Which Professional Flute Model?

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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DFlute
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Thanks for the great insights!

Post by DFlute » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:12 pm

flutepicc06 wrote:One thing to consider in play testing is that you may not want to play your flute for a week or so before you actually test the flutes. You want your embouchure to be adaptable to the flutes, not set on however you usually play. Gemeinhardts especially require a somewhat different embouchure from other flutes, and it will take a bit of time to learn how to play a different flute well. Even staying within the same brand name, it can take a couple of weeks or longer to adjust to the flute and get it's best from it.
Your info on the Gemein embouchure is another much needed lightbulb above my head! I never even considered or thought about my embouchure being so totally set to my current flute!

This makes total sense though. In fact I should have realized this on my own.

One of my friends plays and makes various asian style (wooden/clay/bamboo) flutes. He is truly amazing and plays various shapes and sizes of transverse and shakuhachi (end blown) flutes.

I am a hopeless case when I try to play these foreign objects, despite close to thirty years of silver flute tooting!!

My first flute was a Bundy flute. I wish I still had it so I could compare the Gemeinhardt with the Bundy. I like the sound of the Gemein much better than I ever remember hearing come out of the Bundy. (I was fluteless for three years) The Gemein flute is a fairly recent addition to my life and I am a little more appreciative and have different reasons for playing now. I find daily practice very relaxing and rewarding.


There are so many wonderful tools to promote and encourage practice now that I never imigined when I first picked up my Bundy way back in the 1970's. One of my choice tools is Finale Notepad program (a freeware program). The cds and computer tutorials, and tuners are also fun...and the internet! What a great thing this is!

Perhaps, if these things existed in my first days of flute study...along with my wonderful flute teacher (she was a member of the teaching staff at public school and I received semiprivate lessons with her for 4 years!). Our special class (of 2-5 flute students) met three times a week. I found a different situation in the jr/high school experience. The 'band/orchestra' teacher knew nothing of flute and that was it. I was so bored.

It is difficult to say...as I think the schools were beginning to cut music and arts programs...in early 80's and so...the transitions continue...maybe this online space...can hopefully help fill the gap for new music students, by offering comradery, encouragement and insights from others who share the joy and appreciation in playing flute.

I feel like a new student all over again when I read your posts.

I'm writing another long
winded piece here.

Thanks so much for the embouchure info on Gemein...I am looking to purchase a used or new alto or base flute...

(I really find the high register on the gemein a bit taxing on the ears and hope)

Do you know if the embouchure issues with the gemein...affect the high register on the gemein...on mine...up to d3 is fine, eb3, g3, a3 are ok but E3 and F3 are (shudder) less than pleasant to play and to hear for bystanders...especially my cat! :evil:

Thanks again for the thoughtful posts :D
those who hear not the music think the dancers mad

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woof
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Hi registers

Post by woof » Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:15 am

Hi Dflute- I have only been playing for 4 years and without lessons so your experience exceeds mine by quite a bit. But I have had the same problem with the upper registers and with B4 C4 I was in serious need of ear plugs- a piccolo phenomena I understand. Let alone I could only maintain the notes for a brief time. My new flute - a Pearl with a Forza headjoint- flies up the upper registers with an easily substainable C4- still at my skill level not an entirely sweet sound- which deepens my appreciation for people like Galway and Nestor Torres. On the pearl the lower C1 B1 is more difficult than on my Gemey. So for me the cut of the headjoint makes a very big difference. I agree with you also about schools cutting programs like music that can enrich a persons entire life. As a bumper sticker I recently saw said something to the effect of " Wouldn't it be nice if schools had all the money they need and the military had to run a bake sale for a new plane"

Good luck with your playing.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:16 pm

Hi DFLute! I'm glad you found my post interesting! The cut of the headjoint definitely affects the different registers (a little too much off here, and the low register suffers, a little too much there and the upper register suffers). That's why it can take many, many years to learn the art (yes, it's an art far more than it is a science) of headjoint making. You need to provide a good base tone, but also ensure that the tone carries easily through the entire range. However, you should be able to play into the 3rd octave without any great change in dynamic or shrillness. Just sitting here, I pulled out my student Yamaha (which is machine made, as is your Gemmie), and could play up to D4 piano, with a rich sound (albeit not as rich or as quiet as my gold flute lets me play). If you do tone matching exercises (which can also become dynamic matching exercises), this should come easier to you. Find a note where you have a full dynamic range and the tone you are looking for (this may be a good deal lower than you would expect), and hold it out for a few seconds at a comfortable mf. Then slur up a 1/2 step to the next pitch, working to match the tone and dynamic of the lower note. Repeat this until you're comfortable with the higher note, and then move upwards in a similar fashion. Eventually you will learn to play pianissimo in the third octave, while maintaining your tone. This takes a good deal of control, however, so do not expect it to come over night. At least a month or so is probably a more realistic amount of time to start to hear/feel major change, though it really does depend on you. Good luck!

DFlute
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high registers

Post by DFlute » Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:59 pm

Hi woof,
I'm sure you are a fine flute player. I tried a pearl flute last week and also found the same challenge (the gaspy wisps of low c) with the low register with the light leaps through the upper register...If only we could have it both ways...

the high register is my mount everast (sp)..
thanks flutepic for the helpful practice tips...I have climed all but B-C ...these remaining are still a painfull scramble.a crawl...through icy piercing sound..but...alas...I'll get there...

