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Cryss
The Complete Guide to the Anasazi Flute, by Scott August, is a breathtaking journey (no pun intended) into the world of the Anasazi Flute.

I first became intrigued with the Anasazi flute when I heard the likes of Coyote Oldman, and then later Scott August and, more recently, Jan Seiden - the first woman to record with the Anasazi flute. With my new flute in hand, I lost a lot of breath trying to play it. After taking a class with Scott, and later with the benefit of his new book, I have learned to play the Anasazi flute smarter... and how to maximise my practice efforts.

This book includes the History of the Anasazi flute, information on Kokopelli and the Anasazi flute, beginning playing techniques, a lesson on proper embouchure, tips for getting first notes, and information how to maximize your practice. Also included are Anasazi flute scales.

This is a smart guide, and it both looks and feels good in your hand. It gives you a more concise understanding of this magnificent and hauntingly secret instrument - to the point that I am continually extracting its secrets with every practice session.

Finding information about how to play the Anasazi flute has been quite a task... until now.

There are very few who are on the front lines of the Anasazi Flute Renaissance. Scott is one of them with this truly unique and innovative work. I predict a new wave of Anasazi enthusiasts as a result of this tome of previously esoteric knowledge.

I am finding I am going back to this guide quite frequently as I learn to play and hopefully master my Anasazi flute. This book as turned my practice sessions from "frustrating" to "fun".

The Complete Guide to the Anasazi Flute is available through Cedar Mesa Music.
Rick McDaniel
Ok, Cryss, I will add that to my items to order.
Geoffrey
I've read it--a fabulous book. The last word on the Anasazi flute, I believe.
David.D
QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Aug 1 2008, 07:52 AM) *
I've read it--a fabulous book. The last word on the Anasazi flute, I believe.



Geoffrey,

What was it like taking on a new instrument in creating Scott's signature Anasazi flute? What challenges did you encounter versus making your NAF style flutes? It really is a stunningly beautiful instrument.

Thanks,
dd
Geoffrey
QUOTE(David.D @ Aug 1 2008, 08:38 AM) *
Geoffrey,

What was it like taking on a new instrument in creating Scott's signature Anasazi flute? What challenges did you encounter versus making your NAF style flutes? It really is a stunningly beautiful instrument.

Thanks,
dd


Thanks David!

Well, certainly my first challenge was to become a competent player wink.gif Anyone who has played the Anasazi knows that this is a big deal. I borrowed one of Michael Graham Allens flutes from a friend and practiced for hours every day, going on for weeks. I don't think I'm ready to perform on it necessarily, but I can get around on it very easily now (can move between the octaves smoothly, etc.). As any maker knows, if you can't play a flute, you are not likely to make a very good one. So that was the first challenge.

The next challenge was figuring out what makes the Anasazi flute tick and deciding what I could do to put my own signature on it. Scott was invaluable in this process, because as a performer he had very specific input to offer on ways to get the most out of the flute. Because it is a signature flute, my goal was to make it into Scotts "dream flute" if possible. He tested something like 8 different prototypes (I made about 20 of them in the research process) and each time had something useful to offer.

It is important for me to give acknowledgement to Michael Allen: I modeled my efforts on his work, benefitting from his research, trial and error and general example. This would have been a much more extended endeavor if he hadn't already traversed the ground before me (or anyone else). He has always been on the cutting edge in the flute world and this is no exception.

However, I have to admit that despite having Michaels work as a model, and despite having Scott in on the ground floor, it was just plain difficult. I loved every minute of it smile.gif . These flutes have little resemblence to conventional NAFs, and many of the principles of design were not applicable. Luckily, many principles were applicable. An understanding of how wall thickness impacts the tuning process turned out to be a very useful skill. Tuning them is a very tricky exercise (as with any embouchure flute) because the players breath and embouchure have so much effect on the tuning of a given note. Much more significant than with a NAF! Making a single, good sounding Anasazi is not nearly as difficult as making a dozen of them that all sound and play well. Consistency (like with the NAF) is another big challenge.

Most of the other challenges just related to adopting my shop methods to apply to a solid-bore, open-ended tube of wood. Lots of them became firewood along the way, as with any new flute experiment.

There is a reason there are not a ton of people making these things--you have to be seriously committed. As a maker, I find the whole process tremendously exciting, but there were times when I was going a bit bonkers. I'd love to ask Michael some day about his experiences with them, since he has been doing it for some years now.
Rick McDaniel
Michael had made shakuhachi, before getting into the NAF, so that prepared him well, for the endeavors of the Anasazi, I would think.

Perhaps your road, Geoffrey, will one day lead you in that direction in kind of a reverse process. At least there are some excellent makers in Calif. to study with, on shakuhachi. tongue.gif

Geoffrey
QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 1 2008, 12:08 PM) *
Michael had made shakuhachi, before getting into the NAF, so that prepared him well, for the endeavors of the Anasazi, I would think.

Perhaps your road, Geoffrey, will one day lead you in that direction in kind of a reverse process. At least there are some excellent makers in Calif. to study with, on shakuhachi. tongue.gif


I hope you are right Rick, because I really love embouchure flutes, including the Shakuhachi. I've examined one that Noisy Bear has and figured I could make a decent version myself, as well as a Patrick Owell (did I get that name right? Not sure...) side-blown flute that was utterly charming. I'm also working on Quenas...

I love making NAFs, but the idea of diversifying is very attractive. I'll probably offer some of these flutes in the future, even if I only offer a single choice (such as a side-blown C, or a Quena in G# for example). I doubt I'd have the time to really develop a full "line" of other flutes, but a single key would be managable I think.


tootieflutie58
QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 1 2008, 04:08 PM) *
Michael had made shakuhachi, before getting into the NAF, so that prepared him well, for the endeavors of the Anasazi, I would think.

