What is the point of having a low B foot?

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

User avatar
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 8:33 pm
Location: nedrow, NY

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by SaraBeth »

Seriously, think about it.
What is the point of having a low B foot on a flute when you don''t even konw
the fingering? Will someone please clue me in. I have a low B foot flute, yet
never have music to play a low B in, so what is the point? Is just there for
decoration? Or is there an actual use for it. Another question I have is: Why
have an open hole flute and play with plugs? Doesn''t that just defeat the
purpouse of having an open hole flute?
"I would have to be sick or physically unable, to not play the flute."
"You can
take away my freedom, but you can't take away my music."

User avatar
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:02 am

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by Kim »

A B foot has a Gizmo key and
that makes playing C4 easier to play. While you don't see a lot of music that
calls for low B there are songs that do have it. Alot of having a B foot is a
status thing though because you really don't need it that often. As far as open
holes and keeping them plugged. I agree it doesn't make much sense. Open hole
flutes are also really a asthetic or status thing also unless you are going to
play music that requires you to slide your fingers off of keys (can't remember
what it is called)I think it is in Jazz music. Kim
[color=red] Music is the art of thinking with sounds.[/color]

Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 6:05 pm
Location: Stoughton, Massachusetts USA

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by Kendall »

There is an actual use for
it. To finger a low B you play a low C and slide your finger onto the next
roller and a low B comes out.You should have every finger except your pinkie
down on your left hand and every finger down (with your pinkie holding both
rollers and the c sharp key) on your right hand. Sometimes you have to plug a
few holes to get it to come out if your just starting if you have an open hole
flute. People sometimes keep the plugs in until they adjust to their open hole
flute and unfortunatly some get used to it and remain that way.

User avatar
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 11:55 pm

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by embum79 »

You may not think so now, but
there are many advanced and more modern pieces that use the low B. For some
flutes, the addition of the B-foot makes the lower notes sound better. Not all
players use a B-foot though. My previous flute teacher had both a B and C-foot
that she alternated depending on the piece.


What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by AmastaJ943 »

http://www.larrykrantz.com/lowb.htm Thats a good site that shows all the
pieces for low B. For people who use plugs, they're probably just getting use
to playing with an open hole flute, and they aren't use to covering the holes.
There are also some other people out there who have smaller fingers and can't
reach the holes, so they keep some of the plugs in. ~AJ

Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:56 pm

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by Cleartone »

as stated before the low b
usually has a gizmo key on it and facilitates high c especially. also as stated
before more modern pieces are using the low b since it is now common on most
flutes. I however, think a beginner or intermediate player who is strictly
playing classical should stick to a foot joint that only has a C. Primarily
since the b foot can affect the quality of the tone in the lower range. Even
among professional flutes 5000-10,000 dollar range the b foot can cause leakage
and constantly needs to be adjusted by a repair person and since begginers and
intermediates may not be able to recognize this it is best to stay with a C
foot(in my opinion) higher range notes can be played without the gizmo and when
an intermediate flutist is ready to investigate the gizmo key a b foot can be
looked at. This should occure about at the same time the lower range becomes
stronger. as far as the open-holes are concerned, plugs are primarily used by
intermediate flutists who are just getting used to playing an open holed flute,
they can remove plugs in a timely manner until they are used to the open holes.
It is not necessary to have an open holed flute however, and is simply up to
personal prefrence. Although it is tough to find a high quality flute without
open holes unless you have one specifically made for you. A friend of mine who
has a unique manner of holding his flute leaves one or two plugs in at all
times, but plays high end flutes. Also as stated before there is among jazz
players or people who are good at improv, such as myself, (egocentric aren't I)
use half hole techiques to bend notes and create different tone colors. I also
believe that the touch and vibration together primarily on open holed flutes(not
exclusive to) helps to play the flute in general, better.

Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:36 pm

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by Gigihr »

The low B isn't all the
necessary for the most part, but I have to admit I just played a wonderful part
in my flute choir that used the low B in a lot of fast passages. But I used my
B-foot model for that piece because it required quick articulation. If a piece
calls for a sustained low B, a skilled flutist with a C-foot might be able to
"bend" the low C enough to capture that B quite nicely. I have a C-foot flute
and two B-foot flutes and, frankly, I really like playing the C-foot flute best.
I've been practicing with a tuner on the C-foot and find that for any sustained
B's I can bend the C enough, as long as it doesn't require any quick
articulation. Get a tuner (I found a sweet little Korg model for about $20) and
WORK at it. With a tool like that and some experimentation you may not have to
spend the extra money for a B foot. Good Luck! [:bigsmile:]

Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:57 pm

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by Sneeble »

I've played many jazz pieces
that require the low B, so there is music out there that uses it.
Sneeble, snarble, snoo!

User avatar
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:25 pm

What is the point of having a low B foot?

Post by saiphrigel »

In one of the groups I play
with, I play a lot of vocal melody parts. While a low B may be unusual in flute
music, it's a very common note for the human voice. Generally speaking, when I
play vocal music, I take everything up an octave, but in some songs I like
having the warm, woody sound of the low octave.

Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 6:32 pm

Post by lhampton »

I think the B foot makes a big difference. The difference in sound is huge compared to a c foot flute. And having an open-hole flute is good for fake fingerings, giving the flute a darker sound or a brighter sound. And I think open-hole does make a difference in your sound. Mozart's Andante is the only piece I've played that has a low b in it, but the b foot comes in handy when playing scales, and it's nice to be able to play a B or b minor scale three octaves, or just two if you don't like the top range like me! But um, I think that the b-foot is worth the extra money.

Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:19 pm

Post by Fluteoholic »

I have actually had a few songs that had a low B in it. The b foot also makes ur tone darker compared to the c foot. It also has a gizmo key on it to help with the high c.

Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 3:16 am

Post by zephyrr »

The B foot is used for really high notes in the 4th octave as well as the really low B. I've never really encountered a music which called for a low B but being able to get a low B is good. =) I think open holes and the B foot joint are the best inventions ever. Haha.

Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:59 pm

Post by Claiken »

is there such thing as a closed hole professional flute?

Posts: 882
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:05 pm

Post by fluttiegurl »

the definition of "Professional" flute is such a huge topic of discussion in the flute world, but I won't get into that. I think the appropriate response would be yes, there are high quality closed hole flutes, even handmade models. You just have to know what you are looking for and buy from people who know what they are talking about. They are a little harder to find for sale, but one that I suggest looking at is the Yamaha 411 or the newer 421 (not necessarily a professional flute, but a great one - solid silver, plated keys). This is a great step-up flute that will give you the sound of solid silver with the comfort of closed holes, and it won't break the bank.

As for handmade models, you can buy plateau flutes (as they are called) made by Burkart, Haynes, Muramatsu, Miyazawa, and the list goes on. Most major companies will accomodate an order for a plateau if you cannot find one available for sale, though I do know dealers who carry a few on a regular basis. As for cost, they are going to be about the same as open hole models because the same workmanship has to happen.

You can also purchase nearly any open hole flute with a C foot as well at no extra cost (sometimes less). Many players that I have come in contact with prefer the low C because of intonation issues.

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:37 am

Weight transfer

Post by vitour »

A low B foot also moves a center of gravity of the flute slightly closer to your right arm, which is a good thing because it helps you to hold your flute better.

Post Reply