flute tuning made easy

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flute tuning made easy

dliwehtfollac
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dliwehtfollac
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Joined: October 19th, 2005, 2:54 am

March 12th, 2006, 9:08 pm #1

ive been searching the web and trying to figure out how to tune a flute properly for a lot of months now and i finally figured it all out(w/Lennys help) then i went through all the trouble of doing the Math and writing up every note for every scale for all of you so you wouldnt have it as hard as I did, However yesterday i found this link where what i had worked so hard on for so long was already written out in a super easy to understand format so here it is....check out the chart at the bottom of the pagewww.waking-spirit.com/Native_American_Flutes/FAQ.htmMitakuye oyasin
Mitakuye oyasin
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dliwehtfollac
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dliwehtfollac
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Joined: October 19th, 2005, 2:54 am

March 17th, 2006, 10:16 pm #2

the chart shows exactly what note each hole needs to be tuned too....not only for six holed flutes but for most any scale.......all you need is a piano or a chromatic tuner.....doesnt anyone else think this is exciting?Mitakuye oyasin
Mitakuye oyasin
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Tom Ranney
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Tom Ranney
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Joined: January 5th, 2006, 1:09 pm

March 24th, 2006, 5:15 am #3

I do.

But I just ran my 6 hole flute through that scale and found out just how far from perfect it is. I play it well in 5 hole style. Maybe I'll graduate someday. But I get frustrated in trying to perfect the tuning. Changing any one hole affects several others. It's daunting.

I have used wood filler to reverse some tuning alterations. A friend uses beeswax. Any thoughts on fine tuning?

Tom R.
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LennyHarp
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LennyHarp
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Joined: December 30th, 2005, 11:24 am

March 24th, 2006, 6:37 pm #4

Tom,

Work from the low end up a hole at a time. Get it close and then after all are wher you want them go back and you may need to retune a little. Then oil or final finish and check the tuning again. It's usually real close then.
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Tom Ranney
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Tom Ranney
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Joined: January 5th, 2006, 1:09 pm

March 25th, 2006, 4:43 am #5

Thanks Lenny

That is how I approached it. But when I finished the top note and then realized that the lower ones were off again, I got frustrated and quit trying. Maybe I'll try to finish tuning now.
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LennyHarp
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LennyHarp
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Joined: December 30th, 2005, 11:24 am

March 25th, 2006, 5:46 am #6

Tunung is not my favorite part of flutemaking. I am pleased when it is over but 3 times thru seems normal for me.
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dliwehtfollac
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dliwehtfollac
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March 27th, 2006, 6:45 am #7

sounds about right, brother, just dont give up!!!!!Mitakuye oyasin
Mitakuye oyasin
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Mahto Sapa Numpa
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Mahto Sapa Numpa
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Joined: April 24th, 2006, 5:01 am

November 16th, 2009, 4:21 am #8

This link is gone, did anybody get a copy of the chart that could be posted?
When the white man came to America, it was a mans job to hunt and fish. . . . . .
And we thought we could improve on that?

Location: North Eastern Oregon, US
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panbreaux
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panbreaux
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Joined: March 28th, 2008, 12:41 pm

December 13th, 2009, 2:21 am #9

just do a google on minor pentatonic scales for the notes to each key.

the biggest issue with tuning is trying to go too far too fast. on the first run you'll be back and forth on the first 3 notes. check each note every time you make an adjustment. as you open holes you are increasing the bore volume slightly at that point and overall. this increase makes the bore to length ratio change a little. each time you open up a hole wider to increase it's pitch you will flatten the note below it up to 10 cents on the first run. as they all get closer to pitch the flattening will only be a tiny bit. on my last run which is usually number 6-10, i'm using 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper to slowly buff them into pitch.

within 5 cents of perfect is too close to tell it's off unless you're looking at a tuner and qualifies for concert pitch. most top flutes for sale, you'll be lucky if it's within 15 cents of perfect, unless it says it's concert pitch. there are also harmonic tunings that are purposely tuned with certain notes over or under pitch. you can find those using NAFlutomat which is a free download to calculate any NAF you're building. it has settings for equal temperment and harmonic tuning.

thinning out a hole and/or beveling the top and bottom edges will flatten the note. if you're over pitch a few cents you can back it up by undercutting the hole with a bevel. a bottom bevel makes it easier for the air to flow up evenly. the smoother the note hole the clearer it will be. i recommend beveling the top to make a good finger seal and the bottom for clarity.

remember to allow your flute to cool for a little while before checking the note. pitch will rise and fall as the temperature rises and falls. rubbing the hole creates heat. most flute makers tune for perfect at 72 degrees. there is a temperature compensation chart you can print on the yahoo native american flute woodworking group in the beginner files.
"Human beings are almost unique in their ability to learn from the experience of others.....and in their apparent disinclination to do so......" Douglas Adams
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rogerbritt125
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rogerbritt125
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Joined: March 15th, 2011, 6:05 am

March 15th, 2011, 6:05 am #10

Hi, Nice information. Please suggest me a best site related for musical instrument. I like play musical instrument, See one of the best site Drums for Schools
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Michael Bootz
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Michael Bootz
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Joined: September 21st, 2007, 4:23 pm

January 6th, 2016, 11:59 am #11

This seems to be the new link to the charts mentioned here:
http://www.waking-spirit.com/Tuning-Menu.html
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rbennett3
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rbennett3
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Joined: June 7th, 2018, 5:32 pm

June 7th, 2018, 5:40 pm #12

Actually, tuning a Native American style flute (or any other wooden flute) is a bit more complicated. A wooden flute will play slightly different at different temperatures, so you need to be aware of the temperature when tuning.  The baseline for tuning, used by most Native American Flute Makers, is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.  That is where you are dead on the note with your chromatic tuner.  If the temperature is less than 72 degrees, you will need to be tuning a bit flat, about 3 cents for every 2 degrees.  If the temperature is above 72 degrees, you'll tune a bit sharp, again roughly 3 cents for every 2 degrees. If you tune it using this method, your flute will be able to play with most other flutes by other makers.
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