Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

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GreenWood
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Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

This thread is meant as a simple resource of basic ideas for those building or thinking of building wooden instruments. It is aimed particularly at method, simple method, for others to be able to go ahead and build a first, or first few instruments. It is not aimed at technical discussion, another thread could be started by anyone with that in mind maybe, or there exist technical forums elsewhere to that end. It is not aimed at design, though some freely available designs are, and may be, included. Any links must be to respectful public pages, and posting of design, or own measurement of design, of existing builders is prohibited, except with permission of maker. I had thought of making the topic wider, but I think it is best to stick to wood for reader facility, another thread could be started for particular instrument or material by anyone enthusiastic to do so I think. I include mostly my own experience, it is not nescessarily the best method of making flutes, but it is a simple approach that works for me to make reasonable instruments . There are a few presentations of drilling bores on the web, mostly not very complete, some questionable . Others are invited to share their method. Finally, learning a craft is a process that includes mistakes, it is likely some will find mistakes appearing in their work even following any recommendations to a T. That is how it is, and so we then learn and help others by making further recommendation or adding advice. We don't blame others unless they are clearly at fault, although pointing out difficulty or error with any approach is welcomed, as solutions are then searched for. My text is long, because I am walking anyone through what I know, with step by step information. For anyone without the time to read that, or just wanting an idea, just skip to the pictures :-) .

I won't nescessarily answer any questions if there are any posted, it has taken several days to put down in writing just about all I know so far, already. As the description has become longer than planned, I will post it as three chapters. The first on boring and shaping a cylindrical flute, the second on building a lathe, shaping a conical bore, and starting from green wood. The third on tone holes and finishing. Those next two I hope will be shorter than the first. Please remember though, I am just an amateur and have only been making flutes for a year.

Chapter 1 is in pdf from

https://ln4.sync.com/dl/0971f5750/mghwz ... j-5ubfvxww

And a link to the original article that provided many ideas is

https://web.archive.org/web/20210823031 ... 202068.pdf


I hope both links work.
BruceBlack
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Tell us something.: Beginner flute maker! Enjoying every step of the way. Started making transverse bamboo flutes. 25 years of guitar playing and went to luthier school for building them

Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by BruceBlack »

Thank you so much! Very nice handbook!

I love figuring it all out with experimenting, but this will be great for refference and solving problems. Very nice to read.

Thank you
GreenWood
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Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

Here is Ch. 2

I'm just going to post it and walk away from any screen for a while :-)

https://ln4.sync.com/dl/8ffed04f0/v3nxr ... 3-57jcqn2r

This is the included link to how pole lathes work.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i4roT7ohT7I
(An Introduction to Green Woodwork - Part 4: The Pole Lathe
Ben & Lois Orford)

Ahh...Sync file storage only allows me to publish three links at a time, so had to remove the previous scale mp3. Anyone who wants to host or share these files feel free. Ch. 3 will be a couple of weeks probably because have spent enough time on the computer for now.

Thanks Bruce :thumbsup:
GreenWood
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Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

Ch.3 is more verbal, and as I decided to just write down everything that came to mind as I was going along, it is very verbal. So I look at problems faced along the way, choices available in design and construction, as well as broader possibilities of making, playing or buying flutes. In short it compends my own experience and thoughts up to now, and hopefully it will keep anyone starting off making flutes company in some way.

As Sync only allows three public links for download, I have moved everything to pCloud as well. The three chapters will be left at Sync, but I include the new pCloud download links as well.

Ch.3

https://ln5.sync.com/dl/28704c090/ec529 ... x-gb6xa9z7

...............

Edit in : Seems like the below links don't work for some reason... will figure it out. Edit in 2... now it seems they do... shrug?

Ch.3

https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... K3BbgtyjsV

Ch.2

https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... PqVXcDdJRV

Ch.1

https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... EW2zEdm1OV


............


An extra idea is a way to lower the top first octave note by one. I get confused with notes, semitones and halfnotes... so I just call each stop in a chromatic scale a note :-) . This makes playing certain songs certain ways possible. Kiss the maid, Fourleaf Clover/ Hunter's Purse, Galway Bay so far. After I broke the first adjustor...adjuster (?) , I tried these songs by half holeing top note for a few months ... Four Leaf Clover was close (played after Catherine McEvoy) , Kiss the Maid (played after Bríd O'Gorman ) was awkward but near, and Galway Bay (played after Paddy Carty, and always in tribute to) I did not try after a few attempts. Much joy at making another finally, and I include a brief clip of first couple of bars of Galway Bay.... not to demonstrate own playing because I have much to practice to bring the whole song up to acceptable level, and this clip is both out in timing and poorly recorded on a mobile mic (eq. necessary for wind sound takes away some nice tone, a little reverb compensates some)... but just to show roughly what is possible playingwise this way.

