Out and About with Daisy 2019 travel blog

Knock-About Native American Style Flute Key of F Minor

Close-up of End of Knock-About Native American Style Flute


Recently I bought another Native American style flute which is tuned to the key of F minor. Lower tones are much more pleasant to my ears. I had the flute holes drilled offset from the center, which is more comfortable for my arthritic hands. The maker didn’t charge me extra for this customization. I felt more comfortable having this type of flute customized instead of an expensive wooden one, in case the offset holes didn’t work well for me. At least I wouldn’t be wasting quite so much money.

John Ellis, of Turtle Mound Flutes (www.turtlemoundflutes.com), makes each knock-about flute out of grey electrical "schedule 80" conduit PVC. Working with PVC that is this thick provides enough material to form the "sound mechanism" part of the flute the same as on wooden flutes, making the knock-abouts sound very much like wooden flutes. Each flute also has a cherry wooden mouthpiece to not only more closely resemble the playing of a wooden flute but also to prevent you from having to put your lips directly onto the PVC. The flutes are made in the woodlands style (with the flue in the flute body), with a simple, low-profile cedar wooden fetish that is attached with deerskin laces.

The flute is very plain so to give it a bit more “personality” I decorated it with Sharpie permanent markers to draw my designs directly onto the surface. I sent Mr. Ellis a photo of the finished product and he said that it is very nice.

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