My new flute

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Bo
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My new flute

Post by Bo »

I just bought a Yamaha 371H. I know it is still considered a student flute, but it has such a wonderful sound as compared to my former flute for beginners. I love it! :D It has a sterling silver headjoint and a B foot, so it basically has the main features of a more professional flute.
I only find it still a little bit difficult to play with open holes, so I am leaving the caps on for the moment. Any advice on how to play with open holes?

Thanks,
Bo

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper »

Obviously, correct hand position is crucial for playing open holes. Make sure you are covering the holes with the center of each finger pad.

There are basically two ways to adapt: Go cold turkey with no inserts and just make your self cover the holes or try starting with all of the inserts and them remove them one at a time, playing for a week or so before removing the next one. The ring fingers are generally the hardest, so you might leave those for last.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

MathWizard
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Post by MathWizard »

If I remember correctly, the 371H has an inline G, if you have small hands, this can be a big adjustment, and some people are never able to remove the plug on the left ring finger.

For me, I just removed all of the plugs at once and went from there, its probably better too, just make sure you aren't in rehearsal while trying this, because it isn't a good idea. Make sure that you keep the plugs in your case or somewhere that you will remember because playing an open hole flute isn't so easy when you have a band-aid on your finger.
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Bo
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Post by Bo »

Thank you for the advice. :D I am playing around with the plugs at the moment. To remove them all at once was not a good idea... I seem to be better with the right hand.
Hopefully I don't lose the plugs! It would be nice if the flute had come with some spare plugs, but I guess I can always order them.
The 371H has an offset G, but that's OK, as I have small hands...

Bo

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

When I purchased my first open hole flute, it didn't come with plugs. I HAD to do it cold turkey. It took a few days, but I eventually got used to it. I haven't used plugs since. The only time I ever used plugs was when I was in marching band.

At that time my marching flute was open hole as well (a silver plated, open hole, b foot, vintage selmer). We had a move where we marched to the left (parallel to the front sideline) while facing the front. Twisted into that position, there was no way I was able to reliably seal the inline g key with my finger while playing runs. So I put the plug in as a safety net.

Thankfully marching band is a thing of my past, and that flute has long since retired.

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Zevang
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Post by Zevang »

The sooner you abandon these caps, the better.
It's just a matter of practicing and positioning your hands the proper way.

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Bo
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Post by Bo »

Cold Turkey is probably the best way. Like it or lump it!
When I bought my first flute (the one for beginners) I needed a few days too to find the right tune, so I suppose it is normal...
At any rate I think the 371H is a good flute for the price. It has a warm tone and the notes flow better.

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Bo
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Post by Bo »

I could play a couple of Bach pieces with open holes today! :P

It is a progress, but I can still play better with plugs. I suppose it is normal...

Bo

kiwiflute
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Post by kiwiflute »

Why do you want to play with the holes open?

If you are an amateur enthusiast, you will only ever need open holes for special effects such as multiphonics, microtones and slides. Other than that the open holes will only make it harder to play your flute without any benefit at all. As an amateur, I don't see any point in making flute playing harder than it already is!

If you are a planning a career as professional flute player, especially classical, your choices will be driven by the requirements of your teachers and by the instrument snobbery endemic in the flute world!

Just some food for thought!

MathWizard
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Post by MathWizard »

The above post is not true at all. After you get the open holes down, it is second nature. The hardest part is just playing without the plugs, and then you don't have to worry about it.

Also, playing without the plugs provides some discipline with your flute playing. Also, many people have a philosophy that if you play without the plugs, you will be able to feel the air going through the flute and have a better feeling for what you are playing.

Having an open hole flute isn't just about being able to play the multiphonics and such, it is more of a step to being a better flute player, and it shows other people that you are very serious about your flute playing.
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Bo
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Post by Bo »

Speaking of multiphonics, are there any good links on the net?
Just to have an idea...

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

MathWizard wrote: Having an open hole flute isn't just about being able to play the multiphonics and such, it is more of a step to being a better flute player, and it shows other people that you are very serious about your flute playing.
I blatantly disagree with this. I can't count how many flute players I know who play with open holes that ARE NOT serious about their playing. AND, there are several world renowned players that play with closed holes. Having open holes on your flute is just a feature to allow the player to do certain techniques. They do not indicate a quality instrument, nor a dedicated player. So, I would be careful about making allegations before spinning stories of your own...

kiwiflute
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Post by kiwiflute »

Well said fluteguy - couldn't have put it better myself!

Marcel Moyse - probably the most influential flute player of the twentieth century - played on a closed hole silver plated flute. I find it hard to believe that anyone would dare question his ability or commitment just because his flute didn't have holes in five of the keys!

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

Absolutely! Moyse often said that he didn't have what he called a "designer" flute. Often times when he would be giving masterclasses and would take a break, he would put his flute down on the table. People would rush up to look at it to see what was so special about it and he would sometimes say with a chuckle: Eet eez on zee left!

lol

MathWizard
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Post by MathWizard »

fluteguy18 wrote: I blatantly disagree with this. I can't count how many flute players I know who play with open holes that ARE NOT serious about their playing. AND, there are several world renowned players that play with closed holes. Having open holes on your flute is just a feature to allow the player to do certain techniques. They do not indicate a quality instrument, nor a dedicated player. So, I would be careful about making allegations before spinning stories of your own...
I never said that what I said was factual information. In my experience as a flute player, many players that aren't serious never upgrade from their beginner flute, and those that are, they upgrade to an intermediate flute which in most cases have open holes. I was never claiming this to be a fact, or have any proof of it being a fact. So before you start making allegations against me, make sure you understand the point of view that I am coming from.

For me, I saw a huge difference when I took out the plugs from my flute. I saw a huge improvement in my tone and in my articulation response. Also, taking out the plugs keeps you disciplined so you don't end up putting the middle of your finger over the keys instead of the end of your finger. (I have seen this happen.) Now I am not going to say that you will end up doing that if you don't take the plugs out, I am just giving an example of why taking out the plugs is a good thing to do.

Also, depending on the plugs that you received with your flute, if you decide not to take them out, it affects the chimney of each of the holes. Holes aren't put into flutes to just put a plug in them, they are put there so that you can not only just preform more advanced techniques, but see some improvement in your playing.
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