Showing posts with label Woodwind Instruments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Woodwind Instruments. Show all posts

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Band Instrument Repair - FLUTE - The Foot Joint

Flute
Photo  by Khairil Zhafri 
The foot joint of the flute consists of 3 keys on a C flute and 4 keys if there is a low B on the foot. The foot joint keys are the property of the baby finger of the right hand. The keys are made in such a way as to be pushed in different combinations by the baby finger.


One of the weakest points on the flute is where the foot joint joins the body. This is called the lower tenon and can be easily damaged. The foot joint can become loose and cause air leakage and loss of sound or become to tight and be very difficult to remove or put on. This can lead to numerous problems. The fact is that the foot joint is long, almost 6 inches in some cases, and the tendon that supports its weight is only half an inch long. Supporting that much weight and length as well as being constantly put under the pressure of the keys being pushed down can tend to take it's toll if not maintained.

Like the body of the flute, the foot joint keys, springs and pads have to be maintained. Replacing, leveling, and seating all have to be done in order to have the keys seal correctly and thus allow the lower notes to play.

Almost all of the keys of the flute work in conjunction with one or more other keys. This means that when you press down on one key it may also cause one or more other keys to be pressed down at the same time. These keys have to be regulated so that when it is required that two or more keys close at the same time, it has to be the same time or you will have loss of sound and the flute won't play. Regulating the keys so that they work in this fashion is probably the most vital repair of the instrument. It requires a delicate balance of bending and leveling the keys as well as seating the pads better and adjusting spring tensions.

The final result of all of this should be a flute that is solid feeling, with no rattles or excessive key noise. No sticky pads or loose feeling keys. When you press the keys it should be very light pressure with a big sound and minimal effort. The last thing you want when you are playing the flute or any instrument really is to be fighting with the physicalness of it instead of just enjoying the artistic and creative nature of it.

To sum it up, you need to have respect for the instrument you are playing and give it the attention it needs. Care and maintenance mean that it will always perform the way it is intended to play and you will enjoy your creativity uninterrupted by physical glitches.



Friday, August 3, 2018

Japanese Zen Flute SHAKUHACHI - History, Information and Facts

La fête de la musique 2014 au musée Guimet (Paris)

The shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute. It is the Japanese most well-known woodwind instrument. The shakuhachi flute (or also known as Zen flute) is used by Zen Buddhist as a tool for meditation as well as playing jazz, classical and traditional Japanese folk music. This flute is made from the very bottom of a bamboo tree, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods.


Although the bamboo flute is quite simple in appearance, it is very difficult to play; its unique and magical quality is revealed to the listeners by the purity of its tone. In the hands of a master, the flute produces an extraordinary, subtle, sensual music – prized as being perfect for meditation and relaxation. Its beautiful, soulful sound made it popular in 80’s pop music in the English-speaking world.

The name shakuhachi is derived from the term “isshaku hassun” meaning one shaku and eight suns (1.8 Japanese feet). Usually, the term shakuhachi refers to the standard size instrument, which is 54.5 cm in length, but it can also refer to many different sizes ranging from 1.3 – 2.5 shaku (39.4 – 75.7 cm) and longer. The shakuhachi is usually made from the root portion of a thick-walled bamboo (known as madake in Japanese).


There are two contrasting styles of making these instruments: the first involves using a style that is similar to the Zen Buddhist monks from the past. There is no filler in this shakuhachi and it is also sometimes called as ji nashi or hocchiku. If you look down the bore of a ji nashi, you can see some nodes of the bamboo protruding. While the second style has a filler made up of a certain mixture of ingredients, possibly including a powder called tonoko, lacquer or urushi and water. This is finished to create a polished surface.

Shakuhachi can be made in one piece (it is called as nobekan) or in two pieces with a middle joint (this also called as nakatsuki). Two of them has no difference in quality, only the two piece is easier to transport and often contains filler. The top part of shakuhachi is called utaguchi – literally ‘song mouth’, and this contains an insert made of various materials such as buffalo horn, ivory and plastic. Its shape is based on the preference of different schools.