Perhaps your road, Geoffrey, will one day lead you in that direction in kind of a reverse process. At least there are some excellent makers in Calif. to study with, on shakuhachi. tongue.gif

Hey! Don't encourage him! I don't want to lose my favorite flute maker to Anasazi or shakuhachi flutes! I NEED my Earth Tone NA flutes!

Don't listen to him, Geoffrey! It's his surgery talking! tongue.gif
Rick McDaniel
That's Pat Olwell, G. You might check out Romy Benton, also, he is one of my faves on transverse bamboo alto flute.

Interestingly, there's a maker in VA, that makes nice little bamboo transverse flutes similar to Olwell's, although perhaps not quite as fantastic a sound, who offers them at very good prices. I have one, and it does have excellent tonality. Woodsong flutes......no relation to Hawk LJ. Mostly a bamboo flute maker.

While bamboo may not have the longevity of wood, it is a great flute material.
David.D
QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 1 2008, 01:50 PM) *
...While bamboo may not have the longevity of wood, it is a great flute material.


Rick, I had never seen black bamboo, other than pictures, until a few days ago. I ordered some blanks from a fellow on the Yahoo flute making group. When I opened the package, I was stunned by the natural beauty, even after heat treating, of the black bamboo. I can't wait to turn it into a flute (hopefully).

dd
Rick McDaniel
Been wanting an NAF from root end black bamboo for a long time now. biggrin.gif
M Turner
Hi Everyone,
I have Scott's book also . It is an excellent resource for learning the Anasazi ! He did a really excellent job.. I have been learning the Anasazi on my own for about 6 months now and I am thoroughly enjoying the journey..
I also received my Anasazi from Geoffrey yesterday.....( My flute money has been tight but I had to have one of these)....Now Im no expert on embouchure flutes but Geoffreys sure does play so easy and sweet....Maybe sweet isnt the right word but it definitely plays easy and transitions between the octaves so smoothly...And it does have an excellent tone and good volume.....Good job Geoffrey !!!! Thanks for all your input also Scott. !! The wait for the final tweaking of the prototype was definitely worth it !!!! It couldnt be a better Signature flute......... I know I will have to have another one ..........maybe the 2009 model !!!!!!!!!!! And Michael if you read this "Thanks for Leading the Way" Im still enjoying your Anasazi too!!!!!!!
Blessings Mike
Deaan
Looks like a super book. I just bought an Anasazi flute from Coyote Oldman, which is on thw way. I hope this book is compatable with his flutes. I will assume so.

Thanks for the information.
Cryss
Hi Deaan,

Yes, indeed it is! In fact, the photo examples inside the book are from flutes from Coyote Oldman/ Michael. The technique is the same across the board so any of the flutes from the scarce few makers of the Anasazi flute will/should be compatible.

Do let us know how you progress!

QUOTE(Deaan @ Aug 10 2008, 03:55 PM) *
Looks like a super book. I just bought an Anasazi flute from Coyote Oldman, which is on the way. I hope this book is compatable with his flutes. I will assume so.

Thanks for the information.
Deaan
Thanks Cryss, You put my mind at ease. This is going to be a great flute adventure and a good book will make it a bit easier. Flute on!
medit8b1
I'd been mulling over the idea of getting an anasazi flute now for a few years. A friend once brought a couple of Michael G Oldmans early examples to a flute circle, and I of course found that while I could manage to get a sound out of them, they were certainly not easy to play. But my interest was rekindled when Michael put out his Rainbird album, but I kept making excuses. This post once again got my nose quivering as it were, and I figured what with a year of Shakuhachi lessons under my belt and now what with an instuction book for the anasazi available, I sent an email off to Michael to see what the wait would be on ordering one. I got a reponse back quickly saying he had just finished a batch of new ones and he could send one right out to me. Naturally I ordered one and am now anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Hey, who was I to argue with fate? smile.gif Of course now I currently don't have the cash to buy the book...$%@&* mortgage.
Cryss
I just want to say that this book has increased my playing ten fold. I am able to pick up the flute and play at anytime anywhere now. Of course, I am still learning to play the thing. LOL... but am sounding good and hitting different registers with fair amount of ease. Anyone wanting to learn, I urge you to pick up this book.

Scott is also doing a week long class! WOW.
Rick McDaniel
I got it, and it is helpful, but Cornell has shown me a couple tricks not in the book. biggrin.gif
Cryss
OHH! Anything you can share there Rick?

Hey everyone! Rick's got the "secret sauce" smile.gif.

But seriously, any tricks or tips you could share would be so helpful to many here.

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Dec 3 2008, 06:28 AM) *
I got it, and it is helpful, but Cornell has shown me a couple tricks not in the book. biggrin.gif
Rick McDaniel
Give me a little more time to learn, and I will try to share those tips. Right now, I haven't been at it long enough to remember them, with my aging memory. tongue.gif
Victor
Hm. Permission to speak freely?

I thought this was a rather so-so book. The history section is definitely very interesting, and the section about how to blow the Anasazi flute is probably useful to new players; having a bunch of flutes under my belt I was able to figure that stuff out myself.

But after that, fully a third of the book is taken up by two written out compositions of Scott.

Then there is a section about the Anasazi scale in tab, that I think is pretty confusing. For instance, on page 24/25 there are three headings in a row: "Anasazi scale in tab", "graphic tab", "nakai tab". That's a tad confusing, because in Graphic Tab the Nakai Tab is already being discussed, and in Anasazi Tab the Anasazi Tab is not discussed at all.

Speaking of tab, I had the hardest time understanding the Nakai and Anasazi tab at all, until I realized they are not really tab, but just plain musical notation at a standard pitch. The only context in which I've seen "tab" is guitar (or other string instruments) playing, and then it's one line for a string no matter what note that string is tuned to. So at first I thought the tab in this book was really one line per hole. This impression is strongly reinforced by a quote on page 25: "A note on the next space up means lift the bottom finger". So by extrapolation every line means a finger. Not? Not.

