I’ve known for some time that they’re good to do, and I just took it for granted that they were good for finding notes and getting better breath control, but wow howdy they really are sine qua non for the Baroque flute. I know that they helped me get my feet under me on my Copley, but I don’t think a Baroque is even playable without long tones to help one iron out the wrinkles on the cross-fingered notes. And given that the liphole is larger than on the Stanesby, it’s just easier to blow as well.
I’m really enjoying it, though. Another thing I really like about it is how I can focus on keeping my hands almost entirely relaxed. When you don’t have to negotiate keys, you really can focus on the idea of keeping your fingers as supple as possible and holding the flute as if you’re holding a butterfly. It takes time, and I have to just do maybe one measure at a time with a great deal of focus to ensure that my hands don’t get tense, but it makes a big difference. I also think that skill will translate well to the Copley. I’ve never been one to use my hands efficiently even on the piano (or harp), so having an instrument like this where I will have to be supple and relaxed will teach me a needed skill that I never managed to learn. It’s about time. I’ve always lived on the principal of my hands and not the interest at the piano, and I’m positive it’s held me back and may be part of why I haven’t sat at it for a while. It’s disheartening to sit at the thing, play a bit, then have my hands exhausted. I don’t know if it’s because there’s something wrong with hands or because there’s something wrong with my playing, and I think I’m trying not to make eye contact with that question, which of course is how every pressing problem is solved most efficiently, right? *sigh*
I remember reading an interview with a rock guitarist (can’t recall which one) who told a masterclass of kids that they would learn more about how to play an electric guitar well from playing an acoustic than they would ever learn from just an electric on its own. I have a feeling that playing the Grenser will have a similar effect on how I play my Copley as well.