Coda EDC Flutes Forum

Author Topic: Oops  (Read 3189 times)

ubizmo

Oops
« on: December 12, 2019, 12:18:40 pm »
Last Friday, I was playing at the monthly "first Friday" community dinner that my church hosts. It's a free dinner for anyone who cares to come, and we also provide live music, in the form of piano, played by the church music director, and me. Sometimes people get up and sing along with us, too. Depending on the song, I play either sax, flute, or Coda, usually without a microphone. Coda actually carries much better in the space than flute, as you might imagine.

Anyway, last Friday I had played a few Christmas songs on the tenor sax and was switching to Coda for "O Come Emmanuel," but I found that I was having great difficulty getting the low notes to play in tune. They were mostly way off, and I thought the Coda might be cracked. But that wasn't the cause at all. The day before, I had sliced into my middle fingertip while chopping carrots with one of those "ceramic" knives. The cut was fairly deep, so I cleaned it and put a band-aid (sticking plaster, for our friends in the UK) over it. And I promptly forgot all about it.

So I still had that bandage on my finger on Friday night, and that's why my pitch was off. Once I realized it, I just switched to the flute, which is a closed-hole instrument, fortunately. By Sunday, the finger was healed well enough that I was able to play Coda again.

Windjammer

Re: Oops
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2019, 01:25:31 pm »
That’s interesting. Glad you told us. I would add that people should remember to blow excess condensation out once in a while too.

ubizmo

Re: Oops
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2019, 01:39:06 pm »
That’s interesting. Glad you told us. I would add that people should remember to blow excess condensation out once in a while too.

Especially if you've just come in from the cold. I don't have much of a problem with condensation once it's warmed up. I've also found that it's important to wash Coda out every so often. Occasionally I hear some grit rattling around when I play. Since I usually carry Coda in a pocket, this isn't surprising.

I don't know if playing with a band-aid is a mistake many people would make, or just a senior moment for me. But it did take me a moment to figure it out. I was staring at the Coda, looking for cracks, and ignoring my own finger. It's a little like playing golf, when you make a terrible shot and then stand there staring at the club head, as if that were the problem.

Windjammer

Re: Oops
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2019, 04:56:35 pm »
That’s interesting. Glad you told us. I would add that people should remember to blow excess condensation out once in a while too.

Especially if you've just come in from the cold. I don't have much of a problem with condensation once it's warmed up. I've also found that it's important to wash Coda out every so often. Occasionally I hear some grit rattling around when I play. Since I usually carry Coda in a pocket, this isn't surprising.

I don't know if playing with a band-aid is a mistake many people would make, or just a senior moment for me. But it did take me a moment to figure it out. I was staring at the Coda, looking for cracks, and ignoring my own finger. It's a little like playing golf, when you make a terrible shot and then stand there staring at the club head, as if that were the problem.

I know what you mean.  ??? ;D

Windjammer

Re: Oops
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2019, 05:05:15 pm »
I knew you played the recorder, saxophone, whistle and ocarinas but I did not know you played the flute. What kind do you have?

ubizmo

Re: Oops
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2019, 11:10:36 pm »
I knew you played the recorder, saxophone, whistle and ocarinas but I did not know you played the flute. What kind do you have?

I tried to play the flute many years ago but didn't get very far. I recently have tried again. I picked up an inexpensive student flute on Amazon, a Paititi I think it is. I've made better progress with my embouchure this time, at least as high as third octave G. Above that is dicey.

There's some music that just doesn't work well on the other instruments, so that's why I picked up the flute.

Windjammer

Re: Oops
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2019, 12:46:41 am »
I knew you played the recorder, saxophone, whistle and ocarinas but I did not know you played the flute. What kind do you have?

I tried to play the flute many years ago but didn't get very far. I recently have tried again. I picked up an inexpensive student flute on Amazon, a Paititi I think it is. I've made better progress with my embouchure this time, at least as high as third octave G. Above that is dicey.

There's some music that just doesn't work well on the other instruments, so that's why I picked up the flute.

That has happened a couple times with me also and it is a good life lesson for all of us to not  give up. Especially with learning to play a musical instrument.  :)

ubizmo

Re: Oops
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2019, 01:40:31 pm »
That has happened a couple times with me also and it is a good life lesson for all of us to not  give up. Especially with learning to play a musical instrument.  :)

About 46 years ago, when I was 20, I found myself in Paris for three months, with no money and no way to get a regular job. That's when I tried busking. I had a flute and a recorder. I could play the recorder, more or less -- not its proper repertoire but I could play pop songs and so on, and generally make music. As for the flute, well I had the idea that I would teach myself to play it someday. Busking, of course, is a kind of "on the job training" and I did spend some time each day playing as best I could. But without a teacher, and not even an Internet to get advice from, I was pretty limited. I sounded okay in the first octave, so I mostly played down there. I really didn't understand how to adjust my embouchure to play higher, so I tended simply to blow harder. This works, but it doesn't lead to a very musical sound.