Shakuhachi flute is possibly the simplest non-percussive instrument ever conceived. This instrument has no keys or pads like a western flute, no strings like a violin or guitar, no mechanism inside like organ or piano, no reed like a clarinet or saxophone, it does not even have a mouthpiece like a recorder. Zen flute has only five finger holes, which is fewer than the penny whistle or much other wind instruments. To play a note, your mouth and lips must become part of the instrument. Despite this simple construction, this instrument can produce an inconceivably broad range of musical sounds


The Zen flute came from China to Japan sometime in the 6th century. The instrument was then adopted by a sect of Zen Buddhist monks around the 15th century. During this period, the flutes began to be made from the spiked root section of the bamboo – so the flute could double as a particularly ferocious weapon. That probably explains the flute’s long association with the martial arts.


By Susan Wong
Feng shui bamboo flutes
are used to ward off the bad chi whereas the lucky bamboo plants are used to attract wealth.
Article Source: EzineArticles



Monday, July 30, 2018

I Grew Up On A CLARINET

Clarinet with a Boehm System.
Clarinet with a Boehm System.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
For the most part, I loved my childhood. I loved growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters. I always had a playmate and there was never a dull moment. We had a great family time and my mother was the most amazing cook. We all had to take lessons of all kinds from the time we were really young. I remember being forced into trying piano and clarinet from around the time I started elementary school. At first, I was quite excited about the piano and quite hesitant about learning the clarinet.

My feelings changed rather quickly, however, when I began showing a natural talent for the clarinet. I had trouble mastering the ivories of the piano and my mouth and fingers just naturally worked together on the clarinet in a way that my mom said sounded just like magic. I think she might have said that simply because she wanted to inspire me to stick with the instrument for her own listening pleasure.

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but eventually, I came to enjoy playing the clarinet as much as my mother loved hearing me play. I guess I liked it because it was the one way I stood out from among my siblings. In a large family, I had to take any opportunity I could get to stand out and make a name for myself. The clarinet was my opportunity and I grabbed ahold of it with all I could.

I signed up for private lessons after school and I became a part of every local band and orchestra that would accept me. I guess my perfectionism was evident even from these early years. All of my hard work paid off when I was offered a scholarship to a well-known music conservatory where I went for three years after high school. My parents could not be more proud of me, except I think they were a little concerned that I would not make a career out of clarinet and would be stuck poor and leaning on them.

My time in the conservatory led me to get a master's in music education and I have found my calling as a teacher of clarinet at a local university. It is my privilege to use my love for the clarinet and my talents to help other students achieve their dreams with the clarinet as well. So follow your dreams, whatever they are. For me, it was the clarinet. I'm so glad that I grew up playing it.



Saturday, July 28, 2018

BASS CLARINET - Music-instruments of the World

Bass Clarinet - Music-instruments of the World



Friday, July 20, 2018

Beginning CLARINET: The Very Start

clarinet

Like starting with any instrument, beginning clarinet is a process of learning that involves both great achievement and the occasional setback. However, if the beginning clarinetist follows a few tips relating to clarinet care and clarinet playing, the success is sure to outweigh the setbacks.

The first thing that a new clarinet player should learn is to put together their instrument properly, and how to hold it. One of the important things when putting a clarinet together is not to force any part into another, and that the side lever is up when the lower and upper parts are put together, otherwise bent keys could be the result.

This type of care should be extended to all parts of the clarinet - while it is inevitable that reeds will eventually split, they will last longer with careful care. The clarinet itself will last longer and have less need for repair if it is looked after properly, which includes cleaning after each time it is played and being put in its case properly.

One of the most difficult things for the beginning clarinetist is getting the embouchure correct. The embouchure is how the lips are shaped to hold the mouthpiece and create the correct vibration of the reed. Make sure that the bottom teeth are covered by the bottom lip and that the top teeth are touching the mouthpiece, but not clamping down too tight. It is normal for beginner clarinet players to have a lot of squeaking! As you continue to learn and practice, this annoying part of beginner clarinet playing should disappear.

    Find hundreds of articles about the clarinet at 1st-clarinet-music

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A First Look at the OBOE

A Musician's Fingers
Oboe - Photo by Ksayer1 
If you are just learning about the oboe, you are about to learn that there is a lot to learn!

While this article is by no means an exhaustive look at the oboe, we'll try to cover the basic stuff to give you a better idea of this beautiful instrument.

The oboe is a double reed (which means that two pieces of wood vibrate together to make the sound) instrument that is directly descended from the 16th-century shawm. While the shawm might be considered the great-grandfather of the oboe, its sound (which was LOUD and annoying) changed quite a bit before it became the modern day oboe.

