A short excursion on curved heads
There are different opinions on curved heads – I have changed mine lately
My opinion was that you should wait until you reach the straight head joint and only then start to play the flute. This would assure that you start with the right angles of your arms right away. With a curved head joint you learn to put your arms forward and lower than is needed for the straight flute. And I thought that it was also better to wait until you were able to provide the needed air support, also depending on your body and its strength.
Recently though I have seen a lot of students coming to me, who had started early on with a curved head.
They did have to change their posture a little and in the beginning it was weird for them, but actually not too hard. They all made it and profited from having started early on with diaphragmatic breathing and moving fingers they couldn’t see.
Yes! That is the most difficult thing related to fingering in the beginning, moving them without having visual feedback! It wasn’t the posture or embouchure (the way you blow insight the flute), it was actually moving your fingers and not seeing them.
So in conclusion I recommend starting to play the flute whenever you feel like it and chose the curved head joint if your arms are not long enough to cover the distance comfortably.
A flute that also matches the most important points to look for in a beginner’s flute
And in addition offers a curved head is the following
Gemeinhardt StudentFlute with Curved & Straight Head Joints
The Gemeinhardt 2SPCH Student Flute is a perfect choice for beginners of all ages with a warm, rich tone quality. It is very reliable and affordable. Furthermore, it features a silver-plated body & mechanism with closed holes and includes curved & straight head joints for more longevity.
You can start with the curved J1 head joint and continue to play even when you outgrow it, just using the straight head joint. Offset G is also a very helpful feature for beginners and generally smaller hands. I have kept it that way until now, it offers great comfort!
I eventually changed into an intermediate and then professional flute with both B footjoints, but my beginner flute had a C foot. However, they all do! No beginner is asked to play the low B. Moreover, a longer foot joint makes the flute longer and heavier. So in the beginning, you go perfectly well with the C foot.
The flute comes complete with hard shell case, and cleaning rod. The only thing you need to add is a cotton cleaning tissue. If you need assistance with that, please ask me in the comment section and I will be more than happy to help you out!
You can check for the best price by clicking on this link
If you are interested in a little excursion on “flute language” to better understand what I am talking about int the description of the flute, you can read my article on how to choose your first flute here.
Can I learn to play the flute by myself – curved head or straight head joint
Yes you can!
There are plenty of videos on YouTube and you can start all by yourself. If you look for feedback you should ask a flute player to have a look sometimes. You can also look for methods and books to buy and follow online. It is not hard to play the to flute by yourself.
Especially in the beginning you can try on your own and follow some online advice. It should feel comfortable and your ear is your judge. If you are interested you can ask questions in the comment section below! I will be more than happy to help you out.
How long does it take to learn the flute?
Any flutist will tell you, a lifetime!
Because we always try to become better and there are so many wonderful melodies out there to learn how to play. There is no point at which one says, now I know it all.
Especially since there is so much music being composed right now for the flute and new contemporary techniques are invented every day.
That being said, actually it does not take long.
Of course, it depends on the time you are willing to invest. Naturally it also depends on how fast you pick it up and your body memorizes it. But to answer your question the best I can: To play a simple melody in two octaves with max two alterations and enjoy it, that would take anything between a month and a year.
Maintenance of your new flute – 5 important tips for a long flute life
So now you have chosen your new flute and will wish to stick with it for the better or worse till death do you part… with or without a curved head joint!
On the marriage to my flute Paul D’Or please read my article ———> here.
As in any important relationship you should show some care! So put in some effort for maintenance of your new flute!
- Every time you play, dry it afterwards and never put it in the case when it’s still humid.
- Pay attention to not hold it with the key opening versus the palm of your hand. You might loosen the mechanism. Try to hold it with the key opening away from your body. If you have to apply pressure (especially taking the pieces apart) do not put any pressure on the keys. Hold the flute in places without keys.
- When cleaning the head joint with a rod do not apply pressure to the closed part of the flute. It contains a cork that is important for the overall intonation of your flute. As soon as you arrive at it with the top of your rod, just gently turn the rod and cloth around a few times.
- Whenever putting your flute down, do not let it lie on the keys. There is a special little stand beneath where you put your left thumb to let the flute rest safely on a table.
- When you put your flute back in the case, be sure to put the opening of the keys versus the inside of the case. They will be better protected.
For more detailed information on maintaining and repairing your flute,
please read this article.
2 Fun Facts for beginner flutists
How many notes are there on a flute?
This is a funny question that I’m asked quite often! With our flute
with a B foot and some extra fingerings for the upper spectrum we can
produce 38 and more different notes (semi-tones)!
There are 4 keys that open a whole instead of closing it, can you find them?
If you do, please let me know in the comment section.
Happy flute life,