Upgrading Headjoint

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Upgrading Headjoint

Post by sherbert789 » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:03 pm

I am a college flute student (a music minor at a school that has a tremendous music department) playing on a Sankyo Silver Sonic flute that I bought at the beginning of my junior year in high school. It's in excellent playing condition (just had a COA) and I generally consider it to be a pretty good instrument. Even though I am not a music major, I'm a fairly serious musician (typically, I practice between 1-3 hours a day and I take as many music classes as I can at school). Lately, my flute teacher at school has made some comments to me about outgrowing my instrument. She doesn't think that it is possible to make any growth in tone on the instrument I am playing on. Since I'm not a music major, my parents aren't exactly willing to pay $10,000 to get me a Powell. Any suggestions on headjoint upgrades? I really want to make the most out of my music education and I don't want to be held back by my instrument!!

Thanks so much : )

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Post by fluttiegurl » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:58 pm

Upgrading the headjoint can be a cost effective way to get more out of your current flute, but only if the flute itself is in top condition. However, this will not get the exact same result as a handmade flute (for instance). As long as you are clear on that, I personally think this may be one way to go, especially if you are not a music major. I also suggest that you do try some flutes along the way to make sure you understand that this will not change how your flutes plays completely.

Headjoints are not all alike and will respond differently on different flutes for different people. This could be a long process. If you do decide to go this route, take your time and play everything that you can. I have my students set out a criteria for a new flute or head before they actually start looking. Start by making a list of the things that you do not like about your current flute, then rule out all of the things that you know you can achieve with practice (your list should be very short at that point :shock: ) Rate the importance of the remaining criteria. This is a personal matter and will change from person to person. Finally, make sure that a change in headjoint will actually help in these areas. this is really where the trial comes in. If you are not noticing a significant difference, then investing in a headjoint will not really be a wise investment.

Also keep in mind that headjonts are not cheap. This is a much less expensive route than the $10,000 Powell, but it is possible to find a flute that you like that won't cost that much. Just some food for thought.

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