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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:57 pm 
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Hi All. While I'm waiting for enough cash to get me my Tony Dixon 3 piece, I've been playing around with blowing at the the Low whistle transversely. I sealed (temporarily) the bottom end of my low whistle, and blowed through the bottom fingerhole while covering some of the remaining fingerholes. I can get a note now and then. Is this a valid way of practising embouchure without a flute?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2001 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 6:00 pm
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Location: Boston, MA.
No.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2001 1:51 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Yes.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2001 2:16 am 
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He He He...

I guess that I'll put some meat to my answer. I'd say that this is particularly true if you have a very thick walled whistle. I just tried it on several and it does work. I can imagine that it could be a good lip strengthening exercise.

Here are the cautions, however: While the approximate shape works, my experiment resulted in a form (in order to get them to play) that blew too much across the holes. In otherwords, my lips were aimed higher than on the flute. So I think that you will end up have to make adjustments to play properly on a flute... and any bad habits that you develop may be difficult to remove (or detect).

In reality there isn't much of a difference between a hole (in a thick piece of PVC, for example) for the fingers and one for the lips. Typically the embouchure is oval or a rounded square with an undercut - most finger holes are simply round with no undercut (at least in the transverse direction - they will often be undercut along the axial direction).

So... have fun experimenting... but be careful. And don't run with scissors!

Peace,
Erik


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2001 5:51 am 
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So what Erik really means is...No.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:24 am 
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Yes.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:28 am 
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Hee hee!

:smile:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2001 2:48 am 
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If you are interested in learning to play the flute, and don't yet have a flute, I think the best bet would be to get a Yamaha fife, rather than tranforming a low whistle! The yamaha fife costs about $8.00 in Singapore, and is available at Yamaha dealers all over the world(Music Plaza in Singapore). Its not a great fife, but is cheap and is a traverse flute! (I keep one in the car) The tuning is closer to a recorder than a whistle, but some simple hacking with a drill can retune the f natural to an f#, and it becomes a quasi simple system flute.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2001 9:26 am 
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On 2001-11-02 03:48, michaelS wrote:
If you are interested in learning to play the flute, and don't yet have a flute, I think the best bet would be to get a Yamaha fife, rather than tranforming a low whistle!


Hmmm... Personally, I'd say, save your milk money and get the flute sooner.

If you've never played flute, starting with a fife or a piccolo might end up being a case in frustration, since it does require more air to play and much more practice to get a decent tone. I own the yamaha fife, and although it's not a bad $10 fife... it is a $10 fife.

My 2 cents,
Frank


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2001 11:12 pm 
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Wow Mike, I didn't know that there were more Singaporean C&Fers on the board! I'll have to get in touch with you most definitely!

Okay, I won't do the low whistle thing, and probably not the fife thing. I might be able to borrow a metal Boehm flute. Is that a valid way of training for woodfluting?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2001 5:25 pm 
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Some don't think so (that training for wooden fluting using a Boehm initially is a good idea) but it worked for me.

I worked on a Boehm flute for about 2-3 months, focussing first on the low range, then the high. I hadn't played flute at all before then, though I had played low brass instruments 20 yrs ago, so maybe I had some idea on mouth muscle control, though my embouchure certainly was not in any kind of shape.

I played a few tunes here and there on the Boehm (not too many - I didn't want to imprint the different fingering, and lots of tunes on my Howard Low Whistle, and I got to the point (on the flute) where I could belt out the lower octave, and I had varying results on the 2nd octave: more often not-so-great. Then I got an M&E flute. The low octave ability was immediately transferable, and if anything, it was easier to belt out the low notes. The high octave was .. not more difficult, I think, just different. I adjusted fairly quickly and now can do a fairly clean 2nd octave with just a quick warm-up, sort of to remind my mouth how to do it. And now I'm playing my tunes on flute pretty much exclusively.

So I recommend that approach. Just remember that the wood flute will be different, once you get it, but by then your mouth muscles will be more toned and sensitized to the point where you should be able to adjust easily. Also, make sure you have a clear idea of the sound you want to achieve and constantly work for that.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2001 3:49 am 
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I agree with Jomac above. The Boem flute is a viable alternative. I played the Boem flute for 26 years before I got my lips on a simple system wooden one. The lip skills and embrochure are transferable. I found that I tended to blow somewhat flat and that I have had to make some rotational adjustments to get in tune. As for the different fingerings, I don't find it a problem. They are so similar that playing the Boem flute I think actually helped me play a decent whistle much sooner. You know, student grade Boem flutes can be rented at VERY reasonable rates. Ask at any music store that supplies instruments to school kids.

Clark


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