Major and Minor Scale Bamboo Flutes

The two flutes on the left have the same acoustic length and very similar bore sizes. The total length of each flute from the center of the embouchure hole to the end is about 23 inches. By covering all the finger holes, the note low C (middle C of the piano) would sound on both flutes. However, the flute on the far left is in the key of C major, and the one to the right is in the key of G minor. They both have six holes while the G minor flute has a thumb hole. On the C major flute, each hand operates three holes. On the G minor flute, the left hand operates four holes and the right hand two. Any scale or configuration can be customized, such as seven-hole scale, four-hole pentatonic scale, left handed flute, extra large bore, raised bamboo lip plate, etc.

Large flutes require a bit of finger stretching to play them. I offset the placement of the tone holes to accommodate for the different length and reach of each finger. With some practice, one could get very comfortable playing these large flutes. I like large flutes the best. My favorite six-hole bamboo flute is in the key of Ab major and has an acoustic length of 29 inches. The tones, especially the lower notes, are full, resonant, powerful, and warm. The largest six-hole flute I make reaches down to low G - same as the modern alto flute in G. Anything larger is impratical. So, I get around the size limitation by drilling less holes in the body.

For more information please e-mail david at sideblown dot com