I include the eq. and reverb as well as eq. only clips, in reality to me in a room with some resonance it sounds closer to with reverb and with better tone... but then it would :-) . Flute footnote is C#, renaissance style flute.


How to make this and clip links

https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... S05LzGhz8k
GreenWood
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Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

Making a drill bit and how to (and how not to) case harden steel.

It was a four hour walk to pick up some more steel rod to make a 12mm drill bit, a bore width that will fit on the lathe axle before further reaming... the walk was nice but it explains how many things happen at their own pace around here. I figured I might as well document step by step making of the drill bit, and the case hardening of it... so the rest is in the pdf linked below.



https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... 7M2pbInOrk
GreenWood
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Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

An approximate Rudall Rose design.

It is hard enough to find detailed plans of historic flutes. Over the past year I have read just about all I could find, and there are renaissance flute details by Puglisi available, some baroque flute details here and there, and one "Irish flute" very basic design on a bushcraft website which didn't give model of any kind. So apart from making a copy of an already modified copy of say a Rudall or Pratten, that if anyone has another flute of that style to study and doesn't mind straying further from original design (by incorporating small errors/changes between each copy), that leaves only one source I know of for plans of traditinal conical bore flutes, and that is Terry Mcgee. He offers detailed plans of original instruments for a very modest sum, or for people like me some basic parameters like bore profiles ... for free :-) on his site .

So to show to myself (if no-one else) that the steps I use to build a basic flute work, and to present a very basic design as close to a Rudall as possible (given the various limitations such as simple build or only using the most essential parameters of design available ) for anyone to start with (close and basic ... anyone looking to start understanding Rudalls in depth or expecting a near identical copy would do better to buy the plans), I pieced together details available at

http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/RR_fake.htm

made a few guesses for eq. slide extension needed to get near 440, simplified or rounded other details...to build a one piece Rudall style flute. A cleaning rod will still work on a one piece flute from the foot, but anyway wasn't it Rudall or Nicolson or someone of the time that recommended removing the stopper after each playing and cleaning from top... ha..haha..hahaha....

It ended up being roughly A 427 hz, because I wanted to keep close to tonehole size and not undercut too much...anyone building with a freer hand could take it to 440 hz I think...or possibly it would be there with the top cylinder not slightly oversized as this build ended up (@ 19.3 mm)... or with the embouchure moved south a few mm ...or by building in a tuning slide ... etc. It ended up being two pieces as well, that is explained in the essay linked below, which also contains the dimensions used.

The point of this build was not 440 hz, but to make a flute close to a Rudall to play by itself and learn on, and roughly around 440 hz.


If any important errors are found please say and I will rewrite .


https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... Ow4kj2fhzk


A short soundclip of the Rudall flute is below. I make no apology for the quality of it, it is from phone mic, after having played the flute for a couple of hours total, just picking it up and then playing a scale recording for one minute, no eq. etc., before finishing tuning, before refining flute embouchure etc. etc. It is just to show it is playable, and in tune enough to play. There is some good tone mixed in there to bring out.

It is easier to sound than my renaissance flute, but I had to learn the embouchure and placement changes needed to make it acceptable . There are many kinds of embouchure people use, I have seen some really open, others tight, so I cannot say what I am writing applies to others nescessarily. In fact after playing the Rudall for ten minutes and then playing the renaissance flute, it takes me half a minute to get ANY sound out if the renaissance flute, one I have played for over a year - that is how different the styles are.

This is the tuning chart, the points in red are where I will probably adjust the tuning to close the range.



Image


The style I use is to push forward the lips for second octave, and relax (pull them back) for first - it isn't hard but it takes a conscious effort for now because I have barely practiced, and because it is different from the style used on my renaissance flute. That accounts for the relatively short space found between octaves. I say pull back the embouchure, it is just really bringing it back to flat and relaxed, blowing openly (seems high almost) at the same time. This arrangement uncovers the flute embouchure for 1st raising it, and covers and blows down into flute embouchure for second, lowering its pitch and giving tone. Low notes are a bit soft but acceptable, and I cannot get them much harder by any means for now. With 1st octave the relaxed embouchure doesn't much change higher notes, but raises lower notes a fair amount, and so it seems quite natural because it is roughly same stance through the range (with lower notes needing the lift more).

