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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:40 pm 
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I'm in search of a keyless wood flute with comfort as the number one priority, and quality a close second. Ideally, I'd like something with a tapered bore, lighter weight (though the extra heft of silver rings/tuning slide is worth it to me), and with holes that are smaller/more closely spaced/offset.

The two that have caught my eye so far are the small-holed Rudall from John Gallagher and the keyless blackwood flute from Copley & Boegli. Both can be customized to meet my criteria, but I'm not able to try them locally and want to make an informed decision. They're very similar in price, so that's not a concern. Does anyone have insight on these flutes? Anyone tried either or both of them? How might they compare? Any other makers who I should consider?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:44 pm 
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Casey Burns does an excellent version for small hands. It's an option on both the folk flute and his reguar flutes. I have an Eb flute from Solen Lesouef that is light and easy to play. Depending on your circumstances, Eb could be an option. You might also consider a Grey Larsen Preferred model from Terry McGee. They are light with small holes, and very good flutes.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Even with small hands you can play a large-holed flute after the Pratten style.

While I don't think that small hands are a real problem, I agree that the smaller diameter of the body and the smaller holes of a Rudall-style flutes make it easier to play. I've actually compared the Gallagher small-holed Rudall, and its holes are definitely smaller than my Solen Lesouef. The embouchure of the Lesouef is easier than the Gallagher; obviously, I'm more used to my regular flute.

I think it is pretty common to make Rudall-inspired flutes with medium-sized holes.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:38 pm 
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Thank you!

@maestrosid - I've definitely thought about the Casey Burns flutes. I know it's silly, but I just am not as taken by the look of them. Of course, that doesn't mean they should be taken off my list... As for the Grey Larson Preferred - I've heard that some people have had issues with the tuning, so I'm a little hesitant. Not sure if that's true of the more recent builds, though...

@tstermitz - I know you CAN play any flute with small hands - I'm just not all that interested in doing so :) A flute that isn't comfortable won't get picked up very often (especially given the number of other instruments lying around my house) - and where's the fun in that?
Did you play the Gallagher? If so, any thoughts on it? He mentioned to me that he often angles the tone holes to effectively bring them closer together, which I'm interested in.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:12 am 
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ahania wrote:
Thank you!

@maestrosid - I've definitely thought about the Casey Burns flutes. I know it's silly, but I just am not as taken by the look of them. Of course, that doesn't mean they should be taken off my list... As for the Grey Larson Preferred - I've heard that some people have had issues with the tuning, so I'm a little hesitant. Not sure if that's true of the more recent builds, though...

@tstermitz - I know you CAN play any flute with small hands - I'm just not all that interested in doing so :) A flute that isn't comfortable won't get picked up very often (especially given the number of other instruments lying around my house) - and where's the fun in that?
Did you play the Gallagher? If so, any thoughts on it? He mentioned to me that he often angles the tone holes to effectively bring them closer together, which I'm interested in.


Welcome to Chiff&Fipple, ahania,

Just for the sake of having more information... regarding the Grey Larsen Preferred- I had written to Terry in June of this year and I asked for brief feedback regarding the Grey Larsen Preferred (GLP) and another model of his. He replied with: "I'd go with the Rudall 5088 style of flute if given no other reason to do otherwise. If you knew you were going to find flute playing a bit of a struggle, I'd opt for the easier-to-play GLP. " So while I can't speak to the tuning, it seems as though Terry markets the GLP as being easier-to-play, but it may be lacking some of the qualities that his other models do better at.

As for the flutes you had originally asked about, I can't give any input.

However, for reference, do you already play a flute? If so, what are you currently playing?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:41 am 
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Here is a maker who makes flutes for people with small hands. Good quality for a decent price too. I've played one of Tim Adam's "new design" flutes and was impressed.
http://www.adams.se/flute/index.html


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Oh, lovely! I hadn't heard of the Adams flutes before, I will check them out.

