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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2001 6:02 am 
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Hey all! I hear very often that if one doesn't learn from a proper flautist at the begining, one can end up with very sticky bad habits. What are some of these? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2001 1:11 pm 
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Location: Kickin' it Braveheart style...
Well, one bad habit is not finding an instructor when everyone says you should... :smile: Just giving you a hard time...

Its always a very good idea to get an experienced player to try out your flute and make sure everything is OK mechanically, if you have any keys, make sure they don't leak, check the cork position, etc.

You would be best just concentrating on getting a good solid tone, try just holding a G or an A and get the clearest tone you can. Worst habit is proceeding too quickly, trying to dive right into tunes before you can get a good sound. I also use a CD I made of D, G, E, and A drones to practice getting the intonation right on my flute, found that very helpful.

Cheers and good luck with your flute,

Michael Eskin
http://www.michaeleskin.com


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2001 1:17 pm 
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I've never studied with a proper flautist, or any flautist at all, but I can think of a few:

1. Improper posture. There's a lot of other details, but for me the most important is to sit up straight and don't have the head bent forward.

2. Breath and support from the stomach (actually the diaphram).

3. Don't lift your fingers way above the holes. Use minimal motion.

4. If you do not have a teacher, you need a clear vision of how you want to sound, and work fanatically for that sound.

If I had an Irish Flute teacher, I'm sure he/she would want to work on my breathing and intonation.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2001 2:15 pm 
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I agree with the suggestions about habits posted by Jomac, and I'd add a few more:
1. keep the mouth, jaw, throat, and hands as relaxed as possible.
2. don't stop the air with the tongue, but learn to use the tongue lightly for articulation.
3. don't cover too much of the tone hole.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2001 8:53 pm 
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okay, I gotta ask:
What do you mean by "don't cover too much of the tone hole"?
I'm totally stumped on that one!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2001 12:54 am 
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David: What I meant by that is to avoid rolling the flute in too much as I've seen some beginners do when they don't have a good embouchure or breath control as a kind of compensation. Perhaps they don't really cover the opening with the lower lip as much as they let the upper lip hang over. Rolling the flute in can also flatten and muffle the tone, but it does make the upper notes come out with less wind support. I hope this makes sense.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 12:25 am 
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Yes it does, now that I realize you meant the embouchure, not the tone holes, which are for the fingers.
Okay. Yes, you are right that some tend to overcover the player-side of the embouchure (as opposed to the "audience side"). However, some flutes do actually require that more of the embouchure be covered, partly to get more of a downward blow to the outside (audience side) edge, particularly the Patent Heads of Rudall & Rose. That's to compensate for the double tube inside. Then the large embouchures of Pratten and Nicholson (more the former than the latter) also wanted that "reedy" tone which is gotten much better by covering embouchure and striking the outside edge harder.
Anyway, I'm off point. Now I understand what you meant. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 5:09 am 
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A bad flute playing habit is any technique you didn't learn in a conservatorium of music.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 9:47 am 
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Good point, Nick!
I'll remember to mention that to Matt Molloy, Eamon Cotter, Joanie Madden, Michael McGoldrick, Michael Flatley and Kevin Crawford next time I see them. And I'll be sure to email Colm O'Donnell and Colam O'Gradda about it after I put a sticky note on John McKenna's headstone.
I'm sorry, but that's just silly.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 10:38 am 
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I'm with David on this. I spent 10 years taking lessons on silver flute, did the whole competitive solo thing when I was younger. The technique I learned back then has been great help as I've transitioned to traditional Irish flute, but its taken me several years to unlearn much of what got hammered in to my head as a teen. I've heard several baroque recorder players who take up the whistle, show up in sessions beautifully tounging every note in a reel, classical flute players who can't control their automatic diaphramatic vibrato and use hard "T" tonguing, etc., all of which doesn't always fit well into the genere.

I think maybe I've been trolled....

:smile:

Michael


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 5:17 pm 
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Among the worst habits are chewing gum and eating potato chips while playing - especially a keyed flute. :smile:

Chris Roberts


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 5:59 pm 
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Now THAT I'll agree with!
Don't forget the worst habit of all:
Covering your tone holes and blowing through the flute in order to rid excess moisture (cute word for "spit") and point the open end over someone's session beer.
Very bad thing to do, especially if the beer belongs to a rather large accordion or bodhran player.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:51 pm 
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My all time favorite bad habit... forgetting that you are playing a flute and not a whistle, then in the middle of a session trying to quickly suck the spit out of the non-existent fipple when you are getting a muddy tone, end up choking and coughing...

Anyone else done that?

Cheers,

Michael


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2001 12:17 am 
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Thankfully, no. :smile:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2001 5:19 am 
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On 2001-11-23 10:47, David Migoya wrote:
Good point, Nick!
I'll remember to mention that to Matt Molloy, Eamon Cotter, Joanie Madden, Michael McGoldrick, Michael Flatley and Kevin Crawford next time I see them.


Actually I've spent most of my playing life being informed of my bad playing habits by
conservatorium trained musicians. They just don't seem to get the point..


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