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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:48 pm 
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Hi all, I am hoping that someone might give me some advice please. I have played whistle and flute for over 40 years and have only ever had 2 flutes in all that time. It was a case of now or never and took the plunge to move onto pastures new so to speak - in terms of treating myself to a new flute. I was due to receive my Grinter flute only days before Michael passed away (R.I.P.) and now I don't know which way to go in terms of flute makers. As I am getting older I need something that doesn't take too much air! Can anyone suggest similar (if there is such a thing!). Small holed, narrow bore? I am used to a round embouchure rather than oval or barrel cut. Another consideration is that I don't hold with the classic grip - and so looking for advice re key position - have to point out that I have managed thus far with half holing but life might be easier with keys.. Any advice to an oldie much appreciated. Does anyone have opinions on Martin Doyle's or Glen Watson flutes? Any advice would be most welcome. Kind regards to ye all.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:24 pm 
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Hi,

Have you considered Terry McGee's GLP (Grey Larsen Preferred) model? It's based on a Firth, Pond and Co, which have small holes and a narrow bore. I haven't played a GLP, but I did own an original Firth, Pond and Co. (with a new Abel headjoint) for a while and it was the most economical flute I've tried in terms of air requirement. Yet it wasn't quiet at all, especially with the Abel headjoint (which had a rectangular embouchure, if I remember correctly). The flute was also very light.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:57 pm 
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You have some years of experience, so I would strongly recommend trying out some different flutes. That is the only way to truly satisfy your needs. Irishflutestore.com has a Grinter, if you are in that price range. (Or make an offer!)

I assume you were looking into a Grinter R&R style. 6 key or 8 key?

I learned on an original Firth, Pond & Co, and it was/is a great flute much more nimble than a larger holed flute, and the full 8-keys play down to a solid low C because the pewter is adjusted exactly right. Now I play a large holed Rudall by Jon Gallagher, and absolutely love the tone. I would acknowledge that the antique (smaller) embouchure was a little challenging for me. But, I feel like it forced me to develop a focussed embouchure. That makes the Gallagher SING.

If that is the direction you want, then consider flute makers who work in the smaller holed Rudall tradition. The GLP as suggested, but also Casey Burns and others. I pay attention to Jon Gallagher or Chris Norman who are in the Rod Cameron tradition. Their keyed flute designs adhere closely too originals.

That hints at my original point. Some flute makers optimize for modern ITM with 2 octave range. Others are more attentive to careful reproduction. You won't know from Internet chatter, so you really have to try for yourself.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:25 pm 
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luvmusic wrote:
Another consideration is that I don't hold with the classic grip - and so looking for advice re key position - have to point out that I have managed thus far with half holing but life might be easier with keys..

By not using a classical grip, do you mean you're using "piper's" grip or some variation with a more flattened touch on the tone holes? Low hand only, or both hands?

FWIW, I learned at first on a keyless D flute and transitioned to an 8-keyed flute for the last year. a Thomas Aebi large hole Rudall type. I don't use piper's grip with my upper (left) hand so I can't answer how keys affect that, My upper hand is a semi-Classical position with fingers touching nearer the tips.

My low (right) hand is a modified piper's grip, much flatter on the tone holes but not quite as flat as a whistler or piper would use. I worried that I might have to adapt when moving to a keyed flute, but it hasn't been a problem. The tip of my longest RH finger, the middle one, does rest against the block that stabilizes the long-F key, but that block is nicely curved and doesn't impede the finger motion. YMMV, we all have different hand shapes and sizes.

The one thing you might have to change, is if you want an Eb key and you're currently using your low hand pinky to help support a keyless flute. The Eb gets in the way of that. You'll have to learn to rest the pinky lightly against that key when playing the D notes, and then (optionally) press the key to vent the higher notes (I don't bother with venting because my flute doesn't benefit from it). Or you could do what many players of 8-key flutes do, including very famous ones, and just rotate the C foot out of the way if you're not using those keys. I'm still trying to figure out how I want to handle that.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:37 pm 
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Thank you all for your really helpful replies.. certainly plenty to go on. I am thinking of Glen Watston flute so will take a trip to see him. Martin Doyle's are a really nice flute and seem to suit me but I would need to decide after trying a Glen Watson. Many thanks to ye all.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:08 pm 
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luvmusic wrote:
Thank you all for your really helpful replies.. certainly plenty to go on. I am thinking of Glen Watston flute so will take a trip to see him. Martin Doyle's are a really nice flute and seem to suit me but I would need to decide after trying a Glen Watson. Many thanks to ye all.

If you're geographically able to visit with Messrs. Watson and Doyle (and lucky you if you are), by all means do so. Actually trying a flute for a bit will offer far more insights as to whether it's right for you than all the notes you'll read here. Both are gentlemen, know their instrument design, and are easy to work with. I've had flutes from both and would recommend the quality and workmanship. But it's always a matter of what suits you best.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:03 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
As an older player myself I understand your worries about air. I have a Rob Forbes delrin Pratten which takes too much air, an Olwell Nicholson model which takes a medium amount of air and an Olwell Rudall model which takes very little air. I also have a mid-19th c. small-holed Wm Hall & Son, which takes little air but is not really suitable for Irish music. I tire after about 1/2 hour with the Pratten-model, after an hour with the Nicholson model, and never tire at all with the Rudall model. The dynamic range with it is less than with the Nicholson model, but it is a wonderful-sounding flute and is perfect for Irish music except in a loud session. I strongly recommend it. The only drawback is that it is keyless (the waiting time for a keyed Olwell flute is many years) and it is more difficult to half-hole a small-holed flute than a large-holed one. This means playing in keys like F major, G minor, etc. are not possible, but I do play a number of tunes that have the occasional Fnat, Bb, or G# and make do with cross-fingerings or half-holing.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:00 am 
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Thank you 'cac'. I would love to try an Olwell but if there is a long waiting list there is no point -not getting any younger! I haven't come across anyone who plays an Olwell. Be interested what 'Steve' thinks between the Doyle and Watson flutes as he said he has/had both. Again, I suppose, what suits one might and probably wouldn't suit another. Appreciate the replies so far. You're a great bunch of people!


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