Native American Plains Style Starter Flute
Made from Cedar wood this is a well
constructed historically accurate representation. As a beginning flute this
would be a great way to start playing the NAF or English style flute music.The mouth piece is called a waffle end, and is a great alternative to the cone shaped design. The
profile of this flute shows a curve to it that is called a dogleg. The
curvature of the dogleg style is accomplished only by a hand carving method. The dogleg is hard to photograph, but has a unique feel when playing. The Byrd is tied so
that it can be moved to find the "sweet spot". This flute is a full
size man’s flute, and measures approximately 23 inches in length. This is a
flute with an excellent voice that would be good for both inside and outside
playing. This offering plays with exceptional clarity, with a slight breath, or
by blowing and gives only the purest of notes. There is no wind of the flute
playing in the flutes I offer, it’s made with a “plains” tuner designed to allow
for extended playing, and not steal your breath. The wood grain of this flute
is excellent, but it also shows its quality in pure performance.
The Flute Fundamental Note is: Sharp “F” I am
the manufacturer, and I test the flute right before I ship it to insure the
quality of the flute.
complete with: Flute-Complete, Papers (not shown) Shipping Bag (shown)
I have been asked if I use stock photos- No, I take pictures of every flute for posting, I believe people should really see the flute they are buying.
I have been asked, “What is the difference
between my Starter flutes, and the other flutes I make?”
I first response is in truth about four to twelve hours. I stop sanding the flute when it is close, but is still showing
some tool marks. On Starter style flutes I make sure that the sound quality is able to compete with the higher dollar flutes. However, this type of cedar wood is
of softer texture, somewhat like pine. Although pine for a flute is acceptable,
and others use it to sell their flutes, since it is a soft wood I hesitate to
say that this flute will last long enough to become a family heirloom. I try to
keep in mind though, that even though I work to keep my prices down, I should
still make an effort to offer an even less expensive style, so even more folks
can enjoy these offerings. So if your just starting out I feel this type of
flute may be for you. It will give you the ability to play a fine instrument,
and also come to know that no matter what the price, I offer only the best that I
make in this store.
This is what one
of my customers has written to me about the flute he purchased:
“I’m so glad I took a chance and bought one of your flutes.
I have many flutes and this is easily one of the best I have. A beautifully
crafted flute tuned perfectly and such a lovely voice” Woodgate2931, (reprinted
Please see the rest of my flutes offered at:
Carved and Hand Sanded.
and Tuner are made by Hand with a Wood Evaporation Technique.
on the Flutes are FDA approved Salad Bowl Finish.
are the rare type “plains” design in the body of the flute style.
Flutes are made with kiln dried wood.
etching is done by non-electric wood evaporation technique
The design of my
flutes comes from the Blackfoot tribe, and my mentor Dan, who I am very honored
to call my friend. In making the flutes
I use a table saw, and a router to form the kits. In cases of extreme cross
graining I may resort to mechanical sanding. However, my goal is to always use
as little electricity as possible. All holes, etchings, and the tuners are
created using wood evaporation techniques, a method that is as old as the
tribes that originated it.
If shipping fees are less than quoted I refund the
A Special Note from
I was asked why I
started making flutes. Why do I make them by hand, instead of lathe like most
other flute makers do? Why do I use the historic “Plains” style tuner, instead
of putting it in the Byrd, or using a spacer? Why bother using an FDA approved
clear-coat, and non-toxic paint? Why make it in the historic style using hand
measurements from the true-hole instead of using the Flute-O-Matic on-line like
most others do? Why don’t I tune my flutes like most everyone else? Finally,
and above all else, since these flutes are hand whittled, and sanded, why
don’t’ I charge hundreds of dollars for my finished work, as most others do?
These are good
questions, and they deserve an answer. I would suggest to anyone, before you
buy a flute from me that research into others flutes may prove to be
enlightening. There are many ways to make flutes, and each flute-maker believes
that the way he does it is the proper way. It is not my way to try to change
anyone else’s mind, only to make the flutes as I have been taught the proper
way, and to not change the way I do it, because to me this is a historical, spiritual
item, that provides a link for us to glimpse into a distant past, and connect
with those who have gone before.
Why I Started Making
I started making
flutes because one day the flute I had purchased from a good friend of mine
quit working. I was already hooked, and felt a need to play every few days.
Instead of looking up my friend, who was a flute-maker, I decided to look
on-line for a flute like I had. I found many flutes, but I couldn’t find one in
the style I was used to, and the type that my friend and mentor made. Flutes
that I did find were literally priced so high, that I couldn’t afford them on
what I make, so I decided to try and make one on my own. Using my original
flute I tried over and over to get a working flute, but a squeak now and then
was the best of my efforts. Since my friend and I talk periodically, he found
out what I was trying to do, and since his children were not interested in
learning the ancient craft he offered to teach me the way he and his family had
been making flutes for generations. Under his guidance, it didn’t take very long
for me to understand how to craft a flute, but using techniques that were very
time consuming by today’s standards. Soon after, my friend bought a wood lathe,
and began making them as most other flute-makers do because of the beginnings of
carpel. Years of flute making had taken its toll, but he had trained someone to
carry on in his stead. My goal now is to provide a quality made flute, at a
down to earth price so everyone can enjoy the sound of their own flute. Also, to
make it in my own style with as many historic attributes as possible.
Making Them By Hand
Instead of on a Lathe.
