The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11563   Message #87781
Posted By:
18-Jun-99 - 05:32 PM
Thread Name: flute playing tips
Subject: RE: flute playing tips
Hi y'all,

Myself, I play an ebony "Irish" flute. The end blown instruments that are either whistles, recorders, or flageolets. I have seen some really nice ebony pennywhistles made by Chris Abell. He also makes WOODEN boehm system flutes!

Wanna hear my horror story: yesterday I sold my old Lark in the Morning in anticipation of picking up my Patrick Olwell flute. IN 1994 I paid him $450 dollars and got on a three year waiting list for a wooden keyed flute (with 6 keys). We agreed I would pay $1650 total (the rest upon completion). Three years came and went. Nothing. I called from time to time to see what progress was being made, and he would put me off somehow. He seemed too busy making flute for the likes of Seamus Egan, Frankie Kennedy, etc. to be bothered with a little ole beginning flute player like me. But I was patient. Besides, I wasn't making that much money and the prospect of having to shell out another $1200 was daunting to say the least. But last year I got a really good job and I renewed my attempts to light a fire under him.

Three months ago he said he had finished my head joint and wanted to know if he could make me a keyless flute to play on until the keyed section was ready. I would pay him an additional $550 (the equivalent price of one of his keyless flutes). When the keyed section was ready I would trade the middle section for the keyed section and pay him the rest. I allowed as to how I would be amenable to that. Bird in hand, and all. I was to get it two weeks ago. Bupkus. Nothing. Finally yesterday he tells me I can come pick it up at his shop (only 30 minutes away).

So I pay him the money (cash, mind you) and he hands me a flute which looks like it was cobbled together at the last minute. The head and foot joints are new, but the two middle sections are obviously older wood. They don't match the color or grain of the other two joints. It was like he had the two middle pieces lying around and just used them instead of making me a whole flute. Which would be fine if they were in tune (which they aren't) and if I didn't think I would have to wait another year for the keyed section (which I probably will).

Okay, bad enough right? THEN he tells me that he feels he is losing money on this deal since he now charges up to $3000 for a keyed flute and wants to know if I will "meet him halfway" and allow him to charge me $2600 for the whole flute. He wants to jack up the price by a grand, after making me wait nearly six years for a substandard keyless flute!


Sorry for rambling. I just need to vent.