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Help: when you hold a flute...

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GUEST,leeneia 29 Sep 00 - 10:51 PM
Gracie 29 Sep 00 - 11:38 PM
Melani 30 Sep 00 - 12:03 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Sep 00 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,GUEST,little goth 01 Oct 00 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,GUEST,little goth 01 Oct 00 - 11:58 AM
black walnut 01 Oct 00 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Oct 00 - 07:53 PM
GUEST,orcawild@aol.com 01 Oct 00 - 10:26 PM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Mar 01 - 12:54 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Mar 01 - 12:57 PM
mousethief 19 Mar 01 - 01:07 PM
Sorcha 19 Mar 01 - 01:14 PM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Mar 01 - 01:20 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Mar 01 - 01:21 PM
Sorcha 19 Mar 01 - 01:23 PM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Mar 01 - 01:36 PM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Mar 01 - 01:44 PM
Sarah the flute 20 Mar 01 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,Mike Ireland 20 Mar 01 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,leila 20 Mar 01 - 05:45 PM
RichM 21 Mar 01 - 01:29 AM
evilfiend 21 Mar 01 - 08:25 AM
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Subject: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Sep 00 - 10:51 PM

I'm a self-taught flutist and plan to stay that way. I own an Irish flute in D which is pretty big for my small hands. I also own a flute in G which is smaller in size Whichever I play, I find that the outer part of my left wrist starts to hurt after a little while.

So-- what is the recommended way for me to place my left hand on the flute? Can I just grab it however I like, or is there a trick to it?


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Gracie
Date: 29 Sep 00 - 11:38 PM

Are your hands and wrists relaxed? Try raising your elbow and see if that takes some of the pressure off the wrist. I had the devil of a time learning to play my flute without pain- in various parts of my hands and wrists. I found I had to limit my practice time- only playing until the pain started. At first I could only play one tune but I've worked my way up to longer sessions.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Melani
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:03 AM

You may be coming at it at too much of a right angle, as I did until corrected. Be sure the side of your left index finger touches the side of the flute, sort of below the knuckle.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 08:26 PM

Raise the elbow. Avoid a right angle. I will try both approaches. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,GUEST,little goth
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 11:56 AM

I have tiny hands, too! (I'm 13!) I recommend all of the above, esp. Gracie and Melani's.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,GUEST,little goth
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 11:58 AM

I have tiny hands, too! (I'm 13!) I recommend all of the above, esp. Gracie and Melani's.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: black walnut
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 05:44 PM

rounding all of your fingers, including your thumb, might relieve some tension....also rounding both arms like a big hug, rather than elbows hanging down, and standing straight with head forward, not tilted, bringing the flute to your relaxed position, not you to the flute....the whole body works together.

(for many years i played classical flute, so this advice might not be relevant to irish flute).

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 07:53 PM

Thank you, Black Walnut. The flutes are so much alike that I'm sure your advice is relevant. I will try it.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,orcawild@aol.com
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 10:26 PM

I was looking through a book on musician's injuries . . . and there was a device that affixed to the flute to make injury/pain less likely, sort of a thumbrest. Sorry I don't remember more details now, but you can check the web for musicians health and there are several books that may be in your library.

Good luck . . .


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 12:54 PM

Just wanted to bring this back
I started with a silver (plated) classical flute, and when I read this thread first time round I did not understand the problem
I then moved on to a relatively light keyless wooden flute and now a keyed wooden one. And now I am getting problems, with aching hands and thumb. So I was wondering if anyone had solved the problem, and if it is to do with the differences in the types of flute. My keyed wooden flute is wider than the silver one and much heavier, it also lacks the B flat key where my thumb would sit comfortably on the silver one. So I seem to struggle to find a spot where my thumb will be comfortable and still reach round the flute body with my fingers to reach the keys.

Achy Thumb in Sheffield


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 12:57 PM

Has anybody got pics that can show me the difference between a flute and an irish flute?


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:07 PM

I could help you with this, but then you would no longer be self-taught.

Glad to oblige,
Alex


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:14 PM

Photo of Irish flute here.
Photo of Classical flute here.

Different sizes of classical flutes here(and good looking chicks, too!

Irish flute tutorial here.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:20 PM

Sorcha you could have let me know you were on the case! Whats the point me looking when you always beat me to it !


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:21 PM

Not really any such thing as an Irish Flute. click here

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:23 PM

Sorry, Roger...........(chucklechuckle)


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:36 PM

You are quite right Jon, there are simple flutes (no keys) and Boehm system flutes (which are fully keyed) and a whole range of intermediates. The keyless flutes are more suited to traditional styles of playing and the Boehms are better for classical music. I do believe there are real 'Irish'flutes though, the ones that had expensive key work on the original instrument which was then removed by irish players as the keys 'got in the way'. These flutes will have filler in the bodywork where the extra tone holes would have been!!

Now can you help with me achy thumb anyone?????


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:44 PM

OK so I have looked at Sorcha's links and like the 'face down on pub table' posture, I shall give it a try this very night!!
Now I think about it even my light classical flute used to hurt when I first started playing, perhaps I just need to get used to the wooden one by playing for shorter periods
Off to the pub then ........life is hard!
Cheers roger


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 03:41 AM

Most simple system "Irish" flutes were made in London in the 18th and 19th Centuries. As for flute aches and pains the only cure is practice. Eventually you will find a position that suits you. Some people play with the flute resting on their shoulder although that can affect breathing or holding the flute downwards like a chanter on the pipes rather than the classical hold. Don't know if that's helpful. I play both concert flute and simple system flute- the latter for tunes in D G and A and anything else in a more obscure key on the silver concert flute.


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,Mike Ireland
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 03:46 PM

Hi Leeneia

I've been learning the Irish traditional flute for a while when I found the site below.

http://homepage.tinet.ie/~mandeflutes/Contents.htm

I came across the pages on holding the flute in the site and they helped me a lot.

http://homepage.tinet.ie/~mandeflutes/hands.htm

I hope this helps, its a good site and worth looking at. You might like to tune into the Blue Star Radio link and hear some good flute/whistle music

Mike


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: GUEST,leila
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 05:45 PM

Hello,

I'm usually a lurker and can't become a member until I get a computer of my own, but I couldn't resist this thread so here are my 2 cents.

I too was a classical flute player for many years. I had to stop playing not long after high school because of severe tendonitis and an inflammatory muscular disorder. But, before I quit I went through a while of being very careful: here is what I learned.

1)Sit up straight (this means neck, shoulders, hips etc are in alignment). 2)Keep shoulders down and even. 3)Stretch your neck, shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers before beginning to play 4)Sit on the edge of your chair: NEVER lean back. 5)Avoid hard angles for your fingers and wrists. 6)Don't tense fingers or wrists **(actually there is a way to mostly use the larger muscles of your upper arm when playing instead of the smaller muscles of your wrists and fingers)

You may want to see an occupational therapist. There are some who specialize in treating injuries common among musicians.

Cheers, Leila


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: RichM
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 01:29 AM

Sorcha, thanks for the links to pics of flutes.

I was particularly impressed by the bass flute that Adriana Greisman (of Flutes Fantastique) plays.
If I were a wind player, that's what i would like to try.
Unfortunately, I seem to be able to play only things with strings!

Rich


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Subject: RE: Help: when you hold a flute...
From: evilfiend
Date: 21 Mar 01 - 08:25 AM

I think that different things work for different people, I play the silver flute and the keyless flute, and find that I need different techniques for each. I used to play the Ueillian pipes, and my chanter was large, and so I tried playing my flute in a similar fashion, not with my finger tips, but almost over the first knuckle. Hope this helps!!


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