Lessons

Native American Flutes

 

There are many stories that explain the origin of the Native American Flute. Since my knowledge is only of what I have touched and felt, I do not know. But my grandfather told me that each one was made through the direction of a shaman. They used each individual’s arm and hand and fingers as their guide to its dimensions. In doing this, each one had its own sound and was as unique as the one who made it. The flutes were used mainly in courtship, but was also used for spiritual healing and growth. I believe he spoke the truth.

In today’s day and age, it is still used for spiritual needs. I do not know if it is still used in courtship. I have not seen it firsthand. But it is also used as a solo instrument and an accompaniment instrument with other instruments. Now they are usually made to exactness with pitch and scales that are conforming to the musical scale of today.

The old ones and some of the new ones are two pieces of wood tied together with leather straps. The parts on top were named a bird and a nest.  Today most of them are glued together, but made in the same way.

It has a blow hole that also has a slow air chamber. This chamber directs the air through a narrow strip (the nest holding the air in with the bird), and then the air is split at the air hole. Part of the air goes through the sound chamber and part goes out. It’s actually kind of complicated and has to do with the speed of sound at different frequencies and I’m not going to get into all of that here, however, by which finger you use on which hole dictates the pitch of the sound.

I personally have made quite a few and plan to make a video of some of them. Perhaps you will see it.

There is no sound on earth that sounds like it, at least not that I have heard. It is truly one of the great gifts from our creator.

Here is a video I made:

I hope you enjoyed this article.

take care,

mark

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I Started out in 1976 trying out to sing in bands but no bands were interested in me. In 1977 I started playing guitar. The individual that was teaching me (who for now will remain anonymous) told me that I would NEVER learn how to play guitar because I had no sense of rhythm. I joined my first band in 1978 called "Dead Center" in Jacksonville, Florida. I played an Aspen guitar, black; a Les Paul copy and in 1981. I gave that guitar to the teacher who said I'd never learn to play. I wrote my first song in 1979 or '80. Over the years I have been in many bands but my passion has been songwriting. I have written well over 100 songs and though the early ones were kind of rough around the edges, I think that most of them could be dusted off and given a new facelift. Today I am still working on my songs. Currently I can play guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, harmonica, and Native American flute. The flutes that I play are ones that I made myself. My guitars are the Epiphone G-400 faded, an Ibanez RG370 DX, an Epiphone G 1275 double neck guitar. My acoustic guitars are an Alvarez 12 string and an old Kay guitar. My drum set is a Peace drum set. I do my recording on a Zoom HD16.
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