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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, guys, simple question if I may, bought a second hand serviced gemeinhardt 2sp for my daughter from a repair centre.
She was excited with it played at home ect, but when she went to her school lesson her teacher said its out of tune. Now we went back to the repair guy, he got my daughter to play each note against a electronic tuner and it was coming up fairly good, we did notice that she couldnt hold an exact note, eg it went up and down a bit from her air pressure, but pretty much every note flicked the green light on and was within one division of the perfect note.
What do we do, is the repair tech right or the teacher right, we dont want her going back to school saying to her teacher that shes wrong, not a good thing to do.
How do we test the unit ourselves, can an instrument play a c on the electronic tuner and still not sound like a c. Sounds silly doesnt it, but I hope people undertstand what Im saying

Any help would be appreciated, her next lessson is in two days
Nicole
 

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Nicky said:
Hi, guys, simple question if I may, bought a second hand serviced gemeinhardt 2sp for my daughter from a repair centre.
She was excited with it played at home ect, but when she went to her school lesson her teacher said its out of tune. Now we went back to the repair guy, he got my daughter to play each note against a electronic tuner and it was coming up fairly good, we did notice that she couldnt hold an exact note, eg it went up and down a bit from her air pressure, but pretty much every note flicked the green light on and was within one division of the perfect note.
What do we do, is the repair tech right or the teacher right, we dont want her going back to school saying to her teacher that shes wrong, not a good thing to do.
How do we test the unit ourselves, can an instrument play a c on the electronic tuner and still not sound like a c. Sounds silly doesnt it, but I hope people undertstand what Im saying

Tell the teacher that you took it to repair tech and they did something, then played it to a tuner and it was good now. It's sort of the truth and defuses a situation. Then if teacher still says daughter is out of tune find a plan B.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So what your saying is the repair tech would be right, if its playing the note on the tuner fairly closely "subjectively said becuase the note can vary by who and how its being played" then alls good, just bluff and fluff the teachers ego by saying it was adjusted.
Nicole
 

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Nicky said:
So what your saying is the repair tech would be right, if its playing the note on the tuner fairly closely "subjectively said becuase the note can vary by who and how its being played" then alls good, just bluff and fluff the teachers ego by saying it was adjusted.
Nicole

It's worth a try if you truly believe the technician knows what he/she is talking about.

Who seems smarter the repair tech or the teacher? Is the teacher a private instructor that plays flute really well? If thats the case then I believe the teacher because said teacher would play flute themselves. If teacher can't play the flute then I'd say it's not the flute.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for that, yeh I give up, the repair tech is the one that sold it to us, so he has a vested interest in it, the flute teacher is her school one. Thats why I was asking whether you can trick the electronic tuners. Because the repair tech did a pressure test on it well thats what he called it, he inserted a tube inside the unit and tested each pad by blowing into the tube, and then he simply got my daughter to play the notes along side the tuner and said you can see for yourself it hits the right notes therefore its in tune.
Ill have to ask the flute teacher myself what about the unit is not in tune, yes she does play the flute herself at the front of the class, and see what she saids, apparently she also mentioned to my daughter that it needs a pad replaced to but my daughter cannot remeber which one she was talking about. My daughter plays songs here at home on it and it sounds good, well to me the uneducated ear it sounds good, she struggles a little getting d but thats more I think air strength as she is only 12 and been playing for less than a year. The flute cost us 299 serviced second hand "gemeinhardt 2sp"
Nicole
 

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I have several thoughts on this issue:

#1) Yes - You can trick a tuner. If you daughter was looking at the tuner while she was playing the note, it's possible for her to fix the note by rolling the flute IN or OUT.

#2) The other issue is that someone who is experience with the flute (not the teacher) should play the instrument against a tuner. A student that has played for less than a year will have difficulty playing ANY flute in tune.

#3) Playing in tune is MORE than playing with a tuner. It's has to due with listening and adjusting to a group pitch.

#4) $299 is a LOT of money for a used flute. Perhaps the teacher see's some other issues with the instrument. I'd give the teacher a call - let's not be so quick to assume the teacher is an egotistical, loser musician out to GET the kids.

#5) Buying a USED instrument from a repair guy and then saying there's something wrong with the horn is a LOSE-LOSE siuation. You've got to get someone else with knowledge involved.

Good Luck - I've been on both ends of this issue so I hope these comments are helpful.

Tony
 

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Have your daughter switch flutes with another student in the class for 1 class. Don't tell the teacher. If the teacher still complains about being out of tune, you'll have your answer.

If it's an older 2sp it might be a little lower pitch a=440 rather than many of the newer ones that are tuned a=442.

Quite frankly, in less than a year's time of lessons, nobody is playing all that well in tune.

I doubt it's the flute at all.

Joe B
 

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I'm not into trying to trick the teacher. I would just go back to the teacher and tell them what the repair tech said. Bring a tuner with you and have your daughter play to it in front of the teacher. If she's out of tune then the flute teacher can try it to see if it's a playing issue or a flute issue.
 

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No flute is "in tune". Every flute has notes that tend sharp and others that tend flat. The only way to learn to play in tune is to play in front of a tuning meter or to develop a good enough ear to hear it, and then learn how to blow each note differently to get it into tune.

No flute is perfect, but some are better than others. Gemeinhardts have worse intonation than many other flutes, but they *can* be played in tune with a little extra effort from the player. Your daughter is just going to have to learn the different intonations of her new flute. It's good she has a teacher who can hear the difference and lets her know.

If she gets a different flute with a better scale - Jupiter, Yamaha, Sonare, etc. - this will make things easier for her. But there is no magic bullet. It always requires effort and practice to learn to play in tune.
 

