More flute player opinions…

More flute player opinions…

So, after another retreat full of great flute classes, I’m at another question for all the fellow flute/whistle players, the question being, in flute and whistle playing (especially flute), what are your opinions on whether or not the index finger should be lifted for the second octave D (d)?

When doing a cran, I of course lift it, and I try to lift it most of the time, but some passages are just too much hassle to try and get them all in like that. My teacher says that having the finger down ruins the tone, but I personally think that on passing notes it doesn’t matter as much, along with the fact that I’ve done for a long time keeping it down on certain notes as to give it more of a bark on that note.

So, what does everyone think on this?

Re: More flute player opinions…

It would be difficult for me not to lift the finger since that is the way I have always played the 2nd octave d. For my ears it sounds best lifted. My 2Β’

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Re: More flute player opinions…

I personally like the two distinct flavours of the different crans you get with that finger down or up.

Also, I don’t think that having the finger down ruins the tone. It changes it for sure, but it doesn’t ruin it. Use it I say.

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I use both - depends no the progression to the D.

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It doesn’t matter what you do when you’re talking about milliseconds of duration - doesn’t even have to be a "note"

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Jack Coen says don’t bother venting: http://www.firescribble.net/flute/coen.html

I’m with plunk—use whichever fits the fingering progression and sound you want. They’re both valid ways to play the note.

Re: More flute player opinions…

Fair play to not venting, at times, to get more flavours. Spot on about tone being different between airs & dance tunes (Jack Coen). Also regarding certain progression … yes.
Here’s one thing though, particularly on dance tune, I do all sorts of venting(s) with different articulations. I cannot begin to describe what I’m doing. I’ll just say I there are fingerings which simply would not work on a fingering chart.
As Hamlet said, "To vent or not to vent, do both."

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Re: More flute player opinions…

Use both - decide consciously, e.g. pedalling to B is very hard with the finger up on the D. (Often leaving the the lower hand finger on for the B works ok too.)

I was at Boxwood a couple of years ago and in one class June McCormack was very adamant about lifting the finger for a clear D. In the very next class, Chris Norman recommended leaving it down for a darker sound… Note, CN was not generally recommending leaving it down, just leaving it down when the darker sound was desired. (He was also overblowing the low C to get the upper G in the same tune - it was that sort of tune…)

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Definitely both. Octave jumps are easier (D-d) if you use both. I don’t agree with Hup that milliseconds don’t matter: try listening to a scratched record.πŸ™‚ My approach is to try without lifting first, and if it doesn’t sound right, to lift. It is more work, but sometimes necessary depending on the tune and the instrument.

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Re: More flute player opinions…

Crackpot, I was in those classes as well, and was about to bring that up. Thanks for being on the ball! πŸ˜› Boxwood this year had Conal O’Grada, and he recommended leaving the finger down on D if you wanted that gritty overblown sound. I find it depends on the tune and the sound i’m going for. And of course, sometimes I’m just being lazy… πŸ™‚

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I really wanted to see Conal at Boxwood, but small daughter (20 months now) prevented me being able to make it πŸ™ Maybe I’ll make it again in a few years time?

Chris

Re: More flute player opinions…

It really depends what you’re after.

As a classical flautist, I wouldn’t do it. It does affect the tone. I nearly put "ruin", but that all depends on what you’re aiming for! I’d never do it in classical, and the kids I teach are made to play with the first finger lifted, but for folk I’d say try them both out and see which you think sounds better.

Kat