Skip here once again with a few thought provoking and hopefully helpful words to say about flutes and related themes. First off, we always encourage people to contact us with comments or suggestions for topics for me to bloviate upon. In the past several months, we've received more and more comments and we thank you for them.
Today's topic is "Advanced Fingering Techniques." Getting nervous yet...?
Over the past few years, there has been a trend amongst some traditional Irish flute players to venture into the once-forbidden third octave. Here is my suggested series of chromatic third-octave fingerings. You may find slight variances depending on your personal flute, but they will be very close. These fingerings are the suggested fingerings for people playing Healy Flute Company instruments.
To explain these fingerings, I will use the following system. The tone holes are numbered X = closed and O = open. They keys will be numbered 1 = C, 2 = Bb, 3 = G#, 4 = long F, 5 = short F, 6 = D#. Numbers (keys) will be used only to indicate an open tone hole.
D = O X X O O O
D# = X X X X X X 3 6
E = X X O X X O 6
F = X X O X X O 2 6
F# = X O X X O O
G = X O X O O O
G# = O O X O O O
A = O X X X X O
Bb = O X O X O O
B = X O X O X O
You can go a bit higher, but why bother since you have already suffered irreparable hearing loss at this point. Sorry...
For those of you with keyless flutes, here are a couple of alternate
fingerings with a forward slash (/) indicating a slightly vented tone hole:
D# = X X O X O X
E = X X O O X O
F = X / O O X O
I suggest practicing these third octave notes diligently as the embouchure strength and support that you develop will greatly aid your control and tone at the bottom of the first octave.
For the younger flautists reading this tip, keep this exercise in your "back pocket" for when you really want to annoy your parents.
For everyone else, I suggest putting your local variant of "Eyewitness Cop Show" on the television and supplying your own siren sound...
In conjunction with the world famous resort community of Arosa, Switzerland and their "MUSIK-KURSWOCHEN" (music course week), I will be teaching a week long series of classes on Irish flute and tin whistle music. The program will take place JULY 31 - AUGUST 4, 2017. I will be posting information and videos about the event very soon!!! Imagine, learning about traditional Irish music high in the Swiss Alps, staying in a beautiful hotel called "Hotel Hohe Promenade" a 3 star hotel with AMAZING food and service...