Hi all! I have a simple 6 key open hole flute. When I listen to recordings I think I am able to reproduce what I am hearing, but I am still a little shaky on the mechanics of ornamentation. I have watched some instructional videos on you-tube, and I have 2 books. I listen to an excellent whistle player in our group weekly, but our learning styles are quite different. I thought I would tap into all this accumulated wisdom and ask the flute players on this site if they have any specific recommendations of instructional videos or any advice. I understand the beginner instruction, and I hear the end result of experienced players, but I feel like I am missing something in the middle. I am going to a retreat in October, but I want to continue improving now! Thanks for any help. Plus I just like to "hear" conversation on the subject. : )

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I would recommend checking out Grey Larsen's flute book. It goes into great depth everything relating to irish flute and whistle playing. Even if you dont up using alot of it the sections on the different types of ornaments are good. The musical examples are both standard notation and audio on the included two cd's. It will keep you busy for quite a while.

Anton Emery

To Danna: I was where you describe a few years ago. I knew what long rolls should sound like and I could do them correctly slowly, but they never sounded like the "professionals" no matter how much I practiced them. What I did was to pay for private lessons from an advanced level session player of the Irish flute. She played the rolls for me over again and again until I could duplicate her sound. I then practiced up and down the scale doing long rolls until I could make them sound like what I heard her play. I think this is the missing link you are talking about. For me there was no substitute for one-on-one instruction where someone who knew how a long roll should sound listened to my primitive long rolls and coached me to getting them correct. After I had the correct model in my head and could produce it, it still took me more than a year of practicing them before I could rely on them.  Once you are happy with the sound of your own long rolls in your living room, them take them out to the sessions and use them there. Over time they get reliable. The Crans are the same issue and the same solution, but the Crans take on an action of their own once you get them down; whereas for me the long rolls are always deliberate and have to be practiced regularly or they sound like "mud". Hope this information helps. I am sure there are others who have other suggestions for you as well. Thanks for the conversation.

Jim Wells

Dallas Slow Sessions

Hi Dana

I found the June McCormack flute tutor with CD very helpful for ornamentation or there is the OIAM online tuition which looks good if you can't get one to one tuition - free taster lessons available here


I liked the Majella Bartley lesson (nice playing style) and there is also one with Kevin Crawford

Anton, Jim, and John, thanks so much for all your help! I really do appreciate it! 



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