It is currently Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:16 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 57 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:55 pm
Posts: 446
Location: BC., Canada
I have a longstandibg admiration and affection for the Cronnolley's and their excellent flutes. I own one of his first ones and a later one with the new end piece lettering. What disturbs me is the impression the web site in question gives that it's practically useless in describing his innovative new flute - by a presumably paid professional designer who knows nothing about flutes and took the money anyway.

I like the original web sites Michael wrote himself, full of earnest enthusiasm, comments and advice as well as his flute playing craftsman's delight in sharing his passion, choices of materials and values.

I don't like seeing him so let down by this useless debut ...

K.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 369
Any artisan should know that a website can be a crucial part of our business. Sadly, it's also one of the things that a great many artisans skimp on (or they simply use something like Facebook, which is a very lame substitute). But I get it, because sometimes money is tight (and flute making is not the most lucrative profession :-).

So I'm not having a go at M&E at all--this conversation merely put me in mind of this issue. Appearances are important. Information is important. If we don't have the skills to do our own website (I certainly don't) then it is worthwhile to pony up and get something top notch if at all possible. I even wrote a blog about it! https://www.ellisflutes.com/blog/the-invisible-web-master

I've been investing in my website for years, but it pays for itself over and over. I got inspired after seeing the Windward Flutes website (http://windwardflutes.com/) which was the most elegant and beautifully designed flute website I had seen up to that point. Nothing came close to it among flute maker websites (and it still looks amazing). It really makes an impression. Forbes and Yola told me that their son did the photos and design, so having a family member with such a skill set is very nice!

Anyway, it's a drag when a good artisan gets bad press because of something as simple as a website. It doesn't have to be complicated: just some really good photos and easy navigation to the important information.

_________________
Geoffrey Ellis Flutes


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:35 am
Posts: 30
Location: Nantes, France
MadmanWithaWhistle wrote:
keithsandra wrote:
What a terrible M&E web page of the novice flute. The header is blurred beyond recognition. The actual photo of the flute is an artsy, blurry effort by someone who knows nothing about flutes or the need to illustrate the embouchure, finger hole sizes and hole placings, length of flute, bore size, wall thickness, or manufacturing material. There's no sound offered nor any attempt to offer descriptive details in a caption. Worthless.

K.


I wouldn't slag on M&E. They make great instruments and are probably still in the process of updating their website. Not everyone can be a web designer AND a flutemaker, not everyone can pay for a Wix or Squarespace site, and not everyone can quit their day job to make flutes AND run a website.


That is a Wix website. Typically Wix websites are designed by the owner. Not everyone has the budget for a professional website, but if you're going to DIY your site, Wix is not a good choice.

But I'm wary of sending this thread off on a tangent. Just wanted to correct the possibly erroneous suggestion that some web designer did a lousy job on this website.

*edit* - yikes, just saw the footer credit on the home page and yes indeed, this site is credited to a third party "designer". The eBay Pakistani flute of web design. For a paid designer to ship a Wix site is just awful.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1485
Location: None
Well I went cheap. A head for my Dixon low whistle (29.95gbp - told you I went cheap). I have had it a couple of days and can get notes out of the flute, but I have to concentrate. I have actually got notes of varying quality through almost two octaves, so I know that I could over time I could learn to play this properly.

One thing that gives me pause is the strain on my shoulders. Part of this will be because I am unused to the position, and part will be muscle tension, but does the shoulder strain diminish? Or is it a reason why older flautists give up?

And a (possibly contentious) question: 'What benefit would I get from learning the flute over and above the whistle?". There must be some, as flute seems harder than whistle.......

_________________
Phill

Press any key to continue, any other key to exit.......


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:04 am
Posts: 1202
Location: Mercia
DrPhill wrote:
What benefit would I get from learning the flute over and above the whistle?
For me, mainly, dynamics - being able to play some notes louder or quieter without going sharp or flat.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:12 pm
Posts: 222
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
DrPhill wrote:
One thing that gives me pause is the strain on my shoulders. Part of this will be because I am unused to the position, and part will be muscle tension, but does the shoulder strain diminish? Or is it a reason why older flautists give up?

