The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

I just started learning Trim the Velvet off that Paul Smyth CD. He’s not playing a D flute so with a computer program, I was able to change the pitch to match my D flute. It’s a lovely setting and the tune is going well for me, except for that high C in the third part. It’s the only tune that I play which has that high C so I’m not used to it. (I’m not classically trained on the silver flute so everything is a challenge for me)

Anyone have any tips for getting the high C to sound decent? Does anyone just play the third part in the lower octave? Here’s my fingering for this note:

oxo xxo

Maybe there’s a way around the high C. Maybe there’s a setting out there that avoids the high C totally?? I’m open to any suggestions.

Any help will be greatly appreciated :-)

Lost in Vermont

Joyce

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Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Try this:

00x 000

Or this

h00 000

(h = half-hole)

I get it quite solidly with both fingerings.

Best luck to you

—Eliot

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Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Thanks Eliot! I’ll try those after work.

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Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

I finger it oxx xxo on the whistle and it sounds great…don’t know if it works on the wooden flute, though.

-Jonathan

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Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

For high C I do this as well as Eliot’s suggestions:

O X X X X O

Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

I don’t play flute (yet!) but I do play low whistle, and I have found that although oxxooo works very well in the lower octave, the only way I can get a clear tone on the high c is by half-holing. This could just be a fault of my whistle though.

-Max

Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Practice may be the key here, too. Also, try rolling the flute in when playing the higher notes, don’t blow harder to reach them, and do tighten the embouchure to increase the speed of the airstream.

Eric

Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Thanks for the help everyone. I just tried Jack’s fingering above and it totally made a difference. Yeah Eric, I definitely need to practice it. But I never blow harder and I do tighten my embouchure when doing high notes.

Joyce

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Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Like Jack I use oxx xxo - I find this always works well.
Cariad

Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

I don’t have my flute with me at the current moment, but if I recall correctly, I think I just play oxo ooo. Seems to work OK. I’ll have to try some of the other suggestions here as well.

Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Oops I just posted on Trim The Velvet and now my advice sounds really lame and copouty hehehe…

Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Joyce, I’m assuming you don’t have a keyed flute. If you do have it, I find that the key is the best way to go on the high C. But before I got my keys, in the rare tunes that called for a high C (Trim the Velvet being one) I found that half-holing worked best for me. (That is, half-holing the top hole, the left hand index finger for a right-handed player, I’m sure you get my drift…) I think this works better than a cross-fingering because in these tunes you’re invariably coming at that high C from below, staying on it only briefly, and then going down again. Using a cross fingering here will require a shift of your right hand, which is bound to cause at least a small perturbation in your embouchure that you’ll need to compensate for. And as you know, embouchure stability is key up in the high range. Using the half-hole fingering requires only the shift of a finger or two on the left hand (perhaps accompanied by a slight roll of the left wrist if that helps in achieving the half-hole with the index finger), which for me at least keeps the embouchure more stable than using a fingering that requires a shift in both hands. If you’re worried about hitting that high C exactly in tune with the half-hole fingering, don’t. It passes by very quickly so tuning isn’t crucial, and with practice you’ll learn how to get that half-hole just right in order to get the note in tune. Just keep at it! Hope this helps…

Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

My flute doesn’t have keys, johnkerr. I’ll try the half-holing tonight. Thanks!

Mark - actually your advice on the tunes section is cool. I’ll try substituting the high C with an A instead. I was looking for these kinds of ideas about variations that would avoid the high C, as well as looking for ways to improve my high C. I do need to practice it and get it right….

Joyce

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Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Joyce,

Always practice at least two notes above the top note you want to get in normal play. Some slow tones on these high notes will do wonders for every other note you play.

Try the D and E (and F#,G) above the C, if you can…

-Eliot

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Re: The High C on a Wooden Flute - HELP!

Hmmm….that’s a good idea Eliot. I’ll try it.

I’m sure my husband will be delighted while I’m practicing these super high notes ;-)

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