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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:00 am 
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I recently bought a new flute, and it has taken me a couple of months to adapt my embouchure and to play with any consistency at all. I expect (and hope for) more improvement over the next couple of months.

After two years of learning, I'm still fairly beginner at flute, so I'm happy rather than disappointed in my progress.

But, I wonder how many of you are comfortable playing a second or even multiple flutes.

Do you mostly play one, favorite instrument?

Are you comfortable or happy playing multiple flutes?

When you get a new flute, how long does it take you to settle in or figure out the new embouchure requirements?

For my part, I've let go my old flute without remorse, as I can't imagine dating two mistresses, let alone trying to marry both of them!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:34 am 
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The short answer is yes. The long answer is, you will find differences in each flute, and depending on the quality of the instrument may find yourself with a cupboard full of instruments or a listing on Chiff and Fipple Used Instrument exchange as you find you love one more than the other. When I started I had a limited budget and sold everything as I moved "up." I'd be interested to be in a room with all of those flutes today. I am sure I would have kept 2 of the keyed instruments and I know I replaced the unkeyed Olwell I had with one I purchased used on this site. If you are unhappy with your progress are you working with a teacher? I know some folks skpe or facetime lessons now. It might be good to touch base with a teacher if you don't have one close by. I don't know if Shannon Heaton or Sean Gavin give lessons online but it wouldn't hurt to contact them and see.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:23 pm 
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Some play and perform period music on period (or reproduction) instruments. If one's period performance repertory covers a number of eras, flutes appropriate to those times would be called for. So in that case I would say yes, you can and should serve not only two, but multiple mistresses.

But concentrating as I do on one general idiom, one flute at a time has proved plenty enough playing field for me. I expect I could simultaneously own two or more and alternate them, but (perhaps it's because I'm monogamous by nature) I've never come up with a compelling practical reason to do that. It's a big world, though. YMMV.

My personal impulse would be to stick to one good flute until one has achieved a reasonable level of mastery, and then start in on a collection. But that's just me.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Just a sideways remark. IMO, the greatest virtue for a flooter
is patience. Maybe there are people who learn quickly, but I'm
not one of them. Took me nine months for my embouchure to
come on line. One can drive oneself bats if one
supposes flute is easy. Slow steady practice, most every day
if possible. Patience.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:29 pm 
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I would find it hard to own two flutes in the same key (e.g., two D flutes). But it's no problem at all having flutes in different keys: I have a flute in D, a flute in C, and a flute in Bb. Adjusting among them is not difficult, although I find it harder to switch from D to C and vice-versa than from D to Bb and vice-versa.

In my view, getting to know a flute is a decades-long process. If it's a good flute, you'll keep discovering things for years on end, and you and the flute will come to an understanding.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:48 pm 
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I'll echo that.

And a decades-long process is right. There's no end to the possibilities for learning. Being able to get good tone is one thing, but it must have taken me 12 years before I really started understanding my embouchure. I mean, REALLY understanding it. At that point I counted myself a beginner, because it all proceeds from there.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:58 pm 
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I'm far from expert, but I do play a variety of flutes. I play a "silver" flute at church and some other venues, but mostly church. My primary instrument for ITM is my John Gallagher 8-key Pratten (D), but I also occasionally play a Garry Somers keyless delrin (D) Pratten (when I don't want to risk my Gallagher) at sessions and in performances. I also play a Copley keyless delrin in F, but only for my own enjoyment. My take on your original questions is this: it takes me about 5 minutes (ish) playing one of my flutes to get my embouchure to "remember" the current flute and adapt to the slight changes needed. I guess my advice is that you should go ahead and practice on a variety of flutes and eventually it will all work out. If you only play one all the time, you'll get pretty good at it, but might have problems adapting. This is fine, btw!

I should mention that I play other instruments in addition to flute (trumpet, natural trumpet, cornetto, whistle), so I may not be representative as I've kinda gotten used to switching... Oh yeah, I've been "fluting" for about 10 years.

Pat

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:04 pm 
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plunk111 wrote:
If you only play one all the time, you'll get pretty good at it, but might have problems adapting.

True. Seen it, been there myself.

plunk111 wrote:
This is fine, btw!

Also true. Never think that sticking to one instrument is somehow a fault.

