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Fintan Vallely's tutor book not popular?
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Author:  bwat [ Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Fintan Vallely's tutor book not popular?

Fintan Vallely's A Complete Guide to Learning the Irish Flute doesn't seem to get mentioned very often. Is there a reason for this? I like the book and in my opinion it's got some great things going for it:

- comes with a great pair of CDs with recordings of - I guess the author playing - the tunes covered in the book. I like Irish trad but I'm not a super fan, but I'll have this on as background music as I work. I really like it;
- is properly motivated, i.e., doesn't rely on romantic nonsense, instead the music is considered to be interesting enough to stand on its own;
- only one tune is presented ABC notation and that's only to show how it is used and from there on in it's standard musical notation throughout the book;
- he explains the 'Irish' in 'Irish flute' and just calls it a flute or wooden concert flute;
- mentions other flute traditions in Ireland.

I'm surprised it's not more popular than it is. Do you know why it isn't?

Author:  Conical bore [ Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Fintan Vallely's tutor book not popular?

I have the Fintan Vallely's tutorial + CDs, and I think it's very valuable. I'd only rate it second behind Conal O'Grada's tutorial because Conal's writing style and the way he moves through the basics just seems a little more approachable. His analysis at the end of the book of other flute players with CD examples is a master class in how to listen to other players. But I'd recommend both books to someone new to "Irish" flute.

The first part of Fintan Vallely's book is a very interesting take on the history of "Irish" flute, including things I hadn't heard before about the link to the fife band traditions that may have played a part in how we got here. And I often come back to Fintan's take on breathing and ornaments, as a reminder of things I might be missing.

There are no flute teachers near me, out here in the hinterlands of the Pacific Northwest. Not even Classical teachers unless I want to spend a day getting over to Seattle and back home. So the Conal O'Grada and Fintan Vallely tutorials have been very valuable. And also the Grey Larsen tome, although that was almost too much of an information dump when I first started out.

I'll also put in a good word for the Online Academy of Irish Music, which I dipped in and out of for a while, after I had the basics down. I don't know how well the beginning instructor lessons are, because I was past that point when I signed up to OAIM for a while, but I found the Kevin Crawford series worth watching and archiving for later study.

Author:  Geoffrey Ellis [ Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Fintan Vallely's tutor book not popular?

On the subject of resources for those far from the hub of civilization, don't forget Blayne Chastain's amazing online flute and whistle course ( I've participated in it previously, and it has an remarkable amount of info. Lots of instructional videos on all aspects of technique, downloadable songs and sheet music, etc. and Blayne is an excellent teacher.

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