Lately I’ve been bothered by a few technical aspects of my playing that seem to be be connected to my grip on the flute. I’ve come here looking looking for advice. I’ve been playing flute for about 10 years and currently play a keyless Hammy Hamilton. I play "right handed," with my left hand closer to the head joint.
Here are my issues:
First, after I’ve been playing for a while, I often notice that the flute starts to slip down my left hand, and away from my mouth. When I start playing, the flute sits just above the big knuckle of my left index finger. By the the end of the set, the flute might be half-way down the knuckle or even below it. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it really impacts the sound I get out of the instrument.
Second, I’ve always had a hard time playing B rolls on the flute. And, when I do get the B rolls out, they’re not as crisp as I would like. I can’t help but think that this problem is connected to the slipping described above. I should note that I also play the whistle and have never had problems with B rolls there.
Finally, I sometimes have issues with E rolls. I think this might be connected to the slipping too, because the issue here seems to be air stream and maintaining a clean, steady sound. When I play the E roll, I think the flute drops away from my mouth, weakening the sound.
So, any thoughts? Are my problems with B and E rolls caused by the the flute slipping? Is the slipping caused by an improper grip? How might I go about fixing the issue? Is there a recommended grip out there?
I should also explain that the Hammy flute has a fairly wide bore and my hands aren’t exactly humongous (I’m 5’6" and my hands are fairly proportionate to my height). I had the opportunity to play a Grinter flute at my local session yesterday, and I found the narrower bore easier to handle. Having said that, I’m not keen on simply going out and buying a new flute, as I’m happy with the sound I get and don’t have a spare $1000+ sitting around.
For reference, you can take a look at the following clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8U1h6yQeF0 The view of my hands is not the best, but there are a few close-up shots throughout the video that might be helpful. This video is from about 5 years ago.