In this video, I share how I stumbled into creating my very first song, Sundance.
I am hosting the Gone Fluting Flute Circle,
on Sunday, February 9th from 2 to 4 pm at my home in Spruce Grove.
If you need the address PM, phone or text at 780-913-2036 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also have a few flute related items such as bags and stands for people to check out and buy.
As owner of Peaceful Spirit Flutes and having sold over 1000 flutes, I have witnessed many amazing stories from the people I meet. I have begun to understand the powerful call of the flutes, The flute being discussed in the video below took an amazing journey before arriving in the hands of Lucy, It started when I ordered a test flute from a maker in Missouri. It was a purpleheart F#. I liked it and had planned on keeping it for myself however I did want to find out how people would respond to this flute, I took it to a market in Sydney, BC, That night, Lucy visited my booth and after a great deal of deliberation chose that flute to purchase. It made its way from Missouri to Nanaimo where it was to connect with the person from Salt Lake City Utah. I believe that she was meant to be the owner of that lovely flute. It is one of the experiences that taught me that I am a connector of flutes to people who are answering the call of the flutes.
The story below also has a few more interesting details so I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch the story unfold. It includes more information about Lucy's journey as she describes how the flute helped her breath through a challenging injury.
Breath and Inspiration by Terry Mack
A Native American flute is but a simple hollowed out wooden tube with a hole to blow into, 6 holes to cover and a little wooden block sitting atop the flute. With your fingers and your breath, you can create magical sounds releasing the music that comes from your own soul.
Just the feeling of a beautiful flute in your hand inspires you to want to play wonderful sounds with it. And if you are like me, you want to do that right away. Slow down for a minute. Playing the flute involves connecting with your breath while mastering the art of covering and uncovering the holes producing sound that you find pleasing.
A first-time flute player with no other wind instrument playing experience (and even a few who have played other types of wind instruments) pick up the flute and randomly cover and uncover the holes trying to find out how the flute makes sound. This produces wildly random and often dissonant sounds. Anytime you pick up a flute, cover holes and blow into it you are playing the flute. The flute is making the sounds you are asking it to make with your finger movements and your breath. They are just not the melodious sounds that you want to hear yet. These are the sounds that you can learn to control with practice, once you have spent time getting to know your flute.
To breathe in!
To animate or take action.
Your breath inspires the flute to sound. Your breathe inspires you to be present and aware of how it impacts the sounds you and the flute will create.
In approaching your flute, remember your breath.
Before playing, breathe in and breathe out a few times to slow yourself down and release the tension of the moment. Let the breathing open you to your inner spirit.
Move your fingers slowly over the holes, letting the sounds you are producing with your breath catch up to the fingering the holes of the flute, so the sound can be heard.
Take your time and get to know how your breath, covering the holes and producing the sounds feels. Let yourself connect to that process and soon your will find your way into your own beautiful sound through the flute.
One of the best ways to create good sounds on your flute is to simply go slowly and play each note for at least a count of ten. This lets you begin to hear the subtleties and variations that can happen in playing each note and how your breathing can impact the sound.
A hand crafted Native American Flute is a wonderful combination of the spirit of the tree, the spirit of the maker and your spirit as the player. The tree has taken time to grow. The flute maker honors the wood and the tree taking time to carefully construct the flute. And now you as a flute player, can honor the flute with your breath, creating and sending forth a beautifully interconnected exhalation of sounds --- the breath of life. I love to think of it as capturing the mysterious.
Terry Mack, Copyright, 2018
What’s after the basic scale?
By Terry Mack, Intuitive Player of the Native American Style Flute
Explore, explore and explore more to see, hear and feel how the sounds seem to work together.
Playing a flute has a lot to do with controlling your breath and controlling your fingering of the holes. My experience with newer players is they often want to go fast before they have mastered slow and they take on playing too many notes and get lost along the way as the musical and muscle memory is just developing.
Experiment with 3 to 4 notes:
Imagine answering your phone and it is the local TV station asking if they could do a video about you. That is exactly what happened to me a few months back, Shaw cable approached me about doing a one minute video for there Where You Live feature and of course I said yes. This was an exciting moment. I hope you enjoy it.
Breaking out of the Rut when you are playing.
By Terry Mack, Intuitive player of the Native American Style Flute and Musical Explorer
Hello fellow musical explorers. Whether you are new to playing the flute or creating your own music and sound or a seasoned player there will be times when you simply get stuck and/or bored with your playing. Here are a few fun things to explore to change up your approach to playing. I always find it more fun to start with the concept of beginner mind when I explore my flute. It helps silence the critic that gets in the way.
