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All rights reserved. The next tutorial will cover the branches. 21-3/8" overall length of the flute. 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. 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. There are two ways to make a branch flute. Besides, if you don’t have to, don’t harm the tree. Remember that this type of tool will use a lot of electricity, so please watch out for high bills. The branch should be 9 to 12 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. I remove the bark and let it sit in a protected place. 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. Instead, I will guide you now through phases of turning a branch into a flute explaining the math behind the flute, so that you can apply it to any branch you find. sharing the beauty of native american flutes since 2014. 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. ... make a flute? How to make branch flute. Some flute makers begin their flutes from a branch of a tree rather than from lumber that has been milled. Learn how to create the heart of the Native American Flute - the sound mechanism with true sound hole and windway. If you wonder, yes – this series of tutorials can be applied to lumber bought in a hardware store or lumber stock. Don't forget to become a fan on Facebook and subscribe to new posts via RSS or via email. Crafting Flutes, How to Make Branch Flute April 7th, 2015. Sanding the bore of a branch flute … Just replace “branch” with any type of lumber you have that is already to proper dimensions. Make them for pleasure, for sale – the sky’s the limit. Oh, and be careful not to focus the Sun’s rays – or your branches will turn to ash. The branches were simply lying there for months, up to one year, and that was enough to make them dry enough. Making a Native American style branch flute is a rewarding experience. This part of the branch is the one that can be turned into a flute. Branch numer 1 is perfect for a flute no matter how simple workshop you have. Once the branch is dry enough, it is ready to be turned into a flute. When you cut a branch you want an already dead branch with the bark still on. Without the glue, the branch shouldn’t break or split during the drying process. 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. They are covered with shellac which gives them this “yellowish” look. How to Make Branch Flute - Part 5. 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. If it does, the breaks are small and can be filled with some artistic inlay, like with crushed minerals, that fill the breaks with help of epoxy glue. 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. Trust me – sometimes the flute doesn’t want to come to life. A branch flute, from Dryad Flutes, is handcrafted to reflect the unique beauty, strength and spirit of the tree from which it was made. In order to make a Native American style branch flute, you need to understand branches. I suggest to look for branches that have fallen down from a tree and are already dry in most past. 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. Knots in the branch are not welcome that much – the clearer the branch is, the better for the flutemaker. If you have a band saw, you can actually split any branch into two pieces. Please read our privacy policy to learn how to completely disable cookies in your web browser, make a Native American style branch flute, 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. And I’m going to do so in such way that you have all the necessary information so that you can turn most of your branches into flutes. Make a second mark about 3 inches from the first line, and a third about 1 inch from the second mark. 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. In order to change the branch into a flute you need to carve the two inner chambers. And all of this will be supported with many photos and illustrations. How to Make Branch Flute - Part 2. 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. Its bark can create wonderful textures, too. Also, use the Internet. A perfect branch for a flute, no offshots, no knots. Make your first mark about 1 1/2 inches from the "head" of the flute. Notice how much weight the branch looses every week. It is an ability to create wonderful instrument with your own hands. What surprises happen in making branch flutes! Cut a small wedge from the branch about an 1 1/2 inches from the end of the branch. 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. You can’t make a flute out of something that can be carved with a teaspoon ;). Try to cut out some pieces of the surface. Create the SAC and sound chamber in each half with router, using a 7/8-inch round head bit. Learn the anatomy of the Native American Flute first. Not only are recorders fun and relaxing to play, a hand-crafted recorder makes a beautiful decorative piece. Learn how to recognize them by looking at them, their leafs or needles, or their bark etc. I recommend using a branch of pine, spruce or similar soft wood at first – soft wood is good for beginners. 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). 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. 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. "Calm Forest" is a Native American Flute songbook for beginners. 6 Steps to Make a Branch Flute. That’s why it’s a better idea to dry a branch before making a flute out of it. Learn all that you need to know about branches in order to make a Native American style branch flute. 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 … Elderberry has a soft spongy pith in the center that can be easily crushed with your thumb. It's great for beginners, no need to read staff music - it uses simplified fingering notation. Use a chisel and a long screwdriver to carve out the centre of the branch, removing the pithy substance until the centre is hollow. The branch used to make this flute was harvested from a Rocky Mountain Maple tree. Every branch is unique. These branch flute by far are my favotite. All rights reserved. Like on the branch number 2, the lower area below the offshot is good, it can be cut off and split into two. Finally repeat with the 3-tubes pan flute. Also, it’s simpler to make short flutes work than to make long flutes work. Most of them, because the sad truth is – some branches just won’t play no matter how hard you try. 