casey burns

casey burns

so. a little background..
i’ve played boehm-system flute for seven years now, and i’ve just started playing irish music (although i’ve been listening to it for a long time already, and i love it.)
i bought a tony dixon tuneable D, and i like it a lot.
and now i’d really like a simple-system wooden flute,

i have wee little hands who’ve both endured surgery just a couple months ago, and they simple cannot handle the only irish flute i’ve really played yet: a sweetheart. the stretch is awfully uncomfortable and after playing only ten minutes or so, my right hand was throbbing so bad.

so! i’ve been drooling over the casey burns small-handed flutes.
however i’m a college student and don’t have tons of money.
…however i’m a music major (and all i mean by that is, i don’t stink at music and it is/is going to be my life.) and i don’t want a "beginner’s" flute… i want one that’ll do me real good.

so my question is:
is there a great difference (quality, tone, volume, playability, whatever!) between a casey burns folk flute (mopane, small-handed) and his regular ("professional") small-handed mopane flute? you know, besides the $200 dollars :P and the free one-year check-up that comes with the more expensive one.

also. as a side-note/question thingy.
i love the look of an all-wood flute, and i actually really don’t like the look of his flutes with the tuning slides in ‘em. but even on his own website, he says the little bit of metal lining in the headjoint due the having a tuning slide makes his mopane flutes sound better.
i don’t doubt that it is true… but is it worth it?
and.. you can’t get your slide-less flute retrofitted with a slide can you?

alright. all done.
thanks a bunch.

oh PS!
grey larson’s book (the essential guide to irish flute and tin whistle) is really good.

Re: casey burns

I haven’t tried playing his regular model, but his folk flute my friend got recently looks much more attractive than you see on his website and plays very well. I think there’s no big difference between the two models, except the folk flute model is two-piece.

I had the same problem, Jaime. And I got Mark Hoza’s three-piece model for small hands: http://www.woodenflutemaker.com/DFlutes.html It’s slightly cheaper than Casey Burns regular models, and you’ll probably wait for it for shorter periods of time. No rings and no slide, but beautiful in terms of both tones and looks!

Re: casey burns

I know Casey personally, and he’s become a fine flute maker. His folk flute might be the best deal going, (with the exception of Hammy Hamilton’s that has the addition of the tuning slide.) But, Casey’s folk flute truly plays great.

As I’ve told Casey, I’m not crazy about the small-hand flute. The reason is that it doesn’t help you overcome the right hand position problem. I’ve had small handed students come to me with Casey’s small handed flutes and I was able to wean them away from it by working on their right hand rotation. The first thing I would do is show them pictures of little kids playing regular concert flutes and we would study the right hands of the kids. It was also very convincing to see these kids playing big concert flutes with no trouble.

What’s the advantage to correcting your right hand position? Well… you won’t be limited to playing Casey’s small-hand flute. You’ll be able to play any flute you come across.

Re: casey burns

Before changing flute, try changing your right hand position so that you are covering the holes with the flats of your fingers near the first knuckle joint (the so-called piper’s grip). This will put your hand more perpendicular to the flute than the fingertip grip used on a boehm flute. My hands are probably a bit larger than yours, but I still found that I had to make that switch when I moved from my keyless Sweet to a keyed flute. It takes a bit of experimentation, but you end up with a more relaxed hand position with a lot less lateral stress.

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Re: casey burns

Sorry that I can’t answer your question directly, but I’ll say this. I just got a the basic keyless mopane flute from Casey Burns (not the folk flute), and it’s teriffic. Kate G is right, though, make sure to use the piper’s grip or you’ll never be able to cover all the holes. Is your Dixon whistle a low D? If so, you could try practicing on that before you get a new flute, so that you can play it right away.

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Re: casey burns

I own a Casey Burns Boxwood Pratten. It is a fantastic Flute. A friend of mine, who is a Flute teacher, got a Folk Flute after his McGee Pratten was lost to a fire. I have played these Flutes side by side and found that the Folk Flute is everything it could be, and the value is certainly great. The difference between the Folk Flute and Mopane Standard (like Jack says, stay away from small handed it will become a crutch) is quality of wood (standard is pure Heartwood, Folk has some sapwood), the two piece design, and the fact that the Folk has no end cap. I would say that if you plan on getting a tuning slide or keys, spend the extra cash, but if you do not the Folk Flute is a great Flute at a low price.

Slainte mentions Mark Hoza. He makes a nice Flute also, I have one of his in F. From my experience you can’t go wrong with his either, but I have heard of a bad one. Although this Flute is from quite some time ago, and that model is no longer available.

BTW, you can retro-fit a tuning slide to an all wood Flute, but not the Folk Flute. I am going to do it to my Burns Flute if I get the chance.

Piper’s Grip may work for you. Although, if you have the Dixon PVC you will find a big difference in a wooden Flute, the reach is easier.

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Re: casey burns

I just checked Mark Hoza’s and Casey’s sites, the wait is up to 6 months for Hoza and Burns is 6 to 8 months.

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Eh, i’m a dummy?

i meant, i bought a dixon high d whistle. not flute or low whistle.
:O

Re: casey burns

Jaime, if you had already got a regular concert flute, you should try different grips. But you haven’t. I think nothing’s wrong with small-handed flutes. You have to be comfortable with your own flute, not with someone else’s.

Re: casey burns

I ordered a Casey Burns Mopane standard keyless and am expecting it any day now. His wait times are not always that long. I ordered mine less than three weeks ago and he happended to have a batch of Mopane standards almost through the main production stage of development and ready for silver. Since I ordered mine with ‘no frills’ he said I’d probably get it in a couple of weeks.

I think the wait time on the folk flute is fairly short as well.

I played the concert flute for over 20 years and found that switching to a piper’s grip on my right hand was a huge help. I build and play cylindrical pvc flutes, so I’ve had to deal with wide finger spacing on my right hand. The piper’s grip was well worth the two weeks or so of frustration to learn. Stick with it and you won’t be sorry!

Dear everyone…

i’ve experimented a little with the piper’s grip, but it just hurts and hurts and is much harder for me to create a seal.
i had surgery for carpal tunnel this december. and just the huge stretch (with any grip) seems to just annihilate my hand.