Oboes are usually made of grenadilla wood, but sometimes, in an effort to produce slightly different tone colors, other woods are used. The oboe has sterling silver keys and is made up of three "joints:"
  • a lower joint
  • an upper joint 
  • and a slightly flared bell
The sound is produced by using a reed made of two blades of cane which vibrate together.

Pitched in "C," the oboe's pitch range starts at the Bb below middle C on the piano and ends roughly 2 ½ octaves above that, around a G. For the adventurer, higher notes are possible though less comfortable and less frequently called for in music written for the oboe.

The oboe has a narrow conical bore, making its timbre focused and penetrating. The French word for oboe, "hautbois." Hautbois literally translates to "high-," "strong-," "loud-," or "principal-wood," depending on its various spellings. Some people say that the oboe sounds a bit like a duck. Track down a recording of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf for a great example of this.

The oboe is often played in groups of two or three in orchestras and bands and is used in many combinations for chamber music. It is primarily a melody instrument and, because of its lyrical and mournful timbre, is often used for very emotional sections of music.

Good examples include:
  • Stravinsky - Symphony in C
  • Barber - Summer Music
  • Gabriel's Oboe
One of the oboe's most important jobs is that of "tuner" in an orchestra. Listen carefully to the beginning of an orchestra concert with oboes in it and you will hear the oboe player play a tuning "A" from which the entire orchestra takes their pitch.

There are actually 4 different instruments within the oboe family, which cover the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass ranges. The oboe itself is the most soprano of its direct family. The second most common instrument in the oboe family is its tenor version, the English horn.

The English horn, or "Cor Anglais," is pitched a 5th below the oboe, in "F," and is fingered almost exactly like its smaller sibling. The range of the English horn begins at a written B below middle C and goes up to about concert "C." Like the oboe, it consists of an upper and lowers joint, but it has a bulbous bell at the lower end which makes it look quite different. English horn players also use a bocal, onto which the reed is attached.

The sound of the English horn is similar in quality to the oboe, but because it is larger and lower, its timbre is a bit more mysterious and sorrowful. The English horn is often used in the band and orchestra, though less often in chamber music. It is quite common for the 2nd oboist of an ensemble to have to "double" on English horn, having to switch back and forth from the oboe as his/her part dictates.

Famous English horn solos include:
  • Rossini - William Tell Overture
  • Dvorak - New World Symphony
The oboe's alto family member is the oboe d'amore, which means "oboe of love." This instrument looks like a small version of the English horn, with the same bulbous shaped bell and curved bocal. It sounds a minor 3rd lower than the oboe, is pitched in concert "A," and again fingered almost exactly like the oboe.

The oboe d'amore's sound is truly distinctive, being reminiscent of its soprano and tenor relatives, but more muted and sweet. It is often used in pairs and most frequently in Baroque music, especially that of J.S. Bach. Check out the beautiful solos and duets for oboes d'amore in the following Bach pieces:
  • B Minor Mass
  • Christmas Cantatas
  • Concerto for Oboe D'amore
The oboe d'amore does not often appear in ensemble pieces after the Baroque era, though one of its most famous orchestra solos was written by Ravel, in Bolero.

The oboe's bass family member is the Bass oboe, which is the most obscure of the oboe family members. The bass oboe is pitched in "C," like the oboe, but sounds an octave lower than its written pitches. It looks like a very large English horn and is played with the same fingerings, but its bocal is more drastically curved.

The popularity of the bass oboe was brief and is rarely used today. One of the few orchestral pieces which employ the bass oboe is Holst's The Planets. Its murky and atmospheric timbre is well suited to a piece about outer space.


The oboe and its relatives all use a double reed, but the reed is different for each instrument. Basically, the bigger and lower the instrument, the bigger the reed is. The oboe's reed is the only reed with an attached cork, the others being on metal tubes which slip directly onto a bocal. From its soprano to bass ranges, the oboe family covers a wide spectrum of tones colors, though remains lyrical and poignant in all its versions.

The oboe is a beautiful instrument to play although it can take quite some time to master. Even producing a sound can be quite a challenge for a beginner.


    Oboist and entrepreneur Maryn Leister helps beginner, intermediate and professional oboists become happier oboe players.

    She is the owner of the oboe learning company MKL Reeds and publisher of the Reed Report and Oboe Success Tips Newsletters.  Each newsletter is full of straightforward tips on becoming a better oboe player and on taking control of your oboe reeds.

