Self Learning?

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

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fingerbun
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by fingerbun » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:10 am

Agree with what you say here, and apologies for being sloppy with AMEB vs Trinity, which you said in your original post.

Your point about crossing over is key. I know musicians who cross over, but I'm not sure I can think of anyone who has achieved elite status in both classical and jazz/pop/folk. The closest I can think of is Gershwin.

I think Phineas said, it depends what your goals are, which was also a good comment.

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Phineas
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by Phineas » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:21 am

lianeandflute wrote:but i think that the different areas of music - classical, jazz, rock - are so specialised that it's hard for anyone to cross over successfully. It would be nice if we could all do everything but there's just so much to each style that it's really hard to do one area well without neglecting another. it's still good to explore other things though.
That is a myth. The only difference is the environment. Music is music. If you are great at any style, and have a solid set of basics, you can play any style of music.

I think musicians have a tendency to over complicate the whole style thing. Most of the complication comes from this epidemic of people trying to imitate someone else instead of developing their own style.

Sure every style has their nuances, but musicians can be as flexible as they want to be.

Phineas

chaoticmusic
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by chaoticmusic » Mon May 16, 2011 4:14 pm

I just found some exiting great videos on a site called www.playwithapro.com with Pahud teaching flute fundamentals.
Judge for yourself- I think they are beautiful and very inspiring.
I´m an amateur myself- and kind of self taught- and I must say that nowadays you can get really far from self studies- with the internet etc.
Hope this can help a bit.
:D

lianeandflute
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by lianeandflute » Tue May 17, 2011 5:24 am

Phineas wrote:
lianeandflute wrote:but i think that the different areas of music - classical, jazz, rock - are so specialised that it's hard for anyone to cross over successfully. It would be nice if we could all do everything but there's just so much to each style that it's really hard to do one area well without neglecting another. it's still good to explore other things though.
That is a myth. The only difference is the environment. Music is music. If you are great at any style, and have a solid set of basics, you can play any style of music.

I think musicians have a tendency to over complicate the whole style thing. Most of the complication comes from this epidemic of people trying to imitate someone else instead of developing their own style.

Sure every style has their nuances, but musicians can be as flexible as they want to be.

Phineas
I know what you're saying phineas and i agree to extent. i think the point i was trying to make was that it's hard to cross over at a top notch (professional) level. i have seen a few musicians who try to be masters at everything but these days, what we perceive as genres of musical styles are really becoming very specialised, so to achieve the high standard necessary to be considered as authentic and as a master in what you are doing with lots of different genres seems impossible. we have to dedicate all our time already to classical music so how are we going to master it if we are also trying to master something completely different like jazz? (for eg…)
again, i agree to an extent that music is music. but playing jazz is completely different to playing classical which is completely different to playing folk (and within those genres are already so many different areas in which to master!). in my experience anyway… :)

but not that no one can get to a good level or even a high level (yehudi menuhin and emmanuel pahud have shown us that it's possible to cross over successfully, not to mention nigel kennedy!). but i do think it would be very hard and not everyone can do it. not at a professional level anyway.
"It's happening inside you; not in the flute!" - Emmanuel Pahud (At a masterclass in Sydney, Nov. 2010)

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Phineas
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by Phineas » Thu May 19, 2011 7:38 am

lianeandflute wrote:I know what you're saying phineas and i agree to extent. i think the point i was trying to make was that it's hard to cross over at a top notch (professional) level. i have seen a few musicians who try to be masters at everything but these days, what we perceive as genres of musical styles are really becoming very specialised, so to achieve the high standard necessary to be considered as authentic and as a master in what you are doing with lots of different genres seems impossible. we have to dedicate all our time already to classical music so how are we going to master it if we are also trying to master something completely different like jazz? (for eg…)
again, i agree to an extent that music is music. but playing jazz is completely different to playing classical which is completely different to playing folk (and within those genres are already so many different areas in which to master!). in my experience anyway… :)

but not that no one can get to a good level or even a high level (yehudi menuhin and emmanuel pahud have shown us that it's possible to cross over successfully, not to mention nigel kennedy!). but i do think it would be very hard and not everyone can do it. not at a professional level anyway.
Lianenadflute

The main difference between secular and classical are the environment and details. Case in point. If I play flute in the non-classical realm for money, I am going to have to know lots of material mostly from memory. If you are an improvisor, you will have to be able to hear things harmonically, and come up with melodic ideas on the fly. This will take lots of practice. In the Classical realm, there is more of a concentration on reading and the pieces themselves. Why couldn't you have a musician that is a good improvisor that can be a great sight reader, and be good and a classical piece? They all have the same required skill level to be a good flute player.

