Help with high F#

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

avins
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:44 pm
Contact:

Help with high F#

Post by avins »

Hi everyone , as we all know, hard work pays at the end ,, I can play quite fluently upto high A3 , no problem with G and F but its more kind of hit and miss wiht the F# , is it a generally more difficult note or just me , or is there an alternative, I play with fingers 1 , 3 and back c -left hand , and fingers 2 or 3 -right hand and open D# of course , any help on this one will be greatly appreciated

User avatar
MonikaFL
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Contact:

Post by MonikaFL »

It's a difficult note for most of us at first, don't worry.

Is your LH thumb on the B natural side of the thumb key, NOT on the thumb Bb key? Playing F#3 with thumb Bb will make life really miserable (if not next to impossible).

You might want to check out Trevor Wye's Practice Book for the Flute Volume 1: TONE -- there is a whole section called "Gnomes" that focuses on E3 and F#3. It pretty much solved my F#3 woes when I was trying to tame that wild beast. :lol:
Visit [url=http://www.monikadurbin.com/formiapress]Formia Press[/url] to check out my compositions and arrangements for flute and more.

fluteguy18
Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Post by fluteguy18 »

MonikaFL wrote:It's a difficult note for most of us at first, don't worry.

Is your LH thumb on the B natural side of the thumb key, NOT on the thumb Bb key? Playing F#3 with thumb Bb will make life really miserable (if not next to impossible).

. :lol:
Amen. I still do it by accident sometimes. Also, it might be a good idea to have you flute checked for leaks [even if there arent any, it is still good to get you flute looked at every now and then].

avins
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:44 pm
Contact:

Post by avins »

Thanks for the comments , Monika when you say LH natural side , I suppose you mean the C key , the one below the B flat , anyway thats the one I use , of course ,I lol about the "wild beast " thats a good one , Ill look for the trevor wye book. Flute18 , I often check for leaks , but this new flute seems in perfect condition , well I do manage to produce the F# but at least I know now that I have to work harder or differently than its neighbouring tones to get it right .Thanks again

User avatar
flutepicc06
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 11:34 pm

Post by flutepicc06 »

avins wrote:Thanks for the comments , Monika when you say LH natural side , I suppose you mean the C key , the one below the B flat , anyway thats the one I use , of course ,
There is no C key below the Bb key, unless you're talking about the one on the footjoint (which I doubt, since both of you referenced the left hand). To avoid any confusion, perhaps this would be of use:
http://www.larrykrantz.com/keyname.htm

I'll venture a guess that MonikaFL was suggesting that you might accidentally have your thumb resting on the thumb Bb (left side of the thumb key assembly), which will make the F# sound horrendous. Make sure you have your left thumb on the B natural side of things (the right side of the thumb assembly) when playing F#3.

avins
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:44 pm
Contact:

Post by avins »

Thanks flutepicc06 , BTW in th Larrykranz drawing , C at the back is mentioned after all

User avatar
MonikaFL
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Contact:

Post by MonikaFL »

Practicing harmonics might prove useful too... also in that Trevor Wye book.

Trevor Wye rocks.
Visit [url=http://www.monikadurbin.com/formiapress]Formia Press[/url] to check out my compositions and arrangements for flute and more.

User avatar
flutepicc06
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 11:34 pm

Post by flutepicc06 »

avins wrote:Thanks flutepicc06 , BTW in th Larrykranz drawing , C at the back is mentioned after all
That's the tonehole name. The toneholes and the keys that seal them have different note names associated with them, since you mentioned the "C Key" I was correct. There is no C key below the Bb.

User avatar
MonikaFL
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:30 am
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Contact:

Post by MonikaFL »

It does get confusing! LOL :lol:
Visit [url=http://www.monikadurbin.com/formiapress]Formia Press[/url] to check out my compositions and arrangements for flute and more.

User avatar
sidekicker
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:58 am
Location: Scottish-American in Oklahoma

Post by sidekicker »

That note can be very problematic for us all. I often play that high F# using the middle right hand fingering plus right pinky on the low C# key (instead of it being on the D# key). Maybe it is flute- or headjoint-specific, but for me it makes that note speak better and takes the bristly edge off it; it also works just as well on each of the 3 heads I have. I also substitute the C# key for the the D# key in the right hand for the high A above that F#.

