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long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions
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Marek
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PostPosted: 2011-05-27, 12:49    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

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Hi,

I am now battling with how to hold my new 2.7. Although the holes are offset, I still barely manage to seal the holes. I need to figure out how to stretch my finger ligaments without getting hurt.

I want to ask you how did you adjust to playing long flutes? Any excercises? What was your playing routine?

Cheers,

Marek
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Jeff Cairns
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PostPosted: 2011-05-27, 13:35    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

It's not uncommon to finger hole 2 between the first and second joints of the index finger rather than the finger tip. This effectively gives you a greater reach. The same happens of hole four with the other hand. At first you may think it difficult to play meri notes, but you'll soon find that there is no restriction in doing that.
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Marek
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PostPosted: 2011-05-27, 14:29    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Yes, I know that. However, the specific positions of holes 3,4,5 require me being able to effectively spread my fingers at a wider angle... At the moment I am able to comfortably cover any two of the three holes, but not all off them.

Cheers.
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LowBlow
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PostPosted: 2011-05-27, 16:19    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

If you can't spread your fingers enough, after a lot of trying of course, use your little fingers. And try to go back to regular fingering from time to time. Keep on trying regular fingering.
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Jon Palombi
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PostPosted: 2011-05-27, 18:21    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Hi Marek,

It's an incremental evolution we go through, when trying to expand the reach of our fingering. Slow and steady wins the race. Patience is a must! Don't force the flow or you could strain or even injure yourself... and therefore, further postpone your dexterity with these larger bamboo flutes. You'll be there before you know it. We all grow into it gradually, regardless if we are speaking of the Western silver flutes, Indian bansuri or the Japanese shakuhachi. Okay

Ciao, Jon
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Last edited by Jon Palombi on 2011-05-29, 23:43; edited 3 times in total
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-05-27, 21:16    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Marek wrote:
Yes, I know that. However, the specific positions of holes 3,4,5 require me being able to effectively spread my fingers at a wider angle... At the moment I am able to comfortably cover any two of the three holes, but not all off them.

Cheers.


Marek,
When I have trained myself up to be able to handle a longer flute, for a while I have held the flute without blowing into them - until I felt I could hold them comfortably. Then I go over to train blowing into them. If you begin to train holding and blowing simultaneously - you might not progress that efficiently because it is just too much for the body - or in worst case strain yourself.
The length of time I have just held the flute - perhaps 5 minutes as many times a day - have varied depending on how big a leap I had to make from the previous max length I could handle. Perhaps from a couple of weeks to a month... or so.

I am still working on my 3.2 myself and it's been a while Sad I have always held holes 3 and 4 "normally" with the finger tips. No particular reason for it other than Okuda told me to and it just stayed that way.

When-ever I have time I do often stretch my hands, underarms and fingers... Cool

Good luck with the 2.7 project! Looking forward to hear you play it one day! Okay
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Marek
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PostPosted: 2011-05-29, 22:43    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Thanks Kiku,

This is just the kind of thing I wanted to hear. I make tiny improvements every day, think I'm on the way. The flute is definitely worth my effort and time.

Cheers,

Marek
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-05-30, 01:45    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

It's probably easier to go from 1.8 to 2.0 to 2.3 to 2.7 gradually. I also believe that offset holes help in the beginning perhaps but hurt in the long run because they force your hands into unnatural positions. Look at my videos on youtube to see a good way of holding and fingering long flutes. It works for me anyway! Okay
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-06-01, 20:14    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Hi Marek, I have played some flutes where I know my hand will never conform to the spacing. Also, many professional players have the holes moved. Have you considered asking the maker about this?


Brian Tairaku Ritchie wrote:
... I also believe that offset holes help in the beginning perhaps but hurt in the long run because they force your hands into unnatural positions.



I was recently asked to move the #1 hole on a 2.4 that was offset. The owner said the same thing, the bottom hand was forced at an angle. This was not noticeable at first, but during serious practice he began to notice the strain. It is now in-line and definitely feels better for me Smile

- Perry
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Marek
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PostPosted: 2011-06-07, 15:10    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Hi Perry,

I have decided to give it a year and see what happens and then perhaps if any adjustments are still necessary I will meet either my teacher or the maker himself in Kyoto next year and see what can be done.
OT How do you feel about re-drilling holes affecting the flute's character? (talking about jinashi)

Regards,
M.
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-06-08, 12:58    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Marek wrote:
Hi Perry,

...OT How do you feel about re-drilling holes affecting the flute's character? (talking about jinashi)

Regards,
M.

Hi Marek,
Many old Japanese Jinashi flutes were very well crafted, but the tunings varied slightly for a many reasons. Unless the owner is an experienced player, I recommend against moving holes for pitch reasons.

Some old flutes were not well made, if moving a hole or spot tuning would result in it being played more, I would happily do it.
Best, Perry
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Jim Thompson
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PostPosted: 2011-06-08, 18:03    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Question for Perry, Ken or anyone who knows: How do you feel about moving holes laterally as far as how it affects the way the flute plays? I have a Morohoshi 2.1 that was Masa Yoshizawa's main 2.1 It's as good an instrument as I can imagine and I'm sure I'll own it for life as a working instrument but the bottom hole (ro) is located way too far to the right for me to play comfortably. The idea of drilling and plugging the holes and the resulting look seem an obscenity to me but for it to be my performing axe it has to be done. When under pressure, jettison cosmetics. But will this negatively impact the playing quality?
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-06-09, 00:34    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Hi Jim,

Holes should not be offset on flutes as short as 2.1. A lot of great flutes have holes moved. It's not ideal but it's also not a crucial problem. Especially if you are going to be using it yourself for the rest of your life. Lefties frequently move holes, and righties who buy lefty flutes move them as well. It's a normal practice. I have several flutes of Ken's which were originally 3.0 and then he changed it to 2.3 all holes have been moved.
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Jim Thompson
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PostPosted: 2011-06-09, 06:39    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

Thanks Brian.
This flute was built for Masa personally. He had very small hands and liked the bottom hole way too far to the right for me. It's good to know I can have the hole moved without losing any tonal quality.
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-06-09, 07:52    Post subject: long flutes, adjusting hand and finger positions Reply with quote

If the new hole has the right architecture it will sound good. I had a 2.7 which originally had inline holes. But by the time I bought it there were two offset holes. I asked Perry to plug those and expose the original holes. It sounded much better after that........but that's because the original holes were shaped better.
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