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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 6:00 pm
Posts: 501
Location: San Jose, California
Hello everyone,

I have a birthday coming in June and am thinking about getting a 6 key M&E polymer flute.

Can anyone tell me about them?

- Does the low e note speak as well as the surrounding notes do?

- How large is the finger stretch in the lower hand?

- Can it be played as loudly as a wooden flute?

- Do you like & enjoy playing it?

- Is there any other information you'd consider valuable to know before I take the plunge?

Thank you!

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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2020 3:07 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 936
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
For details about the flute, I found Michael very helpful, when I asked about the hole spacing of my 'F' flute before ordering it.

You might also ask about its weight, as I was quite surprised how heavy mine is, (& I don't have any keys).

Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.

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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:33 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 8:52 pm
Posts: 5
As it happens, I just acquired an M&E 6-key flute a few months ago, so I can share my experiences.

First off, I found it to be really heavy. I also have a keyless M&E, which is comparable in weight to my other flutes. If you put the two instruments side by side, they look more or less the same. But it's possible the keyed version has somewhat thicker walls which account for the additional weight. Or perhaps they are not made of the exact same material. Anyway the keyed version is considerably heavier.

I found the 6-key M&E to be so heavy that I couldn't play it for more than a minute or so, because it would slip out of my grasp, especially up the B/c# end. I started years ago on a Boehm flute, and while I switched to Irish flute, I never changed the way I held the instrument, because it seemed to be adequate for my needs. It was not something I thought about, really.

When I encountered this problem, I started doing some research. One approach would be that maybe there are some alternate fingerings that provide some more support, like on the Boehm flute they have you keep the Eb down most of the time.

But a more basic question is just how do you hold a flute anyway? Surprisingly there is close to zero information online about what is the proper way to hold a flute. That is, until I hit Terry McGee's website. There you can find a very detailed description of the 19th century grip aka Rockstro grip. The more I read it, the more sense it made to me, so I determined to give it a try. Now changing the way you hold an instrument after playing it for decades seems a bit radical. It did take a bit of getting used to. But having gone through that, I believe it was absolutely the right thing to do.

-the weight issue has completely gone away
-it is MUCH MUCH easier to use the keys
-I think my tone has improved, but this may be subjective. Not only on this flute, but the others too. (I switched the grip on all my flutes so as not to confuse myself.)

I thought I was getting just another instrument, but instead I got a life-changing experience.

I don't know if things would be the same for other people. I suppose it depends on the shape of your hands. Also, I broke my left wrist a few years ago, now it has pins in it, so this may have some effect.

In general, the M&E has a very pleasant tone. Perhaps not as rich as a wooden instrument made by a master craftsperson, but pretty nice. Also it is quite even across its range, with a good deal of oomph. I haven't gone up into the 3rd octave much, because I mostly play Irish music, so I can't say much about that.

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