Now I suspect that Scott didn't invent this "tab" but that doesn't change that it's pretty confusing.

Then in the back of the book there is a discussion about pentatonic scales, which is confusing because it keeps jumping from the informal definition ("like the black keys on the piano") to the technical "any scale with 5 notes. That discussion also overlaps quite a bit with what's earlier in the book.

There is the strange matter that several discussions in the book (including the notation part) start with a discussion of the "plains" NAF. It's sort of assumed that the reader is already familiar with that instrument. Probably true, but still.

So, interesting book, but if you're low on cash, don't make it your first priority.

Victor.

PS my Scott August model Anasazi flute is beautiful. I'm really enjoying the Anasazi experience. Thanks again, Geoffrey.
Cryss
Since we are talking freely - and I do appreciate your opinion, even though you are very much in the minority with your thoughts - I must respectfully disagree.

I have personally queried 40 people or so who have put this book to use, both from the Festivals and in other arenas, as I have found having multiple experiences helpful when I go through a tome for technique and information. EVERY single person said this book helped them overcome blocks they had. EVERY single one said they struggled for months, and started playing their first notes regularly in short order. About a quarter of them had previous success with the Anasazi or other rim blown flute and still they only had good things to say about this book. This book was written, in my opinion, to help people who are fascinated by this ancient and daunting instrument, have had difficulty approaching it, and to offer them a helpful guide. I am sure the book will continue to evolve, as well, as new info and techniques are constantly being being introduced and fine tuned.

ALL that and more has been accomplished, in my and every opinion I have sought out, with regard to the contents in this book. Digressing, the reason I took so much trouble to seek out the opinion of others is because I am one of those who had extreme difficulty and have my sights on being a Master at this instrument because it is such a challenge for me. Some do not, but if you naturally take to the instrument on your own without the use of the book, I think its not an issue of this being a poorly written book when so much success has been attained by so many who previously couldn't play the Anasazi flute. I think its because you are a good flute player perhaps rolleyes.gif . This book has taken the pain away for so many who might not be a good or naturally fluent with it as those like you. I do congratulate you on that, for you are certainly ahead of the curve.

This book has also allowed, for the first time, access to succinct instruction that actually takes the learning curve and turns it into a beeline, when a lot of people just let their flute collect dust. Again, I have HOURS of conversations in memory with dozens who were so excited with the progress they made after reading this book. It cuts the learning time very short for so very many, so that people can start focusing on technique and actually having fun with it because they absolutely can play notes within a couple of days or less.

I am not saying there are not others who may share your opinion for it is, above everything else, your opinion. There may indeed be others who find the instruction less helpful because they probably didn't need any to begin with. Granted, I would think that individual, like you, would be rare. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, I can say for certain you are in a most distinct minority and completely are on the other side of what the masses are reporting.

As for TAB in guitar vs. NAF goes, the TAB for NAF is a transposing TAB, whereas guitar is not. Again, you are making assumptions that are yours alone. It's not guitar TAB and he never says its one line per hole. He didn't invent it, but adapted it. He then adds his compositions because lots of people ask for his work in TAB. I am sure those that asked for this are most grateful. I was among those that did and considered this a great gift.

I and so many have made this book a priority if for the simple reason there is no other guide out there. If I was to take all the pages, and benefit from the embouchure instruction in about two pages, the price was worth three times what I paid because my "wall hanger flutes" are now being used instead of collecting dust.

I sound emotional I am sure, but that is because I am very excited with the journey my Anasazi flute has opened before me. I am finding it an inspiration to be introduced to, and to then learn more about the culture, the music, the archeology, etc. and finding myself being able to play this prehistoric instrument after so many months of failed attempts (mostly because I discovered in this book how to properly practice and play) is such an awesome thing; I find the experience like offering sweet incense to the Spirit of those peoples, and to honor the work of Doc Payne, and everyone that worked so hard to give life to this most ancient flute after so many years. This book solidifies this for so many.

How can this not be exciting!

I do appreciate your words, truly. This has been good dialog. But I have to respectfully and wholeheartedly if not adamantly disagree, and I do use the many, MANY individuals I have talked to over hours and hours of conversations to solidify my conviction and position. It is HARDLY a so-so book, and even intermediate folks I know say the book is a seminal and invaluable work...in Our opinion anyway.

Respectfully submitted,

Cryss


QUOTE(Victor @ Dec 3 2008, 05:20 PM) *
Hm. Permission to speak freely?

I thought this was a rather so-so book. The history section is definitely very interesting, and the section about how to blow the Anasazi flute is probably useful to new players; having a bunch of flutes under my belt I was able to figure that stuff out myself.

But after that, fully a third of the book is taken up by two written out compositions of Scott.

Then there is a section about the Anasazi scale in tab, that I think is pretty confusing. For instance, on page 24/25 there are three headings in a row: "Anasazi scale in tab", "graphic tab", "nakai tab". That's a tad confusing, because in Graphic Tab the Nakai Tab is already being discussed, and in Anasazi Tab the Anasazi Tab is not discussed at all.

Speaking of tab, I had the hardest time understanding the Nakai and Anasazi tab at all, until I realized they are not really tab, but just plain musical notation at a standard pitch. The only context in which I've seen "tab" is guitar (or other string instruments) playing, and then it's one line for a string no matter what note that string is tuned to. So at first I thought the tab in this book was really one line per hole. This impression is strongly reinforced by a quote on page 25: "A note on the next space up means lift the bottom finger". So by extrapolation every line means a finger. Not? Not.

Now I suspect that Scott didn't invent this "tab" but that doesn't change that it's pretty confusing.

Then in the back of the book there is a discussion about pentatonic scales, which is confusing because it keeps jumping from the informal definition ("like the black keys on the piano") to the technical "any scale with 5 notes. That discussion also overlaps quite a bit with what's earlier in the book.

