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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:49 am 
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Location: Germany - North Sea
I played whistle for quite a long time before I started off with the flute.
I'm absolutely no natural on the flute and took some time. I nearly lost lost my motivation on the way.
I had the opportunity to loan different flutes to try out, but nothing fitted really.
With a Shannon flute I had my first real progress. It's quite easy to get a strong bell note on a Shannon.
I went on with a Delrin flute, made by Francois Baubet. This flute is much more balanced, but in the beginning it was quite hard for me to get the low D in tune. And the low D was week too...
But practising helped and the embouchure developed over it.
For me this process was and still is very rewarding.
Motivation seems to be the crucial point for me. If you can get going with a very cheap flute with cylindrical bore, great. On the other hand, if you can afford to buy a quality flute (Copely, Somers and so on) you won't loose much money, if you want to sell them again. But you surely will loose your money, if you buy a "cheap" no name flute.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:07 pm
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Location: Orange County, California
Thank you all very much for your replies and insight. Unfortunately I am on a fixed income and my discretionary spending is highly constrained.
Therefore I have decided to go with a low D flute from My Whistle and Flute. We'll have to see how that goes.
Thank you all once again. I have noted many of your suggestions and will keep them for future reference.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:30 pm 
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I have Dixon one piece and I have to admit that is so difficult, after month of playing with it I'm still not able to go into higher octave :)
I'm not sure about other people experience here Dixon vs Tipple vs Hammy practice flute for example, because I'm looking for some cheap variant - under 150 eur. Funny thing is, at the end you spend money on 3-4 flutes and you're not satisfied, then you calculate - that was price for some decent one :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:29 pm 
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@sean.s

Please check your lip shape. Ask a teacher. If you have a "teardrop" lip, the second register is quite difficult unless you move the flute to the side (left side, preferably). I had exactly that problem. Working on flute for a month, I was able to get tones in the first register, but not at all in the second. Readjusting flute position... another month, and both registers were working.

Admittedly, 2nd register is harder for everybody at first. Some flutes have an embouchure design that require careful/strong/trained focus to get good quality notes and consistency. Some flutes are more forgiving.

Also, your embouchure will improve for 2 or 3 or more years.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:57 pm 
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Thanks tstermitz for response. My only concern is that maybe difficulty is coming from bad poor flute but currently I have no clue especially as beginner on it. No surrender, I'm practicing every day.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:35 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
My Dixon one piece ABS plays well enough, I wouldn't actually need any other, but I do have a couple of delrin types - I think I read on here somewhere that an oblong/oval hole, rather than round, is easier for a beginner.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:52 am 
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sean.s wrote:
Thanks tstermitz for response. My only concern is that maybe difficulty is coming from bad poor flute but currently I have no clue especially as beginner on it. No surrender, I'm practicing every day.


Any chance of having a more-experienced flute player try out the flute you have, sean.s? You wouldn't be the first beginner to have been sabotaged by a flute with a problem.

I reckon the easiest flute I've come across is the Grey Larsen Preferred that I make, but these are definitely not cheap unless you could find a second-hand one. It has small holes that are easy to cover, and a narrow bore that's easy to fill. It's helped many a new player get over "the hump". Hmmm, someone enterprising should keep a few for rental!

I'll always remember my experience of "getting over the hump". I'd learned metal flute when I was in my early 20's. I'd found a Pratten's Perfected original flute at a local antique shop - splashed out $25 on it! But it was far beyond what I could manage. Landed in England in 1974 and (naturally) ended up at the Favourite, a musical pub off the Holloway Road. Hmmm, they're all playing wooden flutes. They said I must be very smart to be able to play a metal flute. Went to Tony Bingham's antique instruments shop, "At the sign of the Serpent" and bought a German flute for 40GBP. It was like the Grey Larsen Preferred - small bore and small holes, and I could play it easily. But, unlike the GLP, the tuning was pretty sad, and the response really lacking. Still it got me going in wood.

Later, I thought I should be able to pick up a wooden flute on the Portobello Rd, and this culminated in bumping into a roguish dealer in flutes, Paul Davis (or Davies - he seemed to slip between these personae with ease). Paul was highly critical of the German flute (not inaccurately), and suggested I return with him "to his digs" to see what he had to offer. By now, I was ready for an upgrade, and bought a B&S Dulcet, partly traded against my Yamaha metal flute. Now, I was committed, no metal flute to play, and expected to play a short set with the rest of our group at the Favourite next Sunday. No pressure.....

Later, back in Australia, I started making flutes, and retired the B&S Dulcet in favour of one of my own. So, three levels of hump negotiation....

I never really got into playing the original Pratten's I'd lashed out $25 on. But I did for a while play one of my copies of it. That's interesting. I'd say it has to do with embouchure cut.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:12 am 
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I've been playing the flute very intensively for about ten months. So not a good player by any means. I'm getting better.

In that time I've tried a bunch of flutes. "Easier" is kind of the wrong word. It think it's true that the more attention to detail the flute maker paid, the more satisfactory your experience will be. None of it seems easy though. As far as I can tell it's really hard to generalize about flute embouchure because everybody's mouth is shaped differently, and what works for one person won't work for another.

I had one cheap flute, bought off ebay, that was terrible--really unpleasant to play, hard to get any kind of volume or tone out of it. Firewood.

The most expensive flute I have is the one I like best. That could be just conformation bias, but I don't think so. It's not the "easiest" in the sense that it takes more wind and it's more sensitive to changes in embouchure, but at the same time it IS the easiest for exactly the same reason. It's easier to play well, but not easier to play poorly, if that makes sense.

