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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 7:50 pm 
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greenspiderweb wrote:
I was using the 3 point hold-the two thumbs opposing each other on either side of the flute, and the chin as the contact points. My thumbs would get tired of the pressure after not a long time, even when I relaxed consciously.

first, i am completely in agreement w/ "do what's comfortable and works for you". it is possible though, to execute piper's grip without undue pressure by positioning the thumbs so that they support the flute underneath at an angle instead of gripping the flute from the sides. the only pressure this way is the weight of the flute itself, which is minimal.

here's a pic:

Image

note that none of the fingers other than the thumbs are on the flute. while this is a bit wobbly at first, it feels quite natural after a time and encourages an easy, gentle touch when closing toneholes. any wobble can be eliminated by lightly touching the right hand pinky to the flute (or Eb key), though this isn't absolutely necessary. it does help to have a flute with a left/right body joint so you can angle the hands independantly.

fwiw /dan


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:22 pm 
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Hey Dan,

Thanks for the great picture, it shows exactly what you're talking about! I tried it, and seems to be less stress, you're right, but it still doesn't work as well for me.

Every time I shift back over to the standard grip up top, and keep the piper's below, it just sets it up for me, and I don't fumble at all with the embouchure, and there's even less stress on MY hands/wrists. So, for now, I think I've found that magic groove for me.

The only place I feel restricted with this grip is the index finger on the top hole, with a little less freedom of movement than in piper's, because the flute is resting on the base of that finger, but I figure that it should feel more natural with practice.

I can't wait to try it tomorrow when everyone is away at work and see if I still can play full throttle as easily as I can play quietly now.

So, thanks for the input, and who knows, after I have played awhile, I might find full piper's to be better for me, but for now, I will keep what seems to work the best. Up until tonight, my progress was minimal, and now I feel I have made the leap across the chasm!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:38 pm 
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greenspiderweb wrote:
... for now, I will keep what seems to work the best. Up until tonight, my progress was minimal, and now I feel I have made the leap across the chasm!

very cool Barry! i'm glad you've found what is working for you. go with that feeling of *rightness*.

enjoy! /dan


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:02 pm 
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Curious: Can one use this grip on a
keyed flute with a Bb key? The question was raised in
the post that started this thread.

Looking at that post, by the way,
my impression is that this question was never
answered:

My first question is: does the left thumb play little or no role in stabilizing the flute? The flute has a tendency to roll towards me, even though I angle my wrist so that the base of right index finger is almost flat. And if I push with my lips, after a while, my lips feel like they're being crushed and start to cramp up.

The answer is that the left thumb indeed plays little or no
role in stabilizing the flute in standard grip. You can take it off the
flute, if you want.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:16 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
Curious: Can one use this grip on a
keyed flute with a Bb key?

which "this grip"? if my flavor of piper's, i'm keyless & clueless, really. from what i've read, no. that's a clear requirement for some folks, i know.

enjoy! /dan


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 12:37 am 
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bang wrote:

Image

note that none of the fingers other than the thumbs are on the flute.
fwiw /dan


Bang, I notice that you were fortunate to get one of those fine flute beards! Very nice!

I balance the flute between the joint of the left index finger (pushes in), my chin (pushes out, and it's not my lip, but right under it), and the thumb of the right hand (pushes out). It's good in that the flute doesn't roll around and it's comfortable. I don't have pain in my thumb, which I did before adopting this method. The left fingers are sideways in Rockstro style.

The thumb on the right does not grip, either--it just stays straight with the tip pushing against the flute body. The fingers are straight on.

That's on a CB ergonomic Rudall. With a cylindrical bamboo, I have to use piper grip on the right with the whole hand angled. Still, there are those three points that keep the balance.

Finding those three points and getting them to work together was the key for me. I haven't had hand pain since and the flute is stable.

I'd like to say this is exactly like Grey Larsen's recommendation, but if I went back and looked at the book I'm sure I'll find that I'm not following it in some respect.

