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 Post subject: Learn flute before fife?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:07 pm 
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I'm sorry, I probably should have made this goal clear in my other thread that starts off with the title of easiest flute.... . I'm starting this new thread instead of adding it to that thread because i don't want this point to get lost in it.

So my basic question is, would it be less frustrating, generally speaking, for somebody to learn on a flute before they went to an actual fife?
Because that's pretty much the impression I get from reading around on various flute and Fife forums or threads, but I thought I'd ask the question directly.
And to be clear, what I'm talking about is the American revolutionary or civil war type Bb fiefs.

I know it is not necessary to go that route, but might that be a less frustrating route to take?

I mean I already tried that b lack plastic cooperman Fife that so many people say is a great starter, but I failed on that miserably and after two months it just frustrated me so much that I gave up.
And so that's part of why I'm wondering about the cheaper, though quality made, PVC flutes that are out there as transverse instrument starters.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:31 pm 
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The embouchure on the fife is exceedingly demanding. Flute is demanding, too, but less so.
So flute first, IMO. Also it's worth investing in a good delrin flute. A lot of people
fail because they buy something cheap, which is harder to play than something
for a bit more. You can always sell a goodish flute and recover a good deal of your
money. It isn't like money spent on a vacation. Flute will take a good deal of patience.
Best not to set up to fail. Get a good flute, practice every day, and remember patience.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:28 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
The embouchure on the fife is exceedingly demanding. Flute is demanding, too, but less so.
So flute first, IMO. Also it's worth investing in a good delrin flute. A lot of people
fail because they buy something cheap, which is harder to play than something
for a bit more. You can always sell a goodish flute and recover a good deal of your
money. It isn't like money spent on a vacation. Flute will take a good deal of patience.
Best not to set up to fail. Get a good flute, practice every day, and remember patience.


But let me ask this, because I think I saw a thread where I read it, but now I can't find it so maybe I just dreamed it; a G or F flute "easier" than a D or some others...or really not that much difference? Oh and I'm talking the keyless variety.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:25 pm 
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They are easier to finger, but generally they are more demanding on one's embouchure and require a more focused air stream. These flutes are, IMO, better to play once you are up and running on the D flute, since they challenge one's embouchure and so improve it. Not that D flute is easy. It took me months before I could play notes consistently. About nine months in my embouchure really came on line and has improved ever since. THEN I played higher pitched instruments, flute/fifes in G, A, Bb, partly to improve my embouchure further.

My concern is that people try to avoid playing a D flute (which will be difficult) by buying other flutes that they won't be able to play, thereby wasting their money and finally giving up. If it were me I would get a good delrin flute for three or four hundred dollars and patiently learn to play it. The half-way measures are much more likely to fail. If flute turns out not to be for you, you can sell it here or at the Irish Flute Store and recover a good deal of your money.

Also a couple of lessons at the beginning, just to learn how to hold the flute and so on, can be very valuable. You know, it took me two years to learn how to hold the flute, because I didn't listen to my teachers.

In sum, I believe there is no short-cut here, or easier way to begin. You are more likely that way to waste your money and end up not playing. I believe the best and ultimately least expensive way to success is to get the best D flute you can afford, practice regularly, and then be patient. Feelings of hopelessness are par for the course. Keep going. These flutes are difficult to play, but it's doable and worth the trouble.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:43 am 
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Well I won't disagree with Jim, but my route has been via a Tony Dixon ABS piccolo (high D) & their one piece low D flute, (an expenditure of about £50), before buying myself a Damian Thompson delrin beginner low D flute (£150). My embouchure is improving the more I practice.
I also have a plastic fife, which I used initially to help get my embouchure, so I've come at it from a different starting point.
Edit: Just to be clear, my intention is to play the flute, not the fife.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:58 am 
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If you want to play the fife, learn the fife. There's no use in taking a detour to learn an instrument you don't really actually want to play, and the transition from flute to fife will still be challenging enough. You may sound worse for longer on a fife (the embouchure is tougher than the flute), but in the end you will learn how to play the fife more quickly if you start with it from the get-go. If you're having serious problems with the fife, is there anyone at all you can talk to and maybe learn from? The thing that's been bothering you for two months may be something that can be cleared up with a lesson or two. I know some flute teachers do Skype lessons, so perhaps there'a fifing teacher who would do the same if there are none in your area.

That being said, if you also want to learn the flute, starting with it is probably the best solution, since you'll be making more pleasant sounds sooner.


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