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 Post subject: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:48 am 
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I am learning to play my new wood 6 key D flute. I am having a very hard time playing D# consistently or with any volume. Is it possible?
Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:05 am 
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There shouldn't be too much problem playing D#/Eb. Now, E is a much more difficult note, IMO. But if you are having difficulty with D#, is it possible that there's a leak somewhere?

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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:51 am 
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You do mean D#/Eb, fingered xxx xxx, - six fingers on holes R4 opening the Eb key, the next to lowest note available on a 6-keyer? Unless the key is not opening properly or its pad has come loose it shouldn't be any harder to sound than low D? Unless, perhaps, in operating the Eb key you are moving your hand and causing a finger on its tone-hole to move and leak - most likely R3. How have you got the footjoint set up in terms of rotation? If you are having to reach for the key with the little finger, that can disrupt the whole hand. Try rotating the joint so that the key is in the easiest-for-you-to-reach position. It is normal on these flutes to operate that key with more of a pushing motion than a waving up and down one as on Böhm flute.

If the problem is with middle Eb/D#, an octave higher, experiment with the L1 finger on or off its hole. Some flutes work better one way than the other, though the vented fingering oxx xxx, is the "standard" one.

Lastly, what flute have you got?

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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:51 am 
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jemtheflute wrote:
If the problem is with middle Eb/D#, an octave higher, experiment with the L1 finger on or off its hole. Some flutes work better one way than the other, though the vented fingering oxx xxx, is the "standard" one.


I actually was contending with this yesterday on a relatively new-to-me flute; the standard vented fingering was producing a very weak and unstable note, but if I covered all the holes and hit the Eb/D# key it came out perfectly. Never experienced that on any other flute until this one!


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:16 am 
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bradhurley wrote:
jemtheflute wrote:
If the problem is with middle Eb/D#, an octave higher, experiment with the L1 finger on or off its hole. Some flutes work better one way than the other, though the vented fingering oxx xxx, is the "standard" one.


I actually was contending with this yesterday on a relatively new-to-me flute; the standard vented fingering was producing a very weak and unstable note, but if I covered all the holes and hit the Eb/D# key it came out perfectly. Never experienced that on any other flute until this one!


I always thought it was a fluke that the vented Eb works on my Wylde flute, but it also works on the D Gallagher. It does not work on the B flute, at least tuned to match my pipes - I think it might work alright pushed in all the way.


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:59 pm 
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I had a flute on which the unvented Eflat sounded true, but when I vented it it was over a quarter tone sharp.

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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:25 pm 
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Depending on your experience with this particular flute you might be sliding off the ring finger right hand hole just the teeniest bit, which is all you need to get a weak note. I have found I tend to do this if I'm not thinking hard as I seldom use that key.


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:21 pm 
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jemtheflute wrote:
You do mean D#/Eb, fingered xxx xxx, - six fingers on holes R4 opening the Eb key, the next to lowest note available on a 6-keyer? Unless the key is not opening properly or its pad has come loose it shouldn't be any harder to sound than low D? Unless, perhaps, in operating the Eb key you are moving your hand and causing a finger on its tone-hole to move and leak - most likely R3. How have you got the footjoint set up in terms of rotation? If you are having to reach for the key with the little finger, that can disrupt the whole hand. Try rotating the joint so that the key is in the easiest-for-you-to-reach position. It is normal on these flutes to operate that key with more of a pushing motion than a waving up and down one as on Böhm flute.

If the problem is with middle Eb/D#, an octave higher, experiment with the L1 finger on or off its hole. Some flutes work better one way than the other, though the vented fingering oxx xxx, is the "standard" one.

Lastly, what flute have you got?


My flute doesn't have a Eb key, just six keyless holes. I would finger it xxx xx% (last hole half covered by right ring finger) correct? It is a 3 piece 6-hole keyless irish flute


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:49 am 
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LeahAZ wrote:

My flute doesn't have a Eb key, just six keyless holes. I would finger it xxx xx% (last hole half covered by right ring finger) correct? It is a 3 piece 6-hole keyless irish flute


That is correct.
I think it is easier in the 2nd octave. I personally do not find many occasions to play Eb in the 1st octave.


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:58 am 
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If you have no Eb key then half-holing the E hole (R3) is indeed the only option for Eb/D#. Unfortunately it's a bad one as that hole is usually very small (because it is necessarily far up-tube of its ideal acoustic position in order to be reachable). Half-holing that small hole accurately and hitting the right pitch is really difficult and the sound is inevitably weak and muffled. This is why all flutes should IMO have an Eb key even if they have no others. Having one facilitates other things than just playing Eb/D#.

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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:07 pm 
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I'm with Jem regarding buying a keyless flute with at least the Eb key. You don't need it very often, but when you do, it's so satisfying to hit it clearly. O course, then you'll also want a G# for playing in A, and you're on the road to perdition.

On a keyless flute, the best I can achieve is a "shaded" E-flatish note; and a weak one at that. On my whistle a half-holed Eb is pretty easy.


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:08 am 
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I think methodical practice helps considerably in getting
a reasonable Eb, and the key is a serious advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:26 pm 
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thank you for answering my question, everyone. I have another. My flute is in 3 parts, headpiece, the section which the left hand covers, and the section for the right hand. Does it affect the pitch of notes if I twist the right hand section towards me and the left away? to make the holes "offset" like is designed into some instruments? Is it correct that it will play flatter if I twist the headjoint towards me? I am still experimenting with embouchure and holding the flute up without strain for longer amounts of time, and have smaller hands and arms. Unfortunately a keyed flute (sorry I should have described it as 6 hole, not 6 key, it is keyless) is out of my price range


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 Post subject: Re: D sharp on a D flute
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:56 am 
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Rotating either of the sections with the fingerholes will not affect the tuning of the flute—only (possibly) make things more comfortable for you to entirely close the holes.

Rotating the head joint/embouchure will change the tuning and is often used to bring some of those notes where the flutemaker had to make compromises into what you are hearing as "in tune" for what you are playing. Suggest you experiment with rolling the head joint towards you and away from you and see how it affects the note you are playing. The ability to adapt may show up most on c nat/c # and allow you to bring one or the other, or both into tune as necessary.

Best wishes.

Steve

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