how to make a branch flute

Just remember to put some alluminium foil to reflect the heat; place the branches on a rack, for example made of wooden or metal dowels so the heat can surround the branches, and make sure you make holes in the dryer, so the air can flow through – this way, mold should not develop inside the solar dryer. It is an ability to create wonderful instrument with your own hands. A flute out of bamboo is one of the most common musical instruments. This way, the branch will receive additional reinforcements and it should not warp and break as a result of drying process. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. In order to make a Native American style branch flute, you need to understand branches. Examine the branch to see which way will be the top of the flute. In order to make a Native American style branch flute, you need to follow the steps: Grab a branch – find a proper branch and dry it, so that it’s perfect for your own flute. Branch numer 1 is perfect for a flute no matter how simple workshop you have. I suggest to look for branches that have fallen down from a tree and are already dry in most past. I collect my branches in local woods. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. There is a simple way to figure out if the branch is dry enough. The chambers as far as being round did not seam to make any difference. Be sure to check my Native American Flute songbook, Calm Forest, available for Kindle and as Paperback. Also, even if you split the branch, it may be very hard to carve through the knot, because it’s much harder part of the wood. How to Make Branch Flute. Learn the anatomy of the Native American Flute first. For example, let’s say that the “W” is 10 grams each week – it means that each week the branch loses 10 grams. I generally don’t like making branch flutes out of Rocky Mountain Maple. Any lichen growing on the branch can even be preserved, as in the English Walnut branch flute pictured to the right. Building and Playing Native American Style Flutes, and the Japanese Art of Wabi Sabi, Healing Stories of the White Man: What Northern Exposure Taught Me About Cinema, How to Produce Native American Flute Music at Home. And it loses volume, meaning: it shrinks. If you wonder, yes – this series of tutorials can be applied to lumber bought in a hardware store or lumber stock. This part of the branch is the one that can be turned into a flute. Continue to weight the branch and make notes for the next few months. Write down the date and branch’s weight. It's available as e-book for Kindle on Amazon. Cut a small wedge from the branch about an 1 1/2 inches from the end of the branch. What surprises happen in making branch flutes! Cut a ring around the branch with the tip of your knife. As long as you do not live in a big city, branches are easy to find. Let’s call this a “W” factor. This website uses cookies to improve your experience, gather stats and manage ads. I recommend using a branch of pine, spruce or similar soft wood at first – soft wood is good for beginners. Making a Native American style branch flute is a rewarding experience. But the reality is – let’s start with something small. Be sure where the fingers will rest over the holes that it feels natural to hold the branch this way. In order to make a Native American style branch flute, you need to follow the steps: Generally, these are the main steps to turn a branch into a flute. A perfect branch for a flute, no offshots, no knots. There are two ways to make a branch flute. This entire series of tutorials will cover all these elements in details, so that you learn how to craft the flute. Deeper tones require more experience. In this lesson on how to make branch flute you will learn what kind of branches you should look for, and how to dry a branch so that it is ready to be turn into a Native American style flute. At first, you may make a lot of mistakes, like me when I was just starting out. First, use a kitchen weight to weight the branch. Don't forget to become a fan on Facebook and subscribe to new posts via RSS or via email. Without the glue, the branch shouldn’t break or split during the drying process. The branch used to make this flute was harvested from a Rocky Mountain Maple tree. It allows us to truly express our inner creativity and attend the crafting process from the very start to very finish, from taking effort to find the proper branch, through patience to dry it, to art in order to turn it into a musical instrument. ... make a flute? Along with the dryer…. Look for branches that are at least 3 cm in diameter. Never put green elderberry branches in your mouth. Note nuances of shape. Learn how to build Native American style flutes made of branches (but don't worry, the skills and knowledge applies to NAFs made of other wood, too). This is important, because at first you should really seek softwood, not the hardwood. Photo: Mike Oitzman, September 30, 2008. When the weight loss is slowing down until it’s only 1/4 of the “W” factor, and this continues for another two or three weeks, we’re done with drying. First, use a kitchen weight to weight the branch. For tuning, the notes of the flute can be compared to the notes of a piano, pitchpipe, or