There is the strange matter that several discussions in the book (including the notation part) start with a discussion of the "plains" NAF. It's sort of assumed that the reader is already familiar with that instrument. Probably true, but still.

So, interesting book, but if you're low on cash, don't make it your first priority.

Victor.

PS my Scott August model Anasazi flute is beautiful. I'm really enjoying the Anasazi experience. Thanks again, Geoffrey.
Victor
QUOTE(Cryss @ Dec 4 2008, 09:01 PM) *
It is HARDLY a so-so book


Cryss,

I guess we'll disagree.

My problems with the book are twofold: it has (most likely) not been proofread for correct English and for clarity of musical exposition. I found a couple of typos and things like the sentence halfway page 24 which ends in a question mark, but is not in fact a question. (Btw, do you think this is an opinion? I'd say it's a fact.) Bottom of page 52: "The easiest to play is to go..." The easiest what? Next sentence: "Another is to play..." Another what? Both phrases sound like they should have an antecedent, but they don't. I don't think a proofreader would let a passage like that slide.

Higher up on page 52: "The so called NAF pentatonic minor scale is an Anhemitonic pentatonic scale." True. "You can easily play an Anhemitonic pentatonic scale using only the black keys of a piano." True, but are these statements trivial to you? I assure you, I know a bunch of theory, and I'm thinking "can I have some further explanation? can you show me that this is true?" Well, luckily what follows is a piano keyboard. Since the previous sentences were talking about the NAF anhemitonic pentatonic, I would guess that the notes in the example are the NAF anhemitonic pentatonic scale. No, they are not. They are the Anasazi major pentatonic.

To me, this is sloppy exposition. An opinion indeed, but can you say that this passage was perfectly clear to you? What is the function of that keyboard, given where it is placed in the discussion?

Maybe I'm wilfully misunderstanding here. But then explain to me the bottom of page 28: "Instead we have a maj 2nd, a note that doesn't exist on a standard NAF." Leaving aside that a maj 2nd is not a note (and that Scott has never defined the meaning of "min" and "maj"), I truly have no idea what he means here. The standard NAF has bunches of major 2nds. Start with your right ring finger lifted, and then just lift the remaining fingers one by one: that's 4 or so maj 2nds in a row.

Is that an opinion?

You say that this book is invaluable even to intermediate players. Well, I may know a lot of theory, but as far as playing goes I'm not yet intermediate. The one thing I had a problem with is the maj 7th interval. Scott gives two fingerings for it on page 32. Both of them are flat. He doesn't say anything about it. Surely I can't be the only one with that problem. I could really have used a discussion on how to get that note in tune. Unlike the standard NAF, on an Anasazi flute you can tinker with your embouchure. I couldn't find that he addresses this problem.

Anyway. The Anasazi flute is an interesting and challenging instrument, and if this book helps you, good for you.

Victor.

PS I still maintain that flute TAB is not tab. Guitar tab tells you "put a finger on this location and you get the right note". Guitarists like this because they don't have to learn music notation. Flute tab (apart from graphic tab) does no such thing: it requires you to learn music notation. Just look at the difference between page 27 nd page 30. The August Anasazi tab differs by a "flat" symbol. So you have to know the meaning of that.

tootieflutie58
QUOTE(Victor @ Dec 5 2008, 04:23 AM) *
PS I still maintain that flute TAB is not tab. Guitar tab tells you "put a finger on this location and you get the right note". Guitarists like this because they don't have to learn music notation. Flute tab (apart from graphic tab) does no such thing: it requires you to learn music notation.

It is my understaning that flute TAB was created by Carlos Nakai.
tootieflutie58
QUOTE(Cryss @ Dec 5 2008, 12:01 AM) *
He then adds his compositions because lots of people ask for his work in TAB. I am sure those that asked for this are most grateful. I was among those that did and considered this a great gift.

Hey Cryss,

Do you know if he has any plans to do any of his flute compositions in a book for us NAF fluties?
pvanheuklom
Sounds like a great book that needs a bit of amendment in the next edition. As the portal's current resident English professor (20 years of experience), former writer/editor of several national trade journals (5 years of experience) and novelist, I offer my proofreading services for free--or will work for copy. smile.gif
Rick McDaniel
Nakai tab was created for the native flute.

I have never actually heard of guitar tab before, but then I was taught to read the notation, for guitar, and not tab.

Actually, I think the Anasazi book is ok, but too long on history, and not long enough on the specifics of technique. Still, it was worth the price, to have the scales set forth for me, so I could just add some tips in the margins to expand on what was presented.

I have too bad a short term memory, now, at my age, to care much about reading notation, but unfortunately, that is the only good way to learn songs people recognize. So, it may take me a long time to learn a song, but I am resigned to having to do it. I still enjoy just wandering about, though.

To be honest, anyone with limited talent, needs all the instruction, they can get, especially in music theory. Playing music, even on a simple instrument, requires a great deal of knowledge and skill, and talent makes it a lot easier. Those with talent, probably have no concept, of how hard it can be, for those who must rely on becoming skilled. sad.gif
Cryss
And this, my friend, is the beauty of dialog... we can still remain friends even in disagreement smile.gif

The book isn't positioning itself as the end all book. Its not positioning itself as a college textbook either.

The book is a guide to bring people a bit of history, some techniques that are proven to cut the learning curve (for those that need them) and some tabs to allow you to play along for more practice.

It successfully accomplishes that in popular opinion. I think to judge the book by criteria its not boasting to be is comparing apples to oranges.

I really appreciate our dialog, brother. Thank you for indulging me.

QUOTE(Victor @ Dec 5 2008, 01:23 AM) *
Cryss,

I guess we'll disagree.
Cryss
Unsure on that...I think I heard wind though smile.gif.

He usually does those projects based on requests...so if some folks ask for it, he tends to start doing it smile.gif.

