Sunday, August 14, 2011

Basic Flute = CHECK

       Oh yeah, I finally can play the flute! At least the basics. Not only can I get the notes to actually come out now, but I have plenty of the fingerings memorized, and can play them in sequences. By now I can play Loch Lomond and Minuet, checking off two items on my list that I posted in the last post. As for learning the notes.... well, let me prove it to you with pictures! The red dots are where you press down. Plus, I was unable to show the back fingerings - except for C, the thumb is always pressed down.






D (so far, the only one not using the right pinky!)




    Two interesting things to note - one, the only fingering (so far) that doesn't use the left thumb is C and the only fingering that doesn't use the right pinky is D. The other interesting thing is that the fingerings are somewhat similar to clarinet fingerings. Observe:

High F# (left thumb and octave key are pressed on the back)

High F (left thumb and octave key are pressed on the back)
    See what I mean? The F and F# flip-flop! Some of the others are very similar, such as A and G. *ahem* Anyways, back to flute! These notes are used to create the lowest octave on the flute, as well as the middle octave - the third octave, however, uses different fingerings on occasion.

New Goals:
  • Find and play third octave notes
  • Learn C#, thus completing the bottom two octaves

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Colorful Instruments!

     Clarinets are black with silver/gold keys, flute and piccolos are silver or gold, stringed instruments are and number of brown-shades that the wood comes in, and most brass are silver or gold, right? Apparently not! Have you ever seen a firetruck-red clarinet? Yeah, I hadn't either. But check this out!

Red. Clarinet. Need I say more?

    So instead of talking about my progress with the Flute, (which I will do in a few days!) this post is hereby dedicated to colorful instruments. Whoot! And under each I will say the color and the instrument, in case you are color blind, instrument blind, or just plain stupid. Here goes nothing! Or everything! Depends on if you are optimistic or pessimistic, I guess.

Assorted Alto Saxophones

Assorted Clarinets

Assorted Clarinets (Yay for lime green!)

Assorted Flutes

Assorted Piccolos

Assorted Trumpets

Assorted Violins

Blue French Horn

Green French Horn

Purple Baritone

Assorted Cellos

Painted Violin

Painted Violin
Red French Horn

Purple Trombone

Red Trombone

    I think my life is officially complete! Now if only I had a lime green clarinet....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Step Number Something - The Flute

    After hours and hours and hours of searching, my mother's old flute was finally found! Apparently small cases are easy to miss when you are looking through a ginormous attic space filled with old boxes and other random stuff. Amazingly enough, it is in pretty good condition. It's a closed-hole Artley from around 1969, according to the serial number. Pictures:

 The Flute!

 The Artley Label

 Serial Number

 Mouthpiece - not in great condition, but what
do you expect for something that you blow spit
on all the time?
 Yes, this is a closed-hole flute - I just went in on paint
and put dots where your fingers are supposed to go. Yay learning!
 Fingering(s) on the back
The Whole Flute Again

     So this is my new flute! With any luck, I will be playing it decently enough in no time. I already have five notes down, so just a few more to go. The hardest part so far is changing the pitch to make it up or down the octave... being a clarinet player, I have never encountered this problem before - new skills time! Checklist for the week:
  • Play a Bb scale (without failing)
  • Hit a C above the staff
  • Hit a middle C
  • Play "Loch Lomond" (in the beginner flute book)
  • Play Bach's "Minuet" (in the beginner flute book)
     With school starting soon and other everyday stuff I must do, this task list is a hefty one.... wish me luck!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Musically Obsessed

      Hey everyone! As you can probably tell, I am kinda/sorta/maybe/very obsessed with music. And not just the normal stuff like mainstream pop, country, rap, etc., but the best kind of all - self made! Make sense? Nah, I didn't think so. Point is, instrumental music is my passion! Marching band, concert band, small ensembles, orchestra, they are all freaking amazing! What exactly makes them so wonderful, you may ask? Why, the instruments of course! There are literally hundreds of instruments out there, and I plan on learning to play as many as I possibly can. Yeah, I never said I was sane!

      This isn't just a month-long project, this is a life goal. On average, it takes three months to play decently on an instrument, but only if you practice constantly and have a musical background of some sort already. Luckily for me, I took piano lessons for almost a year in 4th grade. While I never became too good, this gave me a solid foundation for my obsession to take off on. Without piano, I would have never learned to read music! And without reading music, it would be impossible to learn one instrument, let alone every possible one!

       My musical life story isn't too feeble, but it is still far from the best. I played piano in 4th grade for a year, but soon quit because I got too busy. In 6th grade, I joined the band to play clarinet, and now I have been playing for almost 5 years! This past March I fell in love with an instrument very different from my first two - the acousic guitar. I played until my fingers bled, and now I can play most chords and a few simple tabs. Over the next few years I plan on getting progressively better. Around this past April, I made my decision - I loved instruments too much to just stick with three, so why not learn them all?

       So far my only main opposition is money - buying every instrument would amount to much more that I could ever hope to spend! Our family owns a piano, I own a clarinet, and I am using my mom's old flute. I can only hope that the others can be gathered from family members who no longer need them or bought for low prices, but I have faith that it will all work out!

     Clarinet, Piano, Guitar, and now Flute... what is next? Trumpet. Then Violin. Then Saxiphone, Viola, Baritone, Trombone, Mandolin, French Horn, Mellophone, Cello, String Bass, Oboe, Bassoon, and Percussion. And that's only the basics! We can't forget about Alto Clarinet, Piccalo, Bari Sax, Bass Trombone, Piccalo Trumpet, Bass Clarinet... need I go on?

      Three down, hundreds to go.... thats one challege that I will accept. Lets get this obsession started!