open hole flutes???

open hole flutes???

open hole flutes???    23:15 on Sunday, February 01, 2009          

(3 points)
Posted by bjkeane1

hey just wondering if anyone could tell me the benefits of an open hole flute. thanks

Re: open hole flutes???    23:50 on Sunday, February 01, 2009          

(130 points)
Posted by TBFlute

Holes in the keys really do nothing for the average player. You can use them for quarter tones, freakish high notes, and other techniques 98% of us do not use.

Re: open hole flutes???    00:10 on Monday, February 02, 2009          

(31 points)
Posted by lastarz9

Some say you have a more open sound and it very true about the high notes.If you have an open hole flute you have to be aware of you finger placement so i have heard it make you techique better. Its alot easier switching in the higher octave with an open hole flute.If you get one take your time in removing corks and getting used to a differnet type of flute but you might find it easier I did. I easy flute more with an open hole flute idk why i just do it feels so weird playing on a student flute.... good luck

Re: open hole flutes???    03:31 on Monday, February 02, 2009          

(471 points)
Posted by leighthesim

i play one with open holes (was an accident realy new off ebay and the muppet didn't list it had open holes) but i fid close hole realy odd now,

Re: open hole flutes???    16:32 on Monday, February 02, 2009          

(2369 points)
Posted by jose_luis

I wanted an open hole flute because I felt I needed to improve some finger positions. But I could never adapt for several fingers so I keep most holes plugged. Many people adapt quickly, however

Re: open hole flutes???    16:51 on Monday, February 02, 2009          

(423 points)
Posted by Plekto

I used to be all into the technical aspects, but as I got older, I decided that anything that made my job easier is better. So I'd recommend closed holes. after all, the typical flute has about 50 notes to chose from in its range(barring silly high notes in the 4th octave which 98% of us don't regularly play).

I guess it's a lot like a Piano. We can obsess over key and construction materials, action, and other idiocy. But for most of us, a synth or whatever is just as good, because it's about your playing, really. Are you a professional who is recording or doing experimental things? Or are you just playing? No need to spend money on that Steinway until you get that good, IMO.

Re: open hole flutes???    23:48 on Monday, February 02, 2009          

(3 points)
Posted by bjkeane1

re: to plekto...

i'm not a professional or recording, just studied flute for about 10 years, stopped during braces and recently started playing again. I've only ever used closed hole flutes. I play on a trevor james atm and was just curious to see if it was worth investing in an open hole flute, if there were any actual benefits asides from the finger positioning/technique. but seems there isn't really so i'll just stick my closed hole flute :-)

thanks heaps to all for the replies so far.

Re: open hole flutes???    15:44 on Tuesday, February 03, 2009          

(491 points)
Posted by Zevang

Like other beliefs I've heard before, the fact that the keys have a hole doesn't really affect the sound or the tone, IMHO. Though, the preference for open keys may indicate the necessity of playing glissandos or even smaller intervals like 4th and 8th of a tone.
Now, from an opposite point of view, it's said that a close hole key is capable of giving more resonance than open ones. It's explained by being the tip of our fingers somewhat soft, this could result in a sound a little (just a tiny little) buffered. So, because of the material in the center of a close hole key, the resonance is bigger inside de tube. I'm not sure if this could scientifically be proved.
When I converted to open key the first benefit I could note undoubtly was the position of my fingers. I had to discipline myself until I got accustumed to it. The time varies, but in my case this was pretty fast, because I was already playing at the orchestra as a principal.
The same questioning can be applied to an in-line or off-line G flute. It donesn't affect the sound, but concerns a personal preference regarding the size of the fingers, a better position of the arms, etc. In my case, I have relatively big fingers and arms, so have never had to use an off-line G flute.
It happens that the flute manufacturers just stated as a default building open hole flutes. I think they seem more sofisticated... I also know flautists who would never change from closed to open.

Re: open hole flutes???    16:51 on Tuesday, February 03, 2009          

(480 points)
Posted by Tibbiecow

I always roll my eyes when I hear the statement that "An open-hole flute has a more open tone."

As Micron has just pointed out, that is absurd. If it were true, you would notice a marked tone difference between notes that require most of the holes closed- and notes that leave the key open. I haven't heard anything like this.

When you question someone about it, they will tell you that gee, when their first-chair flutist in 8th grade got a new Yamaha open-hole flute for her birthday, there was a huge difference between that flute and her Artley student flute. It isn't the open holes, it's the design of the headjoint- as they would actually notice if they had been able to put the old Artley headjoint in the open-hole-body, or vice-versa with the new headjoint in the new flute.