Assuming no previous problems like arthritis or injuries, you will probably get used to it over time. Starting from scratch, it took me about a year to get completely comfortable with my flute hold. I wasn't having shoulder strain, but a few neck soreness issues that went away eventually.

Quote:
And a (possibly contentious) question: 'What benefit would I get from learning the flute over and above the whistle?". There must be some, as flute seems harder than whistle.......

As David said above, dynamics. You can use your breath to add rhythmic pulse and other embellishments in a way that isn't possible on whistle (or pipes). Play very soft or louder, without breaking the octave. Some players use the breath fairly heavily for rhythm emphasis, others play more like pipers with a steady volume. At least you have that choice with a flute.

One other benefit is being in the same note pitch as fiddles and some of the other sustaining instruments. It blends in better. My S.O. plays fiddle, and when we manage to "lock up" together, it almost sounds like one instrument playing instead of two. The pitch of a traditional D whistle always rides "on top" of the other instruments, in a way that some find wonderful and others might find a bit less so, especially if it's just a wee bit out of tune. A side benefit for those of us who are still learners, is that it's easier to hide behind the fiddlers when the pitch is the same. Mistakes are not as prominent as they would be on a whistle.
:)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1485
Location: None
Thanks David and Conical - volume contol would be a distinct advantage. I could probably justify a purchase on those grounds alone ;-)
Conical bore wrote:
One other benefit is being in the same note pitch as fiddles and some of the other sustaining instruments. It blends in better.

Are you implying that there is greater control over note pitch for a given volume? That would imply an increase in expressivity (if there is such a word). That would be a major incentive for me.
Conical bore wrote:
A side benefit for those of us who are still learners, is that it's easier to hide behind the fiddlers when the pitch is the same. Mistakes are not as prominent as they would be on a whistle.
:)
That is big incentive.....

_________________
Phill

Press any key to continue, any other key to exit.......


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:11 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:12 pm
Posts: 222
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
DrPhill wrote:
Are you implying that there is greater control over note pitch for a given volume? That would imply an increase in expressivity (if there is such a word). That would be a major incentive for me.

I'm not sure about greater control over pitch than a whistle, because I've heard amazing things done with whistles by shading with the fingers. But yes, with a flute you can "lip up" or "blow down" the pitch within a narrow range with a combination of embouchure and breath control. It's not a huge variation in pitch, but there's enough to work with. After a while you do it instinctively just to play in tune.

A slight change in pitch with embouchure can also be used as a special effect, like slightly dropping the pitch in the last note of a slow air as the note dies, blowing a little further down into the embouchure and slightly rotating the head joint. I'm not very good at that, but I've heard others do it well.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 10:18 pm
Posts: 215
As mentioned, volume dynamics are MUCH more available with the flute. The gives you a huge degree expression.

Also, the tonal quality of the flute can be shaped, anywhere from a rough/coarse ragged edge to a sweet, mellow round edge. Listen to different flute players.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:01 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1485
Location: None
Thanks for that tstermitz and Conical,

The increased control over timbre and volume sound very exciting - though I imagine it would take me a while to achieve such degree of control.

I am still a little concerned over issues that might arise from posture. Do end-blown fipple-less flutes have the same advantages? Maybe I could maybe transfer any skills gained on the flute if I experience posture problems?

_________________
Phill

Press any key to continue, any other key to exit.......


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:05 am
Posts: 384
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Basically, you have many ways to change the sound that the flute is making, while still playing in tune (with practice). Louder, quieter, rougher, smoother, airier, focussed, using throat and chest resonance to emphasize or reduce particular overtones... Barking, chirping articulations.

Compared to this,a whistle is limited to one tone colour and volume if it is to play in tune, notwithstanding compromises with extra fingerings and half holing, which are difficult and limited.

This lets a flute do much more than a whistle. But that comes at the price of learning how to do it.

Worth it in my view.

