Ney / Kawala Flute > Ney, Kawala Lovers

Everything is Flat!


I am a beginner who has blown 30 to 60+ minutes daily for about 7 months, most on yildiz, also sah nisfiye and bolahenk nisfiye.  I have focused on the first octave, working hard at low rast.  On all notes I have simply played them in the manner that makes them sound strongest and seemingly in tune with each other.  This August I will be playing with others for the first time, mainly in support of a singer/guitarist doing western pop/folk.  I have just added cheaper supurde and kiz to my collection to give me more options for matching keys.  Upon playing into a tuner I have found I am solidly a quarter tone flat on virtually every note on every ney!  :-[

The one exception seems to be my favorite ney, plastic yildiz made by Niri.  I'm in tune for both 1st and 2nd registers on that ney.  On all others, I am flat, typically falling exactly halfway between semi-tones.  I can pinch them up with effort, but the notes then sound a bit strangled and sometimes fail, especially in first octave.  The neys are from various makers, including one by Ahmed Abd El Ghanis, so I'm pretty sure I am the problem.  Any ideas?  Is there something wrong with my lips?  Is it the altitude?  My breath?  :(

Hi Yildiz,
after about a month, is your problem still evident?! - Me, I'm not succeeded to play on any flute - and Niri seems to be busy, busy a lot these days....

Now I remembered your topic not having any answer, I read over your question again. As an technician I might have some idea of what you're talking about - and now realised, that you don't have your problem with plastic Ney, while same troubles with all the reed, isnit?! - Then all problem is within material!!!

I think, reed as a natural recource should be a bit porous and "breathing", not so synthetics. So, you cannot avoid some lost of air in a dry reed tube. I wondered, might be to find even your problem in that. And than I found an advice to water your Ney every time before using...! Look here

pretty at the end.

I'd like to hear, my tip does work or not!
And good luck for your performance in August.

Thanks for your reply dHuGo.  The problem of my playing flat does seem to be worse on reed, and worse in first register than higher octaves.  So I think it may indeed be an issue of my not blowing hard enough.  I have spent most time playing first octave on plastic yildiz, which may have trained me to blow softer and use a looser embouchure than is required to play in tune on shorter neys.  I have purchased a plastic bolahenk made by Niri and am able to play in tune on that, so I will favor my Niri-made neys when playing along with others.  There is one song I want to play lead on reed bolahenk, so I will just make the guitarists tune theirs strings a little low to stay with me.  As my lungs and lips get stronger I hope I will be able to play the reed in tune someday.

All ok. 1st I'd do it with a wet flute, that what I recommended you before.

2nd you maybe right with that your breath might be a bit short yet. - But I could not say to do a stronger breath. The problem should be then, that you are running out of resonance on the deeper notes.

Resonance means - again in my eyes as me, a technician - that you create a standing wave inside tube causing a clear sound. In that case you need minimal breath to hold the a tone.

The deepest sound should be with a half wave inside flute (don't know for sure). - When I'm right you'd need another halfwave accomplishing the first, but now inside your torax. You may have a look in mirror with your Ney, one end by your mouth, you can see, where the outer end is down at your abdomen. So forget your lips and lungs. Pressing air from lung causes an enforcement by diaphragm, that way your half of the wave is cut by 2/3 approximately.

When I'm right, you must losen your diaphragm and build tension from the bottom of your belly - and that for sure, I may tell you as a singer and as Yogi too.


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