I think I will start bugging him from my end, and tag team him with you until we wear him down smile.gif

QUOTE(tootieflutie58 @ Dec 5 2008, 03:25 AM) *
Hey Cryss,

Do you know if he has any plans to do any of his flute compositions in a book for us NAF fluties?
Rick McDaniel
Just point to Mary Youngblood's songbooks, and say, "now isn't that nice......wouldn't it be great if we had that for your songs?" biggrin.gif
Scout
Just read a few pages so far but I see this book as very good for those that have embrochure issues at the least and a fairly well thought out and produced book. I have read far worse. Typos can be found in any written work, just go look through any of the books at any book store. JRR Tolken's books even have typos in every edition. What I love about this one is that it was put out there for anyone that desires to learn how to play an end blown flute or even a transverse. Some need more help than others and I see this one as very helpful to those scratching their heads as they try to get any noise out of an end blown flute.

I have the blessing of already being able to play the transverse and end blown flutes were not hard to pick up. 30 years of clarinets, oboe, and bohem flute will do that for a fella. Still I find a lot of good information in this one. I have clarinet books that were supposed to be for beginners but got so involved in theory you could get lost in a heartbeat. I think perhaps musicans are likely to look at any musical book with microscopic eyes, I know I used to, but then I was severly humbled by one of my own heros and no longer think I know it all.

Just my pennys worth of thoughs. smile.gif
bigsky
I do believe I'll have to get my copy on order. Should make for some great reading this winter. smile.gif Thanks for the dialogue! Peace...
Tom
Titmouse
QUOTE(Victor @ Dec 5 2008, 01:23 AM) *
Bottom of page 52: "The easiest to play is to go..." The easiest what? Next sentence: "Another is to play..." Another what? Both phrases sound like they should have an antecedent, but they don't. I don't think a proofreader would let a passage like that slide.


First let me say that I appreciate your contrary point of view. I think that it takes real courage to state a negative opinion especially when that opinion is less popular and (as Cryss states) in the minority. I have not read a lot of reviews on this portal but the one's that I have read seem to be consistently complimentary. Honest opinions, however, are more useful.

I will not render a detailed opinion of this book since those debating seem to have much greater knowledge than me. Also, my flute is not a true Anasazi but has a fipple mouthpiece so I didn't have to learn an embrouchure. I will say that I appreciated seeing the various scales in print. My skill and knowledge of musical theory however are not quite up to the task of transposing music for the Anasazi based on these scales. I practiced the scales for awhile but lately I am just trying to learn by playing from the heart.

2 final notes:
I couldn't find page 52 in my copy of "The Complete Guide To The Anasazi Flute." My book only has 35 pages. I think you might want to proofread your post and make a correction.

Also, for those on a tight budget (or anyone who wants to learn more) check out the free online guide to the Anasazi by Mark Purtill:

http://home.comcast.net/~markpurtill/AnasaziFlutebk.pdf

Incidently, the fingering diagrams in Purtill's guide do not exactly match those in Scott August's book.
Russ Wolf
I have both books and, cost aside, I like Purtill's better. Purtill's book is more concise - a page of history, a page on embouchure, two pages of scales and a couple of songs. Also, I do better with the finger diagram type of tab (what purtill uses) rather than the musical notation tab found in Augusts' book. Russ
Hugo
QUOTE(Titmouse @ Dec 8 2008, 01:36 AM) *
check out the free online guide to the Anasazi by Mark Purtill:

http://home.comcast.net/~markpurtill/AnasaziFlutebk.pdf


Thank you for the information Titmouse.

Hugo
Cryss
That's a nice little guide! I always love adding to my arsenal of knowledge with regard to this flute! Thank you!

I got to speak to him a bit at the Yosemite Flute Festival. He makes a really nice plastic Anasazi flute that sounds marvelous! When I have a few bucks I am going to grab one for taking camping, travel, etc.. They are very nice!

This guy is an artist!

QUOTE(Titmouse @ Dec 8 2008, 01:36 AM) *
First let me say that I appreciate your contrary point of view. I think that it takes real courage to state a negative opinion especially when that opinion is less popular and (as Cryss states) in the minority. I have not read a lot of reviews on this portal but the one's that I have read seem to be consistently complimentary. Honest opinions, however, are more useful.

I will not render a detailed opinion of this book since those debating seem to have much greater knowledge than me. Also, my flute is not a true Anasazi but has a fipple mouthpiece so I didn't have to learn an embrouchure. I will say that I appreciated seeing the various scales in print. My skill and knowledge of musical theory however are not quite up to the task of transposing music for the Anasazi based on these scales. I practiced the scales for awhile but lately I am just trying to learn by playing from the heart.

2 final notes:
I couldn't find page 52 in my copy of "The Complete Guide To The Anasazi Flute." My book only has 35 pages. I think you might want to proofread your post and make a correction.

Also, for those on a tight budget (or anyone who wants to learn more) check out the free online guide to the Anasazi by Mark Purtill:

http://home.comcast.net/~markpurtill/AnasaziFlutebk.pdf

Incidently, the fingering diagrams in Purtill's guide do not exactly match those in Scott August's book.
bigsky
Thanks for all of the info guys! Looks like I'll pick up a copy of Mr. Purtill's book as well to read over the winter. Nice to have different resources to pore over to round out your education more completely. Having never read anything about the Anasazi, I am much relieved that there is more than one source from which to glean information...and more than one respected opinion of the resources available to do so. Looks like I've got a lot of reading ahead of me! Peace...
Tom
Geoffrey
Something to remember about the Anasazi (and NAFs in general) is that there isn't really any rule of standard fingering to get certain notes, especially some of those in-between notes.

For example, Scott wrote most of this book before he and I started working together to prototype an Anasazi flute line. He was playing MGAs flutes at the time, and they had a different fingering for getting the minor 7th (for example). Scott suggested that I make them to have an easier way to get that note accurately, so on my flutes you get the minor 7th by closing the second hole from the top of the flute. All other holes remain open.