I simply plug the holes in my flute. If I have to play THAT high, I'll use my piccolo, thank you. I don't do microtone trills, or any other of the special effects. (Though it probably would be interesting to learn how, I don't see that I would really DO anything with them with my current musical involvement.)

If I were looking for a new flute to buy, open/closed holes would actually not be a major consideration. A closed-hole flute will bring a big discount, used. But most flutes available in the US do have open holes. I don't see a whole lot of reason to special-order closed holes, because a)they can easily be plugged and b)the resale value of an open-holed flute in the US will be higher.

It is unfortunate that people interpret closed holes, a C-footjoint, and an offset G as the marks of a student flute, while a 'better' flute must be the one with open holes, inline G and a B-footjoint. Most students can get a fabulous upgrade if they simply replace their student-flute headjoint with a handmade, pro-model headjoint. My Pearl student flute has done plenty of backup duty in our Symphony, outfitted with a headjoint that cost three times what the flute did!

Re: open hole flutes???    17:08 on Tuesday, February 03, 2009          

(423 points)
Posted by Plekto

6. Finger Position: This so-called 'good' finger position has the balls of the fingers (under the nails) centred on the key cups. If the fingers are not perfectly centred on the keys (much frowned upon!) what is the big deal, really? Bagpipers and recorder players have no problems with fingers projecting well over the holes. And there are few keys on a saxophone and piccolo where the fingers are central.

Interestingly enough, it was paying sax and clarinet that made me have this revelation as well. It doesn't matter what you do with your fingers as long as the note is made. Open holes require significantly more effort compared to just slamming your finger anywhere on the key. Yes, it's a "sloppier" style, but I've seen very sloppy styles as well with electric bass and guitar that still sound great. And isn't that what it's all about? The least amount of work for the sound?

Plus, it's less expensive and more durable to have closed holes. Again, this fits with my minimalism idealology. Why make it take more effort than absolutely required?

P.S. Powell and a few others will make you an in-line closed hole flute if you desire. I found this to be no harder to play than offset as hitting the edge of the key also closes it just as well.(fingers don't have to be precisely covering the hole)

Re: open hole flutes???    17:04 on Wednesday, February 04, 2009          

(2369 points)
Posted by jose_luis

I think your post is the longest, most detailed and convincing I have seen here since ever

Re: open hole flutes???    14:49 on Thursday, February 05, 2009          

(1 point)
Posted by thnkfst228

I think the open holes give u a better sound. I use the open holes for pitch-bend in jazz band.

Re: open hole flutes???    16:30 on Thursday, February 05, 2009          

(480 points)
Posted by Tibbiecow

"I think the open holes give u better tone"

I don't. This is really silly.

Play a Bb using the Bb thumb key (LH1, ThBb, RH pinky on D# lever). This note uses ONLY keys that are closed. Now play it with RH 1 on the 'open' key. Is there any difference in your tone? I doubt it. Listen to tone as you play up a Bb concert scale. If the open holes made any tone difference, there would be a marked change in tone between the C (all 'open hole' keys open) and the D (all keys closed).

Open hole keys can absolutely change the pitch of a note, such as for a pitch bend. Pitch can also be bent by rolling the flute in or out, or using one's embouchure. I would go so far as to say that any reasonably accomplished flutist should be able to bend pitch with embouchure alone.

Open holes absolutely have a use in microtone trills (pretty hard to manage with a closed hole flute) and some special effects, like a glissando, for jazz. I'm not trying to tell someone interested in jazz flute that they shouldn't have an open hole flute. But the open holes do NOT influence tone!

Re: open hole flutes???    16:38 on Saturday, February 07, 2009          

(395 points)
Posted by StephenK

Open holes have two effects:

1. They are like butt pillows in shape and as such alleviate pressure and feedback.

2. They create an imperfect seal in which harmonics would be less dense than a closed hole flute, resulting in a clearer/purer sound effect in comparison. However one may argue that the harmonic difference is so small that it would be inaudible and that the clearer/purer sound many think they hear in an open hole flute is all in the head.

Open hole flutes are also the flutes of choice for aspiring professional flautists going to school who expect to be using advanced open hole techniques and as such many more professional flutes would be available in an open hole flute design.

Re: open hole flutes???    15:05 on Monday, February 16, 2009          

(309 points)
Posted by flute_n_bassoon

Flutes with open holes are usually a sign of a high quality flute (not including chinese brands/ "no-name" brands) PErsonally, I also find that the open holes gove the flautist a louder/fuller tone in a lot of cases. In addition, the cool special effects you can do on an open holed flute are great for a rainy day. =)


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