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Muting the flute

Alternate Fingerings, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

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Bo
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Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:49 pm

Hi :),

It's summer here, and I am practising the high register at the moment (really the highest notes). I keep my window closed when I practise, but I have noticed that most of the other people in this building keep their windows open.

Nobody has complained, but I feel soooo uncomfortable practising the high register and thinking that my neighbours might hear me. :( :shock: :oops:

Have you got any tips?

Thanks!

evrmre
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby evrmre » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:48 pm

I can relate, as I'm currently working on my higher register also. About all I've come up with is making sure not to play late into the night. Could also ask if your neighbours actually can hear you, as higher frequencies are much easier to block with solid objects. This is because a higher frequency has a shorter wavelength, so may not pass through objects (ie: windows/walls ) as readily as lower ones. Basically, they may not actually hear you...

Aside from that, I guess encouraging them to use their heat pumps, etc, and closing their windows? :lol:

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Bo
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:59 pm

Thanks!
I have also just found this: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/musFAQ.html#flutemute
I wonder if "Blu Tack" would also work instead of clay? I think it should be fine. :D (The first solution seems to be only for low ranges...)

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Re: Muting the flute

Postby flutego12 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:16 am

Thanks!
I have also just found this: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/musFAQ.html#flutemute
I wonder if "Blu Tack" would also work instead of clay? I think it should be fine. :D (The first solution seems to be only for low ranges...)
Thanks for the tip.
Tried the cotton wool in headjoint method - you must mean to insert it right in after the hole toward the crown (?) because if it is before the embouchure, there will be no sound.
Not sure how the clay option should be done - pictorials will be helpful.
flutist with a screwdriver

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Bo
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:55 pm

I actually didn't write that page... But I tried Blu Tack on the embouchure and it worked. I haven't tried cotton wool yet.
I basically applied the Blu Tack to the border of the embouchure opposite to where I place my lips.
Of course it mutes the flute, but it doesn't reduce the volume, so I am not sure it is extremely useful because you can't improve your sound if you can't hear it....

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Re: Muting the flute

Postby pied_piper » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:17 pm

Anything placed around the embouchure hole will affect how the flute plays so if part of the goal is to practice for improving tone, articulation, etc., it may also affect your playing in a negative manner. Altering the air flow will change the resistance/response of the flute and can also affect intonation.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Bo
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:34 pm

I agree. I tried for two minutes, but didn't think it was a good idea.
Now I am just about to play the flute on a public holiday. It is pouring down outside and probably everyone is home and will be able to hear me... :evil:

evrmre
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby evrmre » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:53 pm

And so the consensus is... invite them to enjoy the beautiful sounds of your playing, and ignore them. They can always shut the windows and turn on the air con if they can't appreciate good sound when they hear it... :twisted:

Seriously, as long as you aren't setting 2am as your practice time, you're better off not worrying until someone actually says something. I've been playing every evening for months now, and not one of my neighbours has even mentioned hearing me play. (And yes... I do talk to some of them at times...).

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Bo
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:14 pm

They are actually OK, they have never complained. :mrgreen: But the problem is that I also play the guitar and the piano in an apartment building. Actually I am surprised nobody has complained yet (I also have a chatty bird on top of that)! But today for example everything is soooo quiet. And I am here playing the flute and in a couple of hours I am going to start the piano. :lol:

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flutego12
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby flutego12 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:20 pm

Soundproofing is impossibly expensive but I've done a little research on this.

One effective way is to find a room within your home (eg a walk in wardrobe or larder or understairs cellar) which - this is important - IS SURROUNDED BY ANOTHER ROOM ON EACH SIDE ie have no external wall - this space will be the closest you have to creating a "room within the room" - to keep your sound in the house. Carpeting and upholstery absorb the sound waves and if you can seal the gaps, but make sure you have some air supply for breathing!

We love relaxing at night/ evening with some flute playing - which isn't an ideal time for the neighbours - and though no one has complained, it is something we are very wary of. Hence was launched the search for the ever illusive accoustic foam - after two boxes of Auralex which has some effect for our bathroom which has an exernal wall - we've concluded that even if we did nothing and just used an internal room that we have, we can hear NOTHING outside, even at midnight.

It's simply amazing. Test it out and see.

That said, soft (padded) rooms are NOT a favorite practice spot of mine. The ideal play-listening spots to me are the cold rooms (tiled) which simulates to some extent playing in a cathedral. (shivers, so good for some of the repertoire!) These however are a nightmare for recording which is not an issue for us - yet.

ADDENDUM - For apartments, you're generally oK if your apartment is 1) double walled or full brick - however brick veneer constructs require padding eg play on a thick carpet, might need to place some accoustic foam (check suitability as they are not all for soundproofing) on the ceiling. ood luck
Last edited by flutego12 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.
flutist with a screwdriver

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Bo
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:25 pm

Thanks. :) There will still be people upstairs though.

It is good not to have nasty neighbours though.
A lady on a piano board said her neighbour started to bang the moment her piano was delivered, with the delivery people still there testing it! :roll:

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flutego12
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby flutego12 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:30 pm

And so the consensus is... invite them to enjoy the beautiful sounds of your playing, and ignore them. They can always shut the windows and turn on the air con if they can't appreciate good sound when they hear it... :twisted:

Seriously, as long as you aren't setting 2am as your practice time, you're better off not worrying until someone actually says something. I've been playing every evening for months now, and not one of my neighbours has even mentioned hearing me play. (And yes... I do talk to some of them at times...).
you must be good.
flutist with a screwdriver

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Bo
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:34 pm

Sometimes I play the piano at 3am, but in silent mode. (I have a silent piano, that it to say a piano that can be used both as an acoustic piano and a digital piano). 8)

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flutego12
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby flutego12 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:49 pm

Sometimes I play the piano at 3am, but in silent mode. (I have a silent piano, that it to say a piano that can be used both as an acoustic piano and a digital piano). 8)
That's brilliant. They are 99.9% wonderful apart from when there is a power failure of course. :wink:
flutist with a screwdriver

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Bo
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Re: Muting the flute

Postby Bo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:01 pm

Sometimes I play the piano at 3am, but in silent mode. (I have a silent piano, that it to say a piano that can be used both as an acoustic piano and a digital piano). 8)
That's brilliant. They are 99.9% wonderful apart from when there is a power failure of course. :wink:
Yes, acoustic mode at 3am would be a bit problematic, particularly something powerful like Beethoven's Pathétique... :mrgreen: :twisted:


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