Open-holes are so common in new flutes...necessary?

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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asoalin
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Open-holes are so common in new flutes...necessary?

Post by asoalin » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:17 pm

I've tried a lot of open-holed flutes lately (my old student flute I learned on was closed-holed), and I just can't get used to it. I feel like I have to bend my wrist uncomfortably to cover the holes, which ends up making my wrist sore to where I have to take a break from playing.

My choice music to play is primarily classical. I've heard open-holed flutes allow you to play more modern music, so if I got a closed-holed flute would I really be missing out on anything? I want to be a professional freelance musician someday. Right now I'm in college.

I just have a feeling that if I bought an open-holed flute I'd just leave the plugs in all the time anyway. I'm just wondering if later on I will wish I had open-holes to play certain types of music. I'm not really sure what type of music that is though (the type that require open-holes).

What do you think?
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." -Sergei Rachmaninoff

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:46 pm

Did you try an open-holed model with inline or offset G? The offset G is more comfortable for some players.

Read the FAQ. It goes into a good discussion about selecting a flute, but here are a few quick points to consider.

Open hole models allow a few more alternate fingerings and for really modern music, quarter tone intervals are possible. Other than that, there probably is little advantage other than resale value. Open hole flutes generally hold their value a bit more than closed hole flutes, so if you ever wanted to sell it, you might get a better return on your investment.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

asoalin
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Post by asoalin » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:53 pm

I didn't even consider the resale aspect. Thanks for that.

I'm trying offset G only since that's what I learned to play on. You think with time I could get used to open holes? Is it commonly uncomfortable and awkward if you're not used to it?
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." -Sergei Rachmaninoff

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:09 pm

You could get plugs, or a closed hole flute. Either is fine. My only hesitation about closed holes is that, as time passes, our interests change, and at some point in the future, you might want [or need] to play music that requires the holes.

My personal recommendation [but remember, it is only an opinion, so therefore it could be worth absolutely nothing], is to get the open holes, and get a set of plugs.

That way, it can be like a closed hole flute, but in the event that you need the holes, you have them. Whereas on the other hand, if you got a closed hole flute and needed them, you wouldn't have them available.

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woof
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Post by woof » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:25 pm

asoalin wrote:I didn't even consider the resale aspect. Thanks for that.

I'm trying offset G only since that's what I learned to play on. You think with time I could get used to open holes? Is it commonly uncomfortable and awkward if you're not used to it?
I second fluteguy18's advice-- I find (personally) that the key shape in the open holed flutes feels better than the typical closed hole flute (altho I must say I have only tried a few). Plugs still allow the feel but will seal the key just like a closed hole flute. I know a very good flutist who has played for nearly 30 years and still uses the plugs so they will not present any problem, and you get the benefit that others have mentioned for open holed flutes.

asoalin
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Post by asoalin » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:05 am

Thanks, everyone. With your wonderful advice I've made up my mind to get an open-holed, but I will def be using plugs! :)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." -Sergei Rachmaninoff

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:31 am

I would suggest re-evaluating your hand position as well. If you are doing something drastically different with open holes than closed and it is causing pain, there may be something you are doing wrong. Without seeing you play, I can't say what for sure, but I would advise asking someone to look at your hand position (a private teacher if you have one).

Personally, I think you have made a good choice. I am an advocate for open holes because that does open up some possibilities (as fluteguy18 said) later on. I highly recommend all of my students to play on open hole flutes at some point.

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:05 am

Here is where I slightly dis-agree(But only slightly)
Most flute players/flautist will never need to use the capabilities of an openhole flute. An open hole flute in my opinion is nothing more than an option. However, here in the west, most of the better flutes are open hole. Due to what is most available, you almost do not have a choice past a certain level.

Phineas

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sidekicker
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Post by sidekicker » Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:05 am

My preference is for an open-holed flute and I've played nothing but that for 3 decades. For those of us who play on pre-Cooper (i.e., "new") scale flutes, having open holes is essential, IMO. Virtually every time I play, I need the capability of the open hole to sometimes shade the intonation at bit on a note. Since I play on such an old instrument, I'm not sure how often that need would arise on newer instruments; but, having the capability, to me at least, is a huge boon.

So, for me, it is something used very often and not at all on rare occurrences.

SK

Claiken
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Post by Claiken » Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:26 pm

open holes were REALLY weird at first... but now i barely notice them...


but one question as to the wrist pain... do you use a thumb port? it really makes tons of difference!!
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Liwen_gothflute
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Post by Liwen_gothflute » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:43 am

Uy, open holes... is the first that teacher does in our Conservatories... :shock:
[b]†[i]El Paraíso deviene en Infierno...[/b]†[/i]

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