It is currently Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:15 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Detroit Metro
Lately I have been considering the purchase of a flute. One might say that I took a baby step toward side-blown instruments by ordering a Tony Dixon Trad D piccolo. As a flute represents something of an investment, and I'd likely have to get one made (more on that shortly), I intend to do research and seek advice well before I commit to a flute purchase.

As regards the flute, I'd want a six-hole simple-system model in high D. For both lower cost and ease of maintenance, I'm looking exclusively at non-wood instruments. And it would have to be left-handed (playing right-handed feels horribly unnatural to me, and I'm too stubborn to switch hands). Should I also consider other keys and/or configurations? Is Pratten vs. Rudall and Rose purely a matter of personal preference? What options would be worth spending a little extra money on?

Taking up the flute would also be contingent on finding a good teacher; my efforts in self-teaching the whistle probably weren't the best. There is an Irish music association in my area, and though I'm not sure how badly that group has been impacted by the pandemic, I'll see if they can help in that regard. In the event that I'm unable to find a teacher in the area, is taking lessons using Skype or similar such a worthwhile method of learning?

Thanks to all who might provide information and insight!

_________________
I seem to have a mild to moderate case of WhOAD!


Last edited by Dan A. on Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:50 pm 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 4312
Location: Los Angeles
Delrin flutes, then.

Dave Copley, Rob Forbes, easiest for U.S., and I suppose either of them will cut the embouchure for left-handed play.

_________________
International Traditional Music Society, Inc.
A non-profit 501c3 charity/educational public benefit corporation
Wooden Flute Obsession CDs (3 volumes, 6 discs, 7 hours, 120 players/tracks)
http://www.worldtrad.org


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 926
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
A couple of options to consider, I think - the Tony Dixon Duo is good, or as I often play, an aluminium 'A' whistle with the flute head.

These would be a good alternative to spending a lot of money on a custom made high 'D' piccolo.

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
Posts: 2732
Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
Dan A. wrote:
As regards the flute, I'd want a six-hole simple-system model in high D.

Do you really mean a "high D" flute (as in piccolo in the range of a high D whistle) or a D flute (as in those played in most ITM and in the range of a low D whistle)?

Makes a big difference in the availability of quality instruments.

Best wishes.

Steve

_________________
"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:59 am 
Online
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 4312
Location: Los Angeles
Steve Bliven wrote:
Dan A. wrote:
As regards the flute, I'd want a six-hole simple-system model in high D.

Do you really mean a "high D" flute (as in piccolo in the range of a high D whistle) or a D flute (as in those played in most ITM and in the range of a low D whistle)?

Makes a big difference in the availability of quality instruments.

Best wishes.

Steve


Oops, I hope he does mean FLUTE in this context, and not another PICCOLO. I thought the piccolo was the entry point, and that a D flute (as in approximately double the length) was the intended target. Otherwise, I got nothing. Sure, plenty of simple system (keyed & keyless) wood piccolos
are available, but not much in polymers (like the Dixon, or Jem Hammond's currently unavailable project).

_________________
International Traditional Music Society, Inc.
A non-profit 501c3 charity/educational public benefit corporation
Wooden Flute Obsession CDs (3 volumes, 6 discs, 7 hours, 120 players/tracks)
http://www.worldtrad.org


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 1011
I've been at the flute pretty hard for more than two years now, maybe closer to three. I'm not a really good player.

The Keyless Irish flute in D--I think you should get a conical bore instrument--they "play" differently and I like the way they play. I have a Boehm flute I noodle on and some cylindrical bore flutes. The conical bore flute feels different to play and if you are into Irish music it sits nicely on the conical bore flute. That being said, you can certainly play irish music well on a Boehm or on a cylindrical flute: many people do.

I have three delrin flutes ( :boggle: ) and one expensive flute in Ebonite. The expensive ebonite one is the best, by a wide margin. But I'm a fan of delrin--no fuss no muss, virtually indestructable, will never crack. It lacks the real and genuine sensory charm of wood, but if they'd had delrin in the nineteenth century they'd have been over the moon with joy.

I have an M+E, a Walt Sweet "Shannon" and a Copely ringless. Two were bought used. All three are made from different materials or different grades of delrin.