    Get your free subscription to the Reed Report newsletter and start your own journey towards a more rewarding oboe future right away.  Sign-Up now and get your FREE Oboe Reed Tips!

    Article Source: EzineArticles - A First Look at the Oboe


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

PAN FLUTE - Music-Instruments of the World

Pan Flute - Music-Instruments of the World



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Do You Want to Learn the CLARINET?

Clarinet with a Boehm System.
Clarinet with a Boehm System. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The clarinet is the second highest sounding instrument of the woodwind family which consists of flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon. It was invented by Johann Denner around 1690 and in the 1800's Klose adapted the Boehm flute system to the clarinet making it playing in all keys. It came into general use around the time of Mozart and beyond. Here is some information to help you decide if you want to learn the clarinet.

The clarinet has been made from a variety of materials including wood, plastic, hard rubber, metal, resin, and ivory. Grenada is a popular material used by professional musicians and most modern inexpensive clarinets are made form resonite ( plastic resin ). It looks like a long cylindrical tube with keys down the length of the tube covered by keys. The upper end is shaped like a mouthpiece and the lower end opens out like a bell shape. One side of the mouthpiece is flattened to allow the single reed made up of a single piece of cane to be fixed to it.

Clarinet players hold the instrument in front of them and produce a sound by blowing through the single reed on the mouthpiece, thus making the reed vibrate against the mouthpiece. The various sounds are created when the player presses down the keys and hinged rings such that movable pads cover the holes, in different configurations or finger patterns. The clarinet produces a mellow tone with a brilliant upper sound. The range of notes the clarinet can produce is over three octaves from E below middle C on the piano upwards to a C three octaves higher.

There are more than twelve types of clarinet with varying sizes and pitches, hence they make up the clarinet family. Many are rare or obsolete. The most common ones used today are the clarinet in Bb and clarinet in A. Both are used in orchestras depending on the key of the piece.

Clarinets are used in jazz and classical ensembles eg the orchestra, concert bands, in chamber groups, and as a solo instrument. They are rarely used in rock or pop music. There are usually two to three clarinet players in an orchestra each having different parts and changing between the clarinet in A and clarinet in Bb. A popular chamber group which the oboe takes part in is the wind quartet which consists of 1 flute, 1 clarinet, 1 oboe, 1 bassoon, 1 french horn. And it is combined with other instruments in various groupings.

Some famous clarinet players include Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Sabine Meyer, Julian Bliss, Richard Stoltzman.



Gearbest Clarinet Reed Trimmer
Clarinet Reed Trimmer

Thursday, May 17, 2018

BAMBOO FLUTES

a saluang (bamboo flute) from West-Sumatra
A saluang (bamboo flute) from West-Sumatra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the many materials used to create the musical instruments known as flutes is bamboo. This is a tradition that stems back to the early generations of Australia and the Aborigines. The Chinese are also well known for using bamboo to create flutes but they are believed to have been directly influenced by those found in Australia.

Each of the flutes was hand carved from sticks of bamboo and then holes were placed in them for the fingers. A location towards the top of it was for the person to blow air into. The way the fingers covered up the holes was what determined what sounds that the flute produced. This is very similar to what most people know as a recorder. Bamboo flutes can be good for children to learn on too before they move on to more advanced models.

Today you can buy bamboo flutes to play as well but you need to be patient in getting on. Each of them is made custom and it can take up to six months before you order will be processed. Yet you will end up with a flute that is original and that you can make music with. They are also very beautiful so you will want to display it when you can for others to see.

Most bamboo flutes don’t have all of the musical ranges with them though. You can get them custom made with particular keys in place though. The majority of bamboo flutes out there though are in D minor. They also feature seven holes for the fingers to cover. You will definitely notice a different sound coming from a bamboo flute though. It is a very low and deep sound that is interesting. It is quite different though from the soft sound you get with a nickel flute.

Bamboo flutes often run a couple of hundred dollars due to the amount of detail that goes into the workmanship. Many of them are imported from other countries too. You can find them online as well as listen to the various sounds they offer. For those that enjoy the flute, this can be a great item to add to the mix.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Band Instrument Repair - FLUTE - Body

Western concert flute 1
Western concert flute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now the body of the flute is quite intricate. There are 18 keys on the body of a C flute. The number of springs can vary somewhat but it is around 13 give or take.

