I sort of knew that I’m a bad flute player, but I guess this proves it

Raymond Chen

In college, a friend of mine gave me his old flute to entice me into taking up the instrument. He noted, “The low notes are kind of bad on this one.”

And he was right. I indeed had difficulty playing the low notes with that flute. I blamed the flute.

Fast-forward five years. I visited a relative who played the flute. I tried out her flute. I still couldn’t hit the low notes reliably.

So all those years, it wasn’t the flute. It was me.

I sort of knew that, but that destroyed the last shred of hope that it was just the flute.


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  • Scarlet Manuka 0

    The low notes are harder to hit for sure, the embouchure is awkward to get. But they also seem to be prone to mechanical failure – my old flute suffered the same problem, confirmed by a friend who was also unable to play them on the same flute. My “new” flute (it’s over 10 years old at this point so maybe the adjective no longer applies) seems to be going the same way, but it also has a bunch of other issues – I need to get it overhauled and then we’ll see if the low notes are still a problem, I suppose.

    • Bas Mommenhof 0

      Keep us posted, really want to know how this plays out.

  • Andrew Molyneux 0

    Strictly speaking, you’ve only identified a problem with your playing ability, and you haven’t ruled out the possibility that the flute is also bad. Hard to say without asking your relative to try playing the suspect flute.

  • Brian Boorman 0

    so the bad flute wasn’t a fluke.

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