Playing E without pinky

For Anything and Everything to do with Flute Playing and Music

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 6:38 pm

Playing E without pinky

Post by ghulse »

I'm new to the flute and new to this site. I broke my foot in the fall and, out of boredom, I bought a used flute at the local pawn shop and started to teach myself to play.

Anyway, I've been learning to play the Moody Blues' song, Visions of Paradise, which features some beautiful flute playing by Ray Thomas. There's an opening intro in which Ray plays the following descending notes . . . C B Bf A Af GGf F E D E.

At least, I think these are the right notes. I've been practicing this little ditty for a while and I'm starting to gain some fluidity. Amazingly, there's a video with a closeup of Ray's flute playing here:

After the final E in the above sequence, you see Ray do a little (what do you call it?) in which he plays E F E D E in rapid sequence. My flute frequently squeaks when I'm transitioning from E to D and back to E. Quite by accident, I discovered that if you just leave your pinky off the Eb key, it seems to make squeaking less likely. In the video, you can see that Ray actually leaves his pinky off too! Now my guess is that this is incorrect flute-playing. I believe Ray Thomas was fairly new to the flute during the Moody Blues' formative years. But I'm wondering if you more experienced players can comment about this.

And do you guys think my note sequence listed above is correct? it took me a while to figure it out and I want to make sure I'm playing it right.

Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Playing E without pinky

Post by SylvreKat »

Welcome to the forum! Great for you, for spending your recovery time learning something new!

I can't advise on the accuracy of the notes--I'm not familiar with the piece. But I can tell you the little E-F-E-D-E lick is called a turn. In written music it's notated by a sideways reversed S over the primary note (in this case E)

Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

Post Reply