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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2001 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
As I was blowing bubbles with my daughter this evening it struck me that the mouth shape that I was using might be a good 'first blow form' for the beginner. Tightened up a bit it works into a nice embouchure. I'm always looking for new (or at least better) ways to explain mouth position to beginners. What do you think - is this one?

Erik


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2001 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2001 6:00 pm
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Location: Kansas City
Thank You Erick, it's a really good way to look at it. It works, on this Yamaha fife that came in the mail today. That things crazy. It has eight holes like a recorder. The one on the end isn't even lined up with the others. At first I picked it up, and swung it to my left and started playing. But my pinky sure didn't like traching around the thing. So I put it on the other side.

This gets my right wrist (the Mouse hand) sore.

Does any one know why the Military used to isue theese things to their troops?

jeff


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:18 am 
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It was a plot by the opposing army. They simply wrote a fake requisition order and bammo! no one could fire their weapon because their hands were too sore. Though it did have the unexpected effect of focussing the troops' thoughts on their military mission (their lips were to sore to think about kissing).

:wink: Erik


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2001 10:59 pm 
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That explains it, then evil drill sergents got ahold of it. And used it to torture recruits, in between pushups.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2001 11:41 pm 
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Location: Canberra, Australia
I've got one of the Yamaha fifes ... and they differ from "military fifes" quite a bit. Firstly they have an odd moulded lip plate which is meant to encourage a good embouchure. Secondly, they have holes (almost) the same as those on a recorder.

This (a) makes it easier for recorder players to use the Yamaha fife (and vice versa), and (b) makes the instrument more or less chromatic.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Champ on 2001-10-29 00:41 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2001 7:43 pm 
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someday I'll have to look at a military fife.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2001 10:08 pm 
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I have often wondered why nobody ever recommends to those who are interested in learning the simple flute but don't have half a grand or more to spend to indulge their yen, to buy a fife. That's how most of the Irish fluters got their start, including James Galway, who may consider himself a flautist since he started playing "serious" stuff on a golden Boehm system instrument.
(The key question is, does Galway now drink Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc or Guinness and Harp?)

You can buy what is arguably the world's greatest fife for $175 from Skip Healy. Don't confuse it with the usual military fife that has a first octave you can't hear across the room. Rather think of it as a small Irish flute, but one that will play 3 octaves stongly. (Try that on your Olwells!) It not only will fit in your pocket, but comes in two pieces for those with even more limited storage facilities! And you can play it in your car while stuck in traffic jams.

People say a fife is too loud to play indoors. Skip's fifes are the loudest there are, but with practice you can also play it very, softly. Does wonders for you embouchure and the development of lip muscles.

Skip and some other flute makers also make "D" fifes (they call them piccolos) that you can play instead of a D whistle in sessions. No problem with blasting your way through the noise of the squeeze boxes and fiddles! (If you screw, you can't hide behind the general cacophony, though.) Hammy Hamilton, who makes piccolos, says (on his website)that they used to be played quite commonly in Irish music, and that they now only await discovery.

So don't follow the herd, be a pioneer. Play a piccolo! For a few extra bucks, you can get a 10 hole Healy that is fully chromatic, and no fiddley keys and leaky pads to worry about. Try that on a whistle!


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