other tuning instrument. A couple of branch flutes I made. 21-3/8" overall length of the flute. We will start with learning about wood and branches. And all of this will be supported with many photos and illustrations. "Calm Forest" is a Native American Flute songbook for beginners. How to make a Native American Style Flute from a branch: Dry the branch. It requires you to do some math. Refer to … The best way to dry a branch is to place it outside but under a roof – this way, it will be protected against rain and snow, and at the same time it will be dried by the wind and fresh air. It doesn’t require too many skills nor tools nor strength to create your first, basic flute that sounds great. Nov 1, 2016 - In this lesson on how to make a Native American style branch flute, you will learn how to prepare a workspace and split the branch in two. Normally, a branch is “wet”, that means it contains water within itself. Last week I was adding the four new branch flutes to the 'family tree' (below), and today's 'kid' is the one closest to the anaconda-size 'trunk' flute at the bottom. Use the Internet or local library to learn about the trees growing in your area. Write down the date and branch’s weight. It’s because it may be very difficult to split the branch with a knot or “offshot area” without some kind of circular saw or table saw. Try to burn out through the wood. sharing the beauty of native american flutes since 2014. To make a bamboo flute, you’ll need a drill, a rotary tool such as a Dremel, and attachments for it. 6 Steps to Make a Branch Flute. Notice how much weight the branch looses every week. I used chisel to carve the inside of the pine’s branch. Crafting a flute out of a branch is a careful and true art of craft – it requires care, patience and enjoyment in what you do. I can be walking on the beach and discover branches washed onto the shore and rescue those branches before they become part of a beach party bonfire. If you don’t have to, don’t cut out a branch out of a living tree, when there is a lot of stand-alone branches already on the ground. As the branch dries, it loses weight. To speed up the process of drying, you can build a simple “kiln” to dry the branches. This website contains links and references to products and services that may include affiliates, sponsorships, or other business relationships in which Flute Craft and its author may receive compensation from referrals or sales actions. May 20, 2018 - In this tutorial on making a Native American branch flute, you will learn how to create the main chambers of the instrument. You should look for two kinds of branches: Now, you can collect long branches and short branches. Be sure to check my Native American Flute songbook, Calm Forest, available for Kindle and as Paperback. First, you need a branch – it can be collected in a local forest, or in your garden if you have proper trees growing there. The wood is so dense that the branches usually crack before they can be harvested. The ring should be approximately 2 … When I was just starting out, I had a room in my place that was unoccupied, and it was very sunny at the same time. How to make branch flute. Or, it can be cut off from a dead, and already dry tree, as well. But if you dry it too quickly, or you carve it too soon and glue it back together, the branch will continue to dry, but its structure will have a hard time adjusting and breaks will appear. Like on the branch number 2, the lower area below the offshot is good, it can be cut off and split into two. To do so, you need some cardboard box, some lightbulbs and alluminium foil. Jul 3, 2020 - In this lesson on how to make a Native American style branch flute, you will learn how to prepare a workspace and split the branch … It's great for beginners, no need to read staff music - it uses simplified fingering notation. Also, if you make a flute out of a branch that is not dry enough, it will continue to dry and even if it doesn’t break or split on its own, you will lose the tuning and you will have to re-tune the flute again. Don't forget to become a fan on Facebook and subscribe to new posts via RSS or via email. Make 2-3 turn, then knot the end and trim the exceeding yarn. All rights reserved. I let the shape of the branch decide this for me. All rights reserved. Besides, if you don’t have to, don’t harm the tree. It’s a good idea to do some test work. Create a nest and sound mechanism – then create a sound mechanism that … Before I made my first flutes out of a pine, I took a piece of a pine branch just to learn what I’m going to work with. You’ll also need a general purpose hand-held sander, masking tape, a saw, a ruler or measuring tape, and a box cutter or sharp knife. By starting with a green branch the finished flute can still radiate signs that the dryad , spirit, or life force of a tree is inhabiting it, though now the leaves of that branch be music. Basically, two strong lightbulbs heat the box filled wtih alluminium foil, and branches lie down above the lightbulbs, on a rack. The surprise of finding the right branch to become a branch flute Although I regularly make branch flutes, usually finding branches for flutes is unexpected. Some flute makers begin their flutes from a