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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0ZM5KmC34A&feature=youtu.be

Ignore what I say in the vid, its a Rodger Young Head , African Blackwood. I noticed a huge difference yesterday after sax for a few hours. tHis seems to be easier to find a note and more responsive which when I switch between flute and sax I feel like I need. K
 

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I can relate, as I doubler I’ve always fought the same battle. I’ve had the best success with a low resistance headjoint like the Yamaha EC cut which I am using on a heavy wall 581 model. If I were only playing flute I’d likely want something with more resistance to push against but it is a lifesaver when I am coming from a period of not playing as much flute, which is often...
 

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Keith, I have a Rodger Young head made of "chote vega" wood, so it's a reddish brown compared to your blackwood. I got it from J.L. Smith. I enjoy playing it with my Altus silver flute, and it also fits my Hammig grenadilla flute. It's very responsive.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I played the African Blackwood head today at my con hospital gig and my duo partner noticed a big change in my tone. in a good way. It will take time to dial this head in but I'm already feeling a depth of tone to experiment with that I didn't have on my aurumite head and the fatness allows me to slide more between notes like a connected slur. Its a cool effect on ballads. So Im gonna keep it but I realize I have hours and hours ahead to get what I want to get out of it K
 

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It is unlikely to be the material that makes the difference. By comparison, tiny differences in taper of the head, type of taper 0 conical or "parabolic" etc, and especially the cut of the embouchure hole make massive differences to how a flute plays. Thew texture of the bore also makes a difference, but a well polished, fine-grained, harwood timber usually has much the same finish as a metal flute. BAmboo would be rather different.
We must remember that it is a vibrating air column that makes the sound that we hear in a woodwind instrument,. not the container of that air column.
Of course placebo effects, and confusion of our senses (eg weight with sound) also cloud the issue for the player.

There is a big downside to a wooden flute, and probably why the change was made to metal for modern flutes...
The timber is thin and the tone holes are large, and largely along one side of the flute, and the instrument oscillates from dry to damp.
This is an excellent recipe for the tube warping to slightly oval. This makes the tone holes non-level, and the non-levelness is probably unstable. It is pretty well impossible to correct.
With no-level tone holes, sealing of the pads is precarious at best unless the player develops an iron grip to compensate.
Metal, by comparison, is very, very stable.

Clarinets and oboes have smaller tone holes and a much thicker tube wall, so this is not such an issue.
I certainly could not recommend spending megabucks on a wooden flute body. It might be great when you buy it, but will it be stable?
 

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It is unlikely to be the material that makes the difference. By comparison, tiny differences in taper of the head, type of taper 0 conical or "parabolic" etc, and especially the cut of the embouchure hole make massive differences to how a flute plays. Thew texture of the bore also makes a difference, but a well polished, fine-grained, harwood timber usually has much the same finish as a metal flute. BAmboo would be rather different.
We must remember that it is a vibrating air column that makes the sound that we hear in a woodwind instrument,. not the container of that air column.
Of course placebo effects, and confusion of our senses (eg weight with sound) also cloud the issue for the player.

There is a big downside to a wooden flute, and probably why the change was made to metal for modern flutes...
The timber is thin and the tone holes are large, and largely along one side of the flute, and the instrument oscillates from dry to damp.
This is an excellent recipe for the tube warping to slightly oval. This makes the tone holes non-level, and the non-levelness is probably unstable. It is pretty well impossible to correct.
With no-level tone holes, sealing of the pads is precarious at best unless the player develops an iron grip to compensate.
Metal, by comparison, is very, very stable.

Clarinets and oboes have smaller tone holes and a much thicker tube wall, so this is not such an issue.
I certainly could not recommend spending megabucks on a wooden flute body. It might be great when you buy it, but will it be stable?
Gordon, nobody is talking about wood flutes here. We're talking about a particular headjoint maker and (very likely) the way he cuts his embouchures, finishes the wood, and produces a headjoint that changes the sound we get from different flute bodies. We're not saying that the headjoint is good only because it's wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I asked Flute world about how durable a wooden head is. they said that its treated and all you need to watch out for is extreme temps like leaving it in a hot parked car. I get your concern, I've had a wooden Selmer S 10 clarinet for years and always paid attention to it being wood and problems that wood brings. . Anyway, this head was easily the best match for this flute (Powell Sonore 702) and my physical shape. of all the ones I tried. It might be the cut, who knows? The tone is thicker than my metal tone on the Aurumite head. In fact I think my initial work will be creating/finding a center to the tone. I played it yesterday at my con hospital duo gig and I had the "this is what I've been searching for" moment in playing songs there. Whats also something I wasn't expecting was this is so much fuller of a sound I can slur between intervals much more like a pitch wheel on a keyboard if that makes sense. Its a cool effect I do on sax also.

Im not saying this is the best thing in the world. Its the best thing i've found so far. I am always expecting and looking for the "next great thing" in my playing. I believe we grow into our expectations and so far I've been growing into being a better player and musician. (that means I practice at least 90 minutes a day and perform an hour or so) Of course I have alot of help along the way. I'm still taking sax and flute Skype lessons weekly so Im definitely not as far along as I want and I play with as many good musicians weekly as I can. But I respect your opinion and value what a repair persons experience brings to a discussion K
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay its official. I had my lesson today and the teacher noticed a big difference in tone and tone quality. So I'm buying it. It feels like when I found a good alto mouthpiece and came closer to "my tone "> K
 

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It's certainly true that different heads fit different people and their embouchure and style of playing, same as sax mouthpieces. I'd say to go for what makes you feel good.
 

