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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:57 am 
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I made the switch from holding the flute in the way it felt most naturally secure without any tuition to a rockstro hold a few months ago. This was in anticipation of getting a keyed flute in the near future. It feels awkward at first but with time it becomes more natural. One of the side effects of using this hold was that I was able to gain a lot of dexterity in my fingers while playing and this has markedly improved the clarity and consistency of my finger ornamentations. I also do a number of drills to improve taps, cuts, rolls etc provided to me by my teacher. But I believe without altering my hold, progress would have been much slower.

I will say, I'm still struggling a bit in removing the right little finger as a support. But working on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:26 am 
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Jeggy wrote:
I made the switch from holding the flute in the way it felt most naturally secure without any tuition to a rockstro hold a few months ago. This was in anticipation of getting a keyed flute in the near future. It feels awkward at first but with time it becomes more natural. One of the side effects of using this hold was that I was able to gain a lot of dexterity in my fingers while playing and this has markedly improved the clarity and consistency of my finger ornamentations. I also do a number of drills to improve taps, cuts, rolls etc provided to me by my teacher. But I believe without altering my hold, progress would have been much slower.
I
I will say, I'm still struggling a bit in removing the right little finger as a support. But working on it.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:19 am 
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Jemtheflute, thanks for the video. Your right thumb in the video appears to be touching the underside of the key-operating rods, which would support the Boehm flute from below. I've tried Rockstro several times over the years on simple system flutes, which of course have no rods. Every time I put a finger down to cover a hole, particularly D, E or F#, the unsupported flute slips off my right thumb and falls. What am I missing? Do you have a video of Rockstro on a simple system flute with no rods?


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:44 am 
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Ryarbrough - did you follow the links on YT to the other two related videos? The dangling R thumb one deals with several different systems. I haven't made a specific equivalent to 1 & 2 on simple system, but it really is exactly the same except it's easier because you haven't got a rotationally unbalanced mechanism trying to roll the tube around as on Böhm!

I can assure you absolutely that I do not touch the axle rods with my R thumb on the Böhm flutes - that would potentially interfere with the key actions and is a big no-no.

I have very many simple system videos on which you can see my personal support method - some showing it from different angles, though not specifically discussing support.

Here are the main support ones already referred to plus some others which may be useful:

Flute Support 1

Flute Support 2

Dangling Left Thumb Exercise

C# Rolls on Flute (over the break, all fingers off/moving fast - requires stability!)

Footjoint key alignment

A tune video shot from above showing posture and key use: https://youtu.be/x-YtURdkyck

A flute demo video showing (in one set) flute support from end on and below - from 12'30": https://youtu.be/aFtrJjypoYA

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:35 pm 
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I've noticed two modern flute players that seem to support the flute with their right hand thumb. This leads me to believe it's at least possible to play well this way.

I'm still going to try to master the support you recommend, but I'm curious what you think of their hold.

https://youtu.be/x4rpTJX899A

https://youtu.be/GsH8Sq3NJj8


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:19 pm 
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Blueblade, I think both Steph Geremia and Kevin Crawford are superb players, far better than myself. I'm sure they do what works for them, as should we all. There are no absolute rules about this, though there are absolute rules of physics and anatomy with which we have to try to optimise our personal dealings, fitting our own bodies to the flute according to logical principles. I think that if you watch them both carefully they are in fact both making tube contact with their thumbs behind the bottom centreline. If you could get a good end on view I think you'd find they are pushing forward at least as much as up. A front on view isn't the best for assessing what's going on as different people's thumbs behave differently - my own reflex significantly, so the top appears below the flute in a straight-on, eye-level view, but the curve of it means the main contact is more behind the tube than is apparent from that angle. Of course, there are players who rest the flute on their R thumb like a shelf and who play perfectly well. But often folk who have learnt that way have issues with stability/security of support and with free, relaxed-controlled movement of fingers.

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I respect people's privilege to hold their beliefs, whatever those may be (within reason), but respect the beliefs themselves? You gotta be kidding!

My YouTube channel
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Low Bb flute: 2 reels (audio)
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Last edited by jemtheflute on Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:44 pm 
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Everything you say makes sense to me. I'm going to watch your videos and make the changes. Thanks for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:24 pm 
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@jem.

Point taken. The word grip does imply force. As a newby my flute hold/support was somewhat grip-like until I learned to ease up. Thus my self-sarcasm.

Excess force is normal when you are starting out, and it eases only as your muscles and hands learn how much is enough vs how much is too much. I found the Rockstro hold to be is a good doorway to a more relaxed hold.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:45 am 
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I am having problems and feeling “insecure” when playing the C#! I find I need to use one of my right hand digits to comfortably stabilize the flute when all the holes are open. Is this a common feeling amongst players?


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:54 am 
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Common enough, and logical if not achieving a properly secure support set-up.

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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:36 am 
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Jemtheflute and all,

This thread has been hugely helpful to me and my playing. I am very appreciative of your time in providing information and video links. I too am anticipating my first keyed flute after many years of dabbling with keyless flutes--my whistles are neglected. Off to work on applying what I'm learning!


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:21 pm 
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I agree, BKWeid. Jemtheflute is a veritable evangelist for good and more comfortable flute practice. I've watched all the videos he lists and have been working on my flute support. While I developed a sense of confidence that I won't drop my good flute, I "worked out" with a homemade PVC D flute that actually has a good tone and is in tune. But I was not afraid of dropping it, so I could focus on holding the flute without the additional tension of whether I would lose it. I could just as easily have used a length of 1 inch dowel; but the PVC flute provided tone holes and an embouchure for orientation.

I'm now transferring that feeling to my Casey Burns D. I think it is working, though I have to stop occasionally and take stock of posture, position, hold, embouchure, and the myriad of other matters to pay attention to. Anyway, I am grateful to this group, and especially to Jemtheflute, for helping me pay attention to good habits from the beginning.


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:53 am 
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Glad my materials are proving helpful. :)

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Low Bb flute: 2 reels (audio)
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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:39 pm 
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I hope this post will not bring down the wrath of Jem on me (actually he seems to be a very gentle person), but I think it should be noted that while the manner of holding/balancing the flute that Rockstro described is probably the best way to do it, I doubt if anything like the majority of flutists or flute players use it. In my own case, my thumb is utterly incapable of any degree of the 'bending backwards' that, however slight, seems to be necessary to make this manner of support work. Colin O'Grada describes the more common 'thumb under' means of support in his tutor, and Grey Larsen in his actually argues against it (although not strongly if I remember correctly). In sum: try the Rockstro manner and if it doesn't work, move on with the thumb-under manner (taking care not to grip the flute tightly in the left hand (this is the manner recommended by Quantz for the Baroque flute, but I agree completely with Jem that it is to be avoided). Chet


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 Post subject: Re: Finger Exercises
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:41 pm 
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Chet, no wrath, but the thumb doesn't need to reflex - fleshy tip of a straight thumb against the tube is perfectly functional for a Rockstro support.

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I respect people's privilege to hold their beliefs, whatever those may be (within reason), but respect the beliefs themselves? You gotta be kidding!

My YouTube channel
My FB photo albums
Low Bb flute: 2 reels (audio)
Flute & Music Resources - helpsheet downloads


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