branch of a tree rather than from lumber that has been milled. Sanding the bore of a branch flute … These branch flute by far are my favotite. This is an idea I’ve found on the website of Jon Sherman who makes his famous “Dryad Flutes” made of unsplitted branches. Once the branch is dry enough, it is ready to be turned into a flute. That’s why it’s a better idea to dry a branch before making a flute out of it. Knots in the branch are not welcome that much – the clearer the branch is, the better for the flutemaker. double branch flute. Making a branch flute is simple and fun, BUT: only if you remember about safety rules, and you’re patient, and only if you know that mistakes at first are lessons to be learned and not the final failures. Step 4 Cut a ring around the branch with the tip of your knife. I have made too many cane flute to remember. It's available as e-book for Kindle on Amazon. These days when we think about ecology, you may think about building some kind of solar dryer with a glass, allowing the Sun to dry the branches. You will learn how to find a branch, what kind of branches are good for flutes and what kind of branches are not good, and you will learn how to dry the branch, so that becomes ready to be turned into a flute. To make your flute, you must use the right kind, shape, and structure of bamboo, use the right tools and be patient in perfecting your work. I will guide you from start to finish on your flutemaking journey. And, the air in there was very dry. There is a whole wood hardness scale that you need to learn. A member of “The Flute Portal” recently asked about sanding the bore of a sunflower stalk flute he is working on. Although Basswood is the traditional material for making Pan Flute frames, a flexible tree branch, of Willow or some other soft, pliable wood, can also be used for the front and back strips for those who want a very natural feel and look. Elderberry has a soft spongy pith in the center that can be easily crushed with your thumb. Simple Flutes A Guide to Flute Making and Playing September 2020. This question has inspired me since the beginning of my flute making journey. And the sound of branch flute is wonderful. Pick up some branch and cut it with a saw. We’ll finish the project with learning how to finish the flute with shellac and/or food grade oils. I sanded it, I created a nest, I played with a knife only to see how the wood behaves – what may go wrong, how many pieces can be cut out accidentaly, what kind of pressure and strenght I need to apply for this type of wood and such. Branches 2 and 3 are not good – they can be drilled, or cut on a band saw, but it may not be possible to split them with a  knife, because they have too many knots/offshot areas. The first step in the flute-crafting process is choosing the right wood and the marrow-like softness of an elderberry branch’s hollowed pith make it the material of choice. When stored inside, the branch should be seasoned for half a year or even a year, at minimum. Or, in simpler words: measure the weight of the branch as it dries – when it stops loosing weigth, it’s dry and ready :). Trust me – sometimes the flute doesn’t want to come to life. And I know that most people will prefer to build an F# flute at first – which is long and deep in voice. Unless otherwise noted, all content is Copyright © 2014-2020 Flutecraft.org and its respecitve authors. The HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BAMBOO FLUTE eBook is suitable for beginners as well as … Building and Playing Native American Style Flutes, and the Japanese Art of Wabi Sabi, Healing Stories of the White Man: What Northern Exposure Taught Me About Cinema, How to Produce Native American Flute Music at Home. Most of them, because the sad truth is – some branches just won’t play no matter how hard you try. Split the branch and carve the chambers – split the branch in two, and use chisels to carve the two inner chambers of the flute. The branch should remain this way for a couple of months until it’s dry enough. With the HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BAMBOO FLUTE eBook, A Step By Step Guide by Marek Gold, and these easy-to-follow flute making instructions, you can be making high-quality, musically-tuned bamboo flutes in no time! You … Example of good and bad branches for a branch flute. You can’t make a flute out of something that can be carved with a teaspoon ;). Crafting Flutes, How to Make Branch Flute April 4th, 2015. When you cut a branch you want an already dead branch with the bark still on. Basically, you should look for tree’s branches that are are as soft as possible according to the wood hardness scale. A branch flute can be big or small, thick or thin and can have so many different colors. The branches were simply lying there for months, up to one year, and that was enough to make them dry enough. Step 1: Cut a dead elderberry branch Cut a dead branch from an elderberry tree with pruning shears or a saw. Also, it’s simpler to make short flutes work than to make long flutes work. I had not yet split it, only cut the mouthpiece area (which is on the right end) and sanded the rough areas off the flute They’re “dead”, so their drying time will be shorter than a drying