Home made elder flutes perplex!

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Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Stanleythecat » Thu May 27, 2010 8:25 pm

AAAAAAgh!

Ok so one worked and one didn't!!!! The thinner one didn't make the grade, Damn! Thought I understood the principles but just can't seem to get it!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49911337@N ... 024764263/

Any thoughts on where I might be going wrong!!!

not after concert quality but to get a consistent note would be nice.

thanks

Leo

Ps Sorry if this appears at all abrupt, I'm one finger typing with a freshly snoozing 3 week old on the other arm!
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Ian S » Thu May 27, 2010 8:46 pm

Hi Leo

Stanleythecat wrote:AAAAAAgh!....freshly snoozing 3 week old on the other arm!


Haven't got a clue about the flutes, but congrats!
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Stanleythecat » Thu May 27, 2010 9:50 pm

Ian S wrote:Hi Leo

Stanleythecat wrote:AAAAAAgh!....freshly snoozing 3 week old on the other arm!


Haven't got a clue about the flutes, but congrats!



Thanks mate

I am chuffed to bits, absolutely amazing! It was a little girl so hopefully my hand tools are safe for now too!

Leo
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Brian Williamson » Fri May 28, 2010 7:36 am

Haven't got a clue about elder flutes I'm afraid, but there seems to be a lot of interest in woodwind instruments at the moment. Whistles, swanee whistles, flutes all seem to be popping up on various threads. Anyone fancy convening a workshop session on the subject?

And congratulations on the little girl. And a gentle slap on the wrist for gender typecasting someone so young!

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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby SeanHellman » Sat May 29, 2010 8:46 pm

Practice and more practice, one out of two flutes that work is good going, be proud. I use to make American Indian style flutes and it seems that the most important part is the fipple, the bit that splits the air. Get this right and the rest should fall into place. Flute making is a complicated subject, which can involve a lot of maths etc.
One thing that I have found is that the air splitting hole needs to be wider than longer, keep playing around with them, you may have lots of failures but that is just the way of things. I know Robin Treewright has made a video on making single note whistles, see youtube.
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby forestwalker » Sun May 30, 2010 7:31 pm

SeanHellman wrote: Flute making is a complicated subject, which can involve a lot of maths etc.


Any notion of pan-flutes tips-and-tricks? There is a neat one found in Jorvik, basically a block of wood with 5 holes in it. I make a copy, but can't really get it to play; I can make notes from two of the pipes, but nothing from the others. OTOH, I've never played a pan-flute before at all, so that might be part of the problem...
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby SeanHellman » Sun May 30, 2010 8:41 pm

forestwalker wrote:I can make notes from two of the pipes, but nothing from the others. OTOH, I've never played a pan-flute before at all, so that might be part of the problem...


I can not offer anything apart from keep trying, I have learnt that persistence can get get you there eventually, but it can be a hard rocky road with lots of up and downs.
I many years ago tried to learn the shakuhachi flute, it took me 3 months of blowing before I even could get a note! and then the holes are so far apart that again it took ages to learn how to play any kind of tune.
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby jrccaim » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:10 am

From the pictures, it looks like you have made a transverse flute (the kind you blow across, not down as in say, a recorder). As Sean said making this kind of flute is difficult. Playing it is even harder. You have to blow just so (flute players call this embouchure). I made some sample pipes for an organ that I hope to build someday. The secret seems to be that you need a very low pressure and a very high volume of air. But there is also a question of angle. With an organ pipe this isn't a problem. With a flute it is a headache; for the record I have tried professionaly made orchestra flutes and I can't get a consistent tone. My suggestion is to tape the holes until you get something like G, in principle. Forget the fingers. Blow very gently, straight across. Nothing? Rotate clockwise or counterclockwise 1 skosh. Try again. Rotate a little more and try again. I mentioned the G because the low notes require a bit less pressure than the middle notes. The high notes require more pressure than the middles. If you can get the middle note to sound consistently, you are halfway there.

Orchestral flutes have a round hole. Yours seems to be square. I don't think that will make a difference. You will be surprised, I think, how little pressure it takes to create the instabiity that makes the vibrations. With my organ pipes, I tried a vacuum cleaner. No joy at all. Many tries later I sort of breathed hard at it. Lovely woody tone! Keep at it. I am not surprised that you are having troubles. I have known a number of professional flautists, and they all said it took them months to learn the embouchure.
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Stanleythecat » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:41 am

Thanks for the replies

... unfortunately they are end blown and maybe that's the problem! I just can't seem to master the fipple end at the moment.

I picked up a really poorly made bamboo whistle the other day and that works a treat! I'm missing something here!
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby SeanHellman » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:37 am

I know exactly what you mean, I have seen plenty of badly made flutes that seem to work OK, but my finely crafted ones, do not work. Flute making can be extremely frustrating, especially if you do not have a teacher. Don`t give up.
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Donald Todd » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:53 pm

I think you may not be making the shape of the plug at the mouth end correctly.The top of the plug which defines the shape of the air passage should be flat. Nicola's photos showed this on the Hungarian "flute". The relevant Web site is here Here's a couple of pictures of my whistles; two Briar, one garden cane.
Have you drilled the finger holes through top and bottom? How did you determine placement, spacing and size of holes? My whistles only worked when I plugged the bottom end so you may have too many holes! (enough to fill the Albert Hall). Also the bore (who he?) will affect the note.
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Stanleythecat » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:23 pm

Hi Donald

When I say whistle I mean like a tin or penny whistle. I have done a bit of research and the reason my first attempts did not work (and needed the end blocked) was because I cut the windway into a v shape like the ones you have done and as such there is insufficient resistance within the whistle to make a note, too much air pours out of the whistle and not down its length. I have the fipple set up right now but need some advice on tuning it properly. Past whistles have just been random stabs in the dark as I knew they were far from perfect! I now have a really good one and would like to be able to tune it properly.

There is no need to keep the end square, Nicola's example is of a traditional ethnic style of flute, my designs come from another route and the mouth piece just happens to be shaped, this has no bearing on the sound of the instrument and is purely cosmetic and for comfort.

Leo
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Donald Todd » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:18 am

I did some research too. The size of the hole adjacent to the sharp edge is important. It should have resonant frequency close to a harmonic of the pipe. A shorter pipe will have a higher resonant frequency and a closed end will not produce the the full harmonic series. Confused?

The length of the pipe and size of the hole adjacent to the sharp edge have to be adjusted to get the sound.
The airway should be a slit and direct the air symmetrically at the sharp edge. The aim is not to direct all the air down the pipe, but to have the edge cut the air stream. The edge should have a very narrow angle. Over or under blowing will affect the occurrence of the sound and the harmonic produced. The shape of the end will affect the pitch slightly.

This was from "The Physics of Music" in the chapter on ORGAN PIPES.
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Robin Fawcett » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:23 am

Donald Todd wrote:The airway should be a slit and direct the air symmetrically at the sharp edge. The aim is not to direct all the air down the pipe, but to have the edge cut the air stream.


The correct terminology is the windway and the windcutter.
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Re: Home made elder flutes perplex!

Postby Stanleythecat » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:55 am

Robin Fawcett wrote:
Donald Todd wrote:The airway should be a slit and direct the air symmetrically at the sharp edge. The aim is not to direct all the air down the pipe, but to have the edge cut the air stream.


The correct terminology is the windway and the windcutter.



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