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#1 2009-04-19 02:25:27

Moran from Planet X
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From: Here to There
Registered: 2005-10-11
Posts: 1524
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What makes a flute "fit" for you?

What are the qualities which you look for or expect from a flute?

1.physically on the chin, lips and mouth

2. in the hands

3. sonically

4. technically

5. aesthetically     ?????


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#2 2009-04-19 10:28:02

Tairaku 太楽
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From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: What makes a flute "fit" for you?

Chris Moran wrote:

What are the qualities which you look for or expect from a flute?

?

I think this is a very good question because the answer will be different for different people and a lot of times it will just depend upon their physical makeup. That's why the whole concept of defining "good flute" is problematic. There are different "good flute" styles.

1.physically on the chin, lips and mouth

I like one with a large opening. This gives more leeway to create meri notes, produce vibrato, etc.

2. in the hands

Again large. And I like large holes because it gives me (with my large fingers) more control over meri notes. I also like 1.8 but the length that is most comfortable for me is 2.0 or 2.1 through to 2.7.

3. sonically

Most difficult to say. Generally deep sounding flutes that emphasize the lower harmonics. But I also love flutes that create a buzzing sound for each note. My favorites have both of these factors.

4. technically

Once the mouthpiece and the holes are comfortable technique takes care of itself (as much as we can control the flute).

5. aesthetically

Nobe is preferable to 2 piece. No utaguchi inlay or if there is one, Myoan ivory. I prefer thick heavy bamboo. Dark bamboo. Mottled, goma or patterned bamboo is nice. Wide profile. Dense wood. Curve is nice. Some of my favorites have 6 nodes, if not I don't like to go beyond 7 nodes. I like thick root ends but they can either have nodes intact or filed.

Shakuhachi are such beautiful things that I like some that are exceptions to this but these are the general trends. However I realize that someone else might like the exact opposite!


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#3 2009-04-19 12:04:52

shaman141
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From: Montreal, QC.
Registered: 2006-02-02
Posts: 154
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Re: What makes a flute "fit" for you?

I like this post too. Here are my preferences:

1. Physically on the chin, lips and mouth.

I like the opening to be on the larger side, with a thick dense chin rest with preferably minimal ikaegeshi. as Tairaku mentioned the meri notes are more easily accessible.

2. In the hands

I have a flute with smaller than average holes that I think sounds great, though I prefer average holes which are undercut and worked a lot.

3. Sonically

On Jiari I like a balanced sound, meaning warm and smooth sounding but with a big sound with some buzz. On Jinashi it really depends flute to flute, that's an extremely tough question to answer.

4. Technically

Tough question... Tairaku has a good point. Though to be real specific one thing that I like in a flute is a strong Ko-Ro-Ko-Ro with a lot of low end.

5. Aesthetically

I too prefer thick heavy bamboo with wide profile. Slightly squarish to really squarish over oval. I like a nice blond with heavy mottling at the root. Dark bamboo also. Nodes more subtle, meaning not all wild and long more shaved lower down. 7 nodes, though I like 8 too. I like subtle curve, not extreme.

Last edited by shaman141 (2009-04-19 15:02:40)


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#4 2009-04-19 14:12:00

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 885
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Re: What makes a flute "fit" for you?

1.physically on the chin, lips and mouth

Thick chinrest. 2.5 to 2.9 diameter opening on long shakuhachi depending on bore width and playability. Approximately 45 degree utaguchi angle.

2. in the hands

Largest holes possible and severely undercut on wide bore, long shakuhachi. Angled, oval holes. Offset only when physically necessary. 2.7 is most comfortable length. Medium size holes on most thinner bore shakuhachi. 11mm (average) holes on sweeter toned, thinner bore flutes.

3. sonically

Glowing, complex tone on big shakuhachi. Deep, rich depth and ephemeral decay. Good balance of reverb in the bore along with projection.

4. technically

Varies but usually like notes and sounds that glide together well in transition.

5. aesthetically     ?????

Varies. Seven node nobe if possible but also enjoy unusual aesthetic exceptions and surprises. Enjoy shakuhachi which are efficiently and functionally built with a sensitivity to the strengths, weaknesses and peculiarities of the individual piece.

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#5 2009-04-19 15:51:34

udo.jeromin
Member
Registered: 2007-05-07
Posts: 72

Re: What makes a flute "fit" for you?

Chris Moran wrote:

What are the qualities which you look for or expect from a flute?

Nice question.  Perhaps I should've formulated my earlier question about value more in this fashion.  It captures very well what I was seeking to ask and would (probably) have prevented disaster --- thanks.

1.physically on the chin, lips and mouth

I prefer smaller diameter, little to no chin contact.

2. in the hands

Light!  And not too wide.  I find anything longer than 1.8 difficult.

3. sonically

I like a dark but focussed sound as well as a "light" sound (like that of hitoyogiri).

4. technically

Sharp chi is compulsory (I am used to that and find it close to impossible to play in tune on, say, a Yuu).  Small finger holes are good.  Very short utaguchi cut is good.

5. aesthetically?????

I find this impossible to answer.  Pretty much every shakuhachi seems to have its beauty --- it's like with people: what matters is a beauty from within rather than the one we get to see in advertisments....

Last edited by udo.jeromin (2009-04-19 19:23:00)

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#6 2009-04-19 21:39:02

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
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Re: What makes a flute "fit" for you?

Cris Moran wrote:

What are the qualities which you look for or expect from a flute?

Good set of questions Chris!

1.physically on the chin, lips and mouth

Something smooth with no sharp edges except for the utaguchi.

2. in the hands

1.6 - 1.8 Jiari around 3.4 - 3.5 diameter and under 400 grams. Longer Jinashi can be much fatter. Weight doesn't matter. Sometimes I like a super light weight Choukan.

3. sonically

Jiari should project with a clear fundamental tone and crisp, harmonic overtones when pressed. I like Jinashi with a hollow, "bambooey" tone and with a buzzy growl.

4. technically

Jiari should be in tune around at A = 438 - 443 hz. Should feel balanced from note to note - similar depth, room, volume, tone color. Notes should transition freely from one to the next even when moving between large intervals, and with minimal squeaks when using ornamentations (unless desired). Jinashi should be in tune with  itself at least. Be able to play Go no Hi, Ou san and all the Ha notes...with out too much struggle:) That's ideal but don't rule a Jinashi flute out if it's technically challenged but sounds fantastic playing Kyorei.

5. aesthetically     ?????

I like flutes that look beat up, ahem, I mean well-aged.

Last edited by Yungflutes (2009-04-19 21:43:33)


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