NAF Playing Tip Number 1: Positioning the Bird or Fipple
by Mike Oitzman
This is my first post of Native American Flute playing tip's. I didn't want to commit to a "Tip of the week", so we'll see how frequently I can post on this topic.
If you have a question that you want answered send it to: ncfc at naflute dot com (you'll need to construct that email address appropriately...)
So on to this first tip: Positioning the Bird or Fipple
Before playing the flute, you may need to adjust the Bird (AKA Fetish or Fipple) of the flute, as it may have shifted while transporting your flute, or laying the flute down may have knocked the Bird out of alignment. Moving the Bird actually changes the sound of the flute. Every time I get a new flute I spend some time moving the Bird around to find the “sweet spot” for the bird. I then move the Bird progressively forward and backward to find the limits of the Bird placement. This helps me to understand the sonic possibilities of the flute. To properly position the Bird you need to find the optimal position for the bird. NOTE: I usually make a light mark on the flute with a pencil to note the optimal position of the fipple, this lets me quickly reposition the bird when I am on stage during a performance or presentation.
Copyright 2001 by Mike Oitzman. This playing tip or exercise may not be reproduced in any form, electronic or print without the express written permission of the author.