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The ex-Mrs. DukeCity is a professional orchestral flutist who plays a LOT of piccolo. Her experience (and that of her teachers) is that electronic tuners often do NOT register correctly the upper register of the piccolo. She always practices intonation by using a drone pitch (from a keyboard or CD) and tuning by ear. So, if the repair tech is showing the picc being "in tune" with the tuner, it could still be out of tune with the band.
 

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Nefertiti said:
I'm not into trying to trick the teacher. I would just go back to the teacher and tell them what the repair tech said. Bring a tuner with you and have your daughter play to it in front of the teacher. If she's out of tune then the flute teacher can try it to see if it's a playing issue or a flute issue.
I'm with him :D
 

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Nefertiti said:
I'm not into trying to trick the teacher. I would just go back to the teacher and tell them what the repair tech said. Bring a tuner with you and have your daughter play to it in front of the teacher. If she's out of tune then the flute teacher can try it to see if it's a playing issue or a flute issue.
It's not "tricking" the teacher. Tuners mean nothing as far as an instrument being "in-tune". Obviously this has been done already and "the problem" still exists.

[rant mode]
Tell the teacher you are switching instruments then, I don't care. But most teachers have no clue about understanding and teaching intonation. Especially the ones that play around the room with a tuner and a tuning note.. Pull out..next, push in.., next.. what a recipe for disaster and disservice to students..

And by what criteria is the teacher deciding that THIS particular flute in not in tune? We have already established that the student's pitch varies a lot even by the tuner as the OP stated:

we did notice that she couldnt hold an exact note, eg it went up and down a bit from her air pressure, but pretty much every note flicked the green light on and was within one division of the perfect note.....you can see for yourself it hits the right notes therefore its in tune.
Like I said, It's not the flute. There are a few things going on here. A lot of it is ignorance. I too have been on both sides of this issue. ALL of the teacher clinics I give for their professional development include my rant about playing flutes in tune...Regardless of the topic of the clinic.

If you are playing a flute built to lower pitch scale than the others in the room, you will need to adjust more. And if you have been playing less than a year, guess what...It's more than likely that you will sound out of tune because you have not gained sufficient technique and facility on the instrument to make the correction. And if you are doing that much work, you are not developing your embochure correctly because you are adjusting all over the place to deal with this problem.

So I reiterate with a bit more clarity. It's not that particular flute itself. It's those flutes and those players in that situation.

Yah that's right, we harp on kids about intonation but no-one has classes in Ear Training....go figure...

[/rant mode]
Joe B
 

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DukeCity said:
The ex-Mrs. DukeCity is a professional orchestral flutist who plays a LOT of piccolo. Her experience (and that of her teachers) is that electronic tuners often do NOT register correctly the upper register of the piccolo.
Yes we are familiar with this phenomenon. It is well known as it applies to piccolo. If there are major pitch discrepancies in an orchestra, the piccolo player simply can't sound in tune. But we are not talking pro flute players or Piccolos.

We are talking about a first year student in between a rock and a hard place, because a tech says the flute's in tune and the teacher says it isn't. Neither are considering the context and all the issues.

This is a lose-lose situation and that's the reason we are discussing it here. Anyone of us with decent flute chops can go in there and play that gemeinhardt relatively in tune without a problem. A first year student would and is having difficulty. The question, as presented really is: whom do we appease in this situation and how?

Joe B
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the great information, I really appreciate it.
Will simply get the daughter to take it to school and play, if the teacher asks or saids something is wrong then Ill get her to actually put a mark on the questionable key.
This is all new to me so I would appreciate any additional information If I could. D is a slightly problem note for her sometimes its bright othertimes its muffled and c on the foot section she just cant play yet, the tuner we have at home "guitar tuner" can hear a sound when she plays c but we cant. Is this one of those things that its all internal capability, something that develops with practice. Or is this an underlying prioblem for something else
Once again, thank you for the time you have all put into your responses, it is very appreciated

Kind Regards
Nicole
 

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I Have A Lot Of Respect For Music Teachers Because They Know Music Inside And Out, Backwards And Forwards.

When It Comes To Instruments And How They Play And If They Are Good Or Play In Tune, That Is A Different Story.

As A Repair Tech I Hear It All The Time . Teacher Said--------.
Most Of The Time They Are Wrong

I Don't Think Tuners Are A Way To Check Instruments. Any Instrument Has To Be Played In Tune And It Takes A While To Learn How To Do That.

That Is What I Think.
 

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1st year wind players never play in tune! IMO, flute players should not play piccolo without at least two years of study. The picc is the hardest insrument in the world to play in tune! The piccolo is a MONSTER because it it can be heard above a 100 piece orchestra! The PLAYER must be in tune!!!
 

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I think it is rather simple: Tell the teacher the truth--you took the flute to the tech who sold it to you and he checked it against an electronic tuner and found it in tune. Then ask her to please tell you to be more specific: Are certain notes out of tune? Is the whole flute too high or too low? Are certain ranges out of tune? Armed with whatever specifics the teacher provides, you can take it back to the tech again with better information on the teacher's criticism.

While I agree that beginning students hardly ever play in tune, but the teacher knows that as well as you do, and so she must have a specific reason for saying that the flute (not the player) is out of tune...

Toby
 

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Perhaps the issue is as simple as the teacher testing it in a cold room.
 

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Today I sent my primary (Bennett scale) flute away for a tuneup and I've been playing my trusty old Gemeinhardt 3SB backup flute. The scale is quite different and the 3SB is more "out of tune". Yet with this contrast fresh in my mind I'm realizing this intonation thing really isn't all that hard. It just takes time to develop the ear to hear it. I think the reason people make such a fuss of it is because it *does* take input from the player and based on my own work helping beginning players, this seems to be a too-often overlooked part of technique. But it's not hard to do - just takes listening and awareness.
 
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