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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:30 am 
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Hi,
I just received a new 6 keyed pratten style corpus form Geert Lejeune. I already have a keyless corpus that I will now send back to him. Mr Lejeune also sent me another headjoint with a little bite more oval and bigger embrochure so that I can test wich one I like more: My older a little bit more elliptical or the new more oval embrochure. However, the difference from an optical and acoustical standpoint is really small, at least for now during the first days with the new headjoint.

Geerts pratten style flutes have a really big and reedy loud sound. I think it is very easy to get a sound like Matt Molloy or Shannon Heaton with this flute...but this is probably a very subjective statement :D From all flutes I got my hands on at various occasions I would say that my Lejeune flute is loudest with the fattest sound...but yeah I know, is makes a huge difference how well you know flute! Therefore please take this statement with a grain of salt ;)
I really like that big sound and since I have this flute I never felt like I couldn't "cut trough" even in the noisiest sessions. In small circles I even notice that I might overpower other musicians...with my old small bored M&E flute this was a bit different. Nothing against M&E flutes, they are excellent for what they are, very affordable keyed flutes that play easily - perfect for a beginner! I think a beginner on a Pratten flute might encounter a few more problems with the required embrochure and amount of air.

However back to my original topic :D while testing both headjoints I thought that it could be nice to have a second not so loud headjoint that produces a more focused sound like Chris Norman or (to some lesser extent) Kevin Crawford have or that even goes even further in the direction of baroque flutes? I am aware that the player is a huge factor, but I notice that it is easier to sound a bit more like Kevin Crawford on my small bored M&E flute. But because the headjoints of both flutes are not interchangeable I can't evaluate to what extent the bore or the flutes or the headjount make this difference.

Do you think it is possible to get a a really focused and quieter sound out of a Pratten flute with another head joint? How big is the difference? Can you even make a pratten style flute sound more like a baroque flute?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:02 am 
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While you can't put a headjoint on a body that is too large for it, you can experiment with a headjoint on a slightly smaller body if you wrap the tenon with plumbers tape. This is a teflon tape that is usually white or occasionally blue that has no glue on it at all. Coated with or impregnated with teflon it is not going to stick on your cork or thread. So you can get half of your experiment done.

If you want to try to contact Kevin Crawford you can friend him on Facebook. He is quite likely to respond. The same would go for Shannon Heaton, who has a lot of experience with both her Olwell and Boehm flutes. Neither of these folks do much baroque but I think they would have an idea of what you mean.

There are a few folks on this site who do play baroque music so perhaps someone will be able to answer that question specifically.

I play a R&R style Wilkes and sometimes use an Olwell headjoint as well as a headjoint made by Jon Cornia with what he called the Wallis embouchure cut. I would describe that as being a smaller rounder oval than many modern flutes. Each headjoint makes the flute sound very different to my ears. And occasionally some have asked if I had a different flute.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:09 am 
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Suggest you play the flute as is, without trying a new head joint, at least for starters.
It often takes a long time to find out what a flute really sounds like, doubly so if
it is making new demands. Your embouchure will improve naturally with practice
and you will slowly 'discover' your flute's sound. As the saying goes,
'The best sounding flute in the world is the one you play two hours a day.' When
I get a flute from a good maker and I can't play it or get the sound I want, I assume
the problem is (the part of the instrument that is) me, my mouth, lips, breath are part
of the instrument and, I improve THAT part of the instrument well before I alter the
instrument proper. Recommend you love the one you're with, give it a couple of months.
Probably it has something important to teach you
.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:29 am 
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Location: Bischberg/Bavaria/Germany
Another person who comes to mind who could probably answer that question is Blayne Chastain from https://www.irishflutestore.com/. AFAIK he played baroque flute before playing "irish" flute.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:36 pm
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Thanks for the suggestions so far!


I have been playing the Lejeune headjoint (with a keyless corpus of the same maker) for nearly 2 years, Irish flute for 5 years and played Boehm flute before, therefore I think I know to what extent I can produce difference sounds with my current setup. My questions is more how much a different headjoint can influence the sound of one flute. I also can't interchange my M&E and Lejeune headjoint / bodies because of various length of the headjoints and diameters .

Maybe I went too far suggesting a baroque flute sound :D So let me phrase it differently: Do you think another headjoint could produce the sound you typically associate with smaller bored / smaller hole flutes?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:30 pm 
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Blayne was (is) a serious guitar player before he fell in love with Irish music. He has extensive experience with a HUGE number of different flutes, which surely provides some insight. I've noticed that he can take any flute, from an antique American to a big pratten and get a powerful sound from it.

Chris Norman is famous for his smaller-holed Rudall, and as we can hear he plays very expressively, but seldom with a reedy or buzzy tone. I'll bet he could if he wanted to, though. He came from a serious lifetime of flute study. We older players might not have the past life, but we do still have a lifetime ahead of us to learn. I got to play a Chris Norman flute briefly. I felt the embouchure was flexible or malleable in terms of tone.

Meanwhile, from my more intermediate experience... I am finally reaching the point where I have more control to evoke different tonal qualities.

On my medium hole R&R flute, it loves being played sweetly and pure. It is also easy to play it buzzy and reedy, or breathy-windy depending on how I shape and push. I feel its design and embouchure permit a lot of malleability.

My modern embouchure large-holed R&R style flute simply plays a lot louder. I can push it a lot more with the tone staying sweet (well dark-sweet). In other words it isn't as easy to get a reedy tone, but I'm pretty sure I just haven't worked with it much in that direction.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:32 am 
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I'm with the others -- put some conscious effort into getting that sound from your current head joint.

One thing I've found from playing baroque flute is that that sweet sound that's desirable doesn't just come out of the flute, it's made consciously. The best I can describe it is that it's in the shape of the mouth (not the lips as much as the stuff behind them). I feel like I kind of move my tongue back and downwards. Of course, I'm not moving nearly as much air either.

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