This, of course, is also why whistles tend to sound harsh in the second octave, since the only way to get there is to blow harder. The recorder at least allows thumb venting and some fingering options that help with the harmonics, but even the best recorders do tend to sound a little rough as you go higher. At least, that's what I think. A properly played flute stays pure and clear throughout the range, but playing it properly is a challenge, no question about it. Even very good players have "bad tone days."

It really is a strength of Coda that we can play two octaves without having to pop into a harmonic. People do hear and appreciate the difference.

Windjammer

Re: Oops
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2019, 12:47:12 am »
That has happened a couple times with me also and it is a good life lesson for all of us to not  give up. Especially with learning to play a musical instrument.  :)

About 46 years ago, when I was 20, I found myself in Paris for three months, with no money and no way to get a regular job. That's when I tried busking. I had a flute and a recorder. I could play the recorder, more or less -- not its proper repertoire but I could play pop songs and so on, and generally make music. As for the flute, well I had the idea that I would teach myself to play it someday. Busking, of course, is a kind of "on the job training" and I did spend some time each day playing as best I could. But without a teacher, and not even an Internet to get advice from, I was pretty limited. I sounded okay in the first octave, so I mostly played down there. I really didn't understand how to adjust my embouchure to play higher, so I tended simply to blow harder. This works, but it doesn't lead to a very musical sound.

This, of course, is also why whistles tend to sound harsh in the second octave, since the only way to get there is to blow harder. The recorder at least allows thumb venting and some fingering options that help with the harmonics, but even the best recorders do tend to sound a little rough as you go higher. At least, that's what I think. A properly played flute stays pure and clear throughout the range, but playing it properly is a challenge, no question about it. Even very good players have "bad tone days."

It really is a strength of Coda that we can play two octaves without having to pop into a harmonic. People do hear and appreciate the difference.

I think that is the first time I have ever heard you talk about that. That is a interesting experience. Thanks for sharing. :)

hoodsmom

Re: Oops
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2019, 08:16:06 pm »
Good story. I had forgotten until recently that the inner set of holes (the ones closest to the middle of the instrument) are for the upper chamber. So if your lower chamber note sounds fine but the same note on the upper chamber is off, it might be because an inner hole isn't completely covered. A slight change in the angle (flat vs. not) of the fingerpad can also make a big difference - at least for those of us with smaller hands. I myself have been struggling with a passage low E to D# in the upper chamber back to D in the lower chamber. I've mostly got it, but oftentimes my right index finger isn't quite covering that inner hole when I switch from the E to the D#, so the E sounds fine, but the D# is too high.

Windjammer

Re: Oops
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2019, 10:25:49 pm »
I think knowing what holes effect each chamber can give you an advantage. Especially if you are having some issues with a particular note. But in general as most beginners are starting out I think I understand why Karl says to just mainly work on keeping your fingers flat and covering each set of holes as if it is one hole. For most people that is the fastest way to skillful playing.

Has it helped you hoodsmom with your E and D# switching notes?

hoodsmom

Re: Oops
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2019, 02:09:39 am »
For those of us with smaller hands and fingers, it's relatively easy to accidentally leave an inner hole not quite sealed, especially if you're playing a difficult chamber switch quickly. So then you're wondering why your lower chamber note sounded just fine and the upper chamber note was off. Even if you know that you're supposed to cover the holes and keep your finger pads flat, if you realize that the inner holes are for the upper chamber, it makes figuring out what's leaking easier.

Treble Maker Carol

Re: Oops
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2020, 09:38:59 pm »
For those of us with smaller hands and fingers, it's relatively easy to accidentally leave an inner hole not quite sealed, especially if you're playing a difficult chamber switch quickly. So then you're wondering why your lower chamber note sounded just fine and the upper chamber note was off. Even if you know that you're supposed to cover the holes and keep your finger pads flat, if you realize that the inner holes are for the upper chamber, it makes figuring out what's leaking easier.

I'm so glad you pointed that out! I was having trouble with the lower chamber, because in my efforts to cover both sets of holes, my fingers were too far in and not sealing the outer sets of holes. Now that I see that, it's gotten easier to play. My finger pads are just too small to cover all the holes, I suppose.  ;D

Windjammer

Re: Oops
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2020, 01:25:36 am »
Yeah Karl tried to keep the holes as small as possible yet still allow people with large fingers the ability to play the Coda also. I think He did pretty good on the compromise. But it means
People with small fingers will have to be more precise on their fingering.