So I sat down just now with an inexpensive flute/low whistle combo, with the flute head installed. It's not fun to play. It produces a round, weak tone with a lot of air in it no matter what I try. It has basically one sound, and a very narrow range where it will play.

Then I sit down with my best flute and wow, what a difference. It's easy to play quietly and it's easy to play loud, and I can easily go from a round, airy silver-flute kind of tone to a hard, reedy, irish flute tone. It's a solid pleasure to play

I feel confident in saying that smaller holed flutes take less air. Seems kind of obvious and it's true. I keep a "shannon" flute in the car and the other day while waiting to pick up my daughter i was just ripping along. It was like playing a whistle, almost. So in one respect much much easier to play. But again it was harder to get a varied range and a varied tone. I missed my more expensive flute. Keep in mind nine months ago I could barely play three measures on the Shannon.

My takeaway from this is also kind of obvious: pay more for a flute that's made with more attention to detail. That's hard to do if you're starting out. You don't know if you're going to like playing. You sound equally terrible on a good flute or a bad flute, so why buy the good flute? I mean it's comical: "you paid over $1000 to sound like THAT, when you could have paid $300 to sound like that?" All that makes sense. I've learned a lot from every different flute. So I don't mind having spent the money. But my advice to someone starting out and looking for a good delrin flute might be "get a Terry McGee Grey Larson preferred in delrin." Note I've never actually played one, :boggle: but it checks off a lot of boxes:

reputable small maker who knows what he's doing
relatively low wind requirements so it will be a little easier to get through four measures without fainting
Won't "hold you back"

But there are a lot of good delrin flutes. I have an M&E that is great value for the money but not in the same class as my expensive flute. In my experience, it's worth it to pay more, if you can swing it.

EDIT: Lol Terry posted the above while I was typing my post.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:18 am 
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Hah hah, PB&J, it can be amusing what happens while you are formulating your own response.

Now we should be careful because perhaps there are other makers who are making flutes that have small holes and low air requirements. And "easy" embouchures (I think the rounded rectangle approach you see on modern Boehm flutes is a lot easier than the elliptical we know and love). People who have found such flutes helpful in their "hump" phase might like to kick in here.

There's another interesting aspect of this. Some people buy a GLP, get over the hump, and then look for something bigger. But others drill down deeper and pull more out of the GLP. Look at Grey himself. I put all sorts of flutes in front of him back when we did the collaboration that lead to the GLP. He could not be shaken. I just come away thinking we don't have much of a clue here about what's going on....

Takes us back to my comment on the Lips topic about potential PhD topics....


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:48 pm 
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fatmac wrote:
My Dixon one piece ABS plays well enough, I wouldn't actually need any other, but I do have a couple of delrin types - I think I read on here somewhere that an oblong/oval hole, rather than round, is easier for a beginner.


Tnx fatmac and others for response.

I found that my Dixon has great and nice mellow tone, so that's not a problem, enough for me, but as I said, was just confused about progress. While from other side I understand that this instrument is not easy to play - maybe because of that is so attractive to me. I have also few Dixon whistles and I'm satisfied with them. Don't know, I'm in 40's and I just woke up one morning with crazy wish to play flute and whistle :) Pipe + tobacco is next ha ha.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Quote:
.......I'm in 40's and I just woke up one morning with crazy wish to play flute and whistle :) Pipe + tobacco is next ha ha.


.....don't forget your dressing gown & slippers.... :D

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Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:01 pm 
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sean.s wrote:
While from other side I understand that this instrument is not easy to play


What instrument is easy?

sean.s wrote:
I found that my Dixon has great and nice mellow tone


I've got Dixon flutes and am quite happy. Have you seen this amazing flute tone lesson which works for any type of flute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXJzZ-SOErc

sean.s wrote:
Don't know, I'm in 40's and I just woke up one morning with crazy wish to play flute and whistle :)


We have similar midlife crises.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:01 am 
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Tnx again, I will check video... and hope I'll not be in dress :)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:48 pm
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kkrell wrote:

If the budget is there, I'd rather see you get a folk flute from Casey Burns, or Delrin flutes from Dave Copley or Garry Somers.


As said, it will likeky be hard no matter what you start on. I started on a Tipple and moved to a delrin Copley afer a few months. Right away i found the Coplry to be a bit easier to play. However, I would recommend a similar path, starting with a Tipple or similar to make sure you wanna stick with it, and then you'll always have a second travel flute if you decide to upgrade. Get a D flute!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:27 am 
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OOwl wrote:
kkrell wrote:

If the budget is there, I'd rather see you get a folk flute from Casey Burns, or Delrin flutes from Dave Copley or Garry Somers.


As said, it will likeky be hard no matter what you start on. I started on a Tipple and moved to a delrin Copley afer a few months. Right away i found the Coplry to be a bit easier to play. However, I would recommend a similar path, starting with a Tipple or similar to make sure you wanna stick with it, and then you'll always have a second travel flute if you decide to upgrade. Get a D flute!


What would you recommend to start with to 14-years-old boy? I surfed internet, asked at many forums, but all forums about flutes are dead, or about to be dead :cry:

I found one more or less adequate overview and some flutes from amazon.

I will be very grateful, if you help me to choose:

1. Gemeinhardt 2BLK - it is said to be good brand, but i have no expirience about it
2. Kaizer FLT-1500NK - this one is cheaper twice. Money is not the main criteria, but is there such big difference?
3. Selmer Prelude FL711 - if you read this article, you'll see 'pros' and 'cons' at the end of every product, and there said, that it's been designed for smaller hands. If it's true, it's very good in my situation, because i buy it for my little brother :D
If smb alive here, please! I need an advice :boggle: :waah:


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