I don't know if this is the fingering shown in the book or not, but he said that it would be different from his MGA flutes. It is possible that the book says one thing, and (if you are playing one of my flutes) the flute says something else.

Something else worth remembering: These flutes are very "liquid" when it comes to tuning. As a maker I can attest to the fact that they are nothing like a fipple flute, which by comparison is very easy to tune. Embouchure differs so much from player to player that a given flute might perform totally differently for two different people. I've tuned Anasazi flutes, had them play beautifully and dead on in terms of tuning, then put them down and come back the next day and can't get them to play in tune at all! So I typically have to check the tuning about 3 to 5 times over the course of several sessions to find the happy medium. So beware of imagining that just because you finger the notes shown on a chart that you will necessarily get the note they proclaim to play! I find that I can bend notes with my ebouchure to the point where they change into something else entirely.

My own take on Scotts book is pretty biased, of course. I think it is nicely comprehensive and he tried to make sure it had a little something for everyone (since you never know what a readers needs might be). If there are any inconsistencies or shortcomings, they will probably be addressed in future additions, but I know that he felt it was important to get the book published expediently because of the dearth of comprehensive Anasazi instruction. Interest in the Anasazi is mushrooming and there are not many resources for a player who wants to learn more. I think Scott knew the book was not perfect but felt that it was better to have a work-in-progress that would benefit players today rather than wait until is was totally free of bugs and risk having budding players set aside their flutes in frustration.
Victor
QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Dec 8 2008, 03:34 PM) *
Scott suggested that I make them to have an easier way to get that note accurately, so on my flutes you get the minor 7th by closing the second hole from the top of the flute.


That note indeed sounds in tune to me. It's the major 7th that's giving me trouble. I have to angle the wind stream up to get it in tune. Is that normal?

Why is the second half of the second octave so flat? What's the difference with the concert flute, where you get a full second octave by overblowing the exact same fingerings of the first octave.

Victor.
Geoffrey
To my knowledge, the only way to get a major 7th on one of these flutes is to open all of the holes and to sharp the note a bit with my embouchure (much like you describe--sort of blowing up toward the edge). I did that on both an A and an Aflat flute and it worked (playing the notes G# and G, respectively). The major 7th is definitely one of those "in between" notes. That note is not engineered into the flute, so to speak--when the flute is made I don't check the tuning of that note.

As with many flutes, there is a primary scale that the flute is meant to play, usually by opening one hole at a time. The in between notes (cross fingerings) are typically not in perfect tune. There are things that can be done to a flute to enhance the accuracy of these notes, but not always. With an embouchure flutes that is as basic as the Anasazi is (in terms of design) that becomes kind of tricky. My own smattering of flute science does not reach that far, anyway wink.gif I go for the primary scale, trying to make it as full voiced and easy to play as possible, consistent with the character I want for the voice of the flute. Anything else that the flute does is a bonus!

As with the regular NAF, what I usually tell folks is: Remember what it is you are playing. This is an ethnic instrument with inherent limitations. Don't expect to squeeze total accuracy and perfection out of them--they are not designed for it. Explore the flute, find out what it can and cannot do, then use it within its limitations. That is half the fun and challenge, I think. smile.gif

Fortunately, the Anasazi flute has those tremendous note-bending capabilities that will allow you to fudge quite a bit when going for certain notes.

I don't know what you mean when you refer to "concert flute", but with the Anasazi the second half of the second octave is indeed flat. Something do do with the length to bore ratio I'm fairly sure. You'll get the first three notes of the second octave accurately, but by the time you open the forth hole it will probably be a half step flat (an E will suddenly be D#, for example). There are probably ways to design it to make it more accurate on those notes, but the flute might become unplayable in the process. Most flutes that do well in the second octave (and this is true of NAFs as well) are longer and thinner in the bore. The fingering is more of a stretch and the voice of the flute reflects that "stretchy" quality. It will get thinner and jumpier as the flute gets longer and thinner in a given key.

The Anasazi flute is already pretty stretchy--too much more and it won't be playable by most people. However, I'd be really interested to talk with someone who makes other embouchure flutes like the Anasazi and who has a better grasp of the science. I'd like to know if some of these limitations can be expanded without compromising the character of the instrument (or the playability).
Victor
QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Dec 8 2008, 05:22 PM) *
I don't know what you mean when you refer to "concert flute",


The silver instrument that the pretty blond-haired girls in the orchestra play :-)

Victor.
Titmouse
QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Dec 8 2008, 05:22 PM) *
The Anasazi flute is already pretty stretchy--too much more and it won't be playable by most people. However, I'd be really interested to talk with someone who makes other embouchure flutes like the Anasazi and who has a better grasp of the science. I'd like to know if some of these limitations can be expanded without compromising the character of the instrument (or the playability).

Personally, I would like to see more "Anasazi Style" flutes to address some of the limitations of the "real" modern day Anasazi.

The most glaring limitation of these flutes is that they are simply too long for short people (like me).

Why not try and produce some higher keys (even if they are non-traditional) but still play with an embouchure and have a shorter length to allow access to shorter flute players (or some other solution to this problem e.g. a wider bore).

I am also wondering why more flute makers haven't followed Stephen DeRuby's lead (the Shakusazi) and put a fipple on the end to eliminate the emboushure issue. This would allow greater standardization of the fingering, tab and ultimately sheet music that we could learn to play.

Maybe these ideas are pipe dreams but if it can be done, eventually someone will do it.

"If you build it they will buy it."
Titmouse rolleyes.gif
Naflutie
I have a Deruby Shakusazi, it's like having the best of both worlds.
Rick McDaniel
Victor, the silver flute and the Anasazi are two completely different critters, to me. unsure.gif The entire wind stream effect is totally different.
Geoffrey
First off: Apologies to Cryss--this thread has been temporarily hi-jacked it seems! If everyone feels that it is relevant we can let it mix in with the chat about Scotts book. If it turns into a thread about flutes and stays there, we can split the thread an relocate the second half.

