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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:26 pm 
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If you blow out the moisture, any change? If so, keep doing that. You can oil the bore (yes, I know it's Delrin - recommendation by Desi Seery).

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:30 pm 
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Conical bore wrote:
My $.02... When you're just starting out, or even a few years down the road from there, it's important to understand the difference between your flute sounding "muffled" or "veiled" due to condensation built up inside the bore, and a muffled or veiled sound because your embouchure muscles are getting tired. They can both happen around the same time during a practice session, when you're still relatively new to the flute.

I always get my best "hard" and Irish clear tone from the flute when I first pick it up every day and play for the first half hour or so. Sometimes that lasts for hours on a good day. Other days it goes away until I blow out the flute (moisture build up) or take a rest (embouchure muscles). I suspect it's mainly a question of embouchure development, because at least that's something I can keep working on!

This is exactly whats going on " I called it dampening , but it just may be my embouchure

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:09 pm 
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cavefish wrote:
well how does one tell

If it's moisture build-up in the flute bore, then blowing it out immediately improves the tone.* If it's a tired embouchure that needs a rest, doing that won't improve the veiled sound. Wait a bit, and come back to it later.

* By "blowing it out" I mean closing all your fingers on the tone holes, with a hard blow to clear the flute barrel. And don't aim the flute at the session player next to you when doing that. :D


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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:52 pm 
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Conical bore wrote:
cavefish wrote:
well how does one tell

If it's moisture build-up in the flute bore, then blowing it out immediately improves the tone.* If it's a tired embouchure that needs a rest, doing that won't improve the veiled sound. Wait a bit, and come back to it later.

* By "blowing it out" I mean closing all your fingers on the tone holes, with a hard blow to clear the flute barrel. And don't aim the flute at the session player next to you when doing that. :D

yea i do that already , close the holes thats a no brainer,, i thought you meant something else by being muffled or veiled,, :D yea blowing it out didnt do anything , if i truly saw alot of condensation then this topic would have been "how do i quite spitting all over the place , lol i thought maybe delrin had wetting issues, because its delrin,,
but my embouchure wimps out on my wood flute too, :swear: , could be my lips were semi tight and directed a straight stream of air vs relaxed lips and a spread out air stream which in turn has a more forgiving flow over the blow hole---science :D aerodynamics 101,, i used to make some sweet NAF flutes and those aerodynamics i could manipulate many differrent ways,, the flute its all me, and hopefully the guy who made it did the hole right :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:31 am 
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busterbill wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Sedi wrote:
... the lips should be so relaxed while playing that they are basically kept open by the air-stream itself.

There! That's the description I was trying to find. Thanks, Sedi. :thumbsup:


That is partially true, but you need some tension or you won't have an airstream. The balance is the relaxation vs. tension sweet spot. It is a difficult concept to explain in words.


There is the dynamic and energy of air flow from the chest and diaphragm, sure. But my lips are relaxedly closed with zero tension and the push of my airstream makes the aperture. The set and position of lips onto the flute determine the direction of my airflow. That position is ‘home’ and kind’ve gets fixed in physical ‘memory’.

Again, with no tension, there is nothing to become ‘tired’. Other folks may set up differently but introducing lip tension just creates the potential for a ‘tired lips’ problem that doesn’t otherwise exist. Why invent an entirely unnecessary and counter-productive ‘point of failure’?

Tone may still be lost from a bunch of variables but that most likely stems from unintentionally slightly shifting from our optimal ‘home’ position i.e. physical inconsistency. The flute may shift, our contact points may shift, our arm or head/neck posture or shape may shift, and our breath control may go array. We need to be vigilant and aware and constantly monitor these physical variables as we play until they become instinctive. But stay relaxed.


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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:51 am 
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If we think about how tiny are the measurements involved between optimally directed airflow and airflow that doesn’t generate that big tone we can then see how tiny the physical shift can be to diminish our tone.

Millimetres.

And a shift of flute, grip and/or posture is a movement of a larger order than millimetres. For that reason it is so easy to physically cause airflow to shift away from optimal and not realise why the change in tone has occurred.


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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:02 pm 
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hey guys the great thing abouth this forum there is information beyond compare insights and such , for brothers and sisters finding a common bond , but as far as embouchure , in all honestly , is it safe to say it takes weeks months etc.

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:09 pm 
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cavefish wrote:
... could be my lips were semi tight and directed a straight stream of air vs relaxed lips and a spread out air stream which in turn has a more forgiving flow over the blow hole ...

I have some issues with this, and I'm not sure if it has to do with your application, or your perception of what's going on.

With the relaxed embouchure the air stream shouldn't be more spread out, but just as focused as with any tensed method; the difference is only in the effort. When the breath separates the lips in the relaxed method, the escape route should still be only so much as the size of a grain of rice or thereabouts (I think it was Fintan Vallely who used that analogy). BUT: that kind of control takes no special effort; as I said earlier, it amounts to nothing more than simple positioning, and much of the time you don't even really notice it. I'll agree that the sensation might lead one to believe that the air stream is more spread out, but if it actually were spread out, your tone (if any) would be terrible, and you would have no control.

It is not a matter of force, but simply just enough subtle dynamics to hold the lips' shape against the pressure of a breath. And that's not much at all; it feels like nothing. A very rough analogy would be your thumb over the end of a hose: the water pressure behind the thumb is unchanging and in that sense is a passive element; it is the thumb that creates a pressurizing influence, but no more than just enough is needed; tensing the thumb into rigidity adds nothing to the effect, and is fruitless.

cavefish wrote:
... as far as embouchure , in all honestly , is it safe to say it takes weeks months etc.

Be prepared for years. You may get lucky, but don't expect it. Even the best results are part of an evolving state. The only thing to do is play with it and remember that while force may get you results, it is not the only, and IMO not the best, answer.