I have a background of classical flute, but my primary instrument for the past several years has been whistle. I also play a bit of fiddle, bodhran, mandolin, and guitar. I've tried a handful of simple system flutes in the past and wasn't much interested in pursuing it because of the discomfort with the reach (in addition to smaller hands, I have some joint issues). However, a friend recently acquired a one-of-a-kind flute that was so comfortable and easy to play, it encouraged me to do some research. Since I'm fairly new to Irish flutes, I expect to form habits around whatever instrument I end up with, so I don't have many other stylistic preferences (embouchure shape/size, etc.).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:02 pm 
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Bryan Byrne's flutes (rudall copies) are very comfortable. You can get them
with medium holes and also with small holes. I've been playing the former
for over a decade. We are not hearing much about his flutes lately, but
they are well thought of.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:59 pm 
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I believe Blayne at the Irish Flute Store has a small holed Gallagher Rudall for sale. He has an excellent return policy if you try and don't like.
I'll second the Grey Larsen Preferred and Casey Burns ergonomic flutes. They both are wonderful responsive flutes, the GLP with very small holes. I played one for several years, and to some extent regret selling it. They turn up fairly frequently used. I think the Casey Burns Folk flute, or at least the one I have, stands up to some very high-end flutes in terms of tone and playability.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:23 pm 
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Glenn Watson does a small bored flutes with not spaced holes. I met Tara Diamond a couple of months ago and she was very surprised with my flute, she said it is very confortable even for small hands, and my flute has bigger holes than the standard watson flute.


Just take a look http://www.watsonflutes.com/products.html

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:24 pm 
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ahania wrote:
Thank you!

@tstermitz - I know you CAN play any flute with small hands - I'm just not all that interested in doing so :) A flute that isn't comfortable won't get picked up very often (especially given the number of other instruments lying around my house) - and where's the fun in that?
Did you play the Gallagher? If so, any thoughts on it? He mentioned to me that he often angles the tone holes to effectively bring them closer together, which I'm interested in.


Of course, you want a comfortable flute.

Aside from the large, Pratten style, you have a lot of easy-playing choices, and I don't think you need to worry or over-think that part of it. Nor do I think you require specially designed flutes. Rudall-style, or medium-hole Rudall, "Larsen Preferred" (Firth & Pond), ... you should be fine. Probably avoid a cylindrical flute in terms of finger spacing. (My Bb cylindrical whistle is a bit uncomfortable for my right hand, but my conical Rudall-style (medium) flute is very comfortable.)

I did play the Gallagher small-holed Rudall. I would require more time to get used to the embouchure, and I have no opinion there. The holes are quite small, which means you can play very quickly - is that the same as easily? Coming from whistle, that would be an obvious familiarity.

I'm not even intermediate on flute, so don't quote me on all this; Just my observations.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:10 am 
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tstermitz wrote:
Even with small hands you can play a large-holed flute after the Pratten style.
I can't. If I could I would. After several years of playing my Burns small-handed Folk Flute I could manage something requiring a bigger finger reach, but not by much.

There seem to be two issues. Reaching the holes to cover them and having fingers wide enough to seal them. I have fat, short fingers. However, so far as I can see all the flutes with closely spaced holes have small holes to allow them to be positioned where they are.

If I were shopping for a flute I would ask makers what the hole spacing, hole size and diameter was for their normal and small-handed versions and see how that limited my choice. There are many more options available than when I started.

The makers can't do magic or change the physics. There are compromises. I they have a small-handed version I would be surprised if they recommended it over their 'normal' flute to someone who could play either.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:34 am 
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A note. I briefly owned a Gallagher small-holed keyed flute, and gave it up because it was too heavy for me. It may have been the keys, but if you wish to avoid heavy it would be helpful to get feedback from people who play the keyless version. How many grams?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:41 am 
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Dough Tipple has some measurements of hole size and spacing on his Web site, which include both McGee' GLP and the standard folk flute.
http://tippleflutes.com/flute-finger-hole-comparison/

Casey Burns also recently posted on making flutes for players with hand issues, where he made suggestions about using a one inch dowel as a mock flute to get measurements for a player's unique needs.

You could try something similar and use Doug's measurements too see what might work for you. Ultimately you're going to need to try some flutes to see what best suits you. You have had some excellent suggesions.

Somers makes a very nice Delrin Ruddall that has small holes. You also asked about the Copley early on. His flutes are based on a different historical model. I had one of his basic wooden flutes that I liked quite a bit. It was light (thin walled), with a bit larger diameter and fairly small holes. He is also very approachable and would be easy to work with.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:06 am 
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maestrosid wrote:

Casey Burns also recently posted on making flutes for players with hand issues, where he made suggestions about using a one inch dowel as a mock flute to get measurements for a player's unique needs.



viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105819


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