For just one little minute or two, forget about making songs or learning to play other peoples songs and focus on getting to know your flute.
Let’s start with playing contrasting sounds and elements. Imagine the emotions that come you feel around some of these things and see if you can capture them with your flute. Remember, there is no right and wrong with this, just the simple joy and learning that comes from the exploration.
As you explore these fun little techniques they become part of your musical tools that begin to wind themselves into your playing. This type of musical exploration helps you to add texture, richness and depth to your playing.
Go ahead, give it a whirl and have fun with some joyful, musical exploration
PEACEFUL SPIRIT FLUTES FLUTE CARE TIPS - Terry Mack
Flutes will get better with age providing you look after them.
Wooden flutes experience wetting out. As you blow your warm breath into the short air chamber of the flute, the moisture from your breath condenses and leaves water droplets building up in the slow air chamber and in the flue, (air channel under the block). When this happens, you will notice a change in the quality of the sound you are making with the flute.
If you have been playing for awhile and your flute is quite wet, I recommend taking the block off to let the air chamber dry out and to let the bottom of the block dry out as well. Looking after your flute in this way, helps to prevent the development of cracks in the air chamber. This is especially important in humid climates.
It is recommended to avoid eating or drinking when you play your flute. Food particles carried on your breath can be a source for anything that that might grow in the slow air chamber. Liquids will make your flute wet out faster.
Here are a few more tips on caring for your flute.
Some people suggest using a clean, dry cloth to dry the air channel but make sure it is a cloth that does not leave little bits of it in or on the flute.
strapping, and take the block off, to let the flute dry, you can always check with the maker to find out if alcohol will have an impact on the finishes used.
OILING OR WAXING YOUR FLUTE
Most flutes will not require any extensive oiling on the inside. When in doubt check with the flute maker or your flute seller for further information.
For more information you can visit: http://www.woodenflute.com/maintaining
Use Back Tracks to Develop Your Flute Playing Skills By Terry Mack, Owner of Peaceful Spirit Flutes
If you are out there playing on your own and have not been able to connect to another flute player or other musical type a great way to explore and develop your playing is to play to a back track. A back track is a recording of music or rhythms usually instrumental or drum tracks.
I have been able to create some very lovely pieces by using back tracks in several different ways. Some musicians are creating backtracks to their own music that you can buy and others like Clint Goss and the late Stephen deRuby create backtracks that can be used with Native American Flutes.
For easier playing it is best to buy the track in the same key as your flute or in a key that you can harmonize with. This is less of a concern when you are buying straight drum tracks. If you have an opportunity to listen to parts of the track before you buy or download that will give you a better idea of whether it works with your flutes.
If you are new to playing to a back track choosing backtracks with simple rhythms are often easier to start out with and play along to. An excellent percussion CD to start with is Stephen DeRuby’s Rhythms To Accompany the Native American Flute. It offers a wide range of sounds and rhythms that you can easily follow along to.
Before you buy a CD or compilation of back tracks, check to see if all of the songs on the CD are for one key. Backtrack CD’s will sometimes have a variety of songs recorded in different keys so you do want to make sure that the CD does have a song that your flute can play along with.
Jonny Lipford has one back track with the same songs but recorded so that you can play in the different keys of the flutes (at the time of writing these are available for digital download for $5.00)
Clint Goss has created a wonderful set of Jam Tracks for each key of the flute. I really enjoy playing to these different CD’s. They are more complicated with changing rhythms and key changes in the middle of songs providing interesting opportunities to explore.
Another interesting resource to check out is http://brokensky.biz/backingtracks/
This link is generously provided by William Hopper, a member of the facebook page, Native American Flute Musicians. There is a very wide range of tracks to play along to.
Try connecting various techniques to playing along. If a rhythm or musical phrase is long and slow, feel what fits with it. You can follow along with the rhythm or see if you could play a faster counter point to it or short fast notes. You can play along to a track or you can add bits of sounds for impact that work with the piece. I like to think of my playing as adding a story along to the music so I incorporate pauses for effect and try different embellishments. However, you decide to explore, playing along to back tracks can enhance your flute playing journey
Terry Mack, owner of Peaceful Spirit Flutes is a natural and intuitive player of the Native American Style Flute. Since 2006 she has been connecting people to these flutes and helping you to free the music in your soul.
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Unless otherwise noted, all content is copyright, 2006 forward to Terry Mack any respective Authors. All Rights Reserved