Lower register used to be easy - now difficult???

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Lower register used to be easy - now difficult???

Post by Deidre »

I have been taking flute lessons for 7 months. From the beginning, the lower register has been fairly easy. I am just now progressing to the R3 notes. Almost overnight, my lower register notes are very windy and difficult to play.

This has been an issue for the last several days and I don't know that I am doing a thing differently.

Has anyone else had this problem? I am a beginner adult.

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Post by Zevang »

Maybe a leak problem in the foot joint? It would be good to take the flute to a technician for an adjustment.

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Post by Deidre »

How do I know if it is a leaky footjoint? I just had it serviced on September when I bought it. It is two years old.

I am sure the music store would love to charge me another $75 to "check it out".

I can play the B and A but below that is impossible. Can it be attributed to embouchure? It sounds super windy.

Thanks. :?: :cry:

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Post by Mark »

what brand are ya blowin on?

My son has a bundy in his stable that occasionally has the pivot
screw above the left hand stack get loose, that just wreaks havoc.
I mention it because one of the girls at church had the same thing
happen on her flute (also a Bundy)
I'd look for either a leak in the B or Bb with the possibility of a
regulation issue as well if the rods and screws are snug.

So many instruments.... so little time.... :)

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Post by Deidre »

It's a Gemeinhardt Model 2SH. I'm going to feel like a fool if I take it in for repair and I find out it's really me :o

Is there any way I can determine that it is "mechanical" on my own?


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Post by Arianna »

Well, since you are going into the high register (and depending how your teacher is telling you to do it) you may be aiming your airstream too high and too fast. Sometimes people get stuck in high note techniques. If this is so, try slowing your air down and aiming more towards your elbow. I like to think of relaxing for low notes. I notice that the B and A are often easier to get out for beginners then G and below. Just another idea!

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Post by shanti »

When I practice I will often choose to focus on either the high register or the low register - or occasionally I will work really hard on the middle!!

You haven't been playing for very long yet - you said just seven months. You are still learning so much and it takes time for all of these techniques to register deeply in your muscle memory. It will come - just keep working and enjoying yourself. I have been playing for thirty years and every so often I will decide that one of my registers needs some intense focus for one reason or another. There are many good exercises out there that have you work on jumping back and forth between registers. Those will help too.

Good luck!

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Post by virginiak »

Dierdre, you asked about checking to see if the problem is mechanical. You could check to see if you have leads in the foot joint. This might sound a little awkward, but it's easier to actually do than to write out how to do it!

1. Wipe off the tenon (connecting part) of the foot joint so that it's clean.

2. Take the foot joint by itself in your right hand and securely hold it so that the butt is against your open left palm. It should make an airtight seal.

3. With your right hand, depress (gently!) the rollers for low C#, low C (and low B if you have a B foot).

4. Blow gently but firmly into the upper part of the foot joint (this is why you cleaned the tenon in step one!) You'll need to seal your lips around it, since you need an air tight seal to check for leaks.

5. Is any air coming out of the keys, rather than pushing against your palm? If air is leaking, some adjustment may be needed, and a trip to your favorite tech is in order. If you are just met with resistance, your footjoint is probably ok.

Hope that this helps!

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Re: Lower register used to be easy - now difficult???

Post by Mindermast »

You should definitely check your flute for air leaks! I got my first and only flute from my grandfather, and it hadn't been played for decades. It was definitely not in a good shape then, but sort of playable. The first few months, I never really knew, if it was me or the flute, when the sound failed, but today, I can tell, that it didn't matter so much, except, that I always had an excuse. In a first step, I had the pads on the foot joint replaced and that was a noticeable change. During the repair, I had another flute and I instantly noticed, that it was much easier to control sound. With the new pads on the foot joint, my flute was much better, but still not close to the other one. So, I decided to grind my teeth and have the complete flute done. I will know more next week, it is still in the workshop. But I know from my experience, that it is important to have a reliable instrument for learning. I also know now, that when I pushed the keys harder while playing the low register, the sound was more stable, but that is not a good solution, rather a good sign, that my flute needs fixing.

If you have a teacher, you should ask him to check the flute for you.

I also noticed, that when focussing on sound on the middle register, my sound on the lower register lost. It seems, that good sound needs to be preserved constantly, at least for beginners.

PS: I don't mean to say, that it is a problem with your flute, I mean to say, that with a reliable flute, you get better feedback for your mistakes - so make sure, you can't blame your flute.

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