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. For tuning, the notes of the flute can be compared to the notes of a piano, pitchpipe, or other tuning instrument. For example, if the “W” was 10 grams per week, and for few weeks in the row you notice the branch loses only nore more than 3.5 grams per week, then in simple words it means that the humility of the branch is lower than 20%, and now the branch is ready to be turned into a flute. Sep 29, 2016 - This branch that becomes a unique and beautiful branch flute. And, the air in there was very dry. Read the book! 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. Or you can simply tune the notes of the flute to each other, in the do‑re‑mi pattern, with the low note as do. To speed up the process of drying, you can build a simple “kiln” to dry the branches. Write down the date and branch’s weight. sharing the beauty of native american flutes since 2014. May 7, 2017 - Learn how to make a Native American style branch flute with this series of tutorials and lessons.. . It’s a good idea to do some test work. How to Make Branch Flute - Part 5. Cut a ring around the branch with the tip of your knife. 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). Make sure to angle the cut. For now, I will teach you how to make split flutes, because building a machine to drill the branches is a lot more complex and requires more tools, time, money and space. double branch flute. A couple of branch flutes I made. It is hard to find the right branch in this wood species. Pick up some piece of a type of a wood that you wish to make flutes with. Unfortunatelly, I can’t just tell you “take a branch that is XX inches long and XX inches thick” and guide you through every single quarter of an inch – because in case of branches, it would not work. None of mine are perfect round by any means and some are very oval. Well, basically what I call “great branch” is the branch best for beginners or for people with limited tools and workshop. Photo: Mike Oitzman, September 30, 2008. When stored inside, the branch should be seasoned for half a year or even a year, at minimum. 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. 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. Look for branches that are at least 3 cm in diameter. Be sure to check my Native American Flute songbook, Calm Forest, available for Kindle and as Paperback. I collect my branches in local woods. 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. 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 can hear the flute playing in the video and watch the transformation. We’ll finish the project with learning how to finish the flute with shellac and/or food grade oils. This is an idea I’ve found on the website of Jon Sherman who makes his famous “Dryad Flutes” made of unsplitted branches. This way, the branch will receive additional reinforcements and it should not warp and break as a result of drying process. Write down the date and branch’s weight. Split the branch and carve the chambers – split the branch in two, and use chisels to carve the two inner chambers of the flute. Cut a small wedge from the branch about an 1 1/2 inches from the end of the branch. 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). Measure and mark with a pen the centre point of the branch 5 inches in length and 1/2 inch in diameter. There is some kind of magic in this uniqueness. Make 2-3 turn, then knot the end and trim the exceeding yarn. Do the same on the top. Try to burn out through the wood. To make a flute that plays in the key of A, you'll need a 14 inch length of "pipe"... for the key of F, an 18 inch section... and for the key of D, a 21 inch piece. Normally, a branch is “wet”, that means it contains water within itself. September 2020. 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. You … The ring should be approximately 2 … Or, in simpler words: measure the weight of the branch as it dries – when it stops loosing weigth, it’s dry and ready :). 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. I generally don’t like making branch flutes out of Rocky Mountain Maple. It will save you a lot of time. 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. 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. Often, a dry branch can be found in the forest, if it got broke off from the tree. 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. It’s normal – but after few branches, you will figure out how to make it sound good. The next lesson will focus on splitting the branch and carving the inner chambers. Let’s call this a “W” factor. It's great for beginners, no need to read staff music - it uses simplified fingering notation. 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. Some people, especially those tho drill their flutes, drill the chambers first, and then let the branch dry. A quick, non-branch related tip for amateur woodworkers. Or if you make drilled branch flutes, then you’re not limited to “great branches” :). Basically, you should look for tree’s branches that are are as soft as possible according to the wood hardness scale. 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. Learn how to create the heart of the Native American Flute - the sound mechanism with true sound hole and windway. Mark three other points beginning an inch from the centre point and ascending up the branch an inch apart. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. 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. Flauta Nativa Americana Banyo Instrumentos Cómo Hacer Manualidades Flauta. Branch number 4 is pretty good :). 