time of a branch that has been just cut from the tree. Its bark can create wonderful textures, too. Be sure to learn the articles on flutemaking safety and prepare the basic tools to make a Native American style flutes. Flauta Nativa Americana Banyo Instrumentos Cómo Hacer Manualidades Flauta. The ring should be approximately 2 inches behind the wedge cut. A pre-drilled branch dries quicker, because it has smaller volume and greater evaporation space. Partake in this traditional form of playing music while learning more about the endangered elderberry beetle and bush. There is some kind of magic in this uniqueness. I decided I would create this little tutorial because about a year ago, I discovered a great set up to sand the bores of my branch flutes. Please read our privacy policy to learn how to completely disable cookies in your web browser, basic tools to make a Native American style flutes, How to Make Brach Flute – Part 8: Finishes, How to Build a Jig for Drilling Branch Flutes, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 7: Sound and Tuning, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 6: Sanding and Gluing, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 5: Creating the Sound Mechanism, How to Make Branch Flute – Part 4: Carving the Main Chambers, How to Use Native American Style Flute in Film Scoring, Beauty in Imperfection. This post is the first article in a series of practical tutorials in the “How to Make Branch Flute” project. Article from flutecraft.org. Try to drill the inside holes. This website uses cookies to improve your experience, gather stats and manage ads. You can hear the flute playing in the video and watch the transformation. The next tutorial will cover the branches. Also, use the Internet. Cut a small wedge from the branch about an 1 1/2 inches from the end of the branch. Then I will explain how to carve the inner chambers, how to create the nest and sound mechanism, and finally how to tune the branch flute to pentatonic scale. It will save you a lot of time. If the branch is left in a proper room or area where it can slowly dry, after 6 to 12 months it will be dry and you won’t even notice a difference. Read the book! Learn more on Wikipedia: Janka Wood Hardness Scale. Measure and mark with a pen the centre point of the branch 5 inches in length and 1/2 inch in diameter. This method of making flute is typically used by makers who build highly individualized instruments and craft flutes one at a time. The bark may be loose but if it is still on, the wood is usually good. When you find the right place, take a piece of yarn and wrap it around the ends of the first group of five of tubes (C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E). After strong winds or storms, a lot of branches breaks and falls down. And sometimes, I get the branches from people who cut them from the trees around their homes. Split the branch in half. Learn all that you need to know about branches in order to make a Native American style branch flute. Branch number 4 is pretty good :). Create the SAC and sound chamber in each half with router, using a 7/8-inch round head bit. Often, you can see these “offshot areas” on the branch, like on the branches 2 and 3 – basically, what you are looking for is a piece of branch between these offshot areas. This way, with a lot of test branches and lumber in general, you can learn both the tools and the material before even getting to make a flute. The next lesson will focus on splitting the branch and carving the inner chambers. Oct 25, 2016 - Learn all that you need to know about branches in order to make a Native American style branch flute.. . For example, you can watch Steve Ramsay’s channel – his videos are not focused on flutes, but on different wood projects, but just by watching how others do things, you can learn a lot. It takes patience if you can’t find a dry branch and you have to wait a couple of months, but it’s better to wait, than have to remake the flute if it splits on its own. This website contains links and references to products and services that may include affiliates, sponsorships, or other business relationships in which Flute Craft and its author may receive compensation from referrals or sales actions. Personally, I use spruce, pines and larch, because these are threes soft enough. Branch flutes are wonderful – in most cases, they must be handcrafted – the amount of tools that can operate within the branch is limited. Learn how to create the heart of the Native American Flute - the sound mechanism with true sound hole and windway. They are covered with shellac which gives them this “yellowish” look. I remove the bark and let it sit in a protected place. "Calm Forest" is a Native American Flute songbook for beginners. Or if you make drilled branch flutes, then you’re not limited to “great branches” :). Jon published a post on his website with some general info regarding the kiln: check it out here. Next month on the very same day, weight the branch again and write the date along with the weight in the table. Learn how to create the heart of the Native American Flute - the sound mechanism with true sound hole and windway.

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