So the clip is linked below, I haven't measured its values, but there is probably about 30 or slightly more cents range, with the base notes audibly out, again no apology because I'm not practiced on this flute and just recording that it is playable, without making great effort to achieve a true scale when doing so. The tuning chart above was by keeping position and not trying to raise or lower notes particularly but to find a comfortable (in terms of effort) value close to center. Blown using only air speed to change octave, the gap between 1st and 2nd jumps to around 60 cents. There are a whole load of other variables possible, choice of lower lip cover, tilt etc. , that really make what I am presenting here notional as far as other players would be concerned, but possibly it might help guide some other towards making their peace with this instrument.

https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... gr5JH3vEoy
GreenWood
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Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

Notes on tuning the Rudall style flute.

Rudall flutes are known to have a large discrepancy between first and second octave on lowest three notes, particularly the base note and particularly particularly on short foot flutes. This is said by some to be due to the style and technique of playing of the day, and by others to be a design flaw. Maybe a more balanced view is that players evolved their style and technique alongside whatever flutes were available, and those flutes were then also made to suit that style and technique ? Either way, flutes that required less player activity to play in scale mostly won out eventually. Here I'm starting with the basis that a flute tuned within 10 cents either way of center is acceptable as tuned, that is a range of 20 cents, all with only minimal change of embouchure or air pressure (needed to change octave) although I personally aim for a 10 cent range, and possibly others look for an even smaller range, particularly for classical instruments ?

On the Rudall style flute I can take the lowest note from C -25 cents up to D +50 cents, that is over two notes, just using embouchure and air pressure. For second octave the range is a mere 50 cents, it breaks into harmonics or first octave. So tuning range is probably going to be more demanded by the higher notes than base notes , and the pitch of higher notes stand out more also.

So, if anyone decides on making the above flute, they are going to have to be prepared for quite a lot of work to handle it well, because it needs effort to keep it in tune, particularly by pushing base notes. Making or adding a long foot will help a lot for the base notes, or otherwise a fuller playing style that uses much air (say sligo style) will keep the base notes higher (as in tuning achieved I pictured).

In short, it is not really a beginner flute, but can be used as one by keeping just first octave in tune with itself, and then later re-tuning as second octave is being used. In that case we might start by leaving all toneholes slightly undersize (say minus a mm diameter) and tuned to each other in 1st octave, learning to raise them to approach their second octave by air pressure, then later re-tune so that second octave is in tune with itself and that top few notes of first octave also match second, with base notes now low ...and then you will have to push those base notes when playing. Adding a foot would help.

Alternatively, just start with all notes close in first and second... except base notes which a player would have to put up with as low until having learned to push them higher.

Other makers have found their way around these details to some degree, which are what modern Pratten or Rudall based/styled flutes seem to be about. This would include changes to bore etc. to overcome difficulties. I also found a way of modifying the base discrepancy on short foot, but it is possibly more of a project for those that enjoy craftwork... a long foot would be easier and go a long way towards tuning the flute . I linked the modification below.

Personally, I found the tuning discrepancy too demanding as was, or to put it another way, I would not want to learn a new way of playing and an embouchure that runs contrary to the one I am at ease with. I have yet to finish tuning the flute though, moving all higher notes closer into line with similar embouchure and effor will help, and possibly the modification for base note will make it all workable... it seems so now, because the high 2nd octave D was making all other notes sound out, but after the mod. they are all close and it is now just a question of choosing best embouchure and air pressure to work with, as well as to work out anywhere any discrepancy between notes is obvious and adjusting that... because for some a small discrepancy stands out, while for others a larger discrepancy is not noticed.

At the end of own tuning though, anyone should have a flute more adapted to personal style and technique.

Anyway, I will be working on a cylinder flute design that would be capable but fit as first instrument also , and that should be a better first introduction to flute making as well as playing - in tune and easier to tune, steadier response. The Rudall and Pratten flutes have slightly more room for expression, the large holed renaissance I find more suited to melody, though there is a fair overlap.

