There are so many accessories that can be added to the flute, all of which make claims and promises to improve your playing, hand position, intonation, and much more. At the Indy Flute Shop, we only carry the finest accessories that really do what they promise, hand picked by me! This week, let’s take a look at the LefreQue.

At the NAMM show in 2016, I had the opportunity to try a unique new product that instrumentalists–particularly flute players–were raving about. It was a little gadget called the LefreQue that promised to help your instrument play easier, with greater dynamic range, and better in tune. I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to my instrument, so I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical. If you’ve never been to the NAMM convention, held at the Anaheim Convention Center, it’s hard to imagine just how massive the exhibit hall is–just over a million square feet (literally!) of exhibits showcasing new products all across the music industry. Bottom line: it’s LOUD. I picked up a flute and did some playing while my colleagues stood about 10 feet away, and of course they couldn’t hear me. But then I attached the LefreQue and played the same thing, and they immediately exclaimed that they could hear me very clearly over all the other noise! That’s when I knew this little gadget was the real deal, and the IFS has been carrying them ever since!

There is a fascinating–and complex–reason that I had this result at the NAMM convention, and why instrumentalists of all varieties truly do notice a difference in their playing with the LefreQue, but it can be a bit hard to quantify or explain. To research the science behind it–and see if it really lived up to its claims–Spanish flautist Raul Perez teamed up with the Sonic Crystals Technologies Group of the Polytechnic University of Valencia to conduct a spectral analysis of a flute and piccolo, both with and without the LefreQue attached. You can view the full study here (you’ll need to translate to English, which can be done easily on Google Chrome), but here is a snippet from the conclusion:
“The sensations that the instrumentalist said to notice when using the acoustic bridge are summarized in an improvement in the quality of the sound, with more brightness and greater ease in maintaining the tuning. These improvements are not unfounded since, as we have seen, it is physically verified that the arrangement of the acoustic bridge on the piccolo has caused the harmonic spectrum to change. This shift is towards higher frequencies, shifting the spectral centroid and therefore improving sound quality.”

It’s so fascinating! The Indy Flute Shop currently has a wide range of materials and sizes available, so make an appointment to come in and try one of these babies out!