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Anybody play flute?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    My daughter is a first year band student. She chose to play the flute. I really have no idea how to help her with it, other than to teach her how to practice in general. (which seem what she needs more than anything) Out of my own curiosity more than anything I had her play several notes and tried to see if they would register on my hand held guitar tuner (that I use to tune my bass) I found that she could play two notes that seemed to register in the tuner, but in both cases she was significantly sharp - so I suspect that all of her notes are sharp. Does this have something to do with her ambature or technique, and if so what might she need to do to adjust? If not that, then is there a way to tune a flute so that all of the notes will come out flatter (on pitch) …or is this simply a case of 'you can't tune a flute with a guitar tuner'? I really don't know anything about flutes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I hope this is okay in misc as music related - if not please ship it off to OT. Thanks all.
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    woodwinds in general are tuned by the mouthpiece. The further on the body you make it sit, the sharper it is.

    in 4th grade, when bass wasn't an option in my school, I wanted to play flute. My mother convinced me that alto sax was better for "boys" to play... so I did. I still dig the flute and have been looking at them on eBay on and off for the last 5 or 6 years. One day I'll get one :cool:
  3. Whoa man, that's awesome. I guess you know that Alto Sax fingers and Flute fingerings are the same then.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    similar yeah. I played:

    alto, soprano, tenor, baritone saxes
    alto and bass clarinet

    I was best with the alto sax, I enjoyed it most. I went through band with a guy that was just an amazing alto player though... He had lead chair and I picked up all the cool oddball parts on the oddball instruments :cool:
  5. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I wish I could play wind instruments, but the whole concept hurts my poor brain. The fingerings, the different tunings, the mechanics of it all... I guess my brain just isn't wired for it!

    I can play a kazoo though!
  6. nataku


    Jun 21, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    one of my friends just started teaching me flute, AND IT FRICKIN ROCKS. i can only do the b flat major scale though :( .
  7. I wish I could play flute, just so I could "pull a tull" :D
  8. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    ron burgundy plays a mean jazz flute.
  9. JimmyTheSaint


    Mar 15, 2005
    I played flute exclusively for years, though I doubled on bass guitar when our bassist flaked. I haven't had the thing out for a few years now, though. One thing about flute: people in general are in love with the sound.

    There's lots of obvious advice that lots of people will offer, so I'll make two unorthodox suggestions:

    1) When she can handle it, as part of practicing have her record herself and listen back. Due to resonance with the body and head, the tone the flutist hears can differ markedly from what the rest of the world hears.

    2) I also have a Yamaha WX-5 wind controller with a VL-70 sound module with the Patchman Music patches. I play it in flute mode, with no reed control. It sounds fantastic and is fantastically expressive. It's a lot less physically taxing and mechanically finicky than a flute. It may not be acceptable for your daugter's situation, but I guarantee you that wouldn't be for musical reasons.

    3) oh yeah, look up "The Flute Book" at amazon. it's worth it.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No school band will let you use a Yamaha wind instrument, nice though they are. I play a little flute, and two things you have to remember:

    1. Tuning is not an exact science on flutes or any instrument. They are very close, but there's always a little bit of out-of-tuneness on them.

    2. You tune a flute by playing a C note and pulling the headjoint in or out as you need (in for too flat, out for too sharp). However, embouchure definitely comes into play. Flute's a little harder to correct the pitch than most wind instruments, but as she learns how to play and develops her sense of pitch, she'll learn how to correct pitch problems with it.

    At this stage, though, it's too soon to worry about pitch to that degree. She just needs to worry about the mechanics and technique of it right now.
  11. My Daughter just took up the flute as well, as in a week ago in school. I'm having the same "issues". I couldn't help her save for to recognise notes on the staff...but she makes some nice sounds with it. I like it.

  12. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I'm in a similar pickle. But, in my case my daughter chose violin. Her school system lets fifth graders start with orchestral instruments. But you must wait for sixth or seventh to start a band instrument. She says she wants to play drums. I could give her pointers on bass(obviously), guitar, keys, or any brass instrument. I have a good working knowledge of saxophone. I never played it in class, but a girlfriend taught me to play hers to prove that some people are just multi-instrumental-prone and could probably pick up most anything. So I could probably help her with that, too. At least I could for the first few months or year.

    But no. She picks the two instruments I am least competent/familiar with. I can only help her with the kind of things you can help your flautists with.

    Should I feel I have failed as a dad, because my daughter didn't want to learn one of my instruments?
  13. nataku


    Jun 21, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    YES, OF COURSE!!!1 :D