Making the flutes by
hand allows me to make a connection with each flute. I am not in a hurry to
make these flutes, and I am always searching for the perfect flute. By making
the flutes the way I do, I am able to skip an interesting part. Many
flute-makers use a tool on-line called the Flute-O-Matic, (do a word search,
its there). I had been making flutes for about two years before I knew it was
possible to tune them. Why was this so? As my mentor explained, if I make a
flute the right way it doesn’t need to be tuned, just the length of the flute
conditioned to create the fundamental note. Because of this I save a lot of
time in making my flutes.
Why do I use the
“Plains” style Tuner?
The “Plains style tuner is one of the
hardest tuners to install, and is one of the leading causes of “scrap”. The
tuner is what some would refer to as the sound trough under the Byrd. Although
the way I make it causes a lot of scrap, (if I do it wrong there’s no going
back, and about two out of ten never make it past the tuner stage), but I think
the plains tuner sounds better than other tuners of later design. Did you catch
The “plains” tuner was taught to me as the original tuner
that was first introduced. I am historically minded on some points, I don’t
install the finger-holes with a drill, I use wood evaporation. That way the
wood is cauterized, and sealed from splitting. That is the way I was first
taught to make them, and so it is with the tuner. If I change the way I make
them, then to me it just wouldn’t be honoring the gift that was given to me
Why don’t I use
Shellac, Varnish, Polyurethane, or some of the other clear-coats on
I use Salad Bowl
Finish on all my flutes, made by the folks at General Finishes. Its FDA
approved, which means it’s non-carcinogenic. That means a lot to me, many of
the people I sell these flutes to are my friends. With the technology we have
at hand today I feel a responsibility to use only the best product for a finish
coat. Some flute makers do use other types of non-carcinogenic mediums, such as
some types of wax, and mineral oil. However, this type of finish needs to be
reapplied after a time, and not many customers are told that. Shellac, Varnish,
and Polyurethane have been argued to me that once they are dried they become
inert. I have been in contact with the companies that make these products,
although they believe they are inert when exposed to the weather, they have
never done animal testing to determine if they are safe. Each one of my flutes
has five coats of non-toxic FDA approved clear-coat to provide a very nice
looking sheen. The clear-coat applied that way should last for the life of the
flute, and each one is crafted in the hope of becoming a family heirloom.
Why haven’t I raised
my prices as high as some of the other flute-makers?
Even though I have
been making flutes for years, I have never attempted to sell them on-line
before. This is a new venture for me, and because of that I wanted too offer
these flutes at prices that will attract many people. Maybe some day I will
raise the prices up to the standard price range, but till then it is my
pleasure to offer them to you at these prices.
A word about the
sound intensity of flutes.
It is thought that the first Native
American Style Flutes were used as courting flutes. As such they were intended
for the use of a brave courting his intended. These flutes were made to have
special sound qualities and notes that were very special. These flutes were
called “One Fire Flutes” and were intended to be heard within the range of one
fire, though with harder pressure they could be made to play louder. There were
also other flutes created for ceremonies and special purposes, such as
medicinal, that were specially made to be louder and heard further. These
flutes were called three fire flutes as they would be played near the central
fire and could be heard throughout the camp. These flutes by necessity process
a lot more air, and I personally think that the sound quality falls off the
harder you need to blow on a flute.
I wanted to let my
customers know that unless I specify otherwise all the flutes I create are
considered one fire flutes, and they play with as little as an exhale.
see the rest of my flutes offered at: http://stores.ebay.com/FLUTESFORYOU
A Special Note to Other Flute-Makers....
Let Us Not Forget:
While speaking with another flute maker I've felt that it would be a good thing
to put this forth so that all could share….
When I learned to make my flutes, I
learned from a Blackfoot elder. This is a leader of his clan. This is what he,
and his ancestors considered to be a proper type of flute making. This only is
representative of that particular clan, and should not be taken as a lone
representation of the whole tribe. Just because one clan of the Blackfoot made
a flute in this way it's entirely possible that a flute made not to many miles
away would look very different.
I once saw a collection of flutes
from different tribes, one of the Cheyenne, one
of the Cherokee, one of the Shawnee
and so on. The announcement placard said these were typical examples of the
different style produced by the tribes. I felt this was not good, as each Brave
who created his flute, whether it was for courting, council business or just to
play around the fire would above all else try to individualize his flute. Today there are some, who put the sound
channel in the Bird, (or as I was told to call it, “the wood block”). There are
some who add a piece of shim stock to the roost or add a sounding edge to the
tuner. I've even heard that a blade is not required, to make the pitch that the
maker looks for.
Though the recipe I've been taught
matches none of these, who am I to say that these are not proper. We must each
of us find our own way, and cherish what we have been taught and learned. For
each of us making, and playing flutes has been a life changing event that has
caused us to change our lives and shape something that we, each of us hold
At one time any Brave who was thinking of
taking a bride was by tradition, to make his courting flute (or trade or for
one). Sometimes the brave would work diligently on this for quite a while and
produce a squeaky stick, but the thought was there. This person would then use
his knowledge and pass it on to his son so that it may be passed from
generation to generation.
The way that I was taught to tune a
flute involves no math to figure out where the finger holes go. Is this proper
or period style? Using European style equations to figure where the finger
holes go: is this right or wrong? I really feel it doesn't matter; we are not
in a competition, or trying to outdo the others. I feel if we are, we have lost
sight of what we're really searching for, a connection with the past, a feeling
of being one with what has gone before.
create, and sell some flutes but I don't do this primarily for the money, it is
a necessary byproduct to keep me making the flutes that I love. In the long run
it does not matter as long as the way that I do it is sacred to me.
us come together as keepers of a sacred knowledge that we have been honored
us never forget it is the knowledge passed on from those before us that we are
the ancestors with our creations, and always to give an offering in