The M+E is kind of roughly made. It plays easily and gets the hard Irish sound easily but it's heavy and has a kind of a "veiled" quality. It' not an espeially loud flute. The Shannon is very nicely made with angled holes to bring the spacing a bit closer together. It takes less air to "fill." The Copely is extremely nicely made and plays very easily. It has a distinctive tone but to my ears a bit less timbral and dynamic range.

Any one of these would be fine to start with and you could leave them lying around assembled and if you had kids the kids would have to work really hard to damage them.

I bought one of Geoffrey Ellis's "essential flutes," and was very very impressed with it. That led me to buy one of his pratten style flutes in ebonite which has been a delight at every stage. Since it's ebonite, I don't have to worry about cracking.

Ellis has improved his essential flutes so they play a bit more, I'm told, like a conical bored flute.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 926
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
If a low 'D' flute - then the Tony Dixon ABS one piece is a great one to start with, & quite cheap, you may not want another, (it's a conical bore, & nice & light to hold to play).

(His delrin is also a good quality 3 piece flute.)

Edit: Damian Thompson also makes good quality delrin flutes.

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Detroit Metro
PB+J wrote:
If you had kids the kids would have to work really hard to damage them.

I don't have kids, so no worries in that regard. A cat-resistant case (as I believe nothing is cat-proof to a sufficiently determined cat) would be all I'd need!

Thanks to all for the replies!

To clarify, the larger flute is what I'm thinking about here. With that clarification made, it also brings up more questions. Those larger flutes may well require the piper's grip; is there a way (i.e. glove size or measuring my hand) to better gauge if I will need to use it?

I have looked into both Forbes and Copley flutes. Forbes charges a small fee for left-handed embouchure, while Copley offers that feature at no additional charge. I've also run across Doug Tipple flutes, but know next to nothing about them. If anyone has experience with them, I'd be interested to hear it. As I find my Dixon whistle to be superb, I would consider a flute from him. Would one of his low D whistle/flute duo sets work okay, or am I better off with an instrument designed solely as a flute?

_________________
I seem to have a mild to moderate case of WhOAD!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:51 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:06 pm
Posts: 2732
Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
The Tipple flutes are cylindrical in the bore with a head modification that allows for better intonation. They are very affordable and nicely made for what they are. The down side is that they tend to be larger in external diameter and spacing between finger holes than the conical bored instruments. I had one early on and it was great for developing a good embouchure but less good for the fingering aspects.

I've played a number of delrin flutes with varying success. Copley flutes have been great and, without rings or tuning slide, are relatively inexpensive (but more than a Dixon or Tipple). Well made and would carry you well into a developing experience as a flute player.

Forbes are also very well made. My personal experience is that the one I had just didn't fit my hands well. (My hands are, well, "experienced" with some of the changes that years can bring. This may not apply to you.) The Forbes played nicely in tune and, again, was affordable.

Walt Sweet's Shannon model is also nicely made and well in tune. And, if I recall, is the lowest cost of the delrin models.

All that being said, my current delrin instrument is by Francois Baubet. I like the tone and feel and it fits my hands comfortably.

However, you may find that you experiment with a number of flutes over time to find "yours". That's not a bad thing and something that many of us here have gone through. And it helps stock the Used Instruments Exchange Forum. What works for one player doesn't necessarily work for all.

Just some thoughts.

Steve

_________________
"Do not resent growing old. Many are denied the privilege."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 1011
Dan A. wrote:
PB+J wrote:
If you had kids the kids would have to work really hard to damage them.

I don't have kids, so no worries in that regard. A cat-resistant case (as I believe nothing is cat-proof to a sufficiently determined cat) would be all I'd need!

Thanks to all for the replies!

To clarify, the larger flute is what I'm thinking about here. With that clarification made, it also brings up more questions. Those larger flutes may well require the piper's grip; is there a way (i.e. glove size or measuring my hand) to better gauge if I will need to use it?

I have looked into both Forbes and Copley flutes. Forbes charges a small fee for left-handed embouchure, while Copley offers that feature at no additional charge. I've also run across Doug Tipple flutes, but know next to nothing about them. If anyone has experience with them, I'd be interested to hear it. As I find my Dixon whistle to be superb, I would consider a flute from him. Would one of his low D whistle/flute duo sets work okay, or am I better off with an instrument designed solely as a flute?


