Introducing the G Fife

  In all the years I made small flutes, I was gigging with my first instrument, guitar -- and fiddle. There were too many flute players to encourage one more. I really loved the sound of the low D and G flutes. A low D whistle I'd been given was impossible to play. Wrist angles were all wrong for it to be held straight out. A transverse flute held to the side solves that problem. Plus, it sounds different from a whistle, with the kind of control you can get from an embouchure type mouthpiece. I decided to make a slightly higher G Fife. I use the term 'fife' loosely to mean any 6 hole keyless flute.

  By Midwinter of 2006, after three and a half months of rejects, two big jobs came in at once -- first, to carve two large totem poles; and second, to join a large wooden boat reconstruction.

  Around July of 2009 I finally attained the goal of a G Fife. After doing the math, drilling and filling 18 trial fingerholes and sculpting the final 6, I had a prototype. Then I made several flutes of different woods. For a given pitch, they sounded deeper and more somber than the smaller fifes. Their haunting sound drew me into that level of practice where little else matters.

  At last I can play some simple tunes to post to you. People have been asking me for years to do this. The samples I post should serve as an inspiration -- that you can do better. Click on them them here, played on a pine G Fife, with no effects or reverbs added. Shiul a Run is an Irish love song. Diatonic scale is two octaves in key of G. G Fife is also good for the key of C. I will post more songs, comments, and hints to complement the intructions which come with each G Fife. Printed instructions which come with G Fife are here.

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