The Flute Show - flute expert
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How to put a flute together

Learn the basics of flute playing with tips from Florence Estrin

Released on July 2, 2014

  
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Video Transcription

Robert Estrin: Hi, I'm Robert Estrin and welcome to The Flute Show with Florence Estrin here in Virtualsheetmusic.com. Today's show is a very important show. How to put your flute together? Now, you might think, "Oh, well, that can't be that hard." Well, there's actually more to it than you think because the tone you produce is directly related to exactly how you put it together, and Florence is an expert on this. So let's hear about this Florence. I'm really interested to see what you have to say.

Florence Estrin: Okay. I'm not addressing beginners here about how to put the flute together, but more like how to tweak the positioning primarily of the head joint. Anybody who's taught flute will realize that most of the students have a tendency to roll in but few of them roll out, but mostly roll in. Why would that be?

Well if you look at the way the flute is constructed, we have a lot of hardware in the back of the flute. So the flute is basically heavier here than it is here. It wants to roll backwards in my hand. So we're constantly fighting that. So what you do is you actually put the head joint rolled more towards you than you might think so that you can get the balance, so that the flute doesn't want to roll.

So I've got a balance where it's slightly forward here compared to being just parallel to the ceiling with the keys. So the keys are facing slightly forward and then there I am, and it doesn't want to roll back and it really helps particularly on piccolo. So I actually learned this at master class given by Walfrid Kujala and he had learned it from somebody else from the early 20th century. But it's really a wonderful little trick to help keep your flute stable when you're playing.

Robert Estrin: One question I always wondered about is how can you figure out exactly where to put it together because you've got these pipes basically and is there any way to be precise from time to time?

Florence Estrin: Yes, absolutely. That's a great question, because you don't want to be like figuring out the balance of your flute every single time you put it together and you certainly want to put it together the same exact way every single time so that you're accustomed to the feel of it. So what I do is I actually use some dark nail polish and put a dot on the head joint that lines up with the dot on the flute so that it's easy to put it together quickly and also if I'm in the middle of a performance say in an orchestra and have some rests and I really need to swab out a little bit, I can put it back together quickly and not be messing around during the rest.

Robert Estrin: Well, that's a great simple solution. Boy, I've learned a lot here today. I really appreciate The Flute Show and look forward to more of these. Thanks everybody for joining us here in Virtualsheetmusic.com. Again, our flute expert, Florence Estrin. I am Robert Estrin and thanks for joining us.
 
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