SK

kodalyflutist
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:43 am
Location: Florida panhandle
Contact:

Post by kodalyflutist »

Does your flute have a split-E mechanism? Often, this affects the F# and makes it more unstable - an unfortunate by-product of the split-E and a reason that I won't have it on my next flute. The donut in the lower G hole works well in place of the split-E key. Sidekicker has good suggestions for experimenting with your footjoint keys. Alternate fingerings are just that - alternate tools to use in circumstances where they will work. They are not "fake" fingerings and they require skill and judicious use - you must listen carefully to see if they really do improve the note, and they are not a panacea for every circumstance. Add them to your tool box and you will be a happier flutist. In addition, working on your embouchure flexibility with octaves and harmonics is another great suggestion. Get familiar with that note. I like to tell my students - you are uncomfortable with that note and dislike it because it is unfamiliar. Get friendly with it! Practice it much more, so that you are familiar with its little quirks, and you will grow to love it more as a friend, rather than a foe. It is possible to work on a weakness so much that it actually becomes a strength in your playing.

best, Ann
http://musicmind.homestead.com

"Music belongs to everyone." ~ Zoltán Kodály

fluteguy18
Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Post by fluteguy18 »

kodalyflutist wrote:Does your flute have a split-E mechanism? Often, this affects the F# and makes it more unstable - an unfortunate by-product of the split-E and a reason that I won't have it on my next flute.
How so? Is it the weight? Normally, when playing F# [any octave] you have the "g" key depressed which negates the function of the split e mech. I have one, and it doesnt bother my f# at all. However, this may be an issue that varies from flute to flute like timbral trills [same note, but trilling between two different timbres as an extended technique]. That sort of trill does vary from flute to flute [my Miyazawa has a much wider timbre palette for each note than my professor's Powell we discovered while learning the piece 'Charanga' by Michael Coquhoun]. But it is an interesting thought...

kodalyflutist
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:43 am
Location: Florida panhandle
Contact:

Post by kodalyflutist »

fluteguy18 said: How so? Is it the weight? Normally, when playing F# [any octave] you have the "g" key depressed which negates the function of the split e mech. I have one, and it doesnt bother my f# at all.

Hi Fluteguy18 - I know what you are saying exactly. I won't claim to have the physics knowledge to refute what you've said. It could just be that my section mate and I both have flutes that have this quirk - we both have had flutes w/o split E and with split E, and we discussed more than once how our similar experience was that the split E instruments had issues with high F#. We have different brands of flutes, but it could very well be that we both had slight leaks that were related to the split-E mechanism. I frequently used and preferred using RH5 for high F# on my flute w/split E because it felt more stable and the pitch was slightly lower - thinking of your statement, you can see that this would perhaps assist in closing that second key in the G mechanism and perhaps seal the leak (if there was one) - explaining why I preferred that fingering. Does that make sense?
http://musicmind.homestead.com

"Music belongs to everyone." ~ Zoltán Kodály

fluteguy18
Posts: 2311
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Post by fluteguy18 »

I think I understand.... It could be a leak, or it could just be a quirk of the instrument. And various fingerings cause the flutes to act differently, so that could be part of the issue [because 'standard' fingerings are a little different by geographical location]. For example: I have a close friend who lives in Taipei Tawain, and she uses the thumb Bb as a standard. Where I live, the left pointer, left thumb, and right pointer fingers were standard. Another person I know learned the right middle finger as the standard for F#, whereas I learned the right ring finger. So, it could just be tons and tons of things affecting these 'oddities' of fluting. :wink:

User avatar
Hoshi_Flute
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:47 am
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Post by Hoshi_Flute »

fluteguy18 wrote:How so? Is it the weight? Normally, when playing F# [any octave] you have the "g" key depressed which negates the function of the split e mech. I have one, and it doesnt bother my f# at all.
For me as well, I have a split E mechanism with no problems on any of the F #. It does seem to be a matter of the brand and condition of the instrument.

Post Reply