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 Post subject: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:18 am 
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Hello,
I'm several years into low-whistles and about 6 months into irish flute with the purchase of a Somers Delrin R&R which I love so much.

I'm having a very hard time half holing. F nat is terrible. A get a very unpleasant rasp.

I've looked online and have read that half holing is "harder" on R&R flutes. But doe that mean smaller holes = more precise fingering required or smaller holes and narrower bore just won't vent correctly?

On all sorts of whistles for instance I can quickly and easily play an exotic scale with F nat and G#. Is there any flute specific tricks to pull that off on this flute I love so much or do I need to manage my expectations?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:01 am 
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Probably what you need to do is keep practicing. Slow, methodical.
Rudalls half-hole OK, if you practice. An outside possibility is that
there is an anomaly with your model flute, but I doubt that.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:58 am 
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re: practice: No doubt about that.

Is there any tricks to pull this off? From my whistle and low-whistle years I know that cutting the wind flow get a purer tone.
but when I do that Fnat is just too pale and has very little music in it.

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:34 pm 
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The single thing that solves the most problems, IMO, is strengthening your embouchure.
Also lots of learning isn't cognitive. The body learns. Also you are right at the point where these problems arise. If it were me I would put half-holing on a back burner for awhile and keep playing. A lot of these problems sort out on their own around nine months or so. Flute is difficult and so is half-holing. I've been working on half-holing forever, I play Rudalls a lot, and now I can half-hole everything, even (still a bit dodgy but nearly good enough) Eb. The most important virtue for learning flute is patience.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:10 pm 
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imgoingtospain wrote:
or do I need to manage my expectations?

I'd say yes. While practised half-holing on flute can take you so far, there are good reasons why flutes developed keys where whistles didn't, and it's ultimately unrealistic to expect quite the same quality or fluency of half-holed notes on flute. For shorter, less-exposed notes that might rarely be a big deal, but there are situations where half-holing that works on whistle just won't cut the mustard on flute.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:45 am 
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Location: Nantes, France
I'd say manage your expectations. It's difficult to play F nat well on an unkeyed flute. I've yet to hear it done very accurately, especially at speed.

If I'm at a session with my unkeyed flute, and a tune comes up requiring F nat, I'll just drop that note when it comes around and carry on with the rest of the tune. It's not a perfect solution, but it's a better workaround than blasting out a dud. I find that F nat is rarely required, anyway, in Irish trad.

I'd advise you to concentrate your learning efforts on other techniques for the time being, and not waste time with trying to half hole this note.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:47 pm 
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imgoingtospain wrote:
Is there any tricks to pull this off?


I'd say there isn't a trick. The reason I say this is that some people say the only way to do it is to roll your finger upward or downward, while others say the only way to do it is to straighten out your finger a bit. (Okay, not the "only" way, but the best way or right way.) The teacher I took the most lessons from insisted that I learn the straightening method; another (who actually taught my primary teacher) said do whatever worked for me, which is rolling.

I'll also point out that I prefer half-holing on medium-to-large-holed flutes, but for small-holed, I actually cross-finger XXX XOX as on a baroque flute. This requires quite a bit of lipping (blowing downward to flatten the note), but for me the tone is much clearer and the pitch more predictable.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:44 am 
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I've been trying to play an Eb on my M&E flute and have had no luck at all. I can manage an Eb pitch, but only barely and the timbre is way off. Even half holing the C nat is a dicey proposition. Happy to practice more, but I'm seeing keys as a better alternative.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:09 am 
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Location: Nantes, France
PB+J wrote:
Happy to practice more, but I'm seeing keys as a better alternative.


Keys are a better alternative. If you're on a budget, the 3 keys you'll use most (in Irish trad) are long F nat, C nat and G#. However, if you decide to resell the flute later, a 3 key flute may be less in demand than a 6 key.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-holing rasp
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:35 am 
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Location: Coos Bay Oregon
I find keys work much better than half holing, for the most part. I do not have a problem getting Cnat or Fnat but they are still not as clear as using keys.

For years I played with an unkeyed flute and then I got a six keyed flute. At first I thought I had not spent my money wisely. I live in a different part of the country now and they also play a lot of tunes I never played. I am now learning one that uses the last key that I had not used until now, the Bb/A# key. I now use all of them on one tune or another. A six keyed flute, for me, is now essential.

I still us the cross fingered Cnat or the keyed one depending on the run but if I need a good, clear note I use the key. I also find for some rolls the keys work better as well.


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