intervals.... a challenge for me.... maybe you can help.

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jiminos
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intervals.... a challenge for me.... maybe you can help.

Post by jiminos » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:35 pm

I am an old returnee to woodwinds. played them forty-five years ago in school.... then switched to strings and stayed there. a few years ago, i decided to return to woodwinds, specifically, the flute. because it has been so long, i am essentially a newcomer. i still read reasonably well. over the course of the last, say.... three to four years..., i have reached the point where (listening to recordings of myself) i have reasonably good tone. i am comfortable in 2 1/2 octaves or more... low B up to third register A.... i'm not the fastest player around, but i guess i do okay. anyway... on to my challenge....

recently, i began having some problems while doing intervals... D to G, D to A, D to B, D to C, D to C#, D to D'... and back down.... the problem is that for some reason, all seems to go well until i play D to B (no problem) then B back down to D.... the D just doesn't seem to come in like it used to do.... slow attack, breathy... unstable....

not being sure if it was me or the flute (i suspected me) i took the flute to a local tech. two pads were replaced and the flute was regulated/adjusted.... checked out by another flute player who confirmed that all the notes that came with the flute are still there.... cool. i take the flute home, same problem. i tried it on another flute.... lo and behold... same problem...

the two flutes i am using are both Gemeinhardts from the mid 1980's. both have been well taken care of, both have had complete overhauls within the last few years.... one is a 2NP, one is a 3SHB...

as an aside, i have no problem at all with those intervals when using an irish flute...

any ideas?

thank you in advance..

be well,
jim
seek not, find.
know not, learn.
try not, do.
be not, be.

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jiminos
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Re: intervals.... a challenge for me.... maybe you can help.

Post by jiminos » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:14 pm

hmmm... 38 views and no ideas, yet.....

not a very talkative bunch. seriously, i would appreciate some input... i have seven flutes, three are keyless, one is a simple-system 8 key nacht meyer, and 2 are boehm system. the problem with the interval from B4 down to D4 occurs consistently on the Boehm flutes, only occasionally on the Nacht Meyer, and not at all on the three keyless flutes....

thank you again,

be well,

jim
seek not, find.
know not, learn.
try not, do.
be not, be.

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pied_piper
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Re: intervals.... a challenge for me.... maybe you can help.

Post by pied_piper » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:38 pm

Problems like those you describe can sometimes be a bit difficult to diagnose without seeing and hearing you play. When I first started reading your posting, my first thought was that you may have a leak in your flute. When I read further, you indicated that you have two different Boehm flutes and they have been maintained, but you still have the same interval problem with both of them. You stated that "both have had complete overhauls within the last few years". That's good, but it's still possible that either or both could have a leak. Pads sometimes can develop leaks especially if the flute has not been played much. The 2NP and 3SHB probably have relatively soft pads and consistent playing helps softer pads to keep a tone hole impression. It might not hurt to have the flute(s) checked by a flute technician.

The other possibility is that your embouchure has changed over time and you may not be focusing the airstream properly for the Boehm flutes. This is especially true if you are playing different flutes and trying to adjust to each. Although the embouchure is very similar for all traverse flutes, every flute is a bit different. Most simple flutes tend to have very round embouchure holes while Boehm flutes tend to have more oval or rectangular embouchure hole shapes (although that's a generality and there are exceptions). Making the switch may be causing you some difficulties adjusting the width and angle of the airstream. Try practising only on one of the Boehm flutes for a week or so and avoid the others temporarily. See if you notice any improvement.

BTW, if you look at my avatar, you'll notice that in addition to a couple of Boehm flutes and a piccolo, I also have a Nacht Meyer, a Chinese Dizi, and a simple homemade PVC flute (plus a couple of bamboo flutes, a variety of tin whistles, and other woodwinds which are not shown). If I haven't played it in a while it often takes a little time to reacclimate myself to it.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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MissyHPhoenix
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Re: intervals.... a challenge for me.... maybe you can help.

Post by MissyHPhoenix » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:28 am

I'm sorry, I am one of the ones who read your post and didn't respond. I was kinda waiting for one of the others who has more experience than I do ....

I agree with Pied Piper -- concentrate on your embouchure. I have a couple of particular interval jumps that I consistently mess up, and it is because I do not make the necessary embouchure changes to support the notes. With me, it is a matter of concentration and practice, practice, practice (as Phineas says :wink: ). Eventually I will conquer it. If that is your problem, you will too!
Missy

Why Be Normal????

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jiminos
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Re: intervals.... a challenge for me.... maybe you can help.

Post by jiminos » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:53 pm

thank you for the input....

@pied.... i tend to agree with your assessment. i also agree it's hard to diagnose without a face to face, as it were. that said... on the 3SHB, a flute tech just worked it over a few weeks ago... i needed the flute for a new years eve gig, picked up the afternoon of the show. so i'm comfortable in thinking that the flute is okay.....

with regard to the multiple embouchure issue... again, agreed.... my nacht has a more round than not emb... my others (a casey burns keyless, an M & E keyless R&R, a tipple, and a few others all have more rectangular/oval embs, approaching the Boehm in size and shape, but not exactly there.... my fifes, on the other hand, are all keyless and very small round emb's...

perhaps, i need to just quite flouncing around from one flute to another, settle on one for awhile and see where it leads.... but i do so love all the different sounds, timbres and feels of all the different flutes.... we won't even get into the quenas and quenachos.....

be well, and thank you again,

jim
seek not, find.
know not, learn.
try not, do.
be not, be.

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