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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:55 am 
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Hi there,
I am new to this forum after I rediscovered my Boehm flute and a few tin whistles I had laying around for more or less 20 years during last summer. I have begun to playing regularly and really got into ITM over the past months. I love reading this forum and also ordered a new M&E flute, which, has been in transit for weeks since mail apparently takes quite a lot of time to leave Ireland these days.

In the meantime I am playing tunes on my Boehm flute, trying to leave behind my classical training, or at least trying to experiment with alternative approaches to intonation and articulation. For instance, I was trained to carefully tongue every single note, even the fast ones, but this is not the case with ITM playing as I understand it.

So are there any tips or ideas which helped the Boehm players here to adapt their style of playing in a way that is more suited to playing ITM? I know, in the end it comes down to a lot of practice, but I am certain there will be lots of different kinds of experience and suggestions among the people over here.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:42 am 
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Location: London
Hi, there are a couple of people doing nice things with Trad on boehm system - Joannie Madden, Lucie Perier more recently, and historically I’m sure someone else can fill in some names.
I wrote a book a couple of years ago “Irish Music on the Silver Flute” which is available from my website or amazon. And some of the Irish flute books touch on silver flute like Grey Larsens great book. If you check out my YouTube (Philippe Barnes) for some examples, I’m planning to put up lots more and some technique explanations too.
There are some great resources online for learning wooden flute/irish tunes but my main recommendation would be to find a good teacher even if it’s only for a couple of guidance lessons to set you on the right path. I do offer online lessons, but you have a sea of great options at the moment as most musicians have started offering online tuition - for instance John McSherry has a great patreon for Low Whistle/Pipes and essentially you can adapt any of the techniques for the silver flute :-) philippe


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:56 am 
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It's probably helpful that you will have an appropriate instrument to fit the music, and this will allow you to transition more easily by providing some separation as you explore the differences in technique. Of course there are some very fine players of ITM on Boehm instruments as well (Joanie Madden, Sharon Creasey, Noel Rice, Billy Clifford, Sean Moloney).

Here are some of the typical differences from most classical Boehm playing: 1) direction of the airstream; generally more down into the embouchure hole; 2) little or no tonguing; preference to glottal stops & finger articulation {cuts, taps, rolls}; 3) little or no throat vibrato; usually accomplished through finger articulation; 4) often little to no volume dynamics; 5) differing opportunities for breathing spots; dropping notes; 6) repertoire. You can certainly accomplish these on either style of flute, Boehm or simple-system.

There are great tutorials on playing from Fintan Vallely, Conal O'Grada, Grey Larsen, etc.

Lot of tutorials on YouTube, especially Shannon Heaton's.

Of course, as Philippe has mentioned, many artists, including himself, are offering online tutorials.

A quick tout of the Wooden Flute Obsession CDs for listening to some of those techniques & repertoire (link in my signature) as performed by 120 flute players.

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Wooden Flute Obsession CDs (3 volumes, 6 discs, 7 hours, 120 players/tracks)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:15 am 
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There was this thread, naming a shed load of Boehm players to seek out for listening.

I would suggest to listen to a lot of traditional music and just play it as you hear it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:29 am 
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Shannon Heaton in Boston teaches with a lot of attention to people who come to ITM with a classical (i.e. silver) flute background.

https://shannonheatonmusic.com


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:45 pm
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Aww, thanks so much to everyone who replied. Obviously listening is key, and I learned a few new names to check out for sure. Also, thanks for pointing out the importance of lessons; I'll have a look into this, too over the next months.


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