I sent my Yamaha YFL674 to repair today. So I continued my practice with mu old Gemeinhardt M3, but with the Nagahara HJ on it. I was astonished to discover that it is *much* simpler to play correctly some difficult notes with the Gemeinhardt body than it is with the Yamaha!.
The reason seems to be that the second trill (the one closer to the foot) is round, smaller on the Gemeinhardt than on the YFL. And possibly it is slighter lower. With the Gemeinhardt body I never hit the trill key accidentally with my RH ring finger. With the Yamaha, it is a nightmare to avoid hitting it (and so spoiling notes) quite often.
I am asking he technician (Philip Herman) to install a stronger spring on the trill key, but now I think that there could be other solutions (though more drastic), such as lowering the key or cutting off its elegant point, that is useless and hinters my playing so much.
Could you comment on possible solutions or your experiences? (short of re-educating my finger positions, for the moment I have given up and I have to play in one month one of the Telemann Fantasias).
Micron, I believe you know Mr Herman. What do you think I could ask him to do on my flute, now he has it at his workshop, to help me alleviate this problem?
I understand. I may suggest Philip this arm-dip modification solution. I believe the key touch pieces not solid silver, so grinding or cutting a part would require re-plating the part.
I acknowledge my finger positions are not much correct. I know this almost since I began taking lessons. Also, my fingers are very long and this makes things worst, it is pretty crowded in that area of the flute.
I have tried everything to improve this problem, but finally gave up. The most radical try was to buy this open hole flute to force all my fingers take a better position. But I could never adapt completely, some fingers were OK but the RH ring F never accepted the deal. So I now have all holes plugged with beautiful Powell plugs.
I believe the key touch pieces not solid silver... should read: I believe the key touch pieces are not solid silver..
I contacted Philip this afternoon and the flute is ready for shipment. I will receive it only on Tuesday, not in time for my lesson but anyway I am very happy because he told me that he could modify the trill key and lowered it so that it is now at he same height level than the E and F sharp keys. So I hope I will not hit that trill accidentally any more.
He also performed a complete maintenance and the instrument is now in very good shape, he told me.
maybe what you need is key extensions for your right hand.
Left-hand extensions are very common for people with short fingers, but since your fingers are long, perhaps the RH keys would be more ergonomic for YOU if you touched the key farther out from the flute.
The info that your fingers are long makes it sound likely to me that a Bo-pep finger rest, which would have the effect of making the distance your finger extends to work the LH keys longer, might be good for you.
Here's an example of the LH finger extensions: http://www.jennifercluff.com/extensns.pdf
Perhaps there is a way you could try (with your Gemeinhardt) putting extensions on the RH keys, to see if that made your hands more comfortable.
Thank you. I will begin by trying the modification the repair technician made to my flute, once I receive it on Tuesday.
I hope that the lowering the trill key could be sufficient, because I do not have the ring finger problem with my Gemeinhardt with its round and lower trill key, that is also considerably smaller than on the Yamaha 674.
The hand made extensions do not look nice and I am reluctant to the idea of modifications that are so much visible.
I agree that the looks of the wood key extensions are unpleasant.
I believe that they are intended to be an intermediate step to determine comfort, before a silver touch-piece is soldered to the flute key, which would be permanent.
Read, 'have you seen Jean Baxtresser's flute? at the end of this page: http://www.lunnflutes.com/ho1.htm
I saw a photo of the flute once, but I can't find it again. In any case, the flute keys that have been modified, look something like an alto or bass flute's keys, they don't look obvious like the wood key extensions do.
All in all, I'd rather look at wood key extensions on my flute than bandages, braces or surgery scars on my hands!
The trill key was lowered to the level of the hole plates and this mostly cured my problem with accidentally hitting the trill. And I still can trill if necessary, so I believe is a very good solution.
After playing a week with the Gemeinhardt and although I was using the Nagahara HJ, the difference in sound quality and volume when using the YFL68774 body is outstanding. So not everything is on the HJ and I believe this holds even with a perfectly adjusted flute body.