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Apr 19, 2021 - 1:18:32 PM
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374 posts since 4/11/2019

So my wife dug out her old flute from probably junior high school, bought a few flute books and discovered that she remembers more than she forgot.

Hey, that's great!

At home I currently play with my 10 year old daughter, she's learning fiddle and can keep up pretty good if the tempo stays medium enough. I play whatever I feel like at the time, guitar, tenor banjo, uke, autoharp, whatever.

But are we all stuck playing in B flat???

Trying to play with Momma out of any simple bluegrass book and we are in G like 90% of the time. She says she's having trouble getting those notes into her register. I don't play any woodwind so I have no idea.

Am I going to have to get a capo and suck it up? Or do I try to get her to find the correct voicings on the flute??

Edited by - Knows Picker on 04/19/2021 13:19:15

May 4, 2021 - 9:52:51 AM



17 posts since 4/25/2021

There are at least 2 things going on here.

First, high E natural is a pain in the ***. Eb is easier. There are higher notes that are easier, but there's something about E.

Second, most reed instruments are in Bb or Eb so a lot of the material in beginner land are in flat keys so everyone can play together in band class.

I highly recommend the Trevor Wye omnibook. I put my flute away in 1994 and took it back out in January of this year and I've tamed high E.

High F# is easier than F so that's a silver lining.

Another exercise my teacher turned me on to was this.
From Trevor Wye, always play loooooong Bs to warm up. Then, from my teacher, metronome ~60 and either quarter or half notes:

C C# C
C Eb C

C# D C#
C# Eb C#
C# E C#

D Eb D

Eb E Eb

Sounds crazy but it works.

May 4, 2021 - 12:32:01 PM

374 posts since 4/11/2019


Thanks for your help. I' will pass along the flute exercise.

I have been able switch over to Bb and Eb by just using a capo, my daughter is just learning the violin so it's a bit more work for her.

Every weekend we get a little better.

May 5, 2021 - 10:02:34 AM



17 posts since 4/25/2021

Oh one other thing I thought of - I don't know if you've looked here, but I love this database. There's no bluegrass section but there's an occasional bluegrass tune sprinkled in the folk category (and some of the others). The range for each tune appears in the header when you open one up, so you can see how high it goes. The lowest the flute goes would be the occasional B on the G string of your daughter's fiddle, more often it doesn't go below C (because only some flutes go to B), but some will have notes too high - but my point is - a lot could be played by your wife AND your daughter. Some of it is crazy difficult but everything gives a rough difficulty estimate.

May 5, 2021 - 11:06:47 AM

374 posts since 4/11/2019

That's great, thank you so much!!

May 8, 2021 - 3:01:21 AM

405 posts since 12/30/2012

Hello, my wife and I enjoy playing with our brother in law,who is a flute player. We call it " the silver fiddle". He plays an "Alto flute", which is tuned to G. If you could find one of these, problem solved.

May 10, 2021 - 3:16:14 AM



9914 posts since 10/5/2006

I play banjo and wooden transverse flute.

A keyless wooden flute is typically used for the keys of D, G and E minor. Nicely banjo/fiddle friendly.

A keyed wooden flute easily opens up other banjo/fiddle friendly keys (A, A modal and C).

Or you could stay with metal flute and capo the banjo, but that doesn't really help your daughter on fiddle.

If your wife is returning to the flute after a long gap now might be the time to make that switch to wooden flute? The adjust from a metal flute might not seem such a big deal if she hasn't been playing recently. All three of you are then in tune. And hey, you get to treat your wife to a new instrument!

Edited by - m06 on 05/10/2021 03:32:28

May 10, 2021 - 6:50:28 AM

2851 posts since 4/19/2008

See if she can visualize the notes on the page an octave higher than written.

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