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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2001 3:03 pm 
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I've just recieved my High D Dixon Duo . . it is a thing of beauty, and I'm pleased with the whistle. However, I've never played a piccolo or flute before but I'm eager to learn. I've been blowing and blowing at different angles and all I get is a hollow bottle sound(I did get a note or two, but they soon vanished . . . and then I couldn't recreate them). Obviously, it's me, not the instrument. I'd keep blowing away(I'm terrible detremained) but I don't know if trial and error will really help. And I'm on the verge of passing out.
Any advise on how I should blow? Any exercises that help?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2001 3:40 pm 
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i see what you did there
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2001 6:00 pm
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For what it's worth, it's usually a few years of fluting before one moves to piccolo. You wanted that low-D combo, didn't you? :smile:

Other than that, the best bet would be to go see a flute teacher if only for one or two lessons, just to get the embouchure right from the beginning -- it's hard to fix later.
<ul>-Rich</ul>


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2001 2:01 pm 
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I agree with what Rich said about getting a teacher. One piece of advice that I would give would be to NOT play it like a pop bottle (ie. with your upper lip extended out trying to blow into the hole). Instead, try this:

Without the flute at your lips, pucker up like you're about to kiss your grandmother. Now soften the kiss a little and make a quiet 'p' sound as in the word, "Pop". Quickly repeat the sound about 10 times.

The last time, make the 'p' sound followed by exhaling an entire breath. 'p......................'. The stream of air should be tight and without a lot of hissing air noise and no sound from your throat. The shape and feel of your lips on that last puff is approximately how your lips should be positioned on the flute.

Now take the flute and kiss the hole. Then roll the flute down until it rests under your lower lip. DON'T stick your upper lip out trying to reach for the hole! Try the above technique again.

If you look in a mirror the opening in you lips should be less than a centimeter wide about a millimeter tall and centered on your mouth.

Hope this helps. Peace,
Erik

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ErikT on 2001-07-18 15:46 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2001 3:11 pm 
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Thanks for the advise. I'm sure it will help. And yes, I did want that low D combo(but alas, I'm stuck with a Susato). Can't justify any more spending!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2001 12:12 pm 
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Hi There:
Erik's advice was excellent. Wanted to add one further bit of advice. Keeping your right hand off the holes, and even most of the fingers on the left hand, will give you the best chance of holding the elusive tone. Long tones (simply holding the note) will get the muscle memory going, and build your breath at the same time. The other piece of encouragement I can give you is that making a sound on the flute is the hardest thing you will ever do on that instrument.
Best of luck!!
-Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2001 9:07 pm 
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Put the embouchure hole sticking straight up, stick out your tongue and find the opposite edge of the hole, retact your tongue and blow air towards the place where the tip of your tongue had been.

The sharp edge on the embouchure hole is just like the sharp edge of a whistle - the only difference is that you are the windway.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 9:00 am 
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I got my first notes out of a flute by pushing my lips forward just a bit (lips closed) and then just blowing enough that the air pushed my lips apart.

Don't start with all the holes closed like someone else has mentioned. You'll probably find it easiest with about the top two holes closed (to play A) to get the first tone out.

Long tones are a good thing. Do a lot of them.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 9:24 am 
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You may actually wish to take the headjoint off the flute and practice making it sound. Once you can get a pretty note from a lone headjoint, you should be well on your way.

You can make different sounds by closing off the head, sticking you finger in like a slide whistle, etc. without having to worry about sealing your fingers.

E


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 9:53 am 
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i see what you did there
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ErikT's point is a good one, except that I've just tried that with the piccolo head from the Dixon high-D duo, and it's not so easy. Not sure if it's because of backpressure or what.

(I still think starting to play flute on a piccolo is a sure recipe for frustration.)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2001 11:54 am 
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I have tried simply blowing into the piccolo head - can't get a sound out of it, but I now can play a few lower notes with the body attached.
Rich is right - I can't imagine this is a good instument to start with. Still, I LOVE my Tony Dixon whistle. It's the best whistle I own.
Perhaps I'll get that Low D combo later.

I'll have to practice with that piccolo head outside(or at least out of earshot of my conure. It drives her NUTS! Guess it's the tone. I'll have dogs coming for miles!)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2001 12:44 am 
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I'm a devoted piccolo player (mine's a Terry McGee). My advice it to whistle for a minute or two without the piccolo - just your lips. The piccolo embouchure is almost the same. When you're whistling nicely, pick up the piccolo and whistle into the mouthpiece, trying different angles. Obviously you don't really whistle into the mouthpiece when you play, but the embouchure is sufficiently similar that I think this will help you get started.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2001 8:47 am 
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I am beginning to suspect that talking about proper embrouchure just isn't going to cut it. There has been a lot of good advise given here. Maybe with a lot of trial and error, I will eventually get it right, but I am sure that having an experienced flutist actually observe and correct me as I attempt to play will be much more efficient and productive.

Thanks for all the good hints though.

Blaine

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2001 2:15 pm 
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WOOHOO! I tried Erik T's advice about "kissing" the embrochure and rolling the flute (Dixon Duo) backwards until a sound came out and it worked! I started with the head off the body and that simplified the process a lot. Now my problem is that I can only play for about 45 seconds before I almost pass out, but it sounds pretty nice while it lasts. Thanks for the advice guys!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2001 3:36 pm 
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about passing out . . . it took me about two years of persistent practice before I could play for about an hour without getting lightheaded. Over those two years I learned to use my diaphragm muscles rather than just exhaling heavily and my diaphragm muscles strengthened. Also, with practice the lips learn to channel the air much more efficiently against the far edge of the embouchure--just keep in mind not to tense the lips, only hold their shape. Everything I've learned I've read because there are no flute teachers within an hour's drive of here, and at times I've just reinvented the wheel--no wonder I got dizzy!


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