Robert Mouland said:
> I have become a flute huffer. Yes, I have added another instrument to the
> list (yes, my wife also thinks 7 is absurd)
Robert, you will shortly find that the flute is a very demanding mistress
(probably even more so than your wife). Be prepared to either neglect or
abandon the other six instruments you have been consorting with (you can
stick with the wife, unless she throws you out), or remain a huffer for
life. You have been warned!
> I have a keyless by Ralph Sweet in rosewood. Now I remember hearing that
> should not be left in one piece, lest the cork compress and not fit
> properly. But evidently Ralph uses some sort of greasy felt ( or
> and I am wondering if the same applies. Seems to me that a lot of putting
> together and taking apart would wear this stuff out fast. Anyone have one
> these?.. Any input?
Check out Brad Hurley's (http://www.sover.net/~bhurley/flute.html) and
Terry McGee's (http://www2.dynamite.com.au/t.mcgee/index.html) web sites
for flute maintenance info. I don't know what this greasy felt stuff is (it
sounds kinda dicey, if you ask me), but it probably suffers from the same
dangers of compression as does cork. Take your flute apart and wipe it out
thoroughly when you're done playing. (It would be rather difficult to get
it thoroughly dry if you never take it apart, I'd say.) Another reason to
take it apart and store it in a case, aside from worrying about cork
compression and getting it thoroughly dried out, would be that you'd
greatly reduce the likelihood of it getting sat on or falling off the table
and ending up cracked. (I know flute players who these things have happened
to.) And if you get serious about the flute and end up getting a better
instrument than the Sweet flute you have now (which you will, since Sweet
flutes are okay as "starters" but not much good beyond that), the learning
of proper maintenance habits now will stand you in good stead.
> Second question: I seem to have a natural tendency to want to "cradle"
> beastie in the bend of my left hand. It amakes it easier to hold, but
> awkward for moving those flying fingers about. Should I be trying to hold
> with ...er..less hand? This is probably sovled by a good method book. (Or
> teacher.. I know.. I know.. I will tackle McKenty next time I see him).
Check out Rob Greenway's web site (
http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Strasse/9582/) for lots of helpful info
about posture, breathing, tone, embouchure, etc. And get a teacher, if
there's one nearby. I wouldn't say it's impossible to learn Irish flute on
your own (since that's pretty much what I did), but it's not easy. And
don't think that just because you've mastered the whistle you'll be able to
pick up the flute with no problem. They are entirely different instruments.
The only real commonalities between them are that you blow into them and
the fingerings are the same. And that's not much, really - it's everything
else that's the important part!