I agree with you about making them more reachable, Titmouse. The notion of a shorter, more playable Anasazi flute is one that I'm working on right now wink.gif There is certainly a demand, and based on the prototypes I've done so far it should be easily met. In the next 2 to 3 months I'll be offering a selection of the higher keys and also some of the current keys that are more player friendly (without sacrificing the multi-octave range of the instruments).

Larger bore versions of the Anasazi help with the reach, as do smaller, higher keyed versions. However, I've personally found that when the bore gets smaller (3/4" for example), which it must do for the flute key to go higher than a certain point, the embouchure gets trickier. Playing a small bore like that takes a very focused embouchure, whereas a 1" bore Anasazi (which is larger than standard at this point) makes it much easier. I've made 1" bore PVC Anasazi flutes that are a dream to play!

But I must admit that the idea of doing a NAF mouthpiece (or any other type of whistle mouthpiece) on an Anasazi does not appeal to me at all. What is the point? You eliminate all of the things that are cool about the Anasazi in one fell swoop:

-Multi-octave play: That will not happen without the embouchure. You might get some second octave action, but that is probably all (if that, even).

-Ability to change the voice based upon the embouchure: Whistle-style mouthpieces allow very little "character" control over the actual voice, unlike embouchure flutes.

-The challenge of mastering the instrument: Isn't that part of what playing the Anasazi is about? Or any embouchure flute for that matter? They are much harder to play and therefore the satisfaction of success is that much sweeter smile.gif

In any case, I'm sure some enterprising flute maker will do the Anasazi scale on a regular NAF--probably already happened. I may be wrong, but I don't think there is a flute maker yet born who can capture the character of the Anasazi by doing a fusion version with a whistle mouthpiece.

I own a number of hats. I'll eat one of them if I'm wrong rolleyes.gif
Noisy Bear
Victor:
I have been trying to find the time to respond. I wrote a revew of the book for the VOW, so won't preempt that with a review here. Thanks for pointing out some of the shortcomings.
Some things to remember: Scott put out the book to serve the NAF community and was really the first of its kind. No big publishing co will put out anything for the NAF as the audience is too small. Scott had to self produce it and it is a wonder there is not more small errors than there are. I appreciate Scott taking the time to do it as it was a labor of love not a money maker. I think it is well worth the money as it will help most budding players. With a limited budget it is hard to decide what to include and what to omit. Scott is a trained musician with a BA in music and made his living for many years scoring or composing music for commercials. His music and awards speak for themselves.
That said and you a free to disagree and have every right to make a value judgement for yourself regarding the usefulness of the book . Let me just say a few words about tab. I may be breaking Jeffs rule about posting when you are tired but if I don't I will never post:
Nakai tab was done orginally by Mr Nakai's for his own personal use in performance. He has a MA in music and an honary PHD. Knows his stuff. Guitar tab tells you the finger placement for the chords and is pictoral mostly based on what I know (which when it comes to guitars is not much, perhaps nothing). Nakai tab usues the music staff and standard notation that is familar to most musicians. The lines and spaces represent the holes that are covered and uncovered (that is what makes it tab adn not strict music notation). It is written in E major so the only flute you can use where the notes represent actual pitches is an F#. Since the intervals between notes on flutes of differnent keys is the same the tab will work for any flute. So Nakai tab has no relationship to actual pitches (except an F#) flute. Using this format you can use the dynamic notations, duration of notes (quarter half whole etc) and the time signature 4/4 3/4 etc.This allows a muscian to pick up a piece that may be unfamiliar and play it as with any piece of music, adn use it to express the textadn flaor of the piece .
Graphic tab is the term Scott uses to denote the flute pictures below the note, if I am not mistaken. He combines both in his book for those who read music and for those who do not. He adapted the Nakai tab format that many in the NAF community are familar with so this tool can be used with this flute as it is with the NAF. Now I don't point this out to insult your knowledge of theory but so others know and can be encouraged to use it. You may be right that he assumes his readers have a certain degree of common knowledge that may not exist to the degree he assumes. I think he assumes most Anasaszi players come to it from the NAF as he did with a certain level of knowledge at least it is probably fair to say most players of this instrument started with the NAF or spring from this community. Perhaps this won't be true in the future. I will stop now and catch some zz's. Victor you are aware of the limitation of this medium so (bear) with me!! Until I post again!
PS I like the information particulary that you pointed out about the 7th and G's response. At this point I am not worried about being in tune as I play............I am doing as Nakai suggested and just "playing the damned thing". A day will come I hope where being in tune will be important but for now it is just getting the notes for me!!!
Titmouse
QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Dec 8 2008, 07:45 PM) *
But I must admit that the idea of doing a NAF mouthpiece (or any other type of whistle mouthpiece) on an Anasazi does not appeal to me at all. What is the point? You eliminate all of the things that are cool about the Anasazi in one fell swoop:

-Multi-octave play: That will not happen without the embouchure. You might get some second octave action, but that is probably all (if that, even).

-Ability to change the voice based upon the embouchure: Whistle-style mouthpieces allow very little "character" control over the actual voice, unlike embouchure flutes.

-The challenge of mastering the instrument: Isn't that part of what playing the Anasazi is about? Or any embouchure flute for that matter? They are much harder to play and therefore the satisfaction of success is that much sweeter smile.gif

In any case, I'm sure some enterprising flute maker will do the Anasazi scale on a regular NAF--probably already happened. I may be wrong, but I don't think there is a flute maker yet born who can capture the character of the Anasazi by doing a fusion version with a whistle mouthpiece.

I own a number of hats. I'll eat one of them if I'm wrong rolleyes.gif

As a novice and one who is not that knowledgeable about the Anasazi I would never even think of disputing issues with someone as highly respected and experienced as you. mellow.gif

Having said that I fear that I must beg to differ! huh.gif

Regarding multi-octave play: I have hit 4 octaves on the fundamental with my flute. It also seems that I have a full second octave. I am not skilled enough yet to say more but I suspect that a talented player could do more. I reach the higher octaves by uncovering the top hole or by overblowing or both.