I prefer to think of it as an idiosyncracy. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Two mistresses? This poster has apparently never heard of Flute Acquisition Disorder and its dangers. Even I, a maker of flutes, suffer from that and I have a chronic case of Thibouvillia. Easy to diagnose - impossible to cure.

Fortunately my flareup of AAD (Accordion Acquisition Disorder) has relented somewhat though there is no cure except for death - hopefully. Arthritis might be a possible cure eventually.

Now its Cello converted to Bass that I am really suffering from, as well as everyone suffering from it second-hand.

Casey

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:03 pm 
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@busterbill. I can testify that lessons are really valuable, and they've made a big difference for me at several key moments in my learning. I had some one-on-one embouchure help from a classical flutist, and another from a trained musician who came to Irish music from baroque flute. Classic Dunning-Kruger problem where you don't know enough to know you don't know.

Secondly, I've found tremendous benefit from daily attention specifically on tone quality; or even twice daily to repeat and lock-in the kinesthetic learning.

At my present stage, having worked at some length with two different flutes, I don't feel I could maintain skill with more than one instrument at a time. Maybe I could after more years of playing and experience with multiple instruments... Right now, I'm happy to get better with my favorite one. It is so satisfying whenever I hit a particularly rich tone on my low-D, not to mention hitting it with some consistency!

@Casey. FAD could conceivably be a problem if I wasn't worried about retirement! WHOAD is more likely given that whistles are so much cheaper than flutes. At the flute price point, I guess I wouldn't be not averse to buying another instrument, but not multiples. That speaks to the fact that I'm very happy with the sound of my present flute. With whistles I went through a stage of dissatisfaction, that didn't ease until I realized there is no perfect whistle, and that my Killarney was wonderfully sweet.

To my original point...

Interesting comments that maintaining quality in the embouchure might be easier with flutes that are quite different, like C vs D or baroque vs Irish. On the latter example, I don't think I'd like remembering multiple fingerings.

What about playing instruments from different flute makers? Would you normally stick with one maker once you get used to their style? (I'm assuming that the embouchure cut is more internally consistent within one maker than across makers.)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:24 am 
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tstermitz wrote:
Do you mostly play one, favorite instrument?


Yes. At any point in time I only owned one D Irish flute.

tstermitz wrote:

Are you comfortable or happy playing multiple flutes?


Yes, for different keys and different genres. At one point I studied Baroque flute at university so I had a repro Baroque flute, my original c1830 Rudall & Rose D for Irish music, plus a Baroque Alto flute and Irish flutes in C, Eb, E, and F. Then for a time I owned a Boehm C flute and Alto flute.

tstermitz wrote:
When you get a new flute, how long does it take you to settle in or figure out the new embouchure requirements?



When I was in fluteplaying shape it would take my embouchure around a week to get the best sound out of a new Irish flute.

However in a minute or two I could assess a flute accurately. You know immediately what a flute's strengths and weaknesses are. More "face time" allows you to mask more of the weaknesses, and draw out more of the strengths, but the flute still is what it is.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:28 am 
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I think it at least partly matters what you value.
Flutes are artworks at multiple levels--not only visually
but, with the best flutesmiths, there is an acoustic aesthetic
vision. And we can play them. This can add great interest
and pleasure to life. Perhaps there is a price to be payed
but, for me it's worth it. I do think also it's a matter
of timing. It would be a pity not to know (in a hands on way)
the difference tween Prattens and Rudalls, and life is short.
Part of a musicians education.
But perhaps best not at the beginning. And it may be, after one is
up and running and has played a few flutes and knows more
about the genus, one may settle on one flute. I think this is an
individual matter.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:27 am 
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Casey Burns wrote:
Two mistresses? This poster has apparently never heard of Flute Acquisition Disorder and its dangers. Even I, a maker of flutes, suffer from that and I have a chronic case of Thibouvillia. Easy to diagnose - impossible to cure.

Fortunately my flareup of AAD (Accordion Acquisition Disorder) has relented somewhat though there is no cure except for death - hopefully. Arthritis might be a possible cure eventually.

Now its Cello converted to Bass that I am really suffering from, as well as everyone suffering from it second-hand.

Casey



So I'm not the only one suffering from a combination of FAD and AAD... :D
I'm pretty sure it's not the most common combination.
Two of my flutes were made by you, btw.

John


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Applies to flute(s) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MNANgFCYpk


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Can I just say ... I have a real problem with this thread title ... ?

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