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Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

One topic that doesn't seem to come up very often is ergonomics of various flutes. I have a pro Yamaha flute and bought an Altus two years ago. The sound and intonation of the Altus is superior, but I find myself always picking up the Yamaha because it feels better in the hands. Being lazy i haven't tried to analyze what things are making the Yamaha more comfortable.

Are there certain things you think make the ergos better or worse on a flute? and which brands have you liked the feel of?
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

I've played a pretty good bit of flute, and lots of different flutes, but never even thought about the ergos. I guess the ergos seem very similar - not so the sound and intonation.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

I suppose I am used to playing a wide range of brands/models and am relatively versatile, so I don't notice "ergonomic" differences, except:

1. In-line G is a ridiculous concept and thoroughly unergonomic, no matter what certain purists say about forcing the fingers to be in the "correct" (but silly and unergonomic) positions.
2. A disadvantage of a low B flute is that finger placement for low C has to be so much more accurate.
And the relatively insignificant ones:
3. Some trill key touich pieces are located too low between the stack keys.
4. Some G# touch pieces have a rather odd shape.
5. Open holes feel different frokm plateau, and vary in feel for different brands.
6. The "T" shaped type of plugs for open hole flutes feel odd. I prefer the silicone rubber plugs that are inside the perforations.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

I suppose I am used to playing a wide range of brands/models and am relatively versatile, so I don't notice differences, except:

1. In-line G is a ridiculous concept and thoroughly unergonomic, no matter what certain purists say about forcing the fingers to be in the "correct" (but silly and unergonomic) positions.
2. A disadvantage of a low B flute is that finger placement for low C has to be so much more accurate.
And the relatively insignificant ones:
3. Some trill key touich pieces are located too low between the stack keys.
4. Some G# touch pieces have a rather odd shape.
5. Open holes feel different frokm plateau, and vary in feel for different brands.
6. The "T" shaped type of plugs for open hole flutes feel odd. I prefer the silicone rubber plugs that are inside the perforations.
I agree with these points. I've tried a lot more saxophones than flutes, but borrowed a Sankyo when my older Haynes was in the shop and played a musical, several gigs and a recital jury with it last fall. At first I was really into the sound and felt it was "better", but as time went by I really missed my Haynes. Maybe it's like comparing my SBA to a new Yamaha Z or something, like comparing my 1800's farmhouse with a new house- the character of something older can be the biggest factor.

My older horns just seem to fit like a glove- I always thought I might trade them for something newer but I will definitely keep those horns forever, although I'd like to get a more modern flute and alto to add to my arsenal eventually. It's so expensive to have these horns and keep them up though!
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

i don't question folks who say a particular brand of flute "fits" their hands better than another. makes sense, i guess. the only issue i've ever had was resolved when my repair shop kindly bent a couple of trill keys slightly lower so i could avoid them when stretching my fingers to hit low C on my alto flute.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

The lower the flute the more squirrelly the ergos can be.
I prefer offset G but my main flute is in-line so i've gotten used to it.
The high C facilitator on the foot of a low B flute can make it harder to slip from low Eb to C or B, the pinky can smack into it.
Gold springs feel more slinky.
I went 17 years before I had an overhaul on my Altus.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

One topic that doesn't seem to come up very often is ergonomics of various flutes. I have a pro Yamaha flute and bought an Altus two years ago. The sound and intonation of the Altus is superior, but I find myself always picking up the Yamaha because it feels better in the hands. Being lazy i haven't tried to analyze what things are making the Yamaha more comfortable.

Are there certain things you think make the ergos better or worse on a flute? and which brands have you liked the feel of?
I prefer offset G for C flutes, and that's about it. I do note some variation regarding the G# placement, but that goes away by the time I have warmed up.

Alto and bass flutes, as AdamK has noted, are more sensitive to ergos. One thing that jumps out at me when playing various larger flutes is the placement of the touches, the spread of each hand. Some are instantly comfortable (natural), while others seemed forced and too close.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

... One thing that jumps out at me when playing various larger flutes is the placement of the touches, the spread of each hand. Some are instantly comfortable (natural), while others seemed forced and too close.
if you can remember which ones felt more comfortable, please list them here.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

For me it was always getting used to a new flute. My new flute felt a bit strange for two days. After that, my old muramatsu had an odd feel and my new flute felt natural. I think, offset g makes a (positive) difference, the rest is habit.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

i don't question folks who say a particular brand of flute "fits" their hands better than another. makes sense, i guess. the only issue i've ever had was resolved when my repair shop kindly bent a couple of trill keys slightly lower so i could avoid them when stretching my fingers to hit low C on my alto flute.
I had the same issue so I corked mine shut. I'm never going to be a concert flutist anyway and rarely use those keys.

if you can remember which ones felt more comfortable, please list them here.
I have a Yamaha alto flute that I really like compared to the few others I've tried but it may not be a fair comparison since the Yamaha is a much more expensive instrument than the Gemeinhardt, Jupiter, or Pearl flutes I've tried.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

I tried a bunch of altos at a flute convention.
Kingma was 1st (by a lot), Altus was 2nd and Yamaha 3rd.
After that Pearl and Trevor James were both good.
Armstrong and Gemeinhardt didn't cut it.
Di Zhao and Jupitor were just behind.
I would play any but the Armstrong and Gemi.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

I agree that the offset G makes a huge difference (learned on an in-line but now have offset). I am self taught so probably have a bad habit but I pretty much exclusively use the thumb B/Bb keys, so I have found the ergonomics with those keys to be especially notable. Particularly when trying various altos.
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

For me, holding a flute at all is just really uncomfortable. Getting a thumbport/fingerport has really helped with that. Part of it is because my right pinky locks in a strange way that doesn't affect saxophone, makes flute a little tough, and makes the pinky keys in clarinet nearly impossible to navigate. My old clarinet instructor said she had a student like that and she had a surgery to fix it. I'm looking to do that at some point, hopefully.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Re: Flute Ergonomics… Does it feel good?

I'm, for the most part, self taught on flute....took a lesson a few weeks ago with a very well known jazz player, she totally changed damn near everything I was doing....the big take away was I realized I don't need a vertical head joint, playing the way she showed me eliminated the neck pain I was feeling....so the ergonomics on the flute I'd been playng for 30 years now is much more comfortable....and it greatly improved my tone....
 
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