"I have a friend … " — "sound" of Recorder vs Native American Flute

Home Forum Teaching and Learning "I have a friend … " — "sound" of Recorder vs Native American Flute

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Aulos303 September 20, 2019 at 7:37 am.

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  • #806

    Bob Edwards
    Participant

    I have a friend who wants to return to playing woodwinds — a one-time clarinetist and pianist, she no longer has an instrument and has been away from it for 30 years.
    She reads music, and has a good “ear.” She isn’t inclined to Classical music, and so probably would never invest in a “concert-grade” high-end instrument.
    She just wants to make music, again.

    My suggestion: Get a decent “quality” ALTO ABS Recorder, begin there and see where it takes you.

    Other friends nudge her towards the Native American (-style) Flute, suggesting that “it is easier to learn, easier to improvise on right away, more “mellow” … and all of that. That instrument has its “following”, and there is a culture-based mystique that surrounds it. Once you strip away the visual trappings, though, it would seem that the instrument’s limited range and key-specific tunings might quickly become a frustration for a once-skilled musician. Granted: a decent wooden flute of this style can be purchased for maybe half the price of a first-decent-level-above-ABS Recorder.

    From an aural standpoint, many advocates of the Native American Flute claim that its construction — two in-line air chambers, and (usually) non-conical bore — gives it a “better” tone … often cited is the “more rich/complex/mellow” contribution of the resonance of the “slow-air” (initial) chamber.

    SO:
    Alto, or Tenor Recorder: Is the sound of a comparable-grade Recorder as rich, complex — and yes, “mellow” — as the two-chambered Native American Flute?

    For someone like my friend, who wants to begin to “just noodle around” and then see where it takes her — what would you suggest?

    #819

    Aulos303
    Participant

    I have a native American flute, a tenor size in E. Despite its limitations its sound is gorgeous! Like no other woodwind instrument. And you can play it chromatically with a bit of work.

    I just wish someone would produce a recorder or other chromatic woodwind that uses the type of block that a NAF uses! It allows for subtle changes of dynamic, allowing you to play quiet without altering pitch.
    As regards the recorder I would recommend starting with an alto. Much easier to get to grips with than tenor.

    Also another option is a bansuri type flute.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Aulos303.

    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing.

    #822

    Bob Edwards
    Participant

    Thanks, Aulos303 !

    Since posting that, I opted for ease-of-learning and unique tonality, and gifted her with one of Butch Hall’s quite affordable E-minor (tenor-sized) red cedar Native American Style flutes.
    It is simply gorgeous looking, and the tone is beautiful.
    She loves it, and was able to discover some beautiful music by just “noodling around” with it.

    A bit later, I sent her one of my own upper-end Yamaha ABS alto recorders (she ain’t getting my little Aulos Haka, OK?).
    She was delighted, but at this point she can’t seem to put down the Red Cedar wooden flute long enough to gain any traction with the alto recorder.

    We’ll see!

    #823

    Aulos303
    Participant

    Thanks, Aulos303 !

    Since posting that, I opted for ease-of-learning and unique tonality, and gifted her with one of Butch Hall’s quite affordable E-minor (tenor-sized) red cedar Native American Style flutes.
    It is simply gorgeous looking, and the tone is beautiful.
    She loves it, and was able to discover some beautiful music by just “noodling around” with it.

    A bit later, I sent her one of my own upper-end Yamaha ABS alto recorders (she ain’t getting my little Aulos Haka, OK?).
    She was delighted, but at this point she can’t seem to put down the Red Cedar wooden flute long enough to gain any traction with the alto recorder.

    We’ll see!

    Oh yes native flute is very addictive at the start. Its great for pulling out when you’re in a meditative mood. Especially when played in a tunnel like this:

    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing.

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