Long Time Musician but New to the Flute

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cooltouch
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:27 am

Long Time Musician but New to the Flute

Post by cooltouch »

Hi folks, I just joined here. I'm a guitarist -- been playing for some 55 years, about 48 years as a classical guitarist, but I also play all styles.

I've always been intrigued by the flute, and have kicked around the idea of giving it a go, but for whatever reasons I never followed through on playing it until now. I play a little recorder and a few decades ago, I had a fife that I actually got pretty good on. But something happened to the fife -- I lost it or something. Wasn't a big loss -- it was just a plastic one, but it worked fine. So, I'm hopeful I can develop a decent embouchure after practicing a bit on the flute.

Well, I found a Gemeinhardt M2 for cheap on an auction site, so I couldn't resist and bought it. I've known about Gemeinhardt for years and knew it was a decent flute maker, so I figured this was a safe purchase. For eight bucks. Mechanically, the flute is in good shape. The rails are straight. None of the keys stick, and none of them appear to be bent, and all the other little levers work the way they're supposed to. But the pads are toast. I'm pretty handy -- I build guitars and repair cameras -- so I figured I'd try my hand at replacing the pads. I bought a kit off eBay -- cost me more than twice as much as the flute did.

And then I got curious about the model M2 so I googled it. And found out that the M2 is only just a so-so performer and that apparently there are quite a few other flutes in its price range that are better instruments. One flute in particular I came across that appears to be a much better instrument is the Armstrong Model 104. Well, I've located a few 104s that I can pick up for almost as cheap as that M2. And I figure whichever one I end up with, it'll need its pads replaced too. Hopefully, that'll be the extent of it, though. So, here I am, within the space of a week, and I'll be buying a second flute. Which seems perfectly normal to me. I already own a few recorders, four keyboards, and twenty-something guitars. I'm thinking, though, that after I install the pads on the M2, I'll sell it.

So anyway, I'm still too new at the flute to even know which questions to ask, but I know I'll have some once I actually start to play it. Since the pads are toast on this M2, all I can do is practice my embouchure on the head. Which, to me, would seem to be a useful first move. What say you?

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pied_piper
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Long Time Musician but New to the Flute

Post by pied_piper »

Practicing getting a good sound on the head joint is a useful thing to do. Many teachers start beginners with just the headjoint, so go for it.

Regarding replacing the pads, there is a lot more to it than just pulling the old ones out and popping new ones back in their place. Pads have to be shimmed for proper coverage and then there are a lot of adjustments and regulation of inter-key action. I suggest getting a good book on the topic or you will quickly become very frustrated because the flute doesn't play right and you won't know if it's you or the flute. The best alternative is to get the flute repadded by a flute repair shop.

Servicing the Flute book:
https://www.jlsmithco.com/product/servi ... y-jlsmith/
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

cooltouch
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:27 am

Re: Long Time Musician but New to the Flute

Post by cooltouch »

The kit I bought includes a booklet and a bore light. I read through the booklet last night and it actually went into quite a bit of discussion on fitment of the pads, specifically using shims, and also discussed using the bore light to check for leaks. This looks like a pretty decent kit, so I'm gonna go ahead and install it. Hey, I paid $8 for the flute, I'm not gonna lose much if I mess things up. But I don't think I will. Like I mentioned before, I have experience working with fiddly things that can be rather delicate to either repair or fabricate.

That book looks interesting. Hey, if I can get my Gemeinhard to blow reasonably well, I think I'll pick up a copy. Price is affordable.

I'm getting better at blowing into the head joint. I was watching a YouTube video where the person was suggesting this. And she inserted a finger into the joint, moving it in and out, playing it sorta like a trombone. She was good at it. I'm not. My index finger is too stubby, and my pinky finger, well it fits with room to spare, but as soon as I insert it, the tone I'm producing gets obliterated. Suddenly I'm back to just blowing a lot of air again. I guess even this takes some practice.

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pied_piper
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Long Time Musician but New to the Flute

Post by pied_piper »

Good luck!
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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