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Switching from closed hole to open hole flute

edited February 2014 in General discussions

For the longest time I have been playing on a closed holed flute, until I upgraded. I have many teachers who have played/play flute. (from band, orchestra, and private lessons) and each of them have a different plan when it comes to teaching open hole.

My band teacher had told me to take one out each week and take it slow, while my private teacher told me to take them all out and learn 'cold-turkey'. My orchestra conductor told me to just practice (at home) without them but use them for rehearsal and such.

I want to know which is the most popular way to learn? which way did/are you learning? 


  • When I was 12 years old I switched "cold turkey" from closed to open hole. Took me a week of get used to it. 

    But then I was 12 years old. 

    A big trend among people 40+ years of age to start adding plugs to their open-hole flutes because the effort to properly seal open holes is causing hand pain and/or is slowing down their technique and/or is leading to cracked notes. 

    If your hands or finger tips are very small, then it also might not be feasible to play an open hole flute. 

    Every person will have a different experience and feeling about plugs. If you have a private teacher who says go cold-turkey and you opt for a different plan, I don't know if it's going to become a point of contention in the lesson. So why not try cold-turkey and see what happens. The worst that could happen is that after a month you still have trouble and you add a plug or two into your flute. 
  • I agree with lorilee415 that you should listen to your private instructor and go 'cold turkey'. It is the way I learned and recommend.

    Taking all the plugs out at once is a quick way to learn because you absolutly have to cover the holes in order to play, whereas, taking one out each day would be slower and you'd still have to adjust to them all at once anyway.
  • I play on an open holebut I have a degree I Flute performance. Only reason to play open hole is for extended techniques that most flute enthusiasts don't have to bother with. I recommend closed hole flutes for the casual player who will not go on to get a music degree. So if you're not planning on getting a degree I wouldn't worry about it at all.
  • I agree with Katie , I am also have a degree in flute performance, and there is definitely no reason to play an open holed flute unless you are planning on doing a music degree and becoming a professional. That being said, I remember at the time I switched to open hole in year 12 at school and I did it gradually-opened up one hole at a time.  I think i made the transition with a few weeks or so.
    Best of luck!
    Liz Hennessy.
  • cold turkey is the best to go i would love to learn open holed flute but dont have one i have closed hole
  • Cindy
    Does anyone know about Mio Flutes. That is one of my options in open hole flutes.
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