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I have played flute for about 8 years now and I have really started to take it more serious since I recently decided that music is what I want to devote my life to :)
So, I am currently playing on a "standard" Yamaha 211-flute, but I am thinking about switching/buying a new flute with open keyholes. What I'm wondering is if anyone has the experience of changing from "closed" to open keyholes - what is it like and is it hard? I'd be really happy if someone could recommend a model to!
Thanks! // Ida
Thanks a lot for all the answers, tips' and everything :D I really feel like I got an idea about how it is to change for closed to open keys now, so I'm looking forward to try out a new flute soon!
Thank you so much again everyone! :D
Open-hole flutes nowadays come with what is called “flute plugs”. The flute plug closes the keyholes of the flute until you are ready to graduate to playing open-hole. These are normally clear plastic. If the manufacturer doesn’t provide them with the purchase of a new flute, you can purchase them. Di Zhao Flutes come with plugs.
Many teachers graduate a student to open-hole flute by removing one or two open-hole plugs at a time. I normally start my students by removing the left hand “A” key first, then the right-hand “F” key next, and so on. I normally do not remove the “G” or “D” key until last since those are the most difficult keys to adjust to for most students. Most open-hole flutes come with plugs so that you can start playing immediately. Consider the open-hole plugs like training wheels on a bicycle when you first started to learn how to ride. Eventually, you will want to remove the plugs if you are to play an open-hole flute. Talk to your teacher. For me when I was in high school, I had to go “cold-turkey” and play without any plugs. For me it was difficult, but some of my students acclimate quickly. But now that I know how to play an open-hole flute, I would not even consider going back to playing a closed-hole flute.
Does playing an open-hole flute make a difference in the sound? Yes, I think so, and it also allows one the ability to exercise certain extended techniques on the flute. Yes, Irish music too!
What advantage is there to playing open-hole flute? One of the things I've found with my students is that it facilitates better finger and wrist positioning.
You also asked about recommendations for good flutes. I own The Flute Loft and find Di Zhao Flutes to be some of the most exceptional flutes on the market today. Di Zhao is also the most renowned flute maker in the industry today. If you visit The Flute Loft website at www.thefluteloft.com you will find detailed descriptions of each flute model, pictures, prices, and testimonials. Flutes are available on trial.