Since I don’t own a “real” Anasazi I cannot guarantee that the whistle-style mouthpiece allows the same character control but I suspect that a flute with a whistle-style mouthpiece can indeed yield a great deal of character control. Even if it differs in certain respects from the true Anasazi the sound potential is stunning.

While I agree that there is a certain allure to the challenge of mastering the embouchure I think that there would also be serious demand for an easier to play version (marketing hint).

Finally the idea that it can’t be done contradicts the fact that it can be done (since I already have one).

Some history:
Recently I met a local flute maker who lives only a few miles from me in the San Bernardino mountains of Southern California. I wanted to have him make me a flute. He showed me an MGA Anasazi and I about broke my neck trying to get my head far enough back to put my lips to the embouchure. I asked if an Anasazi could be made small enough for me. I requested an Anasazi tuned Bb flute with no more than 1.375” spread on the bottom 2 holes. I also required a specific maximum distance from embouchure to the bottom hole. He offered to make one with a fipple mouthpiece. He did extensive research including PVC mockups. The end result is a gorgeous aromatic cedar flute with a fipple mouthpiece (but no SAC) and only 24” from mouthpiece to the bottom hole.

I will do a proper review of this flute in the near future.

For more information contact:

Three Leaf Flutes
threeleafflutes@hotmail.com
(909)589-0064

P.S.: What flavor hat are you wearing? laugh.gif
Victor
QUOTE(Noisy Bear @ Dec 8 2008, 09:58 PM) *
Nakai tab usues the music staff and standard notation that is familar to most musicians. The lines and spaces represent the holes that are covered and uncovered (that is what makes it tab adn not strict music notation).


First sentence: correct. Second: not.

Actually, I haven't seen much Nakai tab other than the one or two lines in Scott's book, so I can't say for sure. Your sentence is probably true as long as you only play the pentatonic scale. However, Anasazi tab is definitely not tab. It's just plain music notation, transposed to some standard pitch. Which to me defeats the purpose of tab.

Victor.

Geoffrey
QUOTE(Titmouse @ Dec 9 2008, 12:46 AM) *
As a novice and one who is not that knowledgeable about the Anasazi I would never even think of disputing issues with someone as highly respected and experienced as you.

Having said that I fear that I must beg to differ!


Wait a minute! You just said you'd never even think of disputing issues with me! How can you possibly differ after that? tongue.gif

No, seriously...

When you say you have hit four octaves on the fundamental with your flute, which type of flute are you speaking of? I wasn't sure if you mean a NAF or your Shakusazi flute. If you are doing that on a Shakusazi with a whistle mouthpiece then I'm prepared to nibble a bit off the edge of my hat for sure wink.gif I have a hard time imagining a whistle-based Anasazi that gets more than a couple of octaves without a thumb hole, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. But regarding having a dispute with someone as "highly respected and experienced" as me: I'm thrilled to know that I'm respected smile.gif My experience with the Anasazi might be enough for me to make them effectively, but I'm no expert (who is?) That goes for every other type of non-NAF flute as well--just a student. I do occassionally form strong opinions about something but they rarely have much of a lifespan! If they did, I'd still be making flutes the way I did 10 years ago wink.gif That is the reason I own so many hats--I'm forever having to eat them.

However, in terms of my "character" remark, I should clarify. The only voice change that is possible with a whistle mouthpiece is one of dynamics. You can blow hard or you can blow soft, but you cannot fundamentally alter the character of the voice beyond that. For example: If you play an Anasazi flute, by controlling the embouchure you can change the character of the flute from breathy, to more clear. From clear to muted, etc., and you can do this while your are playing louder or softer (like a whistle). By blowing really hard into a whistle you can make a flute go a bit breathy and give it sort of an "edge", but you are forced to change the dynamics at the same time (i.e. you can't play "edgey" without being loud). My argument is that no whistle is going to have the same level of control as an embouchure flute, be it ever so well made. That is what is cool about whistles--they make the embouchure for you, and if they are made well they sound really good. Sort of a "preset" character done by the maker. My hat-eating assersion is based upon this difference--this belief that the physics of a whistle design will not allow it to create character the way an emouchure flute can.

I fully take your point about the marketability of an easier to play, fusion-version of the Anasazi. Scott and I actually discussed starting such a line of flutes but decided against it, at least for now. Climbing Mt. Everest has a lot of attraction for mountain climbers because it is a serious challenge. How many of them would prefer to be flown to the top and dropped off so they could enjoy the view? Some, undoubtedly would, but the experience would not compare to having climbed up to enjoy the same view.

I guess I'm saying that as a maker I'd much rather put my energy into making more reachable versions of the Anasazi and keeping it an emouchure flute, thereby allowing all interested players the chance to enjoy climbing Mt. Everest!
Geoffrey
QUOTE(Victor @ Dec 9 2008, 05:21 AM) *
First sentence: correct. Second: not.

Actually, I haven't seen much Nakai tab other than the one or two lines in Scott's book, so I can't say for sure. Your sentence is probably true as long as you only play the pentatonic scale. However, Anasazi tab is definitely not tab. It's just plain music notation, transposed to some standard pitch. Which to me defeats the purpose of tab.

Victor.


I just glanced at Scotts book (I have a pre-release copy in Word format, so I don't know how much it differs from the final version) and read his explanation of the August Anasazi Tab. It sounds like he just modified the Nakai tab. It still works in exactly the same way as the Nakai tab (notes represent finger holes that you open or close) only he altered it to represent the notes of the Anasazi vs. the notes of the minor pentatonic NAF. It does not sound as though it is meant to be music notation. However, we should probably just get Scott to chime in here and clear things up--no sense having confusion about something like this.



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