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when to upgrade flute


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#1 adultpianist

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 15:11

when do you usually upgrade to a better sounding flute?

 

I use a Yamana 211 student flute.  I am a beginner.

 

I want to have a better sounding flute but was told not yet until maybe Grade 4 level and intermediate flutes are heavier


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#2 JimD

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 15:26

I'm still playing a Yamaha 211 and playing about grade 7.

 

I could probably benefit from a better flute for control of dynamics, but other than that it does just about everything I need it to. Flutes with solid gold and silver parts will be heavier than plated ones, but at an amateur level a solid head joint is about as far as most people go*, unless money is no object.

 

 

* In my limited experience.


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#3 gemmasue

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 15:30

I only upgraded a couple of years ago when I was approaching grade 7. Until the I had a Yamaha 211 too. In my opinion, there’s no point of upgrading until a bit later on. Your current flute is a really good make and model. I think once your technique as developed, you should produce a good tone on it.
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#4 zwhe

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 16:23

I managed grade 8 on a yamaha beginner flute! Usually you upgrade when your flute won't do the technique you need to learn next - introducing 'colours' is often the one; sometimes its the very top notes or the dynamic range. Unless a beginner flute is very poor it should do up to grade 5 at least. Even a child's flute which doesn't have all the keys will do until grade 3 or 4.


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#5 helen_flute

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 16:43

I recently upgraded my flute from the beginner model I’d had at school, and got to Grade 6 on, when I started thinking about working towards Grade 8. When I was looking, I was told that the Yamaha upgrade models were effectively the same as the beginner models, but with the addition of a solid silver head joint.

I’d agree with what others have said, you have a good beginner’s flute, and as your technique develops, it will sound better and better. You are better off waiting and upgrading later, when your playing and embouchure has developed. What suits you now won’t necessarily work for you at the point at which you would get the full benefit from an upgraded flute, when learning more advanced techniques such as tone colour, and you may end up wanting to upgrade again.
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#6 adultpianist

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 17:03

Helen flute, I notice from your signature that you did Sax.  Did you find playing the sax helped you with the flute?  My previous flute teacher was primarily a sax player and the keys are more or less the same.  I have heard that if flute players have problems with breathing and holding their breath whilst playing then they would benefit from a brass teacher especially trombone because trombonists predominately play by blowing and holding their breath


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#7 helen_flute

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 17:30

I think it helped definitely, mainly because the fingerings as similar. Although I only ever sat Grade 1 on the sax, I can play to about Grade 4 level, and got to that standard pretty quickly and without any proper lessons. However, I do think my tone could do with some work, and I don’t think I’ll get much better without lessons, which isn’t something I’m planning while I’m focusing on flute.
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#8 LoneM

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 21:51

It takes a lot of time and lots of regular practice to develop a good tone - you need to train your embouchure and work on stamina. 15 minutes a day on long notes would be far more effective than another flute.


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#9 Misterioso

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 10:02

It takes a lot of time and lots of regular practice to develop a good tone - you need to train your embouchure and work on stamina. 15 minutes a day on long notes would be far more effective than another flute.

 

This is something my teacher advocates as well. The thing is, HOW do you practise long notes for optimum effect? I will have to look in my Trevor Wye for some suggestions. 


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#10 LoneM

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 19:59

Start by playing each note as long and as loud as you can in a single breath.  Work up to doing a 2-octave scale ( or more ).   After a while add dynamics:  PP to FF then back to PP.

Another useful exercise is to lip each note up the octave and back, without tonguing, e.g.

      c' - c''- c';  d' - d'' - d';  etc.

 

Great for building tone and stamina, but takes time - there are no quick fixes!


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#11 Misterioso

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:45

Thank you, Lone M. I already do octave jumps, but hadn't thought to do it without tonguing.


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#12 EllieD

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 14:50

Start by playing each note as long and as loud as you can in a single breath.  

 

 … First of all checking that all neighbours are out and that the dog has ear defenders on!! biggrin.png

 

More seriously, the key to any wind instrument has to be the tone; I learned to appreciate that when learning the oboe, and you can't cut corners because so much of tone comes from ones own muscle strength (which can't happen over night) and ability to control it.

 

Really satisfying when the hard work all pays off though!


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#13 adultpianist

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 19:09

yes and I am only just learning how to control my mouth so that I can play a high note.  It took a lot of practice and now I think I have more or less achieved it.   I said the only way I can do it is to think what my mouth and lips feel like after a filling/ at the dentist.   Your mouth feels floppy and droopy and that is how you have to make it for the high notes.   First it sounded screechy but then it sounded a bit better and tonight when I tried it sounded more or less perfect.   Once I can do it properly then I will be able to play a range of more interesting tunes because at the moment I am a bit limited


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