Low C - takes time to ramp up - me or flute?

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AlvinY
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Low C - takes time to ramp up - me or flute?

Post by AlvinY » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:11 pm

Hey everyone!
When I play the notes from top to bottom e.g. C -> B -> A -> G -> F -> E -> D -> C

I can transit from note to note without any delay. But if I play the lower notes totally apart, like C, D, E, there is a bit of a "ramp up" time; I need to blow perhaps like .75 seconds before the low C can be heard.

I would guess this is just a result of n00b embouchure or is it the flute?

OT: One of the pieces I'm having fun on (and one of the reasons why I am learning flute :P ) has a fast middle C -> low E transition. I can play it slowly, but not at the speed it is usually played at. This is "Stones" from Ultima btw. You can search google for "stones ultima sheet music" and it should be the first link. Another one I'm also learning to play is "Greyson's Tale".

Thanks!

Alvin

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:33 pm

Well, there are a couple of possibilities, but we can't give a definitive diagnosis of the problem since we can't observe your playing or examine the flute.

What type of flute do you have? If it's an instrument from a reputable maker, assuming there's something wrong with the instrument rather than your playing, it's most likely a matter of leaks, and a visit to a repair tech may be in order. If it's a junker, any number of things could be wrong, from leaks to bent keys, to poor adjustments. The very lowest notes require that every pad seal well, so even a minute leak can greatly impact the ability to produce a reliable Low C. Check to be sure that when you press the Low C roller, the Low C# key closes fully as well. If it doesn't, be sure to put some pressure on the C# spatula when you finger Low C to ensure it closes correctly.

Many people do have issues producing a Low C when they first start playing, and this may be the case for you as well. Try angling your air down into the flute more, and experiment with different aperture sizes and shapes. A teacher would be an ideal resource to solve this, so I would encourage you to get one if you haven't already.

Something that I don't find particularly useful, but others like is lightly slapping the G key closed just before articulating low notes. Personally I don't find that it makes any difference, but others believe it improves response. This might be worth experimenting with too.

AlvinY
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Post by AlvinY » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:26 pm

Hi!
I got a Gemeinhardt 2SP. Also had it serviced, but with no one to check, who knows right? :-)
flutepicc06 wrote: Many people do have issues producing a Low C when they first start playing, and this may be the case for you as well. Try angling your air down into the flute more, and experiment with different aperture sizes and shapes. A teacher would be an ideal resource to solve this, so I would encourage you to get one if you haven't already.
I will try what you suggest. The blowing I mean :) I would really like to get a teacher but I only have a few more weeks in the states, so we'll see :)

Thanks for your advice!

Alvin

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:22 pm

No problem! I hope that little tidbit helps, and when you get to your new home, definitely start looking for a teacher...They're invaluable, especially early on.

AlvinY
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Post by AlvinY » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:03 pm

Hi again!
Just an update. I still have problems with the low C, well I should be getting a brand new flute to replace this flute soon, so we'll see. But while I was doing as you advised, and experimenting with the embouchure, I happened to notice that every time I breathe in, my embouchure tends to change slightly. I am now trying to keep an eye out for this. Thanks!

Alvin

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vandoren
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Post by vandoren » Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:28 am

flutepicc06 wrote:Well, there are a couple of possibilities, but we can't give a definitive diagnosis of the problem since we can't observe your playing or examine the flute.

What type of flute do you have? If it's an instrument from a reputable maker, assuming there's something wrong with the instrument rather than your playing, it's most likely a matter of leaks, and a visit to a repair tech may be in order. If it's a junker, any number of things could be wrong, from leaks to bent keys, to poor adjustments. The very lowest notes require that every pad seal well, so even a minute leak can greatly impact the ability to produce a reliable Low C. Check to be sure that when you press the Low C roller, the Low C# key closes fully as well. If it doesn't, be sure to put some pressure on the C# spatula when you finger Low C to ensure it closes correctly.

Many people do have issues producing a Low C when they first start playing, and this may be the case for you as well. Try angling your air down into the flute more, and experiment with different aperture sizes and shapes. A teacher would be an ideal resource to solve this, so I would encourage you to get one if you haven't already.

Something that I don't find particularly useful, but others like is lightly slapping the G key closed just before articulating low notes. Personally I don't find that it makes any difference, but others believe it improves response. This might be worth experimenting with too.


I don't get this one? What is the logic behind such a manipulation?
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:37 pm

vandoren wrote:
flutepicc06 wrote:
Something that I don't find particularly useful, but others like is lightly slapping the G key closed just before articulating low notes. Personally I don't find that it makes any difference, but others believe it improves response. This might be worth experimenting with too.


I don't get this one? What is the logic behind such a manipulation?
I honestly couldn't tell you. As I noted, I don't believe it works, but plenty of folks think it does, so if it were to help AlvinY, then it doesn't really matter WHY it works...Just that it does. I've never managed to find a satisfactory explanation for this particular idea.

To Alvin, I'm glad that you managed to get something out of my advice, even if it wasn't what you were expecting! Hopefully you'll notice an improvement now that you're more aware of what's happening with your embouchure! Good luck!

AlvinY
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Post by AlvinY » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:20 pm

Hi!
Another minor update, it is most probably not the flute - last night I was experimenting with different embouchures, I tried covering a bit more of the bottom lip and I was able to blow a very different, strong and immediate low C, as well as the other low notes. The entire range also sounded quite different, stronger, and more powerful. Unfortunately I only managed it for a particular practice piece, when I changed to the next piece and changed my embouchure I was unable to re-obtain that position. Well one day :)

Thanks!

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:46 am

AlvinY wrote:Hi!
Another minor update, it is most probably not the flute - last night I was experimenting with different embouchures, I tried covering a bit more of the bottom lip and I was able to blow a very different, strong and immediate low C, as well as the other low notes. The entire range also sounded quite different, stronger, and more powerful. Unfortunately I only managed it for a particular practice piece, when I changed to the next piece and changed my embouchure I was unable to re-obtain that position. Well one day :)

Thanks!
That's great! Now that you've done it once, it's just a matter of finding that embouchure again, and making it your default...Good luck!

AlvinY
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Post by AlvinY » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:49 am

Thanks :)

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vandoren
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Post by vandoren » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:07 am

AlvinY wrote:Hi!
Another minor update, it is most probably not the flute - last night I was experimenting with different embouchures, I tried covering a bit more of the bottom lip and I was able to blow a very different, strong and immediate low C, as well as the other low notes. The entire range also sounded quite different, stronger, and more powerful. Unfortunately I only managed it for a particular practice piece, when I changed to the next piece and changed my embouchure I was unable to re-obtain that position. Well one day :)

Thanks!
Been here so often over the last 6 months - now I am getting more able to find this sweet spot. It is all down to intelligent practice :wink:
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

brina
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Post by brina » Sun Nov 04, 2007 4:51 pm

probably both. Try a better flute and then u will see whose fault it is.

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