This fall, I finished up some prototypes of a new slide flute. The flute plays in a lower range than the Mystic Slide Flute that I introduced last season. The reason for developing this new lower slide flute was suggested by players who purchased instruments and wanted a lower slide flute for playing two part harmony.
This new instrument is based on Low G Mystic Auto Flute components and has a very nice mellow sound and plays smoothly right out of the box. The instrument requires no break in period and uses vaseline (petroleum jelly) with the addition of a single drop of Extra Virgin olive oil for the slide lubricant! The poly plug capped slide moves effortlessly and the feel from the heavy fiberglass slide rod makes playing the instrument feel much like the motion of a violin bow. A full write up and pictures will be posted
shortly and a special sale promotion is in the works in March.
The week before Christmas, I had a return visit from Jenna Hallett who is ten and her brother Jordan who is thirteen. Their parents are Greg and Jennifer Hallett from Presque Isle and I got to know Jenna from her mother visiting the screenprint shop to pick up orders for the local hockey team.
Jenna is very interested in music and I had suggested she take a whistle home with her and see how she made out with it on a previous visit. We had a short lesson on that visit and I showed her the basics of how the whistle was played, how the fingering chart worked and how to maintain and clean her whistle.
Jenna has been practicing her pennywhistle for about three months and has really improved her playing. When she visits the shop, she brings her whistle along and we spend a bit of time learning some practice repetitions for her to play at home.
I thought it would be a great idea if she and her brother Jordan became testers for the new slide flute. Jenna was excited about the prospect of getting to try out an all new musical instrument and Jordan liked the idea of the slide flute immediately. My exact instructions were for them to see how long it took before they could play a tune on the slide flute, how many wild sounds they could produce and if there was anything that they thought should be changed. Oh yes, I also instructed Jordan to see if the construction
was rugged and let me know if anything broke. I think a brother and sister team will be competitive enough to find any weak spots. I’ll keep you posted on how they made out in another week or so.