Learning to Play the Traverso

Its easy! Its fun!

  1. Get a traverso made by one of the many outstanding makers practicing today. If you are not clear on your commitment, there are a few somewhat cheaper options.
    • Claire Soubeyran makes a less expensive student traverso. She generally has these flutes available for shipment in less than a month. Also they may be obtained through Jean-Luc Boudreau.
    • Roger Bernolin sells an inexpensive Rottenburgh model crafted from resin. The price is around 450 Euros.
    • Ralph Sweet sells an inexpensive baroque flute with both 415 and 440 joints. His flute is based on a Grenser design. He has recently revised his embouchure to be of baroque-period proportions.
    • Aulos sells a plastic A415 Stanesby copy for around $500 which is a fine starter traverso. This instrument was what I started on.
    • Thomas Fehr sells a handmade student traverso in the $900 range.
    • Used instruments. This can be the best and the worst. Some of the earlier copies are not very good, and "for sale" often means "not wanted", but most used instruments are quite good. If you can get it on approval and have an accomplished flutist try it for you, you are set.
    • If you don't consider yourself particularly accomplished you could consider the plastic A440 Aulos Grenser, very reasonably priced (around $300) but not a perfect instrument.
  2. Get Boland's excellent Method for the One-Keyed Flute. You will want to read 18th-century methods later, but this modern method is good for starters. Well, I take that back: it is also very good to read Quantz' On Playing the Flute (1752).
  3. Find a teacher (this link takes you to Ardal Powell's baroque flute teacher's directory). Even if they are a ways away and you can only take a couple lessons a year that is much better than nothing!
  4. Go to local concerts and get several traverso CD's/MP3's to hear how its supposed to be done.
  5. There are a fair number of nice traverso playing videos on youtube which are well worth watching.

Caring for Your Traverso

Flute Care Essay
an essay by Rod Cameron on caring for your flute