The springs can be made of steel or copper or bronze. Steel is the best and easiest to work on. They have to be adjusted for the right strength. They can be too weak, which can cause closing problems and leaks. Also, they can be too strong which can cause the same problem. You have to get a feel for the exact strength and that can vary from flute to flute. Some springs need to be replaced and that in itself can be very tedious indeed. Also, for the first while, as a beginner in flute repair you stab yourself with these little springs and it really hurts to put it mildly!

The pads also need to be taken care of and need to be replaced or reseated. They are made of felt and covered with 2 layers of fish bladder. I have no idea why they use fish bladder. Pads can get torn or punctured or just plain worn out. They are vital and cannot leak or the flute will lose some or all of it's volume.

Pad replacement is time consuming. Each ad is held in with a tiny screw and washer or a nylon snap. They vary in size and thickness. Once you have put them in you have to iron them and reseat them so that they will seal completely. To reseat them you have to wet them with alcohol and then clamp each key and pad, then heat them and if possible leave them overnight. It's not always possible to leave them overnight so I tend to put them in a pad oven and cook them for a couple of hours. This helps make the flute seal air tight when being played.

Next is to balance and regulate the keys with their newly seated pads.





Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Unusual Sounds Of The Vertical FLUTE

Flute Player
Photo   by DrBjorn 
The vertical flute is meant to be played in an upright position. There are three designs of a vertical flute, including the rim-blown flute, a transversely blown flute, and a tubular duct flute. While these three different types are referred to as a vertical flute, the rim-blown flute is more readily recognized as a vertical flute.

There does not appear to be any general date in the creation of this particular type of flute, and there does not appear to be any specific reason why these kinds of flutes were created. Most people are familiar with flutes that must be played when held in a horizontal position; the fact that this flute is meant to be played in an upright position makes it a unique flute.


While many will be unfamiliar with any of the terms mentioned above, such as the vertical flute, rim-blown flute, transversely blown flute or tubular duct flute, many are quite familiar with these kinds of flutes. Different kinds of flutes such as the recorder, or the tin whistle are examples of tubular duct flutes. They are, for the most part, played in an upright position, even if not completely vertical.

Some of the older versions of the vertical flutes have a tube that decreases in size from top to bottom, much like many of them still do today, and has six holes on the top. Unlike the recorder, though, there is no hole on the back of the flute for the thumb to cover. Like just about any type of flute, flutes that fall under the category of being a vertical flute have been around for a very long time. There is no specific period mentioned that would mark when the first vertical flute was created, but it is obvious that it has been around for hundreds of years by looking through the history books.

Today, they are relatively easy to acquire. Just about any kind of vertical flute can be purchased at a relatively inexpensive price, depending on the specific type of flute as some are more expensive than others. The sheet music is also fairly basic and easy to find. Used music stores also tend to have various types of vertical flutes that have been traded in by others who no longer had a use for them. These, of course, usually cost less than if someone were to purchase them new.

Some of these vertical flutes are taught to students at a young age who are attending grade school. The main reasons for this could easily be the cost, but also because the music is so basic and easy for young children to pick up. Some continue to play it on their own time after learning some of the basics in school because they enjoy playing it. It is not a complicated instrument and can be a perfect instrument to play for fun on one's own free time. These kinds of flutes can also be great for individuals who are new to playing a wind instrument because it gets them used to the basics of how to play such an instrument.

    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. - Article Directory: EzineArticles



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Understanding Tone Production on the FLUTE in Easy Words

fluteplaying
Photo  by angelaathomas 
The flute is one of the most difficult instruments on which to produce a good tone. This is because the flute is the only instrument that relies solely on the performer's ability to direct his or her air column accurately and simultaneously continue to create space in his or her body for the sound to resonate. 

The other wind instruments have mouthpieces or reeds to guide their air, and the string family has a bow and resonating box built into the instrument that assists tone production. Understanding 3 basic principles will help beginning and intermediate flute players to both improve their tone on the instrument and make the good tone a consistent part of their playing.

The first principle of good tone is to get as much of your bottom lip on the lip plate as possible. Draw the corners of your lips forward so that they are hugging the lip plate. Do NOT pull them back in a smiling position. Bringing the corners of your lips forward creates more space in your mouth, therefore contributing to the size of your "resonating box". As a flute player, your resonating box consists of the sinus cavity, the space in your mouth and throat, and the chest cavity. This simple act also allows you to engage all of the muscles around your mouth area, which will give you more strength and flexibility when you attempt to change octave.