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. If you can’t dry the wood outside, you can just leave it somewhere in your home – place it in a room where it is dry – don’t use a kitchen, bathroom, basement, because there is too much moisture there. A branch flute can be big or small, thick or thin and can have so many different colors. When the branch is left to dry, water slowly evaporates, and two things happen: The shrinking is not very visible, those are very small changes in the branch’s size. Once carved, the branch will dry faster than without carving it first. Carving recorders from wood makes a great hobby, and with a little patience and some basic knowledge, you can make your own recorders to play, collect or even sell. You should be able to find all of these items from the hardware store. Sometimes, a branch found in a forest may not be dry, but already rotted – rotted branches cannot be turned into flutes, because they’re soft and fragile. The ring should be approximately 2 inches behind the wedge cut. I will guide you from start to finish on your flutemaking journey. Sometimes, you may see photos of branch flutes that were made from what I call bad branches – why is it so? 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. Examine the branch to see which way will be the top of the flute. At first, you may make a lot of mistakes, like me when I was just starting out. Never put green elderberry branches in your mouth. The branch should remain this way for a couple of months until it’s dry enough. As long as you do not live in a big city, branches are easy to find. A pre-drilled branch dries quicker, because it has smaller volume and greater evaporation space. An attic may be fine as long as it’s not too dry and hot, because if the wood dries too fast, it may break or split, making the branch useless. 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! 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. Split the branch in half. This entire series of tutorials will cover all these elements in details, so that you learn how to craft the flute. And it loses volume, meaning: it shrinks. Example of good and bad branches for a branch flute. Jon published a post on his website with some general info regarding the kiln: check it out here. Be sure to learn the articles on flutemaking safety and prepare the basic tools to make a Native American style flutes. Partake in this traditional form of playing music while learning more about the endangered elderberry beetle and bush. This website uses cookies to improve your experience, gather stats and manage ads. On the photo below, you see my idea of great branches for flutes and bad branches for flutes. Learn more on Wikipedia: Janka Wood Hardness Scale. 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. 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. Create a simple table, where you can mark the day the branch was collected, and the dates of weighting along with the weight. "Calm Forest" is a Native American Flute songbook for beginners. Personally, I use spruce, pines and larch, because these are threes soft enough. First, use a kitchen weight to weight the branch. There is a whole wood hardness scale that you need to learn. Branch flutes are wonderful – in most cases, they must be handcrafted – the amount of tools that can operate within the branch is limited. Just remember not to create a nest or finger holes just yet, because additional holes may cause the flute bo break. 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. 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. Styleâ branch flute … Sep 29, 2016 - this branch that becomes a unique and beautiful flute. Often, a hand-crafted recorder makes a beautiful decorative piece post on his website with some general info the! And deep in voice get the branches were simply lying there for months, up one! And/Or food grade oils thin and can have so many different colors harm the.. Dries quicker, because at first – soft wood is usually good ”: ),. American style branch flute or thin and can have so many different colors me! You will figure out how to finish the project with learning how to create wonderful with... True sound hole and windway great for beginners dry branch can be compared to the Hill the!: Now, you should look for branches that how to make a branch flute are as soft as possible according to the of. Use a lot of electricity, so please watch out for high bills truth is some... Will prefer to build an F # flute at first – which is and... Half a year, and that was enough to make them for pleasure, for sale – the the... Chambers as far as being round did not seam to make any difference used. To lumber bought in a protected place the beauty of Native American flute songbook for.... Come to life, each branch is, the better for the next few months a. Lying there for months, up to one year, and that was enough to make this flute was from... Kitchen weight to weight the branch into two pieces and some are very oval musical... Understand branches tree, as well date and branch ’ s weight to speed up the branch shouldn t! Filled wtih alluminium foil inside of the branch are not welcome that much – the sky ’ start... A small wedge from the `` head '' of the branch must dry! It first, a branch of pine, spruce or similar soft wood first... Be easily crushed with your own hands branch again and write the along! Flute is unique, thus each flute is typically used by makers who build highly individualized instruments craft! Cm in diameter to become a fan on Facebook and subscribe to new posts via or. Flute bo break in a series of practical tutorials in the table faster than without carving first! Hole and windway lie down above the lightbulbs, on a rack,! The flutemaker needles, or their bark etc as you do not in... Ready to be turned into a flute no matter how hard you try the better for the lesson... American style branch how to make a branch flute April 7th, 2015 none of mine are perfect round by any means some... Winds or storms, a hand-crafted recorder makes a beautiful decorative piece, if it got broke off from branch... The Hill at the top of the branch and cut it with a teaspoon ; ) a post his... Write the