Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Hello, as you can see from my profile, I play ITM on whistle and "modern" songs/melodies on alto recorder. Both at beginner/intermediate level. Now I have an idea to have one instrument for everything. But I need some advice.
Are a Boehm flute or Irish flute good ideas? Is it hard to relearn Irish tunes on the Boehm flute? Is it worth it to shell out a lot of money for a keyed Irish flute, will it be easy enough for "modern" songs in various keys? Etc.

Thank you!

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Well I favor the Irish flute because I much prefer the sound of a well built wooden flute. I play both flutes and find that the embosure change can be a little bit strange if I have been playing one or the other for a long period of time. I don’t really know what you mean by "modern" but if you don’t play a lot of ITM then the metal flute will probably be better since you won’t spend as much. And if you want to play some Irish tunes you’ve always got your whistle :)

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Agreed, though I only ever played metal briefly, and that was several decades ago.
If you need various keys and "modern" songs (I too wonder what they are) you may do better with metal. If you *really* want to do Irish, you’ll be much better off with conical wood, but even with keys it is not so easy to slither from G to Aflat to A to A#…
OTOH, if you are sure about wanting to put a lot into Irish, it doesn’t have to have many keys. Depends on your money, how long you want to wait etc.

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

I found it rather difficult to adapt my fingering to the Boehm flute; but that is after several decades of playing pipes and whistle. The Fsharp and c to d transitions are the worst. I have more or less given up with it; but that doesn’t mean anyone else would. If you already play recorder, you have alternate fingering, er, under your belt. Give it a try. I suggest that the Irish flute is better suited to Irish music, although others might disagree. The concert flute is designed to play in any key, the Irish flute is not.

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Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

I`ve never played silver flute but have being playing wooden for 20yrs give or take. I`ve done the whole folk/celtic fusion/jazz/rock/trad thing, not to mention alot of breton and klezmer as well as chamber music. I will say one thing, it definately wasnt easy to do on the wooden flute , but it is possible.

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Thank you for your replies, keep them coming for a bit more please :).

Some explanations.
No, I don’t want to play silver flute + whistle :). If 1 instrument can’t be managed, I’ll stay with recorder + whistle.
By "modern" songs/music I mean music in various keys. Some Queen songs, some melodic heavy metal stuff, some movie/games themes. Never liked classical much, though Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is fun except for those 16th notes around the register break :).
So, for example, I can play Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody entirely and Princes of the Universe. And We Are the Champions which is easy.
By the way, chromatic notes on the recorder are harder than on the silver flute (how about Irish flute?). Half-holing, then cross-fingering, then weird fingerings, then total randomness :).

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Wih your requirement for different keys and styles etc, you’re pretty much definitely in the market for a Boehm flute - Chromaticity is possible on a keyed wooden flute, but it hurts!

On the other hand, for ITM, the wooden flute is for most people a far better choice . It is however possible to play authentically ITM on the Boehm flute as a few famous examples show.

Depending on what you want to do, either would be ok, just be aware that each tends to be better in one of the areas and weaker in the other. Also, why would you want to give up whistle? I don’t know anyone who plays ITM on any sort of flute who doesn’t own a few whistles and doesn’t usually have one somewhere about them when going to a session (even if only a C whistle for the odd C tune).

Incidentally, the value for money of entry level "student" Boehm flutes is unbeatable - you certainly won’t get close to that quality at a similar price in the simple system wooden flute market. Unless you’re lucky.

If you buy a wooden flute then you don’t really need the keys for the ITM music - this can reduce the price of the flute to a third of that of a fully keyed flute of the same quality.

The other route is to own and play both - I do. A good entry level Boehm flute for the chromatic stuff and a good keyless wooden flute for the ITM. Two sets of fingering to learn but, in my opinion, worth it. Use the right tool for the job.

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

One instrument ~ silver flute ~ ‘nuff said.

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Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Thank you! It seems that it’s a Boehm flute with a semi-difficult fingerings relearning. Or separate upgrades of whistle -> keyless Irish flute and/or recorder -> Boehm flute.

P.S. Just found out that my little mnemonic device failed and the Yamaha 200 and 300 series flutes are not ~ $ 200 and 300 but 20000 and 30000 rubles, 3 times that. :(

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

If you want a good silver flute then your best route would be to go with Gemeinhardt.. They make some reasonably priced silver flutes of extremely good quality (the only metal flute I play). Anything Yamaha will break the bank (even their entry level stuff.) And as for the different fingerings. They really aren’t that hard to learn. The basics are still the same and all your sharps and flats shouldn’t take but a few days. Good luck! :)

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

If you want recommendations on Boehm flutes then this is probably not the right forum. Maybe Larry Krantz’ website might be a good place to start looking.
I play a mid range yamaha (674) and am very happy with it, but that’s me. And it wasn’t particularly cheap either.

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Why not just get a full range of whistles ?
Bearing in mind you can play a D whistle in D, G with the C nat fingering, and A with a G sharp half-holed, then you get a C ( F, G ), a Bb ( Eb, F ) , an A ( D, E ), a low G ( C, D ), an Eb ( G sharp/Ab, Bb ), and an F ( Bb, C ), and if anyone wants a key you can’t do with all those combinations, tell them to copulate off.

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

I don’t think you will be happy playing ITM on silver flute, especially if you play whistle now. I play both wooden and silver flute, and never the twain shall meet in terms of repertoire. Lose the idea of a one-size-fits solution. Get a Boehme and get a wooden flute. You will enjoy the differences and the variety, as each has its strengths.

I want to emphasize that the flow in fingering you enjoy on whistle will not be present in Boehme because of the keys and because of the juxtoposition of the F natural and F# keys - it’ll drive you nuts!

IMO, both flutes have it all over whistle and recorder, so don’t be discouraged from making the switch. You can get a good Boehme relatively cheaply if there is no silver (nickel, instead). The cheap ones from China are actually quite good, but have an experienced player check it out. Don’t go cheap for a wooden flute or you will be sorry. Don’t buy anything you haven’t tried or had an experienced player try unless you can return it. Check out the Chiff & Fipple website for more advice on that.

Cheers.

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Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

Ailin said it all…

Both flutes are head and shoulders above whistle and recorder. Get both and play both in their appropriate context.

Re: Whistle to silver/Irish flute?

I’m letting you know that I got myself an M&E flute, am learning the embouchure and even managed to toot out a polka at a session last Saturday!