The second principle of good tone is to understand register production. The flute is capable of playing comfortably in 3 registers - low, middle, and high. It is the direction of your air column (the stream of air you are blowing over the tone hole) that will produce the register you are seeking to play. This should be the primary way you change your register. If you blow your air down, or more directly into the tone hole, you will produce the low register. 

The middle register is produced by blowing your air straight out across the tone hole (a parallel line from the hole you are making with your lips), and the high register is produced by directing your air column up like you are trying to blow a bee off of your nose. Other factors will contribute to the production of the different registers, but they should not be your primary focus because you will find that they all have their primary functions. For example, if you increase the size of the hole you are making with your lips, you will find the low register, but you will have also affected the color and pitch of your tone.


The third principle of good tone is to play with good, relaxed posture. Remember, the flute requires the performer's body to be its resonating box. Therefore, a flutist must sit up straight in his or her chair, or stand tall, when playing. Also, the flute requires the left arm of the player to reach across his or her body. A flutist must always remember to keep his or her shoulders square so that this arm does not decrease the size of the box around the lungs. The performer should attempt to play with as little tension in his or her muscles as possible so that tightened muscles do not inhibit the ability of the body to vibrate.

Of course, all of these techniques take practice and time to master, but with careful attention, determination, and practice, every flutist can play with the beautiful tone he or she desires.



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Band Instrument Repair - FLUTE - Balancing and Regulating the Keys and Pads

English: A western concert flute devided into ...
A western concert flute divided into many parts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Flute keys have to close exactly on the tone holes to seal them from air leakage and then an exact tone can be produced. The only way this can happen is to ensure the key is level and the tone hole is level and the pad has no holes or creases in them.

This is achieved by seating the pads correctly and then bending the keys and testing them continually until you get the best seal possible. We test the seal in several ways. One of the most common ways is to use a strip of cigarette paper. You place it between the rim of the tone hole and the pad and then close the key to see if the paper is grabbed or slips out. If it slips out, that means that air can get out of that space and thus you will lose sound and volume etc. I use a jeweler's eye loop to examine the hole more than I use the cigarette paper because I can get a closer look through the magnification and I find it quicker.

Bending the keys to make them level was at first very scary. You are working on a $300.00 and up instrument and you're taking a pair of flute pliers and bending the key to insure it is setting right over the hole. Yes, you occasionally break the keys right off. At first this is very unnerving but when you realize that you are suppose to be able to fix keys that are broken off, then it becomes no big deal. Once you realize that all the pieces of the flute had to be made and soldered together, you can rest assured that you can fix anything. We have recovered flutes that have been stepped on, sat on, jammed in doors etc., etc.

Alright so we took out all dents and bends, which is a science all on it's own. We made sure the springs are all intact and of the correct tension. We have checked and replaced and seated all the necessary pads. Finally, we bent and leveled all the keys and their pads over the tone holes so that we get as close to a perfect seal as possible.


Then we clamp the keys shut, to make a deep imprint in the pad, thus making a very air tight seal. We do this by first using a small pad iron to iron out any wrinkles from any new pads. Then you soak the pads with alcohol (this is one method). Apply the individual key clamps. Then you place the flute in a pad oven for a few hours. Pad ovens vary in size and shape. I use a long narrow leak light, which I put in the flute and then I put it in a wooden box. Some people don't use an oven.

After that, you'll get a great seal and the flute will play great. The volume will be great with no hissing or leaks.

After that if you give it regular hand cleaning and have someone a tech give it a once over every 6 months you get the best out of your flute and it will last a long time.




Saturday, February 24, 2018

How to Make a FLUTE - The All Important Mathematical Formula

Shot during first ancient music festival in megève
Shot during first ancient music festival in megève
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ever wondered how to make a flute? I'm not talking about something cut from a drinking straw with scissors, or put together using a cardboard paper towel tube... I mean make a flute that's a genuine quality, professionally tuned musical instrument. Whether you use wood, PVC (flutes made from this material sound like blowing through glass - an excellent sound), or copper pipe (also sounds just as excellent) in flute making, there are a few mathematical things to keep in mind, but they all pretty much revolve around, and stem from, the one all-important mathematical formula involved in how to make flute type woodwind instruments or even those of other types. Do you know what this mathematical formula is? Well, I'll tell you...

