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 Post subject: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:01 pm 
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Any good exercises (other than playing) to increase finger independence? A and B rolls...


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:24 pm 
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If you're having trouble with L hand ornamentation, you're probably holding/gripping the flute with L hand fingers, increasing pressure and making free, controlled movement harder. Look to your support technique and posture. A good Rockstro style support should obviate such problems, freeing up your L-hand fingers to move as you wish. Problems with L-hand cuts, taps and rolls almost always come down to this.

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:49 pm 
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Excellent. I had not considered this as an issue. Reading about Rockstro now and excited about the potential benefit. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:06 pm 
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This demonstration and the first supplementary one linked in the YT blurb are on Böhm flutes, but exactly the same principle applies to simple system or keyless flutes. The other one linked there may also help.
https://youtu.be/lssGAtVBS_8

See also Terry McGee's pages on Nicholson's and Rockstro's prescriptions on support (and tone).

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:17 am 
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I definitely use my right hand little finger to support. My right hand thumb rests under the tube. It is awkward to "push" away with the right hand thumb. My left hand is doing what he says in the video, for the most part. I am trying to be conscious of not using my left thumb, and that seems natural.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:34 am 
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"He" in the video is me! :D :poke:

There's barely any force in the pushing away with the R thumb - see the second video for the theory and try it out! It is hard to master the tendency to grip with the L hand if you do not feel confident both consciously and subconsciously that the flute is secure. Also, with R thumb underneath you risk transferring any gripping to the R hand if you succeed in freeing up the L one!

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:23 am 
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A relaxed grip is pretty important, and it is one of the things that a teacher could/should address at the very start of your flute path; Even on a keyless flute.

I changed to the Rockstro style grip when I got a keyed flute. Also, I had to learn to drop the death-grip with my left-hand thumb when I started playing the Bb key. My right thumb pushes out a little, to balance the missing left thumb. Right pinkie is down unless it mustn't be (D note and E-rolls).

For a while, the base of my left forefinger would get sore after long playing, but I rarely notice that anymore.

Admittedly such changes are awkward if you have embedded other habits, but now my grip is much more relaxed than before. My right-hand fingers float gently above the holes. My back and shoulders are more comfortable.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:01 pm 
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tstermitz, please, please, please, please don't call how you hold/support an instrument a "grip"! :poke: :tantrum: :boggle:

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:15 pm 
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That distinction is strange for me as a non-native speaker. "Grip" is "Griff" in German, which can just mean "fingering" like on a guitar. "Gitarrengriffe" would be "guitar fingerings". Nowhere is it implied in the German word "Griff" that it's tight or strained.
So what would you call the "Rockstro-grip"? "Rockstro-fingering"? "Rockstro-hold"? Just curious.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:17 pm 
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Yes! We do ourselves a disservice when we call the way we hold the flute a "grip." It brings up images of hanging on for dear life. One my early teachers used to tell me to think those fingers I am using to make the notes as if they were made of cooked spaghetti. First you get the foundation down with the balance, then the moving fingers dance, with as much upward motion as downward actually. Even the term "striking" can give us the wrong impression. Power moves on the flute are unnecessary and likely to cause injury. I think of terms like sliding, tapping and bouncing to describe what my fingers are doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:31 pm 
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"Rockstro hold/support", or, better since Rockstro didn't invent it, "3-point support (method/system)".

Sedi, in English "grip" definitely has an implication of force.

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:51 pm 
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jemtheflute wrote:
"He" in the video is me! :D :poke:


Ah! Sorry, I didn't realize. I'm doing all this from my phone, and my eyesight ain't what it used to be.

I hope I haven't done myself too much of a disservice. I've been playing casually for 5 or 6 years now. Hopefully I will be able to make these changes.

I'm not sure this will help much with my A and B rolls, though, as it seems my left hand has been doing what it should already. I'll have to spend some more time playing tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:44 pm 
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I was wondering what I should do with my flute hold?
I have short pinkies! This has made it difficult for me to support the flute with my Right pinky.
Should I try using the piper approach with my right hand? When I use my right finger pads my pinky reaches the flute. I do find it more difficult to fully seal the holes. I am used to using my finger tips!


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:22 pm 
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Bcoopmando wrote:
I was wondering what I should do with my flute hold?
I have short pinkies! This has made it difficult for me to support the flute with my Right pinky.
Should I try using the piper approach with my right hand? When I use my right finger pads my pinky reaches the flute. I do find it more difficult to fully seal the holes. I am used to using my finger tips!


Please have a look at the video link I gave up-thread and the videos linked from the blurb for that one on YouTube!
In orthodox thinking (FWTW) you should not use your little fingers as part of your flute support in playing posture - both have keys to operate, and although the R one should be opening the Eb key most of the time (any type of flute with one), that should not be part of the support system, or no more than as an auxiliary - that applies whether you adopt "Rockstro" (R thumb pushing the side of the tube) or R thumb underneath "balancing" or "piper's" hold.

When you say "use my R finger pads", which ones do you mean? If the outermost ones, that's fine - people don't generally use the very tips of their fingers except maybe L1 & 2. Having your R fingers a bit flatter (but still with some curve in them) to use the top joint pads (under the fingernails) is not "piper's hold" - that involves pushing the fingers farther across the tube and using the crease below the top joint or the pad of the 2nd joint!

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:28 pm 
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I watched the video. I see what you mean now. Thanks!


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