Waking Spirit Productions
Vance Pennington - Flute Maker
Koko Waking Spirit Flutes

Frequently Asked Questions
Breaking Into The Upper Octave


Why does the top fingering hole note (highest note of the primary scale) break into the upper octave if I blow just a little too hard?


In order to answer this question, one has to understand a little about how a flute works when it is played. Although this is quite a complex study I will endeavor to explain it in a simple way. Most flute folks have heard of the 'K2' that forms at the True Sound Hole (embouchure) and it is this that, along with another aspect, that causes the flute to jump into the upper octave. What happens when a flute is played (in its lowest or basic octave) is that a single 'node' forms inside the flute. This node is created by Mother Nature. At either side of the node there is an anti-node which is also formed by Mother Nature. If the anti-node that has formed between the bridge and the node enters the K2 pressure of the flute, the node will double itself up which forces the note being played to jump into the upper octave. Unfortunately, there is no way to correct this scenario as the fingering holes have been incorrectly placed, often due to the sound chamber being too short.