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What Im finding now weeks into switching is that I love the big, fat tone but I am now searching for the center of the tone and depth. That takes lots of harmonics and looking matching pitch on the overtones K
 

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The "growl" (especially in the low range) needs a very controlled embouchure but relaxed and with as strong an airsteam as possible .
Years ago I took some lessons from the 3rd flute+ pic from the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
He was way louder than me and said: "get more air through your instrument".
There is a fine line between getting an edge and overblowing to a harmonic.
Long tones for concept and intervals for quick centering plus articulation studies.
The fingers and vibrato are another matter.
 

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I have been told by a piano expert htat for the lowest strings, they actually do not vibrate at the fundamental. We here a series of overtones and our brain's sound processor says that with that series of overtones there must be a fundamental, and invents it. I have also seen this lack of a fundamental under strobe lighting.

Perhaps the really strong sound that good players get with the low notes on flute are similar. We get a really strong series of overtones, particular in frequency and relative volume, without breaking into a t series of overtones whose frequency and relative volume more characterise a different note, a harmonic.

If that is the case, then by practice we are developing an appropriate volume for various harmonics (which constitutes a certain vibrant tone) so that our ears can still invent a loud fundamental.
 

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I tune and repair acoustic pianos and can tell you that even the smallest spinet has some fundamental in it's lowest strings.
9 foot concert grands have a lot more.
When tuning those notes I listen to harmonics mainly.
This effect might apply to the lowest notes on flute also.
For me getting an even scale in tone and volume is an ongoing affair.
 

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+1 for this. Go for Galway on the edge

The "growl" (especially in the low range) needs a very controlled embouchure but relaxed and with as strong an airsteam as possible .
Years ago I took some lessons from the 3rd flute+ pic from the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
He was way louder than me and said: "get more air through your instrument".
There is a fine line between getting an edge and overblowing to a harmonic.
Long tones for concept and intervals for quick centering plus articulation studies.
The fingers and vibrato are another matter.
 

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I have been told by a piano expert htat for the lowest strings, they actually do not vibrate at the fundamental. We here a series of overtones and our brain's sound processor says that with that series of overtones there must be a fundamental, and invents it. I have also seen this lack of a fundamental under strobe lighting.

Perhaps the really strong sound that good players get with the low notes on flute are similar. We get a really strong series of overtones, particular in frequency and relative volume, without breaking into a t series of overtones whose frequency and relative volume more characterise a different note, a harmonic.

If that is the case, then by practice we are developing an appropriate volume for various harmonics (which constitutes a certain vibrant tone) so that our ears can still invent a loud fundamental.
It is certainly true that the lowest notes of the flute, when played well, contain a much higher proportion of overtones, particularly the second and third, than the higher notes, but there is plenty of fundamental in the lowest notes as well. The higher partials give the low notes some edge, but without quite a bit of fundamental (more than 50% in a well played low C) you wouldn't be able to tell it apart from the next octave.
 

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What Im finding now weeks into switching is that I love the big, fat tone but I am now searching for the center of the tone and depth. That takes lots of harmonics and looking matching pitch on the overtones K
One thing that is important to understand is that there is no "matching pitch on the overtones." All partials must be in lockstep integral relation to the fundamental in order for the note to sound at all. The difference between a note with weak overtones and strong overtones is completely about the air jet that leaves the lips: the angle, speed and shape determine the overtone content. Of course the headjoint geometry determines how a given air jet will sound the note: different geometries may emphasize some components of the sonic spectrum over others for a given embouchure, but once the note is sounding, it is the embouchure which determines whether a note will be soft and airy or have more core and edge.
 

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One thing that is important to understand is that there is no "matching pitch on the overtones." All partials must be in lockstep integral relation to the fundamental in order for the note to sound at all. The difference between a note with weak overtones and strong overtones is completely about the air jet that leaves the lips: the angle, speed and .....SHAPE..... determine the overtone content. Of course the headjoint geometry determines how a given air jet will sound the note: different geometries may emphasize some components of the sonic spectrum over others for a given embouchure, but once the note is sounding, it is the embouchure which determines whether a note will be soft and airy or have more core and edge.
Angle, Speed and “SHAPE” !!!
Plus the dynamics between your body and the column of air you set into motion and sustain...... body and soul.... reedless, cupless..... even an eight hole rocks. :whistle::cheers::cheers:
PP in the third octave on Piccolo.... great goal.

Poor skills chased the rats away.... not led them away.... Mr. P Piper lied. :confused: :bluewink:

Moving between octaves crisply, seamlessly...or whatever your music requires....... lips first.... not blowing more air...... reeds bash your lower lip..... that’s why my MK6 is still minty. :bluewink:
Practicing on a Piccolo... as a French Canadian lass advises on Utube..... or Henley... to the heart of the matter.
 

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On saxophone I think I just feel the notes and pitch. All ranges. Played into a acoustically dead closet for hrs which forced me in that direction. Trying that approach with flute. Not so easy to maintain momentum without that flutey feedback.
 

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I tune and repair acoustic pianos and can tell you that even the smallest spinet has some fundamental in it's lowest strings.
9 foot concert grands have a lot more...
https://www.pianotopics.nl/FT02v.htm is in part where I got my information

"Usually one cannot hear the fundamentals of the lowest bass strings. Partially due to the tones sounding on the limit of the human sense of hearing, but mainly because the soundboard is not capable to transmit these tones well.

Even listening to a small transistor radio, that does not give low frequencies at all, we can tell the difference between a small and a big instrument.
The human ear is used to construct a fundamental from the different partials. "
 
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