Product Reviews: Mastering the Flute with William Bennett
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“Buy this book and improve!”
I came to “Mastering the Flute with William Bennett” by Roderick Seed for two reasons... The first is that many years ago I attended one of William Bennett’s summer schools as an observer. It was an incredible experience, and I was expecting that the book would encapsulate some of the brilliant ideas he spoke about in the masterclasses (it did!). The second was discovering Roderick’s work on Youtube, and hoping that the exercises he demonstrated would have an effect on my tone and playing when I tried them (they did!).
The book’s aim is to encourage and equip the player to make the flute ‘an instrument of dignity and expression’, while systematically recording WIBB’s teaching methods. Roderick Seed is uniquely qualified to do this, and has produced a very valuable resource. Judging by his own beautiful playing and freedom of tone, anything that can help achieve an ease and quality remotely close to his is worth investing in!
What I love about this volume is that every exercise is designed to enable musical expression. From the helpful account of how to get a centered and in-tune sound, understanding how the flute reacts to air, exercises for styles of attack and articulation, harmonics, intonation, through to more specific ideas of how to phrase, the development of a technique capable of creating good music is always at the forefront.
Technical and thorough, all the explanations are clear, and there are lots of notated exercises to try, as well as one or two surprising suggestions!
There is much here to think about and work on, and, speaking personally, this is a handbook I will turn to time and time again.
For flute players and flute teachers - highly recommended!
“I highly recommend it to every serious flautist.”
Roderick Seed’s book has the potential to radically improve your flute-playing (as long as it is combined with plenty of practice). The book is a mine of William Bennett’s teaching gems. Aiming to share the approaches whereby flautists can work towards achieving WIBB’s amazing sound, it is set out clearly in sections which build on each other, to enable us to improve our tone, phrasing and intonation. Each section has clear explanations, helpful diagrams or photos as well as musical exercises/examples. These are all quite simple but not at all easy! For some of the more unusual exercises/ techniques, in addition to the text in the book, Roderick gives practical demonstrations on his YouTube channel which are also really helpful. Not a book just to own or read but to really get stuck into, I highly recommend it to every serious flautist.
“Tone is everything!”
In this carefully crafted book Roderick Seed leads the flute players towards the goal of producing a beautiful sound. The many exercises are clearly laid out and cover all aspects of flute playing. This book is a treasure trove of pertinent examples and include many musical excerpts that pique one's interest and invite to explore more studies and repertoire pieces. Seed passes on the knowledge he acquired over many years of studying with William Bennett and his own teaching methods he bases on and develops from his master teacher. Thanks for passing on this wonderful skill and vision.
This amazing book should be part of every flutist's music library!
Definitely one to buy! Just the degree of detail that we all need. Tone is central to everything that we do, so why not go to the expert. This book ought to be on your music stand every day. Clearly written and laid out with many specific exercises.
“Mastering the Flute with William Bennett”
Loving the book so far, thank you thank you! I’ve worked through the first few chapters and am loving the harmonics exercises! You explain things so simply. Really useful to have all the fundamentals covered in one easy to follow guide without it being overwhelming. I’ve seen improvements already in two days of practise - thrilled!