I bought one of the Dixon flute/whistle duos and did not like it at all. As a flute I found it very hard to play, very limited in the timbres it can produce, and weak sounding. i just picked it up--It's unpleasant to play: it won't do anything I want it to do. It can only make a sort of bland sound. I dunno, possibly a better layer than me could make it sing like a bird, but I really dislike it. It was in the trash bin a month ago and I pulled it out at the least minute, thinking "well maybe it's just me--I'll try it again." It's still terrible. It could be just me, but I can play other flutes and have it be a pleasent and musical experience.

Doug Tipple makes an inexpensive cylindrical bore flutes out of PVC pipe. He generously shares informtation about how to do it. His flutes get good reviews--I've never tried one


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 926
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Quote:
As I find my Dixon whistle to be superb, I would consider a flute from him. Would one of his low D whistle/flute duo sets work okay, or am I better off with an instrument designed solely as a flute?


I think when you go down in key it is more difficult to produce good tone, & whilst I really like my Duos, (they are really good for what they are), I'd hesitate from buying a combo low 'D', (I could well be wrong, but my 'A' hasn't as strong a tone as my delrin low 'D' flutes, & I don't mean because of its key, it just isn't as full sounding). I'd suggest a single purpose flute in the lower keys.

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:26 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Detroit Metro
Steve Bliven wrote:
However, you may find that you experiment with a number of flutes over time to find "yours". That's not a bad thing and something that many of us here have gone through. And it helps stock the Used Instruments Exchange Forum. What works for one player doesn't necessarily work for all.

I feel that's part of being a musician, so having to try several flutes before finding "mine" doesn't worry me much. The handedness could be an issue if I decide to part with any flutes I may acquire, though. Considering that even the most basic Copley flute would run three times what I've paid for a recorder and six whistles, experimentation in finding just the right flute could get expensive. I would also like to find something that I won't feel I've outgrown after three months. Therefore, I am going to great lengths to do some due diligence.

I'll keep the Dixon duo set in mind as an option, primarily because I want to eventually acquire a low D whistle...but I'll consider it as less than ideal. A Copley seems like a pretty safe bet.

Meanwhile, I have sent the local Irish music association an e-mail enquiry about taking lessons locally.

Thanks again to all for the advice, information, and insight!

_________________
I seem to have a mild to moderate case of WhOAD!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:06 pm
Posts: 626
Dan A. wrote:
L

Taking up the flute would also be contingent on finding a good teacher; my efforts in self-teaching the whistle probably weren't the best. There is an Irish music association in my area, and though I'm not sure how badly that group has been impacted by the pandemic, I'll see if they can help in that regard. In the event that I'm unable to find a teacher in the atea, is taking lessons using Skype or similar such a worthwhile method of learning?
!


With Covid and flutes online may be the safest, given that breath is blown from both the teacher and the student throughout the lesson. Since many gigs have been canceled for pros all over the world, many who didn't have time to give lessons are now teaching online.

Start a thread asking specifically for recommendations for teachers.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Detroit Metro
busterbill wrote:
With Covid and flutes online may be the safest, given that breath is blown from both the teacher and the student throughout the lesson.

You are correct. Whether online lessons are a good option may be a moot point, as they could be the only option for a while.

Edit: I may well have found a teacher. We're going to do a trial of a whistle lesson on Wednesday of next week. Should that go well, I will contemplate putting a deposit on a new flute.

_________________
I seem to have a mild to moderate case of WhOAD!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 16939
I don't think anyone will stop with the Tipple flute--I've owned several.
There is, IMO, a quantum leap to the level of delrin flutes by good makers,
as these are virtually of professional quality and will serve for a long time.
I've played a number of them, and my main busking flute is a bottom of the
line, ringless, Copley, which is a pretty impressive flute. I've played the Forbes
enough to want to play it more, and the Somers is also good, IMO. A lot of people
spend money on instruments they will need to replace soonish, and my thought is
to start at the cheapist solidly good flute available. I continue to prefer the sound of wood
but if the apocalypse comes and I'm left with the Copley delrin, it will be good enough.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google and 6 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 : 0.114s | 12 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)