mention that my experience with the M&E Flute is limited to the 8 key, not the 6. It is my understanding that the 8 key is no longer made and one can no longer obtain an M&E Ebonite flute, I could be wrong however. Bottom line, I have not regretted my purchase of my M&E 8 keyed flute, very much enjoy it, and would recommend the M&E keyed flute to anyone, with the possible exception of those players who have issues surrounding the weight of the flute due to physical limitations/restrictions.


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:30 pm 
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You mentioned that your hands ached after playing.

Yes, in addition to developing embouchure, there are some physical and posture issues when starting to play flute. It is not as gentle on your body as a D-whistle, for example. I'm a firm believer in building slowly: 20 minutes a day, then 30 minutes, then 45... etc. I'm still learning, and after almost a year I can go longer stretches, but I still get aches and strains in the arms, shoulders & wrists after playing for a while.

My progress was minimal the first two months. Gradual the next 6, and much faster the last three months on the heels of some private instruction from a classical flute player.


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 Post subject: Re: M&E 6 Key
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:52 pm 
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I realize this is after-the-fact, but for these types of decisions, I have had good experience with a Dave Copley polymer flute.

I started out with an M&E plastic rudall. Liked the sound and playability. Did not like the weight or the girth. When I ended up with a wooden flute, my lingering tendonitis issued vanished.

OTOH, the Copley is pretty darned cosy, ergonomically, and plays well with a good tone.

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