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:34 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
cavefish wrote:
... could be my lips were semi tight and directed a straight stream of air vs relaxed lips and a spread out air stream which in turn has a more forgiving flow over the blow hole ...

I have some issues with this, and I'm not sure if it has to do with your application, or your perception of what's going on.

With the relaxed embouchure the air stream shouldn't be more spread out, but just as focused as with any tensed method; the difference is only in the effort. When the breath separates the lips in the relaxed method, the escape route should still be only so much as the size of a grain of rice or thereabouts (I think it was Fintan Vallely who used that analogy). BUT: that kind of control takes no special effort; as I said earlier, it amounts to nothing more than simple positioning, and much of the time you don't even really notice it. I'll agree that the sensation might lead one to believe that the air stream is more spread out, but if it actually were spread out, your tone (if any) would be terrible, and you would have no control.

It is not a matter of force, but simply just enough subtle dynamics to hold the lips' shape against the pressure of a breath. And that's not much at all; it feels like nothing. A very rough analogy would be your thumb over the end of a hose: the water pressure behind the thumb is unchanging and in that sense is a passive element; it is the thumb that creates a pressurizing influence, but no more than just enough is needed; tensing the thumb into rigidity adds nothing to the effect, and is fruitless.

cavefish wrote:
... as far as embouchure , in all honestly , is it safe to say it takes weeks months etc.

Be prepared for years. You may get lucky, but don't expect it. The only thing to do is play with it and remember that while force may get you results, it is not the only, and IMO not the best, answer.

ah nuts,, ok well nothing but time right, i see your point , yea spread airflow is not focused, just play and enjoy, -- someone mentioned the flute is counter intuitive i dont think so but , simply because music is in our human "make up" its part of life and the human condition, imagine if there was no music-- we would have detroyed ourselves long ago, music is a way "out' and calming effect, or for war--- it takes time and time takes imput , and impute is a key element in lifes acomplishments, i love music like most on here sooo we will see as time moves on :D

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:55 pm 
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cavefish wrote:
... someone mentioned the flute is counter intuitive ...

I think what is meant is that once you understand and can apply a relaxed embouchure, it is surprising how little effort and breath is needed for volume alone; normally one would assume that more volume means harder blowing, and less means less, but a good flute embouchure means hardly any volumetric breath variance at all, and that's definitely counterintuitive. This includes octave changes. It's more to do with how you focus the air stream, but without force. You have to play with it to find out what this means for you. Every embouchure's structurally different, but don't take that as an excuse to fall back on force as your only option; it's not.

mendipman wrote:
Again, with no tension, there is nothing to become ‘tired’. Other folks may set up differently but introducing lip tension just creates the potential for a ‘tired lips’ problem that doesn’t otherwise exist. Why invent an entirely unnecessary and counter-productive ‘point of failure’?

This is it in a nutshell, but it must be acknowledged that until the relaxed embouchure is fully grasped, there's probably going to be some inevitable tension and effort in the course of searching for it. All part of the learning curve, but of course it's to be hoped that less time will need to be spent on that front than I had to. And once you get it, in hindsight it all seems so obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:39 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
cavefish wrote:
... someone mentioned the flute is counter intuitive ...

I think what is meant is that once you understand and can apply a relaxed embouchure, it is surprising how little effort and breath is needed for volume alone; normally one would assume that more volume means harder blowing, and less means less, but a good flute embouchure means hardly any volumetric breath variance at all, and that's definitely counterintuitive.


Yes, this is what I meant :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:21 pm 
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Well, I guess I agree that embouchure is the main issue here. The wooden flute I play is boxwood, and to me it plays better and stronger once it has soaked up some dampness. There's a free video by the formidable Emmanuel Pahud on "Flute Position and Embouchure" (https://www.playwithapro.com/video/artist/emmanuel-pahud) in which he addresses much of what folks here are writing about. It's great; each time I watch it I get something out of it. I've been playing flute for almost 50 years now, but each day is a new, and happily, progressive experience with embouchure.


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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:56 am 
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I think some of these comments are slightly misleading, not intentionally. It takes muscular development: there's just no way around that.

yes relaxation is a goal in any instrument. If you were to watch me play the bass or the guitar, which I've been playing for 45 years, I would seem very relaxed and it would look effortless. But if course it took lots and lots of practice and the muscles that can easily and quickly play a Gmaj13 had to be developed, in addition to calluses. There was always muscle fatigue involved. and if I play a song on the upright bass and its a fast tune and really long by the end my technique will have deteriorated, because of muscle fatigue. But I'll go way longer than anybody here, because of years of development of the specific muscles required and years of learning how to do something with economy of effort.

So a beginner on the flute--me, about 1.5 years in--has to develop those muscles and develop them to the point where it doesn't feel like work anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 6:50 am 
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Another possibility is that it might be your fingering. You mentioned that you were struggling a little with the spread and hole size. It only takes a surprisingly small leak to muffle the sound of the flute. When you start noticing it I recommend that you switch to playing long tones and confirm that your fingers are covering the holes completely. In my limited experience most conical simple system flutes have strong, easy to play A and G notes. I'd try those first.

Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: flute dampening out
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:57 pm 
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cavefish wrote:
hey guys the great thing abouth this forum there is information beyond compare insights and such , for brothers and sisters finding a common bond , but as far as embouchure , in all honestly , is it safe to say it takes weeks months etc.


Hopefully you’re discovering a workable tone in months. From there on it’s helpful to think of your tone as a constant work in progress. It will improve but there’s no set timescale or ‘end point’. I like the use of the word ‘evolve’ above; because that’s what our sound does over time and with practice. That’s the creative exploration and journey we’re all on.


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