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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 4:35 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 4:31 pm
Posts: 1
I just wondered what the
advantages/disadvantages were to having an open holed flute. I haven''t played
in almost 10 years and I seem to remember most flutes being closed hole when I
was in high school.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 6:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2003 6:45 pm
Posts: 5
There isn't really much of a difference
between open and closed hole flutes, but most people seem to believe that open
holed flutes are more advanced. I play an open-hole myself, with no real
preference either way, and am so used to it now that it would probably be pretty
hard to switch back. David Dahl said the following on the subject: "Most people
think that open hole flutes are the only way to go. The main argument is that an
open-hole flute enforces a better hand position. They also claim such benefits
as more alternate fingerings and "extended" techniques for playing modern music.
As a result it is easier to find a good open-hole flute than a good closed-hole
model. Most closed-hole flutes available new are entry-level student models.
This fact lead many to view all closed-hole flutes as lower quality. In fact if
it is important to you to buy a flute that will be easiest to resell, an
open-hole flute might be the better choice. It is possible to order a
closed-hole flute of the highest quality. Those of us who are the vocal minority
of closed-hole enthusiasts, claim that there is no clear benefit to open-hole
flutes. No feature is going to ensure a proper hand position, only good and
vigilant instruction and conscientious practice will accomplish that. In fact,
some players blame open-hole flutes for poor hand positions and even injuries.
Several players have expressed joy at much more relaxed hands when they acquired
closed-hole flutes. If closed-hole flutes are more comfortable to you, there are
good reasons to stay with a close hole model. If, like many people your hands
feel comfortable on an open-hole flute, and you like the feeling, an open-hole
flute may be a good choice. The point is that neither option is necessarily a
foolish choice. If you decide that open holes are for you, the conventional
wisdom says to just jump in. It should only take a few weeks (or less) to become
comfortable playing on a open-hole. It should not be necessary to press very
hard on the keys to get a good seal. If you do find that more pressure is needed
than seems reasonable, have the flute adjusted by a competent technician. Even
new flutes may need adjustment. It is worth mentioning that the plugs that are
available for open-hole flutes are intended as a transition to fully open holes.
An open-hole flute is made to sound its best with open holes. An open-hole flute
with plugged holes will sound differently than a closed-hole flute." So it's
really a matter of preference. Choose whichever feels more comfortable to you
and run with it. --Still Running [:praise:]

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 8:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2002 11:20 pm
Posts: 51
I'm totally with you there! I played a
closed holed flute for 4 years out of my 7 1/2 years of playing the flute. I
loved it and I still play it sometimes for a break. Open holed flutes are very
fun and because they offer a challenge, it is a little more difficult for some
to play them. I, personally, had some issues with opening up one of the holes at
a time, but it urged me to practice more and my technique got better as well as
my hand positioning. My fingers were faster because of my consistent practicing
and because of the holes, I was able to keep myself interested in practicing
because I had issues with that too when I was in 8th grade. I love both of my
flutes and I think that both are very high quality and used by professionals. I
doubt that anyone would condem you if you played a closed holed flute or an open
holed flute. But, I hope I don't sound like a snob when I say this, if you have
an open holed flute, I think it isn't as professional if you don't learn how
to play without the plugs/corks in the holes. If you start out with it, keep
them closed until you are used to it, but gradually open the holes up! I feel
that it is a waste of money if you never open them up and yuou have an open
holed flute. The girl who sits one chair behind me does that, she's never
opened them up and refuses to give herself a challenge. I think that she is
being a hypocrite. (I can't spell that, I'm sorry) She bought a flute that
costs more because it's open holed and she refuses to challenge herself with it
because she doesn't want to move down, chair-wise. I find that trite. The point
of chair placement is to tell who has accomplished more when challenges has come
their way and I feel that there are more people behind her that have
accomplished more. But either flute works. I'd be just as content with my older
flute as I am with my newer one. I love them both and I hope that my words about
that girl and open holes didn't offend anyone, if it did, I'd be glad to
either edit this so it is no longer on here or to apoligize, but those are my
feelings. Thank you for letting me rant on and on, but I think I'm going to be
off now! -Abby Good luck choosing a flute and challenge yourself either way!


PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 12:41 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 1:41 am
Posts: 41
i'd been playing on a closed-holed flute
for around 7 years, and this year my friend (who is going to have her 5th flute
soon... ahh!!) lent me one of her old open-holed flutes. my old flute is a
really good flute for being a beginner's, but when i first started playing my
friend's flute there was a noticable difference between the two. it was easier
to use vibrato and it just sounded nicer! anyway, it could have been the fact
that my friend's flute was made of silver and my flute is probably some cheaper
kind of metal. try out both kinds and decide which one you like better!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 4:35 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 4:24 pm
Posts: 139
I can only think of a few reasons why
open-hole (sometimes referred to as French keys) flutes are more popular than
closed-hole (plateau) flutes. One, you can more easily play extended techniques
including, quarter tone pitches by sliding your finger(s) over the whole which
will give you some interesting sounds. Also, on some of the high notes
(including 4th octave C and above) sometimes half-holing the key (which is
pushing down the key without covering the whole) may help intonation. The other
reasons are more for aesthetic purposes. For the most part, I personally think
that open-hole flutes look "pretty." Generally there is a little more
craftsmanship that goes into the flute. And the more money you spend, the nicer
it tends to get. And yes, most people prefer open-hole flutes once they have
"graduated" from a student plateau model. However, there are people that like
the qualities of the plateau model flute better than open-hole. These reasons
can include, small hands and it is difficult to cover the holes adequately or a
little more comfort in not trying to have to cover the holes. Also, on a plateau
model flute you will not be able to perform certain extended techniques. The
statement that higher quality flutes tend to be open-hole is true in a sense.
The majority of flutists generally want an open-hole flute as they begin to
advance. This however does NOT mean that a plateau model flute is not available.
Most companies will put closed-hole keys on your instrument with no extra
charge, however you will probably have to go through the company and it may take
a little extra time. Best of luck!!!


PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2002 11:20 pm
Posts: 51
I do agree with the techniques thing you
menchioned, but I've yet to need it and I don't know how high the level of
music acually calls for a flute to use those. I think that you're safe with
either flute, if price is an issue, closed holed flutes tend to cost less, or so
I've observed, but I'm sure you can find a good open holed flute for a fair
price, good luck again!


PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 3:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 1:41 am
Posts: 41
the student model flutes (closed) with the c
foot have a pretty limited range.. i tried to play C4 and couldn't get anything
out. haven't tried it on a closed-holed flute with a b foot though, i've heard
that it helps to have that gizmo key. gahh i hate those high notes!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 2:23 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 6:59 am
Posts: 131
This question seems to appear in places a
lot. I think that it is mainly a personal preference but I think there are some
advantages. As mentioned earlier, hand positioning, the player is forced to have
correct hand position so the keys will be covered. From extended technique
instructions I've seen it shows that open hole flutes have an advantage with
glissandi. Open holes are harder to get used to but I own an open hole flute,
and personally, I think its amazing!


PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 1:58 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 11:53 am
Posts: 19
I started on a closed hole flute, ( a buffet
model) and found it absoloutly fine, however I started to get more and more
interested in jazz, and noticed that alot of jazz flautists were using open
holes. Of preference, I'd say I'm partial to open holes, mainly for the
techniques that are then available and sound good in many jazz pieces. I think
both open and closed are good, it just depends on what you want to do... Becky,
England xXxXx

hee!!! Look at the pic! I love that image, it cracks me up every

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:57 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:51 pm
Posts: 103
I think that closed holed flutes are better
because they always make the right sound/note even if you don't make the hole
and your finger match just right!! [;)]


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