If you want to know how to make a flute, you first need to know two numbers. The first one is the measurement of the speed of sound in inches (or centimeters, etc.) per second. In inches, that would be 13526.5, and in centimeters, that would be 34357.31 - this is how far in linear distance sound travels per second, at sea level, at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or at about 21 degrees Celsius. The second number to know in flute making is how many Hertz (frequency of vibration) that a particular given note resonates at. For a brief and simple example, let's say we use the note "A". The frequency of "A", in Hertz, is 440. Now we take the speed of sound in inches (or centimeters) per second and divide that number by the note's frequency, in this case, 440, and we will then have the measured length of the wavelength of the note "A". This would end up to be 30.74 inches, or 70.08 centimeters long.

The next step in how to make a flute is simple. With an open-ended flute, the body of the flute would actually need to be one half-wavelength long to play the fundamental note (the lowest note possible to play, with all finger holes closed) properly, in this case, "A". Due to other variable factors in flute making such as bore diameter, wall thickness and etc., the flute will actually need to be a tiny bit shorter - depending upon the thickness of the flute wall factoring in as well, this is generally about 1/3 of the bore diameter. Shorten the length little by little until the correct note is achieved. How to make flute embouchures or the blowing edge hole, is to make it half of the flute's bore diameter wide, measuring the center point of the hole to be a bore diameter's distance from the inner face of the closed end.



A very convenient part about knowing how to make a flute is in the fact that the above mathematical formula is also how you would find the positions for the finger holes' center points, according to the notes they are to play. How to make flute finger holes is to start small, slowly making them bigger as you "creep" them up the length of the flute towards the closed end until the right note is achieved. Finding the correct hole placements along the length of the flute's body is important, but anywhere around the body at that point along the length is fine for hole placements... this allows for the reach of different sized fingers and hands.

    If you'd like to learn more about how to make a flute, flutes of many types, or any homemade instruments of types such as woodwinds, percussion instruments or strings with precision, feel free visit my website on how to make your own music with homemade musical instruments you make yourself, at http://rockfreakinsolid.com - these aren't your kids' paper plate tambourines, plastic butter bowl drums or shoebox and rubber band guitars!

    Article Directory: EzineArticles


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Soothing Music: The NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE

High-A Flute
Photo  by wplynn 
Native Americans are eager to share their ancestry with their families and friends. One of the ways they do this is through their music, particularly through the music of the Native American flute They want to ensure that their children have a strong link with their ancient culture, and music is an excellent way to teach non-Native Americans about this culture as well.

Mothers of small children often find that Native American flute music is very soothing for their babies. It seems to have a tranquil and calming effect on children. Songs played on the Native American flute can be introduced during naptime and before bedtime to calm children down. The music often puts children to sleep within just a few minutes. Experts have also recommended Native American flute music to families with small babies that have a hard time getting to sleep.

This music also represents an excellent tool for calming down a baby in situations where there may be difficult transitions for such young children, such as when many visitors come to the home. It is often difficult for small babies to adjust to the confusion and noise created by a large number of people at special occasions, and playing Native American flute music can help to calm a baby down in these circumstances.

The music of the Native American flute is very soft, and it creates a wonderful, soothing background for many situations. It is just the sound of keeping babies calm when there are a lot of people in the environment. Babies seem to focus on the flute sounds instead of on the loud noises generated by crowds. Having flute music playing in a room makes it easier for them to adjust to visitors.


Of course, adults will also enjoy the music of the Native American flute. It is easy to find interesting and unique Native American flute music on the Internet since many online stores offer selections of alternative music. It is also possible to purchase Native American flutes and sheet music. Several vendors offer musical compositions for the flute, and they sell Native American flutes as well.

Native American flute music is an excellent way to learn about and enjoy the special features of Native American culture. And since songs are often linked to memories, this music offers a good way to preserve the memory of special times.



Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Japanese BAMBOO FLUTE

Shakuhachi_player.jpg
Shakuhachi player (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
These days Japanese bamboo flutes or Shakuhachi flutes are used by a lot of practitioners of Zen Buddhism and meditation as well as for playing Jazz, Classical, Japanese folk music and improvisation. The soothing sound of the Japanese bamboo flute or Shakuhachi helps guide us, breath by breath, into a more relaxed and peaceful state of being, while gifting ourselves and others with the beauty of the unique sound.

