Hello all!

I just got a new flute about a month ago. I love it except for one thing I noticed. My C natural and C sharp tend to be quite flat compared to the other notes. Is this common in a wooden flute? Or is this unique to my particular flute?

Thanks!

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I don't think this is normal - I've owned MANY wood and delrin flutes and don't recall coming across this problem. How are you fingering the C-nat? If you're using OXX XXO, you might try OXX OOO. For the C#, I assume you're using OOO OOO - not sure how to fix that... If it's a keyed flute, you probably need to "vent" (i.e. hold the C-key open when you're playing C#).

Pat

thanks Pat! I was going a little crazy, thinking it could not be the flute, so I have been tinkering around with the tuner and my embouchure. Yes, the c sharp is giving me the most problem. I have played flute a long time, so I know it is not a lack of experience in shaping my embouchure and tone. Its hard to explain, AND hard to reply without actually hearing it and seeing it. So thanks for the attempt! I appreciate it. It gives me a complex, however, to think no one else has ever had this problem. : )
 
Pat Plunkett said:

I don't think this is normal - I've owned MANY wood and delrin flutes and don't recall coming across this problem. How are you fingering the C-nat? If you're using OXX XXO, you might try OXX OOO. For the C#, I assume you're using OOO OOO - not sure how to fix that... If it's a keyed flute, you probably need to "vent" (i.e. hold the C-key open when you're playing C#).

Pat

Okay...I talked to the maker of my flute and got some insight. I thought I would go ahead and post in case anyone else would like the information.

On keyless 6 hole flutes the C natural is considered the more often sustained note in Irish music (versus C#), so it is tuned most closely to the other notes (and I don't have much trouble with c natural). This makes the C# a little flat. Ways to ameliorate this are.....position the cork more slightly towards the embouchure hole, or, "vent" the flute (not sure the physics of all this) by drilling a hole for the thumb which brings C# right in line. Which goes along with Pat's suggestion if I had a keyed flute, but alas no. Also, I was told as a previously classical flute player, C# is usually a little sharp, so I suppose for the last 40 years I have been hearing C# a little sharp and thinking that is normal, so a slightly flat C# really sticks out for me.

If other flute makers have a different perspective I would love to hear them as well.

As you probably know flutes can be blown sharp or flat by adjusting your embouchure - my keyed flute tends to be sharp on the A and B and I correct this by blowing down into the flute on these notes. I used to practise scales against a drone note of G to get used to this and now I have no problem with playing in tune.

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