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COMMENTARY: Before I began my exploration of the Native American flute I was, (and still am) an avid player and lover of the penny whistle and the recorder. Of the two, the penny whistle is the easier instrument to play. It has six holes in the front, no holes in the back, and sharps and flats are gotten by completely closing holes, or, in some instances, covering only half a hole. The recorder is a somewhat more complex instrument. It has six holes in the front, but it also has a hole on the back that's covered with the thumb. Also, the lowest hole in the front is really a double hole, making it easier to half cover a hole. With the Native American flute we must half cover the whole hole, and that, beyond doubt, is the trickiest thing you'll need to learn on the NA flute. The nice thing about a recorder is you can buy a plastic Yamaha recorder for not very much money. But the trade-off is the recorder is somewhat more difficult to learn to play. The penny whistle, on the other hand, is fun to play because its native major scale is very intuitive to learn.

I own several penny whistles and a Yamaha plastic recorder. I also own a 5-hole end-blown flute that came from South America. For the life of me I can't figure out the fingering. I plan to post some photos of my whistle/recorder collection on this page. Hopefully, one of you out there can help me out with the South American flute fingering. Check back to this page in a couple of weeks to see if I have the photos posted.

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