MY MUSIC

Back Onto Flute

Ah, new challenges. I’m back onto practicing the flute again, and it’s driving me bananas. I probably would have been playing the soprano sax instead, except that I haven’t made it out to the sax repair shop on the other side of town, so that cleaning swab is still stuck in the neck… so flute it is.  

It’s hard to master this instrument. Practicing makes me dizzy. I’m constantly tempted to put off learning the proper (crazy, sax-altissimo-like) third-octave fingerings, because I can get over half that octave out by overblowing the left hand of the second octave. I can’t play any tunes with anything near the facility I can play them on saxophone, and all the familiar tunes baffle me because they’re in a key I’m not used to. (The flute is in C, but all the songs I’ve memorized for playing on a Bb saxophone. It’s advisable and good for me to learn to play tunes in a range of keys–all twelve, really, is optimal–but there’s a painful learning curve there…) I am doing my scales and modes, but they kind of suck, and I mix up the sax fingerings and the flute ones constantly. I’m always putting my right hand pinky in the wrong place a the wrong time. I can barely get to the bottom notes to speak. (That may be an issue with the instrument, mind; it hasn’t had a tune-up in years.)

So why does it feel so good to have started finally practicing again? The only explanation I can come up with is that the knowledge I went through this on saxophone lies at the bottom of it. I know if you put the time in, you will improve. The pleasure of that anticipation seems to be enough to overcome the pain of hearing oneself play like an oaf, I suppose.

It’s getting better, slowly. I need to do my long tones and scales. Speaking of which…