If only we could urge composers to avoid those &**&*&* high B' -C' notes ...when these come up in a piece...I am filled with dread...especially if the piece happens to be on the list for our community minstrel group...gulp...but those very notes are what have ultimately forced me to face the music and focus on these too long avoided flute fears. :shock:
those who hear not the music think the dancers mad

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:08 pm

Another suggestion that might help with the upper end of the third octave is to play up into the fourth octave. These notes don't really have to be pretty (even with work, they're hard to make pretty), but if you can pop an E4 out every once in a while, you'll notice that your upper 3rd octave becomes much easier. Once those pitches are easier, some tuner work will help get them in tune, and some tone (like what I described above) work will improve the sound.

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woof
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Re: high registers

Post by woof » Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:02 pm

[quote="DFlute"]Hi woof,
I'm sure you are a fine flute player. I tried a pearl flute last week and also found the same challenge (the gaspy wisps of low c) with the low register with the light leaps through the upper register...If only we could have it both ways...

DFlute- it does come with practice I can get the low C and B most times but with fast passages it is sometimes a bit airy. Yeah still looking for that perfect flute that will let us play like the pros LOL.

DFlute
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Re: high registers

Post by DFlute » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:14 pm

woof wrote:
DFlute wrote:Hi woof,
I'm sure you are a fine flute player. I tried a pearl flute last week and also found the same challenge (the gaspy wisps of low c) with the low register with the light leaps through the upper register...If only we could have it both ways...

DFlute- it does come with practice I can get the low C and B most times but with fast passages it is sometimes a bit airy. Yeah still looking for that perfect flute that will let us play like the pros LOL.
Woof, it sounds like you are really braving the storms of the high register! 8) And yes I would love to find that perfectly cut flute that would sing every note as easily as playing A1-A2 notes. And if in addition to easy sound production...if the flute might play every note in perfect tune...regardless of the outside environment or flute temperature...without player adjustments...! :D And If this perfect flute would have self repairing pads...self adjusting mechanisms... :lol: ok...ok... I am getting carried away...Next I'll be asking the flute to put the tea kettle on for me after practice!

You mention low register challenges...I played some B foot flutes and certainly noticed that my stubby pinky finger had to really strrrrrretchh...to reach those lower mechanisms...for C (Middle C on the piano) and B. It seems like this wee shorty finger is the most sluggish in fast passages....I wonder if there is some technique or method to correct this..(aside from the ever required and albeit slow but time tested...secret solution...the three p's:practice, persistence, patience)maybe some genetic engineering to grow a sixth finger :wink: ...that would be cool...so the pinky could stay poised and ready at D# and the new sixth finger, which would also be of perfect length, would be poised and ready over low c/C#....!

I hate to confess that even on my C foot flute...the wee finger is less speedy than the others in those rapid passages loaded with low c's and C#/Db's. :oops:

I have really appreciated the posts on this board...no longer feel like the lone fluter stranded in the desolate desert! :)
those who hear not the music think the dancers mad

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:03 pm

In your post about learning how to solve the sluggishness in the pinky finger, I would recommend getting Trevor Wye's book on technique [or his omnibus edition of all 5 of his main books]. In there, he has several excercises that really help with agility in the lower register. I have used it several times myself.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:31 pm

You might also try adjusting the angle that the footjoint is at. Many teachers show their students how to put their flute together with a certain alignment (perhaps the rods on the body are in the center of the D# key, or something), but there is no wrong way to align the flute as long as it's comfortable for you, and sounds good. I play with the keys on the foot joint in line with the keys on the body, as that's what works best for me, but people turn their footjoint in almost 90 degrees from there. Perhaps experimenting with the foot will put it in a better position for you.

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Mark
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Post by Mark » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:30 am

this has been a fascinating thread to read over.. :)

First off, I will say that of the flutes I have played, I got the best over-all
response from a Gemmie 3 silver that I passed to a friend who was,
at that time, fluteless. :)

Secondly, I do know some pro's that play Gemmies..

That not withstanding, I am sure that it has more to do with the player
and their preferences.
I have found that different flutes speak to different people and for different
people. Whether they be boehm system, or NAf. So I was glad to see that
y'all advised the person in question to try as many as possible. :)

When I do decide to finally retire my little Conservarte, I will most likely
do just that myself, although I suspect I will end up going with either
Gemeinhardt or Pearl.

mark

Ron239
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Best choice of professional flutes

Post by Ron239 » Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:05 am

Hi. I attended the New York Flute Fair this year and tried out a zillion flutes and piccolos. I own an old heavy-walled Haynes flute (1967) which plays magnificently. They now make a Haynes Classic flute -- the body is made in China to Haynes specifications, the headjoint is made by Haynes in this country -- it goes for $2,400 suggested retail price. Silver headjoint, nickel/silver body. For all intents and purposes, it played as beautifully as my much higher priced (probably would go for ten grand) Haynes, I kid you not. Had that warm Haynes sound.
Other than that, except for the Pearl and Muramatsu flutes, most other brands were disappointing. Even the lower end Powells. (If you can find an older higher end Powell and can afford it, that's another matter.)
I wouldn't touch a Gemeinhardt with a ten-foot pole.
-RVM

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MrBaz
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Post by MrBaz » Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:59 pm

I would have gone with the Yamaha as well. Excellent choice. If only we could all afford Nagahara. :shock:

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