The base D tonehole modification for short foot idea is here:

https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code ... JfJFBN3Ymy

So in short, the intervals between notes will change depending on styles and techniques, and the maker will choose those best adapted to the ones chosen or usually played.


An example, I pick up the Rudall style flute after playing a renaissance flute and the same tune I'm playing sounds well out. After now some twenty or so hours on the Rudall, I remember "ah yes, play it open with good amount of pressure" and the tune is all in line. Now, I could tune it more to fit the other style of playing, rolled in or small flute embouchure opening and medium pressure..
it is a choice. The Rudall is very flexible on 1st octave notes, so I would be having "a lot of fun" if I tried to tune to anything but a fairly steady (read fairly high or experienced ) pressure playing style... but it can be done over time. In that case you play the flute at own ease during say a week, and notice which notes seem often out or difficult when played at ease, then adjust for them. Then same again.

This is a reason why it is recommended to find one flute you like playing, that you like the sound of, because it takes time to learn the intricacies and subtle adjustment on a flute, particularly it seems these styles of flute, the positive side being that they offer a larger range of tone, pitch and expression. That is how it seems to me anyway, though others might disagree.

If you are making your own flutes though, it provides the opportunity to adjust them to what suits you, which involves some patience and learning but is also often rewarding.
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Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by Tonehole »

Thanks Greenwood -

not a flute maker here - player mostly.

The vintage era Rudall Rose flutes are very well made with all the tuning challenges you describe. I find the modern makers are particularly incredible at modifying the Rudall Rose bore to make up for the original limitations. I could never get a short D foot Rudall Rose anything close to D = 292Hz. Mostly C# at best :lol:

Phil Bleazey's flutes come to mind. His work is a little short of astounding, making confidence in only one offering of a hybrid tapering bore from the Rudall Rose model with a very bulbous headjoint similar to Pol Jezequel's designs - both of which deviate from the standard elegant Rudall Rose design found in makers who offer both Pratten bores and Rudall Rose bores. Interestingly neither flutemaker offers a sectionable short low D foot and is instead built as a 3 piece (headjoint, tuning tenon and body).

The corps d'echange for different pitch tunings would make a separate low D footjoint sensible although this option seems less common in 19th century romantic conical flutes (with the exception of Peter Worrell who offers A=440Hz and A=452Hz) for some of his shorter B flat designs.
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Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

Heyho that took a while and still not quite finished.


Here is the near finished flute, after adding the footnote modification I thought it needed balancing in appearance and so with small file and scrap of sandpaper made the rest, which is mostly decorative only. The style chosen was late 18th century early 19th post baroque transition sort of first Rudallish etc. so figure that out.

Image

The footnote modification took me as long to make as the body of the flute, because it is all hand sanded. The finish is bright white (!) from a different olive branch, apparently sapwood is this colour

https://www.espen.de/en/49-wood/683-olive

and the same colour as the "unique Pratten" I made, which just doesn't tone either. What is funny is that the flute itself is right up to the bark in places and that is still a golden brown, so maybe time of year decides...or age of branch... maybe if I oil it with olive oil ? Still, it adds a bit of colour, and added a tad of similar to foot for tuning, a ring or two higher up to add balance. Now I wonder if I should seal the whitewood with acrylic to keep it bright, or just let it mellow to off-white like the foot modification has.



The only reservation on the build of the modification so far is that the channel sloped too steeply to the tonehole, leaving only a mm or less of wood to the bore there, which is fragile as an edge (the lower edge). For anyone making this, well that is something to get right (i.e. try to have it emerge around center of tonehole height) . The channel doesn't fill from moisture from playing, when oiling care is going to be nescessary to keep it clear, maybe a soft plug when doing that would be good. I reckon it corrects about 30 or 40 cents and is good on tone also. In the end I added a sleeve to the inside of the foot to strengthen that lip, to smooth over the glued footjoint a bit, and to strengthen the base note by restricting bore diameter. Did not seem to detract at all. I figure that a long foot would also add back pressure to this note, but on short foot it seemed very soft and needed much air to blow up to pitch in 1st octave. OK if played at full maybe. At first I put a rim on the foot at exit, and this seemed to help , it would reach resistance and its note more cleanly. The narrower bore now does same I think. In itself it doesn't raise the note, just makes it so that you reach pitch more reliably... but it is still a special note that needs approaching with right pressure or it flattens off. I leave all that as subjective though because different flutes, embouchure, style of playing by others.

