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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:20 am 
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Thanks to both of you, for some related bits of info you put up here. I've been paying flute for a while now, but struggling with left hand cramping (top hand), from the Grip of Death.... I knew what the problem was, but was not having any luck fixing it. So I was getting frustrated, and not playing flute much.

I figured one more try at it, and if no go switch to something easy, like fiddle or pipes (that's a joke, k?). I was trying to sort out my grip, and came across a little video from Jem about trying to play without the top hand thumb touching the flute as an exercise.... I had just been trying that on my own, so that was helpful. A step in the right direction.

Then I found a post by Terry, talking about the Rockstro grip, which I knew and had read..... and he talked about setting up your hands, and rotating the headjoint much further towards the player than normal, and working towards being able to play without the top hand thumb touching at all and being free to touch a key when needed. That was the missing piece for me: rotating the headjoint more. I'm still tweaking the whole thing.... for me, if I rotate the headjoint just a bit too much, the tone really suffers, and not enough and it all falls apart and I can't cover the toneholes well. I also find that if I am keeping the thumb off the flute entirely, there is more pressure on my wrist (it is bent more than previously) and it gets a little tired, but I think that is probably mostly from getting used to a new grip, and not enough practice time. I don't use the Bb key much if at all right now so if I end up having to rest the thumb near that key..... but loosely, so no Grip of Death.... I'm still miles ahead of where I was. But I think if I put the time in I can learn to keep the thumb off entirely. It's a matter of finding the practice time, which has been in very short supply, but easing up a little more now. Of course, I did start learning fiddle on Christmas Eve so will have to find time for both.

Anyway, Terry and Jem: thanks. You helped me a lot.

Adrian

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:15 am 
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Good to hear, Adrian. Glad to have been of assistance. Have you come across my Flute Hold document?

There's at least one other YT video of mine which is relevant in that, whilst it doesn't discuss flute support in detail or directly, it does illustrate it - the one on C# rolls: https://youtu.be/tRDcYgJIOiM

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:09 am 
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Weren't they a cat and a mouse? :)

Jem's attempts to catch Terry being a bit like the elusive search for "the grip". :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:46 am 
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:thumbsup: :lol: :tomato:

I sincerely hope that any misguided search for a "grip" would prove futile!

Of course, I lost mine long ago.....

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:02 am 
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jemtheflute wrote:
I sincerely hope that any misguided search for a "grip" would prove futile!

Oh I don't know. It's easy if you know the truckly-how! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:59 pm 
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jemtheflute wrote:
Good to hear, Adrian. Glad to have been of assistance. Have you come across my Flute Hold document?

There's at least one other YT video of mine which is relevant in that, whilst it doesn't discuss flute support in detail or directly, it does illustrate it - the one on C# rolls: https://youtu.be/tRDcYgJIOiM


Jem, I haven't looked at the video yet, but I have worked through the document, which I had not seen. It's a great approach/summary except I don't see anywhere in there where you discuss orienting the embouchure. The way I started, from reading about it, was striking a line from the mid-point of the top three toneholes, and setting the outer edge of embouchure on that... and then maybe rotating it a bit in towards the payer to suit. I haven' t been able to make that work for me. But when I rotate the headjoint quite a bit further in towards me... that was Terry's suggestion.... I get better results. But now I'm getting better results, NOW I suppose I will try rotating the embouchure back out towards the more conventional position, and see if I can make that work.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:22 pm 
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No, I probably wouldn't have discussed embouchure alignment in a hold document. It depends, really, on the individual's preference for their blowing style once the support posture is established. However, further to what you've written, I'd suggest that the L hand tone-holes should probably normally (there are always conceivable exceptions) point straight up. If you turn the embouchure too far in then you will have to roll the L hand tone-holes out, cocking and stressing your wrist. So start with those holes pointing at the sky, then adjust your hold to that, then adjust your embouchure rotation to fit your lip and blowing style. Having established what is comfortable and functional, note the rotational alignment to the tone-holes for future setting up. Also consider the angle of your own head - it should not be tilted significantly forward/down nor backwards/up.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:39 am 
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Hi, Adrian, Jem et al....

I think setting the embouchure hole angle way back (about 60º compared to the finger holes) is an essential part of the approach. Otherwise, the instrument tries to wriggle free and rotate back towards me. I have the embouchure a little back towards me from vertical (for best dark tone without it becoming choked), and the finger holes rotated well towards the audience, with my left elbow hanging down at my chest. Fingers and thumbs of both hands are opposed, so there is no tendency to rotate. While playing, I am completely free to move left thumb and both "pinkies".

Now, Adrian, can you remind me where I posted this? Having seen the message on not using the search function, I live in fear of invoking nuclear war with North Korea. (I know there is a queue....)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:45 am 
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Search is back. I think that next time Jem goes to reindex the board, he's going to just disable search for the duration, so no self-restraint will be needed.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:57 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
Search is back. I think that next time Jem goes to reindex the board, he's going to just disable search for the duration, so no self-restraint will be needed.

Who?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:08 am 
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Nowt to do with me. And I never saw the OP about all that!

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Last edited by jemtheflute on Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:11 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
s1m0n wrote:
Search is back. I think that next time Jem goes to reindex the board, he's going to just disable search for the duration, so no self-restraint will be needed.

Who?


My mistake. Sorry ben.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:22 pm 
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Ah, safe to search, thanks. So here was my original post and the subsequent discussion:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=103962&hilit=mcgee+flute+hold+grip

I just did a little more playing and had someone mark the top of the flute (using a small spirit level to identify the top) while I played. Then measured the angle of the embouchure and the fingerholes relative to Top Dead Centre. I got:

McGee approach:
Embouchure centre, towards player 20º
Fingerholes centre, away from player 25º
Total offset embouchure to fingers therefore 45º
All fingerholes in line.

Now that is clearly different to Nicholson's approach, at least as we can deduce it from alignment dots on a pair of flutes bearing inscriptions that they were made for him. (http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Nicholson%27s%20Flute.htm) They show:

Nicholson's flutes approach:
Embouchure centre, towards player circa 20º
LH Fingerholes centre, vertical
RH Fingerholes away from player 45º
Total offset embouchure to fingers therefore 20º (LH) and 65º (RH)

Jem, can you characterise your approach in similar terms?

Any others? I'm starting to think we might be coming up with approaches different to both the 19th century and modern holds. Presumably they all have things to tell us.

I used the mill's indexing head to measure the angles. But apparently not every home has a mill. No matter, I have an easy low-tech way to measure angles of rotation at:

http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Angle%20measurement.htm


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:11 am 
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jemtheflute wrote:
Also consider the angle of your own head - it should not be tilted significantly forward/down nor backwards/up.
Terry McGee wrote:
I just did a little more playing and had someone mark the top of the flute (using a small spirit level to identify the top) while I played.
I think we need a mark on top of your head as well. Or, better maybe, jawbone angle.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:13 am 
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david_h wrote:
jemtheflute wrote:
Also consider the angle of your own head - it should not be tilted significantly forward/down nor backwards/up.
Terry McGee wrote:
I just did a little more playing and had someone mark the top of the flute (using a small spirit level to identify the top) while I played.
I think we need a mark on top of your head as well. Or, better maybe, jawbone angle.


:lol: :D :thumbsup:
:poke: Terry
:waah:

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