The Shakuhachi bamboo flute is made from the very bottom of a bamboo tree, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. The name shakuhachi is derived from the term "isshaku hassun" meaning one shaku and eight sun (1.8 Japanese feet). Generally, the term shakuhachi refers to the standard size instrument, which is 54.5 cm in length, but it can also refer to many different sizes ranging from 1.3 - 2.5 shaku (39.4 - 75.7 cm) and longer. The shakuhachi is frequently made from the root portion of a thick-walled bamboo (known as madake in Japanese).

If you see a Japanese bamboo flute you can see that it looks simple in appearance. But, did you know that it is very difficult to play? If played by a master this bamboo flute can create amazing, subtle, sensual music - prized as being perfect for meditation and relaxation. It's beautiful, soulful sound is wonderful to listen to when you are taking a good rest or are relaxing or getting ready for sleep. If you are into Zen then having a Japanese bamboo flute can help you with your focus. The soothing sounds that the bamboo flute make create a calm feeling. Did you know that The Zen flute came from China to Japan sometime in the 6th century? The instrument was then adopted by a sect of Zen Buddhist monks around the 15th century. This fact definitely explains the bamboo flutes long relationship with martial arts.

If you are looking for an instrument for your energetic child to learn, look no further. The Shakuhachi will help calm your child's soul and give them focus and concentration. Imagine if your child took up the bamboo flute as one of their hobbies. Not only it is safe but at the same time your children will be musically inclined and be calmer and more focused because of their daily practice.
Another good thing about bamboo flutes is that you can buy them cheaply or you can make them at home. If you are going to make a homemade bamboo flute just make sure to have the right guidelines and information. You need to know the proper measurements, the holes and the exact length and weight of a good bamboo flute which you can find online. Get yourself a bamboo flute and have soothing and relaxing sounds anytime you want in your own home!





Monday, November 13, 2017

RECORDER - Music-Instruments of the World

Recorder - Music-Instruments of the World



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Playing the BAGPIPES: What to Know and What It Takes?

Mr Bagpipes
Photo  by Silly Little Man 
BAGPIPES are ancient and enchantingly beautiful sounding instruments in the world. They arouse feelings of honour, loss and profound respect. Maybe you have wondered what it takes to play the bagpipes. With that bag and all those pipes, it may be a little daunting to know how to even begin. However, if you take the steps listed below, that big goal to play the bagpipes suddenly seems manageable.

Playing of the bagpipes is rapidly becoming something of a lost art, but those who choose to take up the instrument will find a world of pleasure. Learning to play the instrument itself is somewhat difficult, and hinges on a trio of important opening steps: the purchase and playing of a practice chanter, the use of an instruction book and lessons from a teacher.


A practice chanter looks something like a recorder that many of us played for a time in elementary school. The practice chanter should be used well in advance of picking up a full instrument in order for the student become acquainted with the method behind playing the bagpipes. Later the practice chanter will become a way to practice songs, learn highly complex fingering sequences and to take to places where pulling out the entire instrument is just not feasible. Look for a practice chanter of a good design, featuring a good reed. Quality is highly important at this stage because a student learning to play needs to learn on a reliable instrument.

At this point, the student needs to incorporate both a practice book published by a reputable source and, if at all possible, lessons with an instructor. This is important because the student needs to know fingerings of notes and technique well in advance of picking up an actual bagpipe. Search hard for a formal instructor, or even just an accomplished player, to help with hands-on, real-life experience.

After the practice chanter is mastered, the student can move on to the actual bagpipe. The first step in picking up the entire instrument is basically to pick it up in parts. At first, students need to use a "goose," which is a bagpipe without its three drones. The drones are simple tubes, each usually featuring a single reed, which lay over the shoulder or across the arm opposite the bag. Players change the pitch of the tune by manipulating the drones. Using the "goose" lets the student begin to play while concentrating on developing adequate breathing techniques and learning bag control.



The process of setting up a pipe, its reeds and the tuning process can be highly complicated and can take years for a beginning player to learn and fully master. This is yet another reason why some instruction from an experienced player or professional tutor is essential. Care of the instrument includes the ability to put it together and take it apart correctly from the beginning, and these are skills more easily learned from an experienced individual than from a book or a tutorial video.

With some work, a player wanting to learn to play the bagpipe can begin to master the craft. All it takes is the proper equipment and adequate instruction, and a would-be player can be belting out tunes in seemingly no time at all. Find a reputable provider of the necessary equipment, along with a teacher to help along the way, and the ability to play the bagpipes is well within grasp.

    Joshua Perry Joshua Perry - ArticleSource: GoArticles