Also adding a rim at foot brings octaves back into line (with mod) when playing more closed style, which otherwise opens the octave.

At embouchure I started playing around with U shaped thin line of bluetack north and south, has odd effects and I later saw Eugene Lamb builds with air channels... but it's fine without.



Tuning

What did happen on my build is the second tonehole from base needing to be moved north. I have no idea why that is, maybe I slightly oversized and tuned upper toneholes higher, with amplified effect for lower notes to reach pitch... but the lowest tonehole remains in original place. Second tonehole from base was low in first octave and big gap to second so it was moved north and made smaller with some undercutting north, still slightly low. Hence the "decorative" build around it :-D . A half cm extension on the foot I made was sawn off because later placing an interior sleeve bought base notes down. So new decorative end piece was made. As other builders might be learning the ropes on tuning, and because conical bore flutes are not always straightforward to tune, the only online texts which go into more detail I have found are :

The recorder: A basic workshop manual

Adrian Brown

https://3lib.net/book/18064289/df0578


Recorders are conical with near identical tuning principles to a flute.


And a few ideas here

https://woodenflute.com/building



Personally I have chosen to work only with outside parameters to tune my flutes, though I understand that probably a majority of builders also adjust the bore profile (adding or subtracting diameter in places).



Dimension changes of this build compared to plan are below, not that anyone might not be better aiming for the original plans.



Image



The flute plays well, and is close to finished tuning. Now it is with an all note range of 30 cents with natural (unstrained) embouchure. An advantage of making a flute is that it is tuned to own style. All but two notes are within about 20 cents and I should be able to bring those out, in. The maximum gap between octaves is 20 cents, but I do have to position the flute well for everything to fall into line. Otherwise max gap is about 25 cents and extreme on purpose maybe 50 cents. While finishing off this flute I have hardly played it, to keep it clean and dry, so now I have to carefully work out exact tuning for tone I prefer, to try to keep pressure and embouchure in good order across the range...just about there (TH 5 slightly low for both still e.g.) ... but I only play a short while each day because otherwise I learn to adapt embouchure to the tuning of the flute, whereas I would like the flute adapted to natural embouchure. It is quite playable as is, all tuning except base note would be similar to without a foot modification/long foot , and without that adjustment one very low base note would result that would take a lot of effort to play higher, with the rest ok.



I tried to write up in more detail on tuning this flute, but it is complex. Simple rules are:

As flute embouchure is opened (while making the flute it is very obvious), pitch between octaves go into line.

When played with less lower lip cover ( or rolled out) pitch between octaves goes into line.

With more lip cover, tone is cleaner but slightly more embouchure adjustment is needed to stay in tune.

There is an optimum position of roll for any of those amounts of basic cover where pitch is more in line.

You have to play with position, angle, lip cover, fineness and direction of airstream, amount of air, and more... to find best tuning that works across scale with good tone and even, it is something to learn.

So this is why I say it is not really a beginner build of flute. Until the maker knows about embouchure, tuning values are likely to be all over the place. In that respect for a beginner:

Drill all toneholes around a third undersize by diameter , tune first octave to highest pitch of those, always starting at foot, preferably having learned to create a same sound/tone each time they play. Learn to play first octave, and then when happy playing second octave (but will be out of tune) move all toneholes towards their proper size. You should be able to tune top four notes 1st octave and all 2nd octave ok, leaving base notes of 1st octave somewhere low. Choosing and using first octave second or third tonehole open as destination pitch seems usual. Then figure out how embouchure brings those base notes better into line, how you might make 2nd octave base notes lower by changing position or embouchure, or 1st octave base notes higher by same method From there you might raise base notes a certain amount, or even choose to have second octave base notes slightly high and first octave base notes closer to tune, all by adjusting tonehole size and footlength. Generally, don't raise higher notes much out of pitch to get base notes right but instead leave base notes low.



As a flute to learn on it sounds easily, but the student would be balancing off not just position and tone, but pitch as well. On a properly tuned cylinder flute (or possibly Pratten are solid for pitch) the pitch is quite steady, so the student is just learning embouchure and tone and more easily playing tunes. I learned to play on a cylinder flute and still prefer it for its melody and tone (the Rudall has more rythm and sound expression but there is good tone there also) some don't get on with those so well and are only happy on conical bores (if I remember that was Terry Mcgee's epiphany) . Modern versions of the Rudall (Terry McGee has plans for improved version) will likely make it friendlier in those respects and there is no real reason not to simply have the Rudall as an instrument to explore flute sounds and playing with. I'm being particularly critical just because it is easy to forget once you have learned how to play, just how off-puting or difficult some steps of learning can be. If someone learns a tune but cannot play it in tune, first reaction is often that they think they are no good at flute, or that flute playing doesn't like them :-( .

