Custom Designed Flutes
When ordering a custom made flute, the options are endless. So to make it simple, let’s break it down.
Your flute’s “looks” aside, there are three main things to consider:
Embouchure, Scale and Root Note
I might be using a lot of jargon here, but I’ve tried to make it really simple. It’s impossible to define all the terms as we go along, because music has its own language. So please feel free to Google the unfamiliar terms. If you’re planning on picking up a flute, these are things you’ll need to know.
Embouchure: (How mouth & flute meet)
End-blown – Used in the Shakuhachi, Quena and many others, the end-blown embouchure uses a near natural lip position making it ideal for beginners. End-blown flutes are a Wilde Flute Maker favourite because of their powerful voices and rich, warm timbres. They also permit freedom of lip movement that allows many changes in sound, including bending notes upward and downward as much as a semitone, playing both very quietly and very loudly,
Transverse – Used in the Bansuri, Ryūteki, Venu, Classical concert flute and many others, uses an embouchure hole that is blown from the side of the flute like a bottle top. Though this lip position is less natural and more limiting on the variation of sound, it is the foundation of too many ethnic instruments world-wide to ignore.
(There are also many flutes that use reeds, ducts, vibrating films, levers and other moving parts, however, we specialise in basic embouchure flutes with no mechanical parts. For now, that is. One day we’ll master something new. But for now, this is what we’ve mastered).
Scale: (A set of notes ordered by fundamental frequency):
- Major (6, 7 or 8 Holes) Has a joyous, bright and uplifting melody. Used in most types of western music including Classical, Country, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Folk, Reggae, R&B, Gospel, and can be used to reproduce most melodies that are familiar to the Western ear. This scale is also used in traditional Hindu music and flutes like the Bansuri. Eastern techniques, however, differ greatly from Western practice, and have a distinctly different sound.
- Minor (6, 7 or 8 Holes) Has a melancholy, reminiscing and mystical melody. A Wilde Flute Maker favourite, this scale is alike to the Major scale, but though the progression is identical, their root notes (Where the scale begins) differ. As such, the Minor can be used to reproduce the Major and vice versa, as they use the same notes. Instruments do, however, prefer to harmonise with their root note, be it Major or Minor.
- Pentatonic – Major or Minor (5 Holes) Have very similar melodies to their Major and Minor scale companions. These scales use only 5 of the 7 notes used in the Major and Minor scales, and are to be found in ethnic music across the planet, like traditional Japanese music (Minor Pentatonic) and Native American music (Major Pentatonic) amongst too many to mention. It is also often used in Western music for improvisation as it harmonises well with all chord changes in a key, making it very easy to compose music on the spot. Having only 5 holes, a pentatonic flute is also easier to play than most others and therefore a great choice for beginners. Experienced players, however, are also able to play the full Major and Minor scales using only 5 holes by partially covering holes to produce additional notes, making it a great choice for lifelong flutists also.
- Harmonic Minor (6, 7 or 8 Holes) Has a more mysterious somewhat Eastern melody. Similar to the Minor scale, but with a raised 7th, it is used from time to time in Western music.
- Arabian (6 or 7 Hole) Used in Arabian music.
- Oriental (6 or 7 Hole) Used in some genres of Eastern music.
- Persian (6 or 7 Hole) Used in Persian music.
Root Note (Fundamental frequency of a Key)
The root note of the flute (all holes covered), is the note with which all the others harmonize. It also determines the length of your flute. The bigger the flute, the deeper the sound, the smaller the flute, the higher the sound. In the table below, all keys are listed with corresponding prices.
Please click below to see flute variations and prices.
There are roughly 5’712 flute variations to choose from, so if you’re planning to collect the whole Wilde Flute Maker range, you better start collecting 🙂