My Low Flutes

I have three new photos of my low flutes below. I am now offering four-piece flutes with a joint between the hands as well as a joint between the 5th and 6th finger holes. I discuss this in the last paragraph. 

Also, I am now offering the large low flutes with one or two Susato plastic keys at +$25 each.  The presence of a key at the L3 and R3 holes allows me to use the larger holes for a better sound and a reduced finger stretch,  making the flutes easier to play. 

I decided to record a short clip of me playing my 6-hole low Bb flute to demonstrate that the low Bb is easy to get and that the intonation is good throughout two octaves. You can hear that the note at the small 6th hole (C) in the first octave is somewhat weaker than the neighboring notes but still strong enough to be easily heard. The flute that I am playing has the smallest 6th hole that I offer (15/64") and also the shortest reach for the RH ring finger. I also offer larger holes that require a greater reach. I discuss this below. I don't usually perform on the flute, so my tonguing and vibrato are not representative of how other ITM players would blow this same flute. I am playing the low Bb flute shown below in the photo.

Ruben Delgado Sanchez in Madrid, Spain used my newly-designed low Bb flute for the soundtrack of the movie, "This Is Me", which will be released in November, 2009. A youtube video of the movie trailer is now available. You can hear my flute at the beginning and throughout the trailer underneath the voices. I am please with how my flute sounds in the hands of Ruben.

I stopped making the low B and low Bb flutes for a time because it was too difficult for the average player to cover the finger holes. After some experimentation I have redesigned the finger hole layout of the flutes so that they are easier to play. I can now play the largest flute, a low Bb, without having to use my pinky to cover the 6th hole. I have also changed the hole sizes of the left-hand finger holes so that the left hand fingering is much more comfortable. I have the finger hole spread of these large flutes on the page "Finger Hole Comparison".

I have compressed the finger hole layout of these flutes by having larger and smaller finger hole sizes in each hand group. For example, the low Bb flute has a small hole (6.8 mm) for L3 and a 6 mm hole for R3).  Naturally, as with many other things, when you try to accomplish one thing it affects something else. In this case, having a small hole at R3 makes for a quieter note at this hole, especially in the first octave. But that is also true for many of the low D flutes that I have played that use a small 6mm hole in the R3 position. I have accepted this acoustic shortcoming in trade for hand comfort. Without this kind of finger hole compression these large, cylindrical-bore flutes would not be easily playable with any degree of comfort  by anyone  with average adult-size  male hands.   Also, the compressed configuration for the left hand changes some of the cross-fingered chromatic notes from that of the standard low D flute with conventional  fingerhole layout.

The photo to the left shows a comparison of the relative size and finger hole layout of my standard low D flute and my largest flute, the low Bb flute. The headjoints are the same size and are not shown in this photo. You can click on the photo to enlarge it.



This  photo shows my low Bb flute with a lip plate headjoint. Click to enlarge the photo. The enlarged photo shows the oval embouchure hole. This flute has a strong low Bb note. Because the deeper embouchure chimney provided by the extra thickness of the lip plate makes possible a stronger first octave,

I am now offering 4-piece flutes for my larger flutes (D, C, B, Bb) (photos coming). In addition to the joint between the hands, there is a joint between the 5th and 6th finger holes of the flute, making it possible for the player to adjust the position of the 6th hole. Also, for the low Bb flute I am offering three different hole sizes for the 6th hole, the hole requiring the largest stretch on the flute. The small 6th hole in the photo below is the smallest hole that I make @ 15/64". My audio clip (above) is played on a flute with this small hole. There is a reach of 47 mm between the centers of the 5th and 6th holes. I also can make a 1/4" hole with a reach of 50 mm or a 5/16" hole with a reach of 58 mm. Of course, the larger holes produce better notes at that hole. The largest reach works best when covered with the pinky, whereas the smaller two holes can be covered with either the pinky or the right ring finger for someone with average adult size hands. I am no longer making the 4-hole endjoint pictured below.


 I have additional sound clips of my low flutes being played by various musicians on the "Audio Files" page.