I also just read

http://www.irishfluteguide.info/patrick ... interview/

and it sort of is in line with what I am finding also, except I will differ slightly on one point - I don't think they were always played strong and open. For band music and certain performance for sure, but players also manage going on a baroque sound, and it would surprise me if they were not also played that way previously, using more lip cover. It does take a different effort to do that though. A maybe obvious point is that low base notes go into line when played hard and open, but playing with more lip cover would seem to prefer the base 2nd octave to be high possibly and base 1st closer in tune, because if you are using lip cover it is easy enough to keep embouchure extended through base 2nd octave and just relax into 1st... but it is not how they seem to have been tuned ? I still have to learn more about pitch and embouchure on this flute to understand what is possible. For now base second octave is in tune with maximum allowance for easy embouchure to bring it down, and base first octave is slightly low using same...but I don't know how original Ruddals tuning would be with the embouchure used here. They should really have made a flute that stays in tune even being played while eating breakfast in the shower.



All in all, and not counting making tools, I must have spent a hundred and fifty hours on this flute. A hundred of that was making a foot join and the base note modification and trim, and twenty five of it on tuning etc. , with the other twenty five being just basic build and finishing to acceptable level .... very roughly...

...And that is about that as far as this build is concerned. It can be made by amateurs, and play close to an original. It is a more complex instrument than a renaissance (cylinder) flute, so if a first build there will be quite a lot of learning and more improvisation. It can be made rough and ready, or slowly improved over time, or be taken as a workable and playable trial run, or patched if nescessary but where a next instrument should come out more intact. Tuning is not easy and requires patience and extra forethought, as with learning to play it.


Rudall flutes and sounds
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As a flute it has a very good range of tone, is responsive and can be played loudly also...and the Rudall sound in traditional music is very much it's own world as well as much loved. It does not need vast amounts of air to play normally, but there are styles of playing that will use more and apparently it often takes beginners a while to figure out how to get the volume and tone without using too much air...or so it is said.


Jem the flute is very Rudallish, so for those wanting some straight honest examples of what an original Rudall flute sounds like in scale or played in trad style there are several at his video site. I just include one of some scales

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AkRx1zXDIr0


Catherin McEvoy, Matt Molloy's early recordings, Jamie McDermott, Chris Norman, Clare Beesley and surely various others play original Rudall flutes... all very talented and I expect also putting in a lot of practice to play them so well... if they fit for anyone then I don't think there is a true alternative to original specifications , with the improved versions being closest and probably easier to play ?

Some further examples of Rudall tunes....

A good way to tune a flute I find is to play some tunes on it but that has been difficult. Firstly the ones I know don't fit with this flute for not having learned them on a Rudall, thought that is changing as I learn to handle the flute. Even Hunter's Purse by McEvoy, where I follow her style and with her playing on a Rudall. Secondly nearly every time I try to learn a new tune for it I end up reforming it back to what I think it should be, or just cannot get the hang of it on this flute. So I started with Kerry Man by Jem the flute/McDermott (and much liking how they play) ... and after following it through to find its origin... well the Green Banks of Rossbeigh "has to be" a bit of a shanty for the setting (if not my way of playing) and is played elsewhere as one, though as played is just about also

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q9PhpSCkiNs

... but that goes on my renaissance flute at least until I learn to play the Ruddal better :-) .

Then another Rudallish example from wooden flute obsessions I like a lot is Green Mountain , so I'm learning that but it just isn't my way of playing either, nor the Pratten examples that are recorded. Eventually I tend to end up though with tunes that are made of some of various versions plus own ideas and way of playing.


The only tunes I'm happy on it with so far are Scottish lorram

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_EpOR0Nzd-s

which is fitting (and from a Rudall based Aebi flute... which is half a year to order ) .

I also just found

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hC6yJfUwAYg

which is a version of Green Mountain on a Rudall style flute (of Terry Mcgee's as well) that suits better so happier learning and playing that, and I'm thinking possibly just the difference of flute type for the other versions (a Eugene Lamb flute I think, and a Pratten for Conal Ó Gráda) are enough to make following them closely difficult. She actually keeps a very steady position on that flute and uses little lip movement which I put down to it being an improved Rudall maybe.