Chris

_________________
19th October, 2012:
Flute: Rookery
Flute: Musical Priest
Flute: Swinging on the Gate
Flute: Sally Gardens
4th June 2012:
Flute: Rolling in the Ryegrass, Green Gates
2 April, 2012:
Smallpipes: The Meeting of the Waters. Corn Riggs
Smallpipes: Mrs Hamilton of Pithcaithland


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:04 am
Posts: 1202
Location: Mercia
DrPhill wrote:
I am still a little concerned over issues that might arise from posture.
As was I when I started. I think it is worthwhile spending time working out how the recommended posture(s) and hold(s) works for you and taking it slowly if there is slight discomfort.

One thing I realised is that the relative postions of mouth and fingertips are fixed but there are a lot of joints (human, not flute) between them and only the ones on the fingers are like hinges. So there a lots of ways of getting mouth and fingertips in the required place, which is just as well because we are not all the same shape and size.

If you find a post by jemtheflute it will have links at the foot that lead you to a his document on flute hold. I found a photo of a flute player who looked really relaxed, reversed it and stuck it on a mirror so that I could see how I compared. (It may have been this one http://www.eastcoastpipers.com/flutegui ... eillon.jpg)

Bear in mind that a wooden or delrin flute will be a lot heavier and probably have a different balance than the Dixon you have - though your arms are the heaviest part of the 'system'.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:29 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 1485
Location: None
Thanks Chris and David,

David: the advice on posture is welcome. I am starting my seventh decade - and age does not come alone. Anything to forestall aches and pains is worth doing. My plan is to practice a little longer with the dixon and when I feel confident that I will pursue this I will purchase a more highly-regarded instrument. Then I can spend the longest time practicing on something that may be my final(ish) instrument. I can defer that choice a short while and keep an eye out for a second-hand bargain.

Chris: That was the impression I ha of the flute's capabilities (whether I can match them with my own remains to be seen). It certainly justifies the effort/risk for the goal of getting some more feeling into my tunes. I like the whistle, but get a bit frustrated with its limitations at times. Mind you, I have never seen a bass A flute so not all my whistling will be replaced.

_________________
Phill

Press any key to continue, any other key to exit.......


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:05 am
Posts: 384
Location: Hamburg, Germany
How low a bass A flute do you mean? The A below the D of the normal D flute? If so, then I have one and they are not uncommon. If you mean an octave lower, then, no, I don't think I have seen one (it would need to be folded, since it would be almost 1.5m?). Nor have I seen a whistle in that key either? I also have a whistle in the A between High D whistle and low or flute D which I would call an alto, but I presume that is not the one you mean either?

One other issue with flutes and ageing hands is the reach between holes - but if you can play a typical low D whistle then you will have no problems with that. If not, then there are makers who fiddle the hole spacing to allow closer finger spacing at the cost of bigger acoustic differences between the notes. Casey Burns comes to mind, though he is not the only one. They work though.

The more flutes you have had in your hands and have tried, then the better you will be able to judge a flute that you are considering buying. Grab every opportunity to try out a flute that anyone will let you try.

_________________
19th October, 2012:
Flute: Rookery
Flute: Musical Priest
Flute: Swinging on the Gate
Flute: Sally Gardens
4th June 2012:
Flute: Rolling in the Ryegrass, Green Gates
2 April, 2012:
Smallpipes: The Meeting of the Waters. Corn Riggs
Smallpipes: Mrs Hamilton of Pithcaithland


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Beginner questions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 16832
I'm 77 and more comfortable on the flute than ever. If your hands are healthy,
then good grip and technique, which improves if you are doing it right, will probably
keep you out of trouble. Also I scan my body for tension and, when I find it, deliberately relax
that part of my body. That may help with your shoulders, especially if you make it routine.

To add to the previous posts, a chief feature of the flute is that you are a main part of the instrument, more so than is the case with whistle. Consequently you have much more control over the sound, the instrument is more expressive and, for some of us, more satisfying. This is in no way to denigrate whistles. Also the flute enables you to play high notes quietly.

If there is a teacher an hour or so away, it would be worth taking a couple of lessons to start off right. A lot of people get two or three lessons with a teacher and then carry on on their own mostly. A chief thing to get right is the grip.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 57 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andrewtoml and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.145s | 13 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)