So I read this article in the magazine flute talk about how marching band posture is really bad for the flute players back and the author suggested getting a cheap curved headjoint to cause less damage. I have a permanent and highly painful back injury and marching is really hard but I love it too much so I started looking into the alternate headjoints but I am having a very hard time finding one for my gemienhardt. Does anyone know where I could get one (preferqbly used). Thanks!
Cold you cite the specific Fute Talk article (Month / Year) please? I may have missed reading this and I am curious.
I would think that finding a used curved head joint for your Gemeinhardt would be very difficult. You could try fluteworld as they seem to be about $225 new for the J1-CH silver plated curved headjoint.
The other option is to consider using a Piccolo. It is much easier to be heard on the field with one of them and they'd weigh a bit less on yourframe. I don't think that either instrument option would totally eliminate the issue that you mention in the flute/piccolo "marching posture" since our best posture is one of about a 45 degree twist in the torso so that our right arm isn't so pulled back and our left arm isn't so stretched across our chest.
There are other issues that are equally bad for the cultivation of proper flutists that are present for flutists in marching band besides this improper posture of course.
I believe that the referenced article is in the current issue (Jan 2011) of Flute Talk. The author (Susan Fain) discusses other flutist options for marching band such as being a flag bearer. She also states: "If flutists do march with a flute, they should buy a second-hand curved headjoint. The reach is lessened significantly and the flute won't stick out to the side as much."
While I agree with the statement with regard to a curved headjoint lessening the reach, I think it would introduce other issues and generally be a poor solution to the marching flutist problem. In particular, there would be a great tendency for the headjoint to rotate down while playing which would force the hands to rotate into a poor position that would also be problematic.
I agree with bilbo that if a flutist wants to play in marching band, playing piccolo is better both for posture and audibility. Other flutists have even suggested (tongue-in-cheek ) marching with a silver painted broomstick. IMO, that might be as good an option as a curved headjoint.
Yes the January editiion is the one I was refering to and I would love to march piccolo (I like it better than flute actually) but my band directors are low brass players ans refuse to have piccolo in marching much to the flute sections annoyance! Lol. I do not really want to buy a new head joint because I can think of a lot better ways to spend two hundred dollars and being a high school student that is quite a bit to spend on a marching flute.
If you have an injury you should concentrate on getting that cured even if you you have give up band for a while. Doing any marching, whatever instrument you play, will not help this problem go away. The longer you leave it the longer it will take to heal & you could even have to live with the pain for the rest of your life. Consult a medical professional not fellow players on this subject
She also states: "If flutists do march with a flute, they should buy a second-hand curved headjoint. The reach is lessened significantly and the flute won't stick out to the side as much."
Thanks. I will have to look it up. ....
She does make an issue about "marching band stance." As some directors insist upon this position for their concert flutists who are in chairs as well.
I still stand by my statement. To put it another way, the second-hand curved head joints for beginner flutes are fewer than dragon's teeth. I'd think that an author would check on that first because the option is then to pay the $250 for a beginner HJ or possibly find a used Pic for a similar price.
The silver painted broomstick is a good option (for the preservation of the flute and the flutist's proper tone habits if one makes it a bit shorter than the standard flute length.....otherwise the B/D will make the broomstickist /broomstauckist hold it up w/proper marching posture anyway. From what I understand though there is a trend to paint the head piece end of the broomstick with an area of gold paint so that the player doesn't get their stick up backwards.
Although, I spent a lot of time in marching bands, I'm not much in favor of them for fostering quality flutists. They do exercise a bit of memorization and multitasking though....beneficial for the survivors of the course even if the flutes end up worse for the wear.
My injury isn't going to get anybetter probably. I have had it for years and therapists etc haven't been able to do much so I just deal with it but in marchin I have to sit out for a number of hours (usually about2) just until the pain subsides ebough to play again. I was curious but it seems really hard to find a curved headjoint and I cannot play piccolo (directors rules) and I dnt have any spare broomsticks. Lol. Thanks though
I feel for you and hope for your improvement. My comment would be that I'm not so sure that a curved H.J. would be enough to solve your issue. It may be that a curved head may help, but the act of marching with any instrument may be aggravating the pain and avoiding it may be best for a longer more healthy mobility. Qithout trying to suggest that they exclude you from marching perhaps there are other ways that you could assist the marching band -just thinking.
Yeah what you are saying about finding another thing to do in mrching makes sense and usually I would agree but I have already had to give up field hockey (one of my favorite things to do ever) and running/xcountry so I really want to kwwp on actively marching like everyone else so its kind of a personal thing but I would prefer to go about it a little more comfortably but I won't stop marching flute. It would be really bad for me
Quitting flute would make me very sad also. I would however consult a good doc. because you wouldn't want to do really serious damage & sometimes pain and injuries have a way of coming back later in life. So, not to sound negative because I spent 4 years in H.S. and about 7 years in Univ. in marching bands but really quality flute playing is fostered in lessons, recitals and concert settings.
So if you are considering buying a curved head. want to experiment, the curved head joint would put your hand position about where a flute body without the head joint would be if you put the "head end" of the body (called the receiver) near your face and held your posture. The flute body is identical to any other flute body in length and basic weight.
See a photo here: http://www.gemeinhardt.com/catalogpage.asp?mode=PRODUCT&productid=46
Thanks everybody. I appreciate all your help. Bilbo just to let you know I do go to a chiropractor and physical therapist and have been for over a yearso yes its a very good idea but they haven't been able to do much because its messed up muscle and nevre not just one or the other.. thank tho