The Split E Mechanism
What is it?
Do you need one?
Well hi there, I’m Rebecca Fuller, the Learn Flute Online instructor and expert here. Today we are going to be talking about a question many of you have when you are searching for a new flute and there are so many options and questions and it’s kind of confusing.
One of those things I get a lot of people asking me about is something called the split E mechanism. Is that something that you want to choose when you get all these different options for ordering your new flute? Should you get a split E mechanism and what is it anyway?
Well here, let me answer this question. It’s actually quite simple. I have a body of a flute here and just to know, this is a student model flute but also I have, well I actually have several flutes around me right now because I’m shooting all these different videos right here in this series. You need to know that the split E mechanism is an option on all different levels of flutes.
It could be for student model, intermediate, advanced, or professional line, it doesn’t matter. What the split E mechanism does, I’ll start with that, is it makes that third octave E a little easier to play.
Now if any of you have been playing long enough and you’ve gotten to that high E and you’re wondering why it always kind of screechy scratches or screams at you a little bit or has a hard time popping out. Well the split E mechanism is something that was invented in modern technology for working on these new flutes, the new mechanisms.
Now days it was was invented to help that high E and what it does, let me show you, I’m going to have to do a little back tracking to explain it. Now if I finger the high E which is thumb, first, second, and right hand first, second, oh and I don’t have a foot joint here with me because I was just showing this part of the flute. What it does, is if you notice these offset keys right here, they could be inline either. Let me get closer here so that you can really see.
You’ll notice that neither one of them are down when I’m fingering this high E. Alright? With a split E mechanism, it adds a little lever right here that when this key is pressed this key will also go down, but not this one. So as you see right now, when I press either this one or this one, both of them go down.
This one and this one go together. Well, basically what it does is it splits those two apart so that you can, when you press this middle finger down here on the right hand, only the lower of those G keys will go down. Which actually tunes your E a little bit more and just makes it come out a little bit easier and maybe not so crazy. If is kind of one of those notes, it has it’s own little personality and we have to be a little bit careful around it.
There are tips and tricks to know in order to play that high E a lot better, to make it sound more in tune, and to come out nice and full instead of thin and skinny, or you know some people have a hard time even actually reaching that octave. So that’s something that can help.
Now with that being said, now that you understand that, I’ll tell you that I couldn’t even show you one of those because I have four flutes around me right here and I didn’t have a single one that has a split E mechanism on them but I have several students that do.
Either way, I teach them how to play the high E my exact professional line flutes don’t have one on but I think it would be nice if they did. It is a feature on flutes when you go to purchase it that adds cost to the flute because it is a more advanced mechanism I guess you could say that is added to the flute. Now one more little note I need to put on here is that this needs to have been built into the flute to start with so as far as I know anyway.
So if you have a flute and it does not have the extra little bar poking out that puts down that second G key, if you don’t have one already on your flute, from what I understand, it’s not possible to go and get it added.
So that being said. I guess I should take a little moment here on this exact video and talk about the high E facilitator which is different from the E, split E mechanism. So those are different things that we’re talking about.
The high E facilitator is actually like a little round donut, like a little, another little pad I guess you could say with a hole in it, that’s added onto the key, on one of your little keys here and it also helps with this high E. Those are different things, the second one I just talked about the high E facilitator the little round thing can be added to your flute after. You can ask for it if you can get to a technician or a place that knows what they’re talking about. Don’t try to get somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing to do it, that would be a bad idea.
Flutes are very, very delicate and the mechanism is actually much more precise and I think that a good word is delicate. So it has to be dealt with very carefully so the flute isn’t ruined or broken.
So there you have it in this video the two things we have the split E mechanism and a high E facilitator. Just know I don’t have one, but you can if you find a flute that has one already and that’s the flute you’re going to rent or buy, then great for you. You hopefully will have an easier time with your high E’s and that is all we need to know for this one.
Let’s get into another video where we’re going to talk about another feature of the flute. There are so many things that we need to talk about. So let’s head back to the page where we’re learning all about how to choose a flute and let’s learn even more.
We’ll see you there.
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