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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:23 pm 
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I had originally planned on a six-key flute in order to expand my key possibilities, but current finances have taken a "mysterious" dive. So, a much less expensive solution would be to add a second flute.

For the most part, my practice consists of playing along with tv/movie soundtracks. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of F, Bb and Eb in orchestrated music. Good luck with those. When I pick up the D flute to just noodle around, I usually end up noodling in G, or the 4th, a much more dynamic key than D. Em and Am are also pretty available. But what would be the next best key choice for more options?

I was originally considering a C flute, which would give me the dynamic F, but not much beyond that. An Eb otoh, would cover the F, Bb, Ab bases nicely. The only other key I've ever owned or played was a bamboo Bb, and as I recall, fingering was a real stretch. So playability is certainly a factor. I guess it would also depend on sound, as I'm sure each different key has its own quirks and merits.

Right now I'm leaning toward the Eb. Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:29 pm 
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A less expensive solution is a "music speed changer" app that also lets you set the key. I practice everything on my D flute and change the key of the tune I wanna play accordingly. I use a simple app (Android) called "Music Speed Changer" for that.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... peed&hl=de


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:48 pm 
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Eb or F for sure , they are my favorites , i might even get a G,,,, i have ASD for pitch change and and slow downs

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 6:26 pm 
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If you aren't reaching for tunes in A to play with the fiddlers, then a C flute, for sure.

This let's you play in C, but for me the appeal is to play in F and it's relatives, G-dorian or D-minor. There are a number of great tunes for a C Flute, like Eileen Curren, Porthole of the Kelp, Lad O'Beirnes, Paddy Fahey(s). It turns out that both G-dorian and D-minor often rest on the low C note. Note that a six key "D-flute" doesn't have the low C.

Plus, the key of F/D-min sounds really different and wonderful. It is amazing how such a small change in key creates a whole other emotion.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:24 pm 
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I play a lot on the street and like a G flute a lot. And it of course enables me to play fluently in C, which can be a big help with singers. And it can be heard without being too high pitched.

Also I have a lovely Casey Burns boxwood low C flute, all wood, which I play (not on the street) because it sounds so cool and soulful compared to the D flute. The C flute is as low as I care to go, and it has some of the alto resonance of a Bb flute, to my ear.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:55 pm 
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I've really been enjoying my Barna Gabos flute in F. It's a fun key, easy to fill and snappy to play. It allows me to play along with low F whistle tunes and to play trad tunes I normally play on my D flute. While it does exercise my embouchure, it doesn't take much wind.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:15 am 
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I know it's a stretch, but I'm surprised that every vote isn't for a Bb flute. I am lucky enough to have a 6-key Wilkes Bb, and it's gorgeous. You can cover off a lot of different keys between a D flute and a Bb flute.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:19 am 
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My 2nd was an 'F', followed by an 'A', with high 'C' & high 'D' covered later, (I like piccolo ;) ).

As above, a keyed 'Bb' might be the way to go, especially as you were thinking of having keyed flute.

Edit: As in Bb marching flute. :D

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Last edited by fatmac on Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:41 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I know it's a stretch, but I'm surprised that every vote isn't for a Bb flute. I am lucky enough to have a 6-key Wilkes Bb, and it's gorgeous. You can cover off a lot of different keys between a D flute and a Bb flute.


Bb flute too. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:26 am 
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My next flute, if I ever buy another one because I'm happy with my 8-key Aebi D flute, will be a Bb flute. Preferably keyed, although I could live with just a few keys like the equivalent of a Cnat, G# and Fnat on a D flute.

Some of my favorite tunes for listening are ones played on a Bb flute by Matt Molloy, Kevin Crawford, and Sylvain Barou. I would love to have that sound in my sonic arsenal, although it would be something just for playing at home, not in sessions for obvious reasons. I'm 6' 2" tall with corresponding hand size, so I think the stretch wouldn't be a problem. I would probably play mostly slower tempo tunes on a Bb flute anyway, similar to the way I use an octave mandolin mainly for slower tunes because it's not as nimble compared to mandolin.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:54 pm 
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Back when I played flute (had to give it up) I had flutes in (from biggest to smallest)

A
C
D
Eb
F
G
A

I loved the big A alto flute for slow things.

But probably my favourite flute to play was the small F flute. Crans really rippled on that thing! The fret guys capoed on the 3rd fret.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:17 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. Right now, due to my odd playing habits, I'm leaning toward the Eb or the F. I think the F would be more useful, with both the F and strong Bb, (But no Eb note...darn). But I'm a little concerned about being pitched a little too high with the F, whereas the Eb is a bit closer in tone to the D. And it looks like there are inherent possibilities on the Eb for the key of F. But otoh, the strong Ab 4th seems wasted. As I mentioned in my first post, on my D I play and sound better in G.
I've listened to a bunch of F flute videos on youtube. Just can't decide.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:12 pm 
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How does an Eb flute provide you with playing in the key of F?

The natural keys of the whistle/flute family are the Bell note key (let's say D), the 4th above (G), and (with a cross-fingered G#) the 5th above (A). With F-natural key, you can get the 3rd above (C), and with Bb key the 6th above (F).

Eb flute gives you Ab plus Bb, maybe. Or with the "equiv F-natural" and "equiv Bb keys", you have access to Db and G.

By the same consideration, a C-flute gives you F and maybe G. Or with 2 keys, Bb and Eb.

But really, consider the tonality, and range that you need.

Do you find that you need lower notes, or higher notes? If you are playing Brazilian Choro's or Argentine Tangos, maybe you need a higher F flute or maybe the score/tablature was written for an Eb/Bb instrument.

In ITM, the fiddlers will often play the on lower G string (Sometimes they'd rather change to G-minor or D-minor than jump to 2nd position), so they may play in the keys that require a low C, B or A. I've found that the low A and B are easy to fold. But, the low C is important for a lot of tunes in the G-minor/D-minor/F-major keys.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:27 am 
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The F flute does a lot for me - people from the non-Irish folk scenes here like playing in G minor and similar which is not hard on the F Flute. So it gets lots of mileage. And it is small and light.

My D flute can transform to an Eb flute (Windward Combo) and I sometimes do that, but not to the extent that I would swap bits in between tunes during a single session of concert. Interestingly it feels like two completely different flutes in Eb and D.

If well into the flats on a single tune in a concert then I would probably pull out the Bb Clarinet, so that may count as a vote for a Bb flute as well? Though the clarinet has a different purpose for me - being able to go down low.

I have a Ralph Sweet F flute for sale by the way...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:51 pm 
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Well, I think I've decided on the F. I couldn't decide and was actually going to try whichever came available first, the Eb or the F. But I do believe the F will be more useful.

I'll post another thread, but if anyone has an F flute in delrin that they might want to part with, please pm me.


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