What do you think about this flute?

Re: What do you think about this flute?

The tone is a bit…abrasive, isn’t it?

Re: What do you think about this flute?

Hello, from what I can hear it sounds O.K. to me. Maybe if you post a clip of you playing one or two slower tunes it may help with further appraisal. Also sounds to me like you’re on your way as a potentially good flute player.
( I’m given to understand this does not happen overnight - at least that’s what I tell myself ). Wood veneer and less than fifty bucks…………………….. intriguing………………………… Please tell more 🙂

Re: What do you think about this flute?

Cylindrical PVC Pipe flute as practiced by Doug Tipple, covered with wood-effect vinyl or similar? Can be made to sound ok. I own one (without the vinyl) and have played it in the past, though a conical bore flute does more and is more fun to play. And is better in tune across the octaves, even with a wedge. Really, with these things, the quality of the workmanship is critical; Holes must be the right size and in the right place and the embouchure usually needs an extra bit of tube thickness to give the chimney some depth.
Keep playing - if this is your only flute then you might like to think of getting a proper conical one, e.-g the Casey Burns or similar - plenty of threads discussing those.
If you have got as good as you are only on this flute then I am very impressed!

Re: What do you think about this flute?

I don’t think all that much about flutes that I haven’t played.

I’ve learned over the years that I can only tell how a flute performs by playing it.

Re: What do you think about this flute?

Like Richard, I prefer to actually play a flute to evaluate it. However, there are certain things that this flute obviously has going for it. To wit: The lower octave seems nice and warm, the flute is well in tune with itself, and the lowest notes are solid as opposed to weak, airy, or pithy - the performance seems uniform throughout the range you played (good playing, but the solo was more controlled and with better breath technique that the guitar set). So these factors are present regardless of how I would feel about the flute by playing it myself. I would be also evaluating how it feels and responds to my breath. Also, the tone quality may sound different in person than in a recording.

So, let us in on how you came by this seeming gem. I am keen to know more, which doubtless was your intent.

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Re: What do you think about this flute?

What happened here is that I bought some very basic cheap bansuri-like flute from ebay (oh, yes, I quite knew the risks) and then I kept in touch with the maker who eventually wanted to make an irish flute, and I was into irish music so about a year ago he sent me this sort of prototype for free. This is not PVC but 100% veneer - 3 or 4 layers. I started going to our local session in Moscow.

After the first session it became so soft because of moisture (almost like wet cardboard) so I had to work myself quite a bit on the finishing. Then I could play without being afraid of braking this paper-like flute. At first it was alright that it was quiet so that nobody could hear my mistakes, but soon after I wanted to be contributing to the general sound of the session. I worked on my embouchure and then I came across some problems:
- even if it sounds almost in tune with itself when I practise on my own, it is hard to be in tune with other musicians (which really annoys violinists here - they are all classically trained)
- the octaves are not perfectly balanced in terms of tuning, though it is tapered bored (something like 2mm)
- the octaves are not balanced in terms of volume - the first octave is considerably quieter.

Well these problems didn’t really bother me, I thought the instrument was free, what would I asked from such thing. But more often than not I came across videos and recordings of people who played expensive instruments sometimes it could be a Boehm flute and they were terribly out of tune - what is the tuning slide for!?

So I guess my point is - maybe it is not the flute that is out of tune, but it is me - do I do something wrong? This could be easily checked if I could play or had another flute, or gave mine to try to someone experienced. But I can only play piano - pretty straightforward, just hit a key and here you go - no matter the way you hit it, it is going to sound the way it is tuned.

And another thing - the maker is very eager to adjust it and make it a better. So I kinda want to help him make better affordable instruments.

Wow this came out to be long! Sorry for that

Re: What do you think about this flute?

And, yes, I do consider upgrading to the real thing.

Re: What do you think about this flute?

There are people who can play any stick with holes in it in tune. I remember Andra Bohnet taking a low A flute that I was having trouble getting to play in tune with itself and she could do it without any difficulty. She said it was far from the worst she had played. However, it is harder work and requires a very good ear to get the notes in tune if the flute is not helping you. Getting the octaves in tune with each other is physics and needs a proper taper (Conical bore) or a parabolic head (Boehm) to do it. Otherwise you will have to torture yourself to get the second octave in tune and, more importantly, the overtones will not match up to produce a strong tone, which may be why your lower octave is weak. You need to make sure the third octave is also in tune.
Playing with others, you really will need some kind of length adjusting mechanism such as a tuning slide, or at least, a longish head tenon, such as Casey Burns puts on his folk flutes.

Stick with it though and have fun.

Re: What do you think about this flute?

G seems flat. And the first Polka reminded me why I don’t visit Kerry

Re: What do you think about this flute?

Regardless of the ultimate outcome with this particular flute, I would strongly recommend that you continue your flute playing, as you appear to have good innate musical ability - a decent flute, time and practice will take care of the rest. If you are not already aware of it, for free background knowledge regarding all things flute like, Terry McGee’s website is an excellent place to start: http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/Learning.html

Keep up to good work! 🙂