The problem is the players limiting themselves. I watch some these people on Youtube zip through some classical piece. When I see them at the flute show, I find out that is the ONLY piece they can play well. Come to find out it took them years of practicing this one piece to get good at it. Of course, anyone who approaches learning a piece this way will be better than someone who doesn't. Even if the person who doesn't is a better player. The other type are the ones that ONLY sight read. They spend their whole time working on sight reading. Never really getting into the essence of anything, and over analyzing every mark on a piece of music. All in all, it is the players that limit themselves for what ever reason.

Another thing to consider is the average player. People assume that all players that perform are all full time professional players. This is an illusion. Most people are not full time professional players. Even some famous players are educators, or do something else in the day time to make a living(Teaching, etc.....). Take a look at some of the top Soloists. They practice/play all day everyday. They are going to be a lot better than someone who only gets to practice 1 - 3 hours a day. The average person may only get 4 hours a week. When you consider the limited amount of time that most players practice, this would severely limit your musical focus as well as force you to practice a more focused regiment.

All of these factors have to be considered when judging what it takes to be good at a particular genre.

Phineas

lianeandflute
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by lianeandflute » Fri May 20, 2011 6:32 am

i think you are very right. and i also think i am right too… haha. i kind of think we are agreeing but with different angles. i stand by what i said but also agree with you and respect what you have to say as i know you have a lot of experience with performing different styles of music to make money.
"It's happening inside you; not in the flute!" - Emmanuel Pahud (At a masterclass in Sydney, Nov. 2010)

chaoticmusic
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by chaoticmusic » Sat May 21, 2011 7:52 am

I´m just like you- learning by myself- and my experience is that it´s a very different ball game nowadays- with the internet and so on. Many more possibilities to get inspired from- and actually more good flute players around. A real teacher is still without comparison in my oppinion the best- can be expensive- and there is a site I have fallen in love with- http://www.playwithapro.com where Pahud is sharing his thoughts- masterclasses- exercises etc-I just hope there will be even more films coming- with different teachers- I wish for Baxtresser as well- but I can live with Pahud for now :D :D :D judge for yourself- free previews- but worth a few $ for sure. Hope this can help a bit :D

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fingerbun
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by fingerbun » Fri May 27, 2011 1:08 am

Phineas wrote:
lianeandflute wrote:I know what you're saying phineas and i agree to extent. i think the point i was trying to make was that it's hard to cross over at a top notch (professional) level. i have seen a few musicians who try to be masters at everything but these days, what we perceive as genres of musical styles are really becoming very specialised, so to achieve the high standard necessary to be considered as authentic and as a master in what you are doing with lots of different genres seems impossible. we have to dedicate all our time already to classical music so how are we going to master it if we are also trying to master something completely different like jazz? (for eg…)
again, i agree to an extent that music is music. but playing jazz is completely different to playing classical which is completely different to playing folk (and within those genres are already so many different areas in which to master!). in my experience anyway… :)

but not that no one can get to a good level or even a high level (yehudi menuhin and emmanuel pahud have shown us that it's possible to cross over successfully, not to mention nigel kennedy!). but i do think it would be very hard and not everyone can do it. not at a professional level anyway.
Lianenadflute

The main difference between secular and classical are the environment and details. Case in point. If I play flute in the non-classical realm for money, I am going to have to know lots of material mostly from memory. If you are an improvisor, you will have to be able to hear things harmonically, and come up with melodic ideas on the fly. This will take lots of practice. In the Classical realm, there is more of a concentration on reading and the pieces themselves. Why couldn't you have a musician that is a good improvisor that can be a great sight reader, and be good and a classical piece? They all have the same required skill level to be a good flute player.

