Getting Back Into Flute

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

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Kathrynbeth67214
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:59 am

Getting Back Into Flute

Post by Kathrynbeth67214 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:57 am

Hi there... I studied flute and piano when I was in Elementary, Junior and High School, spent a couple of years studying at the college level and then decided to join the US Army and played flute/piccolo for three US Army Bands. I don’t know if I just got burnt out on it but after I discharged from the Army, I completely dropped flute. Life happened... babies, nursing degree, ballet lessons for my daughters... and now, 15 or so years later, I decided that I wanted to pick up the flute again. I bought the Rubank Intermediate and Advanced I method books, Trevor Wye, and Berbiguier Exercises and Etudes, along with a few of the repertoire that I used to play in high school and choir. I’m kind of discouraged because my embouchure needs work, and my technique is lacking. I also decided to pick two incredibly beautiful but total nightmare pieces that I am woefully aware that I am no where close to being ready for... Bourne Carmen Fantasie and Saint-Säens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. The Bourne is SLOWLY coming along, but I’m stuck on the IRC. What should I be working on in order to get to the level where I can begin working on this? I love both of these beautiful pieces and I really want to learn them. Also, the flute that I bought is an Armstrong 80 open hole B foot. Does anyone have any experience with this flute? The flute that I had in college and in the Army was a Mateki and I also had a Zentner wooden piccolo... I’m kicking myself for selling them!!!

One more thing... how do I keep my cats from attacking when I’m playing, lol? One of them has figured out that if he knocks over the stand, I have to stop playing. Another one bites my lip and hands... he also tries to pull the flute out of my hands. They’re not flute enthusiasts, apparently. They REALLY hate the higher register...

Thank you... Kat

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Getting Back Into Flute

Post by pied_piper » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:39 pm

Welcome to the Fluteland Board!

Don't get discouraged. After a timeout from playing, it takes a while to get back to a high level of playing. While I never totally stopped playing, (I'm a doubler - flute, sax and clarinet) I did not do much playing for about 10-15 years. It took me a while but I did it and took about 8 years of flute lessons from a local symphony flutist who worked me over and made me a MUCH better player. I've even competed several times in an amateur competition held annually at a local flute fair. I even won a couple of them and placed in others. So, there is hope! You're taking the right approach with the method books. Just keep at it. I strongly encourage lots of long tones to build the embouchure back to your former playing abilities. If you don't have a copy, get De La Sonorite, Art Et Technique for flute [Marcel Moyse]. It's great for embouchure building!

Regarding the Armstrong Model 80, it's not a bad flute but there are many that are better. The Model 80 was my second flute after a student level Artley that I learned on. I upgraded to a Muramatsu about 20 years ago and love it. If your 80 is in good shape (no leaks and properly adjusted), it should do well for you to get back in prime flute shape. You can always upgrade later. I would say the headjoint is the weakest part of the 80. Even an upgraded replacement head joint is a lower cost option that can do wonders for the Model 80.

I LOVE the Bourne Carmen Fantasie! It's such a fun, yet challenging piece to play.

Good luck and check back in a few weeks to let us know how you are doing.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Kathrynbeth67214
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:59 am

Re: Getting Back Into Flute

Post by Kathrynbeth67214 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:48 pm

Thank you so much for your reply! I would LOVE to have a Muramatsu!!! I remember when I was in college, the Sankyo Primas were the flute to have. I really wish that I hadn’t sold my Mateki, that was a great flute.

I‘ll order those method books that you suggested.

I really appreciate your feedback! Best wishes for a beautiful day and smile often...

Kat

Kathrynbeth67214
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:59 am

Re: Getting Back Into Flute

Post by Kathrynbeth67214 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:22 am

Whoo Hoo!! Two hours of flute practice this morning!!! Lower register is still difficult, and having issues with the high register, but it’s getting better! I can ALMOST get through the Borne Carmen Fantasy with minimal mistakes, but not nearly up to tempo!!! But, compared to how it sounded when I first started it and I was discouraged, it’s MUCH better!!! Saint-Säens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso is coming along at a MUCH slower rate, however, I can get through MOST of the first page... kind of... All that I can say is that Saint-Säens must have been a sadomasochist...

I must be holding my flute incorrectly, or else I‘m just getting old... my left index finger has been numb with “pins and needles” after I have played for a while...

The cats ARE NOT flute aficionados, although Fred has not bitten me lately...

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Getting Back Into Flute

Post by pied_piper » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:14 pm

Glad to hear that you are making progress!
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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