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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:04 pm
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Location: Portland, Maine
Hi there, first post. Seems like a great community on here. I've been playing ITM for about 6 or so years now, starting on DADGAD guitar (quickly grew tired of) and then flute. The flute I had was a Skip Healy borrowed from an uncle who wasn't playing it enough (quite a nice instrument to learn on). Anyway, he recently took the flute back in anticipation of his impending retirement so I need to get a new one. I've been keeping up on my whistle, but as we know, it's just not the same.

In the past couple of years, I've gotten quite busy playing jazz sax and clarinet, so during tourist season (Portland, Maine) when the gigs are heavy I really don't have much time to practice flute. My question is this: Do you think it's easier to get back into shape on a Pratten style flute, which I have found to be slightly more forgiving embouchure-wise (at least to me), or a R&R style, which requires less air and I've found to be easier intonation-wise? (This is admittedly coming from a very small sample size for me, I could be completely off-base)

Right now I'm leaning towards a Somers Pratten, but MandE has a nice sale going on right now, and I like the sound of those, too (going to stick with Delrin for the moment so I don't have to worry so much about maintenance). Any thoughts would be appreciated. I know the real answer is to just keep up with the practicing, but right now with an infant at home my very limited practice time must be spent on the instruments that are bringing some money in!

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2002 6:00 pm
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Location: Los Angeles
I don't think it matters if Pratten or R&R, although I recommend the Somers flute in either configuration (mine is R&R). A quick brushup for embouchure is probably a piccolo. Too bad Jem is not making his little plumbing pipe PVC piccolos at present - they're a good workout: http://irishpiccolo.blogspot.com/2013/1 ... colos.html

Now sax & clarinet - I would find those very tough to pick up on an intermittent basis. Reeds, bah!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:02 pm
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Location: Wheeling, WV
I've owned an M&E and currently own a Sommers Pratten. My recommendation is the Sommers...

Pat

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
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Whatever type of flute you enjoy playing the most will be the best for you, whether you play it every day or every six months.


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 12:13 am 
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In my (relatively youthful) flute experience, embouchure is the first thing you lose with a break. However, I am confident in recommending a 15 minute, long-tone exercise every day even in busy season.

I have an antique Firth, Pond & Co, Rudall-style with medium holes. This flute requires a focussed embouchure, which means that I need to practice every day to maintain good tone quality.

It is my prejudice (as opposed to experience) that a large-holed Pratten style flute requires a higher volume of air. My preference leans toward smaller bore & smaller hole, and my flute is very air efficient. That isn't necessarily the same as easier.

I think some modern flutes may have easier embouchures; that would be an interesting crowd-sourced survey...


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:04 pm
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Location: Portland, Maine
Thanks everyone, I figured there wasn't an easy answer. I'm going to go with a Somers Pratten as I like the sound a bit better than an R & R and air is less of an issue for me since I play wind instruments a lot.

kkrell wrote:
Now sax & clarinet - I would find those very tough to pick up on an intermittent basis. Reeds, bah!


Haha yeah reeds are a bitch, but the one thing is that as long as you have enough lying around at least one will play well enough at any one time. Flute embouchure has no such shortcuts, unfortunately.


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 12:19 pm 
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Location: Pacific Coast of Washington State
FWIW... i have both the M&E R&R and the Somers Pratten. i love them both. but, i prefer the sound of the Somers when all is said and done.

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