The problem is the players limiting themselves. I watch some these people on Youtube zip through some classical piece. When I see them at the flute show, I find out that is the ONLY piece they can play well. Come to find out it took them years of practicing this one piece to get good at it. Of course, anyone who approaches learning a piece this way will be better than someone who doesn't. Even if the person who doesn't is a better player. The other type are the ones that ONLY sight read. They spend their whole time working on sight reading. Never really getting into the essence of anything, and over analyzing every mark on a piece of music. All in all, it is the players that limit themselves for what ever reason.

Another thing to consider is the average player. People assume that all players that perform are all full time professional players. This is an illusion. Most people are not full time professional players. Even some famous players are educators, or do something else in the day time to make a living(Teaching, etc.....). Take a look at some of the top Soloists. They practice/play all day everyday. They are going to be a lot better than someone who only gets to practice 1 - 3 hours a day. The average person may only get 4 hours a week. When you consider the limited amount of time that most players practice, this would severely limit your musical focus as well as force you to practice a more focused regiment.

All of these factors have to be considered when judging what it takes to be good at a particular genre.

Phineas
I don't disagree with any of the specific points you make, but I still cannot think of anyone who has successfully crossed over and been absolute elite in both contemporary and classical. Whether it's a question of time to strive at both or something else I can't put my finger on, not sure. But all the examples cited are of musicians who excelled in one style and dabbled in another.

Pahud has performed jazz but I have never heard him cited as being someone to study in the jazz genre. I know Kennedy's 'Four Seasons' was a massive hit, but I have the impression he is not admired as a classical violinist...maybe like Andre Rieu. He's kind of a unique beast in contemporary circles too. Menuhin I would think is mostly known as a classicist. In the same vein McCartney has written orchestral works, that as far as I know are not seen to be rivalling Mozart just yet.

I do think there is a fundamental thought process that a classicist is trained to reproduce the notes written by a composer with precision where a contemporary musician is expected to create their own lines. At the level I work at this is the gulf that separates the two genres. It doesn't makes sense to me that the same gulf would apply at the elite level though....maybe it's just the sheer amount of work needed to become elite.

lianeandflute
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by lianeandflute » Fri May 27, 2011 4:32 am

I think you are along the same thought lines as I am fingerbun. (In Kennedy's defence, his classical music is just incredible but unfortunately he is looked down upon and not taken seriously due to the way he dresses and behaves, and because he has made a lot of folk and jazz albums - simply because he is very unorthodox.)

I just meant that those artists have crossed over and done it to a high level, but most of them - I'm thinking Menuhin and Pahud - were/are dabbling like you say and not trying to be masters in those areas. And I don't think they are considered to be amazing jazz musicians or anything either. More like amazing classical musicians who tried to do a bit of jazz and it was interesting.
"It's happening inside you; not in the flute!" - Emmanuel Pahud (At a masterclass in Sydney, Nov. 2010)

littlesavedgirl
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by littlesavedgirl » Sat May 28, 2011 8:25 pm

If I may introduce myself to your thread of interest; I am a self taught with a few years of basic elementary teaching in the basics of flute. During my years in my basic band instruction, I became aware I had some natural talent for the instrument and quickly disconnected from my teacher and just started teaching myself (Not bright but I was 14 and very strong willed).
I did not continue my flute carrier in High School, instead going on in the choral arts , finding voice expression of song much more easily attained.
Today I am 27 years older and made physically disabled by Multiple Sclerosis and beginning again to take up the instrument of my youth.
With my disability income being limited and my health even more so, you can imagine that I might have some road blocks in my way and you are right.
I have been playing on a Gemmi 2np... no not model T but I've been told it's about as old :D , 1987 to be exact. I had an extremely difficult time trying to find a higher quality instrument in my area, in fact I've found the majority of the possible dealers of intermediate instruments has about dried up east of St. Louis. Many times I've spoken of other brands to my local instrument dealers, other then the Geminehardt , Armstrong and Selmer. An empty stare with a polite "We don't deal in the higher end intermediate flutes".
Eventually I did just succumb to the student flute market and purchase a Pearl PF-501 and compared to the one I was practicing on, it may as well be a Powell.
All I have are books and the internet to teach me, the closest teachers are 30 miles away and that's if I find one by my prairy home just beyond the river bend.
If I could choose a better flute such as a Azumi 3000, and a teacher that could properly train me to avoid these "Bad Behavors or Habit's" but I am where I am. I love playing the flute and I have been picking it up quickly again so maybe it will help lift more then just my spirits and aid in my gobbled up mind.
Sometimes all you have is the very minimum training available, the internet or recordings to listen to. I choose to use what I have no matter how inferior because I want to play. Being self taught might not get me into the St. Louis Symphony but at least I'll get to play at my church..maybe :wink: .