Take this with a grain of salt . . . it's not like I can play the thing.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 1:00 am 
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Peggy wrote:
Bang, I notice that you were fortunate to get one of those fine flute beards! Very nice!

nah! i'm afraid it's just one of those cheap imported copies. :-P

interesting that both grip styles have essentially three points of support.

enjoy! /dan


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:12 am 
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Right, so Piper's Grip, left hand, appears to mean
that one may one day have to relearn the
fundamentals in order to play
a keyed flute--I promise you it's worth avoiding. I do think
there's something to be said for from the beginning
learning to hold the flute in a way that will
let you progress farthest and give you the
most options.

I certainly don't think that people should use
what hurts and doesn't work for them!
At the same time, though, I'm a bit concerned that the
advice to newbies 'Do what doesn't hurt
and works for you' may cost them trouble later.

The flute position that may be best for you
and enable you to progress farthest
may be quite awkward initially. I know
that left hand position on standard grip
seemed virtually impossible for me
when I began to play flute--it took a long time
for me to get used to it. I'm glad I have it.

I think Grey is giving good advice in his book,
and there is something to be said in favor
of adopting his position--
probably most newbies can
do this. And yes, he means standard grip for
both hands (see earlier posts of mine
in this thread).

I add my opinion from
another thread: for newbies,
if you can find a good teacher of wooden
flutes, a single lesson at the beginning can
save you time and trouble
later. These are pretty cheap, in my experience,
and worth going a distance to find.

Best to all, Jim


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 4:33 pm 
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What an interesting discussion! Well, on more careful reading of Grey's description of normal grip, the left thumb is supposed to provide a slight amount of pressure for stability to oppose the force of the left fingers on the tone holes. I don't recall Grey saying that one of the balance points is the chin in the normal/standard grip, so much as the lower lip. I will recheck this.

I find that sealing the tone holes in normal grip is difficult. I cannot get the same volume from the flute as I do with piper's grip (eg, with my left thumb under the flute), and sometimes all I get to sound is an airy wind - no note at all. Perhaps it is because the beveled edges on the Folk Flute's tone holes require more pressure with my type of fingers? All I know is that as soon as I switch back to piper's grip, the sound comes back.

Maybe I would do better with a polymer flute too. I seem to have to swab the insides of my mopane flute every other tune. I hear that polymer flutes don't care about moisture buildup.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 5:53 pm 
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Re: so-called piper's grip and Bb:

XOXXXX (1st register)

XOXOXX (2nd register)

Both are strong and clear on my flute. I cross-finger the Cnat, too. As for using the other keys, no impediment.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:42 pm 
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Sometimes terrific ideas pop into my head, just like that. I was walking through the produce section of Walmart this afternoon, admiring all of the lovely vegetables (turnips are my favorite), when the idea came to me. I have heard that there are idea thieves, lurking on various boards, trying to come away with ideas that their underground manufacturing facilities can have on the mass market in weeks, if not days. So I am only going to reveal part of the vision that came to me.

You probably have seen joggers wearing weights around their ankles. Right? This practice develops muscles in the legs, so that when you take off the ankle weights, it feels like you are walking on air. Well, why not have little weighted pads that you could attach to the back of your fingers when you are practicing the flute? I think that lead fishing line shot would work for the weights. The deluxe pads would attach with velcro, but there could also be budget models that attach with masking tape. Then when somebody important asked you to perform the reel at dance tempo, you could take off the pads and really go to town. Well, what do you think?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 6:55 pm 
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Clip-on teensy buckets that dangle below the flute's end to catch the condensate runoff.

That's what I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:43 pm 
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The teensy bucket idea is not bad either, but it still would require venture capital to get it off the ground, in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 7:54 pm 
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oleorezinator wrote:
Never teach pigs to sing"


Why not oleorezinator?

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~Aristotle


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 8:20 pm 
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Dragon wrote:
oleorezinator wrote:
Never teach pigs to sing"


Why not oleorezinator?
why not what?

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Knowledge is not wisdom.
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Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love.
Love is not music. Music is the best.
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