I would like to introduce a new aspect to my blogs: a review of anything flute-related. This may be of flutes themselves, concerts, recordings or other products. Today, I will be looking at some products that can help in your daily practice and give my opinion on their usefulness.
1. The Pneumo Pro by Blocki Flute Method
Rating: 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌
Available in Canada: Tapestry Music
USA: Blocki Flute website
UK: Just FlutesThis is an excellent little device that can be inserted into any flute. Great for visualizing the air column. There are four little fans positioned at different heights. By aiming your air to each of the small fans, you can learn how to change the direction of the air stream, which is essential for intonation control and flexibility of intervals (small and large).
It can also be used to improve one’s tonguing (you can see if your air stream is constant and consistent in tongued passages). The great thing about it is that you can slot it into your flute and play anything that you are working on and because it is silent, you can even do this at midnight! Straight after using it, I could hear a difference in tone- it’s like an excellent warm up device.
It is inexpensive and a great tool for teaching students about air direction and speed.
2. Air Bag for flute players by Rusch
I was first introduced to these when I first attended William Bennett’s Summer School . Michie Bennett taught me how to use it in a private lesson and it was completely eye-opening. She heard about them from Keith Underwood, who uses them in his teaching.
Available from most flute shops in the UK (Just Flutes, Topwind etc)
In USA: Hickey’s Music
Rating: 🙌 🙌 🙌 🙌
This device is a great way to gauge how much air you are using. It helps build breathing capacity and control of how much air you let out. It comes in 5L and 6L sizes. It helped me a lot when I was younger to make phrases last longer. You can breathe into it as if you are playing a phrase or exercise. You will notice how quickly or slowly the air bag inflates, which will give you an idea of the amount of air you might be wasting. It also helps with conditioning the respiratory muscles.
Make sure to clean it out after use. Warm air is a great place for bacteria to grow!
3. Flow Ball
Available at Just Flutes
Another breathing device! This one is especially good for younger children, since there is a game-element to it. By keeping the ball afloat, you are working on keeping a constant air supply and conditioning the respiratory muscles. Take a look at the above video with the cheesy background music for a visual guide. A fun and easy device, but perhaps not as useful as the Pneumo Pro.
Rating: 🙌 🙌 🙌
Please feel free to comment below on any similar products that have benefited your flute playing or that you would like me to review next time. Likewise, if you have any ideas or suggestions for products/CDs etc that you would like me to review, please comment below!
Thanks for reading and Happy Fluting!