Pointers gladly excepted :?

Mindermast
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by Mindermast » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:42 pm

I have had years of piano lessons, perhaps two hours or acoustic guitar introduction by my aunt, a couple of drums lessons and now I am learning flute. During the past 35 years or so, I have been playing guitar a lot, also electrical guitar and electrical base in rock bands. I got along nicely and I think, I developed personal style, good control over both instruments and the people I have played with were always happy with my abilities. However, compared to piano, which I dropped at 16 and picked up again 4 years ago, my guitar playing is very low level. So, it is around 12 years of piano lessons with about the same experience against self-taught electrical guitar (which I considered my main instrument for a long time) with 35 years of experience, and also a lot of practising, even scales and the like, things, that people without teachers often don't do much. I think, physically, both instruments were similar challenges to me.

Therefore, I would say, that with teachers, you get much further than without, but it clearly depends on your goals, if you really need one. Concerning flute playing, I am not an expert, I only started my first tries a year ago and my first lesson about half a year ago. But there was a radical development in sound control from the very first lesson on - I am ashamed to listen to my first recordings from before that time. And lessons have another effect: If I progress, my goals go up and I am ready to work more to reach the new ones. Back to guitar and piano: On the long run, on electrical guitar, I mainly focused on what I could play and remained at a certain level. On piano, I don't really see a limit ahead. But when I picked up on piano a few years ago, I didn't even expect to ever being able to play the way I can play now. And that leads to another thought: Taking lessons for a while (which means something like one or two years), will speed up the learning process enormously.

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Mark
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by Mark » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:10 am

fingerbun wrote: Your musical education is corrupting you. :-)
LOL
So many instruments.... so little time.... :)

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Mark
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by Mark » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:16 am

I'll have to agree that getting a teacher in the beginning would be a help to
jump you past the early hurdles. After that, I think it is more a matter of what you want
to do and how much time you have to do it in.
Dad could play anything he put his mind to, and got payed on all of them.
me.. I've stayed with flute, sax, recorders, and various native flutes due to time constraints.

As for 'style' I think you'll find that people gravitate towards the style that speaks to them.


Mark
So many instruments.... so little time.... :)

fluteguy18
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Re: Self Learning?

Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:55 am

No one can think of someone who has been an absolute ELITE in both the classical AND secular worlds of music? I can!

Jim Walker. He played Principal Flute with the LA Phil and was borrowed by the NY Phil for a while. Then he quit both of them to play jazz (Founded the group Free Flight) and to do studio recording (Ever watched Titanic? Yeah, that was him, and in over 700 other films). He was the first on call flutist for studio recording for almost 30 years until he retired a year ago. He now teaches exclusively and no longer performs.

It is possible. Just uncommon.

littlesavedgirl
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Re: Self Learning? Update!

Post by littlesavedgirl » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:14 pm

Howdy Everyone!
I am so glad to say my flute playing has improved vastly since my first post, I'm performing on Sundays with my church's limited ensemble (one alto sax, one bass sax , I think that's what it's called, two clarinets, one trumpet and a piano).
My site reading is improving and my tone and over all sound is unrecognizable from what it once was. It has been the biggest accomplishment I've had since becoming disabled 3 years ago.
Thank you all for your words of guidance and encouragement now all I have to do is find a much better flute then my Pearl 501, of-course there is always a possibility that when my pads get replaced and all the tweaking gets done, it will sound like a brand new flute. The pads do leak, i've tested them, I really have to exert a lot of pressure for the pads to seal properly. But soon either way, I'll have an even better sound. Self taught with the help of YouTube and Nina "Rockstar"Perlove!
I've been successful enough to be asked to perform with a rather particular pianist , so I'll take that endorsement anyday.

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