That is all on this flute, now I will turn to making an in tune beginner cylindrical flute.


...except it just leaves doing some recording of this flute, if only to show it plays tunes in tune, and how it sounds (basically Rudallish :-) ) . I will add that in later once recorded, but just post all the above to have that done.
GreenWood
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Tell us something.: To add to the renaissance flute discussion that is under way. Well, the rest of this field is going to be taken up by a long sentence, which is this one, because a hundred characters are needed before it is accepted.

Re: Basic wooden flutemaking method, and resources

Post by GreenWood »

@ Tonehole.

Sorry to be so long to reply Tonehole. I disconnect when I have things to do, and with the flute it is like a discipline, I could be working or talking about, but not both. It's unusual maybe but that's how I feel, just to squirrel myself away into what I am doing and then reappear when I have something to share :-) .

All the different makers are new to me, and to be honest I don't know where that whole scene is at...but it all seems friendly with a varied people all off on their own paths . I do like sleeker or simpler designs... saying that having just padded out the above flute... all the rings are removable with cork lining :-) . I don't mind the other designs either though, they suit more classical settings better maybe, but in terms of build a good quantity of wood at the join should be better than a metal fitting ? For flutes with seperate bodies for tuning, I don't know... maybe the foot would need to be different also, and so part of the new body ? When I started this thread, you know I just had in mind somewhere to post anything interesting to do with flutemaking, as well as what I am learning, and whatever else anyone adds or discusses... so I will just throw in a couple of links on flutemaking, the Wenner one I had set aside, and it goes well next to the Bleazy one I just found. Probably most people here have already watched these.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6LM4anm7vE4

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpg4Yi1vfIg

C# is good also, my main flute is C# ;-) . Without the modification I was able to get within 35 or so cents (if I remember, the chart is above somewhere ) on the D between octaves, but the change of embouchure needed was way too much, and it would have frightened an audience to see someone pull a face each time they played a base note. I need to do a recording to show better how it sounds now. The trouble is I don't want to do a "finished" recording which doesn't do justice to the flute. Most people would not notice the pitch being out anywhere I think, but I do (and musicians would). Normal embouchure just pushing any note by pressure between octaves is 20 cents and under, but in reality the last 5 cents is often soft or not stable so say 25 cents at best. So I should be able to tune the whole flute to within a playable 25 cents. However, the scale itself changes depending how much lip cover and roll I use, and the technique for getting minimum cents is different according to tone decided on, and I need to find which sound or technique will suit me better. So for now I have left footnote around 25 cents low, TH 5 and 6 are also low, but those only depending on style of playing :-/ . Plus I have no idea how it would sound if I raised some notes high on purpose... I have to figure a way to play a scale/tune that way to hear the sound of it without actually changing toneholes, because cannot then lower pitch again easily if I change them high.


It is complex, even placing a tab over foot to close diameter and gain 10 cents I mentioned. I tried that again today and it did not work... at first....I had to have the flute and tone set in a particular way for it to...and after about five goes of new position, measuring cents, brush off tab at end without changing position, measuring cents again, I found where it worked. So imagine (if you don't know how that is) a maker chasing around after values that seem to appear and dissappear at will. It is particularly difficult after you have mentioned anything online, because you imagine others trying something and it not working... which is why I always try to remember to add something like "at least on this flute" or " with own embouchure" etc.

Then I will have to practice to learn to achieve each best pitch without effort.... part there already, a tune played on a good day will have a range of around 30 or 35 cents at present... a musician would hear that, though it is well playable....I will just throw down a 5 second clip here to show basenote is ok... ignore the flat early notes because I'm just playing around there (and those I also know are slightly flat across octaves on top of that) ... the base note followed by high note is the D across octaves...and I am guessing that is something like a thirty cent one... but it's played without any particular effort and is listenable...

https://e1.pcloud.link/publink/show?cod ... 8p8mLEQ7wX

When I added up the hours to make the flute I was surprised also, but then I am making at own leisure, so it is no more a work than say a painter painting a picture. Three quarters of tuning is just playing the flute for example, or a small fitting that takes three hours, well two and a half of those are spent in front of the fire slowly filing away a shape while in thought. It's not punishment :-) .
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