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How do I reach that high F in Take Five on my flute?

 
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Rasmus Fugl
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PostPosted: 2013-10-20, 22:30    Post subject: How do I reach that high F in Take Five on my flute? Reply with quote

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Hello everyone,

I'm trying (casually) to learn how to play Take Five, so that I can play it with a friend who plays the guitar. I found out that the scale used in the song matches the scale of the Shakuhachi quite well and was able to get the introductory hook down quite quickly. But then comes the 'chorus' (or whatever you'd call it) where it goes A#, C, G, F and back to G and then A#. But how do I reach that high F on the flute? It seems almost impossible, but both Minoru Muraoka and Yamamoto Tozan play it like it was the easiest thing in the world. Yamamoto's version is at the bottom of this post.

The logical answer to me is that I have to reach the high F in the third octave, the one above kan. I've read about it somewhere, but nowhere is it explained how to achieve the 3rd octave. I was hoping some of you more experienced players might shine some light on that issue.

Thank you!

Rasmus


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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2013-10-21, 09:23    Post subject: How do I reach that high F in Take Five on my flute? Reply with quote

Getting the third octave is a matter of knowing the fingerings and tightening your embouchure enough. The trick is to do it without tension. That F depends a lot on the quality of the flute. You simply finger the Tsu normally and blow through a very tight embouchure. In most flutes the note comes out as F# and a lot of players bring their knee up to partly close the mouth of the flute and flatten the note. It's a cool move but hard to get just right when the note goes by as fast as in this song. In general... it's a note best avoided! Smile I do, however, have a Deaver and a Gyokusui that play the note almost right without much problem, and they're probably my best (and most expensive) jiari. If you listen closely in this video the note is in fact slightly sharp.
Plat the the third octave D with all fingers closed but half thumb hole, then close the thumb and play tsu with normal fingering, with as much meri as you can... Good luck!
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Eugene
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PostPosted: 2013-10-21, 14:45    Post subject: How do I reach that high F in Take Five on my flute? Reply with quote

J. Danza wrote:
In most flutes the note comes out as F# and a lot of players bring their knee up to partly close the mouth of the flute and flatten the note. It's a cool move but hard to get just right when the note goes by as fast as in this song.

Bring the knee up to the bottom of the flute?! That does sound cool, but I cannot imagine how that should be done without banging the flute into one's mouth. Is there a video available online where this technique is employed? Thanks!
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Rasmus Fugl
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PostPosted: 2013-10-22, 00:23    Post subject: How do I reach that high F in Take Five on my flute? Reply with quote

J. Danza wrote:
Getting the third octave is a matter of knowing the fingerings and tightening your embouchure enough. The trick is to do it without tension. That F depends a lot on the quality of the flute. You simply finger the Tsu normally and blow through a very tight embouchure. In most flutes the note comes out as F# and a lot of players bring their knee up to partly close the mouth of the flute and flatten the note. It's a cool move but hard to get just right when the note goes by as fast as in this song. In general... it's a note best avoided! Smile I do, however, have a Deaver and a Gyokusui that play the note almost right without much problem, and they're probably my best (and most expensive) jiari. If you listen closely in this video the note is in fact slightly sharp.
Plat the the third octave D with all fingers closed but half thumb hole, then close the thumb and play tsu with normal fingering, with as much meri as you can... Good luck!


Thanks J. Danza for your thorough explanation. I applied the very tightened embouchure technique on the tsu, and almost instantly I got what I believe to be the note I'm after. Indeed it does sound slightly sharp, but I'm more than satisfied with the outcome. Again, much obliged!


Eugene wrote:
Bring the knee up to the bottom of the flute?! That does sound cool, but I cannot imagine how that should be done without banging the flute into one's mouth. Is there a video available online where this technique is employed? Thanks!


I had the exact same image in my head of the utaguchi ramming into my front teeth. Coincidence? Smile
Well, I've actually read about it somewhere, so there seems to be some legitimacy to it. I've tried it briefly but it doesn't seem to get me anywhere. Don't feel like applying it though, I want to keep my teeth intact! It'll probably be too slow for this song anyway.
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2013-10-22, 01:43    Post subject: How do I reach that high F in Take Five on my flute? Reply with quote

Smile It's definitely not a move to do fast!, but it does work if you need to play the note a bit longer and in pitch.
Glad to hear it worked for you...
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felix martens
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PostPosted: 2013-10-22, 20:03    Post subject: A shakuhachi in agony. Reply with quote

P'raps it's just me but that's one shakuhachi that sounds like it doesn't want to be there!
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PostPosted: Today at 01:46    Post subject: How do I reach that high F in Take Five on my flute?

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