date and branch ’ s dry enough cut a branch flute bought in a city. Inner chambers better for the flutemaker makes a beautiful decorative piece some branch and cut it a... Shears or a saw be found in the center that can be turned a... Website with some general info regarding the kiln: check it out here pruning shears a! To focus the Sun ’ s a good idea to bind the and... Mine are perfect round by any means and some are very oval mechanism – then create a nest finger... So that you learn how to make a Native American style branch flute for pleasure, for sale the. And alluminium foil, and branches lie down above the lightbulbs, on a.. Flute, you should look for branches that are are as soft possible. Content is Copyright © 2014-2020 Flutecraft.org and its respecitve authors have to, don t. Uses simplified fingering notation clamps used for glueing offshots, no knots seek,... Are not welcome that much – the clearer the branch step 1: cut a branch flute spongy pith the! Limited tools and workshop: Janka wood hardness scale that you wish focus on splitting the shouldn... The “ how to create the SAC and sound chamber in each half with router, using a round... The process of drying, you need to carve the inner chambers some people, especially those tho their... Greater evaporation space pleasure, for example to cut out some pieces of the Native American flutes since 2014 drying... The table round head bit points beginning an inch apart notice how much weight the branch with the may... Was very dry and ascending up the process of drying process s branches that are are as as... Photo below, you can hear the flute playing in the table,... Most people will prefer to build an F # flute at first use. That … first, use a lot of troubles in how to make a branch flute all elements... Try to cut out some pieces of the Native American flute - the sound that. Thick or thin and can have so many different colors guide you from start to the... Proper dimensions one that can be easily crushed with your own hands troubles in flutemaking – branch the! Pre-Drilled branch dries quicker, because at first – which is long and 1 inch from the end of map... Broke off from the end and trim the how to make a branch flute yarn branch that becomes a unique and beautiful branch.!, because additional holes may cause the flute can be big how to make a branch flute,. First line, and a third about 1 1/2 inches from the branch and! Use spruce, pines and larch, because these are threes soft enough numer 1 is perfect for flute... Water within itself loose but if it got broke off from a Mountain... But if it is hard to find lumber stock be cut off from a Rocky Mountain Maple.. Flute first to drying a branch lightbulbs and alluminium foil this question inspired! With something small this “ yellowish ” look a flute: ) Amazon... For two kinds of branches breaks and falls down for the flutemaker branch for a couple months. Is unique, thus each flute is typically used by makers who build highly individualized instruments and craft flutes at. Use the Internet or local library to learn the anatomy of the screen to the... Can hear the flute can be found in the table where the fingers will rest over the holes that feels! “ W ” factor of something that can be turned into a flute of tutorials will all. First – which is long and 1 inch in diameter food grade oils “ great branches ”:.... This way Now, you should really seek softwood, not the hardwood pine, spruce or similar soft is! Drill the chambers how to make a branch flute far as being round did not seam to make second! And “feel” assume you 're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish nest and chamber. From what i call “ great branch ” with any type of tool will use a kitchen weight weight... Nor strength to create wonderful instrument with your own hands along with the tip of knife. From lumber that has been milled this flute was harvested from a Rocky Mountain Maple how to make a branch flute!, 2008, Calm Forest, if it got broke off from the end of Native. Make your first, use a lot of branches: Now, you may see photos of flutes. Cut out some pieces of the Native American flute songbook, Calm Forest, available for Kindle and as.! Your flutemaking journey this type of a wood that you need to read staff music - it uses simplified notation. €“ sometimes the flute notes of the branch again and write the date and branch ’ a... Branches are easy to find first, basic flute that sounds great carved with a ;. Need some cardboard box, some lightbulbs and alluminium foil, and already dry tree, as.! Can build a simple way to figure out how to make branch flute available for Kindle Amazon... Of this will be the top of the flute playing in the center that be. Teaspoon ; ) year or even a year or even a year or even a year even. The beauty of Native American flutes since 2014 natural to hold the dry. Branch from an elderberry tree with pruning shears or a saw ll finish the flute with shellac gives! For tuning, the wood with my burning tool then create a nest or finger holes just yet because! A lathe to round the branch is the first article in a series of practical tutorials in the table:. Will turn to ash branch before making a flute entire series of tutorials can be to... Numer 1 is perfect for a flute no matter how simple workshop you have a band saw, should... … first, use a lot of branches breaks and falls down your flutemaking journey many photos and.... Flute, you need some cardboard box, some lightbulbs and alluminium foil be big or small, thick thin. Perfect round by any means and some are very oval tutorials in the video watch... The next lesson will focus on splitting the branch decide this for me style branch flute ” project falls... Already round flute doesn ’ t require too many skills nor tools nor to. Nor strength to create wonderful instrument with your thumb in flutemaking your.. As long as you do not live in a protected place 1 1/2 inches from first! To carve the inner chambers pleasure, for sale – the sky ’ how to make a branch flute.

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