Q: Which instrument should I choose?
A: First of all, if you don't like what you ordered, just return it. Consider it a trial(you pay return shipping!). Sometimes it takes a few tries to see what works for you. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want before and after you order something. We'll do our best to advise you through your journey.
What's your playing level?
Recorder type flutes are the easiest of all to play. This type includes the Pennywhistles, Native American Flutes, Mosenos & the Ocarinas. Just put your lips over the mouthpiece and blow.
Transverse flutes come next. For a beginner, it takes a little practice to get a solid note. But, once you have it, it becomes second nature.
Shakuhachi can be relatively hard to master, but similar to transverse flutes when you're starting out. The most rewarding of all woodwinds for it's wide range of tones.
Q: Are these instruments fragile?
A: There are two tests that I go by to define fragility:
1. The floor drop test: Will an instrument survive a drop from 5' feet on to a tile or cement floor.
2. The smush test.
This is when an instrument can usually survive a grown person sitting or standing on it.
DROP TEST SMUSH TEST
Shakuhachi Yes Yes
Bamboo Flute Yes Sometimes
NAF Flute Yes No
Metal Fife Yes Yes
Transverse & Leaf Ocarinas No Sometimes
Pendant Ocarinas Sometimes Yes
Bamboo Ocarina Yes No
Panpipes Yes No
Q: Help! My bindings broke on my flute & I lost my strap for my Ocarina.
A: Don't worry, we offer replacement bindings, straps and totems for all of our instruments. Just order what you need in our parts & repair section.
Q:How do I care for my bamboo flute?
A: All of the bamboo instruments that I sell are made from high quality bamboo. With proper care and attention, they can last a lifetime. To prevent cracking or splitting, try to follow these basic guidelines:
1. Do not leave it in your car on a cold winter night, or a hot summers day.
2. Don't let it get rained on, or store it in a damp basement. After playing, wipe down any condensation from your breath.
3. Keep it in a safe place, away from dogs, babies & wrestling matches.Remember: 'A flute on the floor is a flute no more.'
Q:Does hand size matter?
A: Yup. The bigger instruments can be a real stretch for small hands. Measure your hand from the tip of the pinky finger to end of the thumb. Stretch them as far apart as they will go. I come in at 9.5". If you are within an inch or so of that, you will have no problem playing any of these instruments. If you are less than 7", you may want to stay clear of Low A & B Shakuhachi and Low G flute. Under 5.5" then also stay away from the Tenor Sweet Potato Ocarina.
Q: Are these instruments safe for children?
A: As a father of 3, I can say that they are. We recommend everything that we sell (hand size dependent) for anybody over the age of 4. All materials used are non-toxic and Earth friendly.
Q: Is this a green company?
We pride ourselves in having a 0% waste production facility.
No pesticides or poisons are used in our bamboo groves.
No fertilizers, only on-site composting & mulching.
We recycle all bamboo refuse and use it as a major ingredient in our mulch.
All lacquers used are all natural resins. Our application techniques allow for no wasted lacquer or need for clean up.
Other items, such as the Ocarinas are all safe for mouth contact and use non-toxic coloring and glazes. We do the best we can to meet the highest standards of Earth & People friendliness.
Q: What's the deal with the logo?
A: World Winds Logo Story
Q: You throw around the term 'Native American" quite loosely, don't you?
A: Well, sort of. I use it to describe a particular scale, the Minor Pentatonic. I also use it to describe an instrument as having similarities to the characteristic NAF tone. And in certain instances, I use it to refer to traditional Native American instrument design or techniques.
So, I have my reasons. Some people have a very narrow & protective attitude towards using Native American terminology. As a person with Arapahoe ancestry, I take the First Nation's traditions very seriously, and only wish to honor them.