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Click on picture below to see examples of all flutes.
If you've come looking for a quality, concert tuned, affordable
instrument created in the
style of the Native American flute, made by Richard Maynard, (Laughing Crow), Click Here.
The flutes by Laughing Crow in the style of the Native American Indian flute or
love flute are
traditional musical instruments. My instruments are not mass produced. These
Native American styled flutes are created by a musician
for the musician (you) in my solar powered workshop at our Earth
Ship outside Taos, New Mexico. Of course, you don't have to be a musician to
make beautiful "noise" with the
Native American Flute! The
Indian Flute is easy to play and rewarding to learn.
It is the easiest of all musical
instruments to learn.
All of the flutes shown are handmade.
That's right. I'm just one guy doing all the tasks. I
leave the mass production, laser, CNC machines (computer numerically controlled),
imported labor, dyes and stains to the big manufacturers. Each piece of
wood is selectively chosen, cut to shape, tuned and finished by master
flute maker, Richard Maynard, creating an outstanding,
custom instrument you can enjoy for a lifetime.
The flutes made in the style of
Indian Flutes by Laughing Crow are easy to play, have a big
voice and are very forgiving to the novice as
well as being great performers for the experienced player. My flutes
have a wide dynamic range. Whether one wishes to play softly and in a
meditative style or if one wishes to play "out" for an audience, these
flutes will perform for you. I'm confident that if you purchase one of
my flutes, you'll not only be very happy with the appearance, but even more so
you'll be thrilled with the tone, playability and tuning.
If there is ever an issue with any purchase from Laughing Crow Flutes,
rest assured that it will be resolved fairly, equitably and quickly. You
have my personal guarantee on that.
I'm often asked about the slanted end that has become sort of a trade
mark for Laughing Crow Flutes. People want to know if it affects the
sound. It is my opinion that the tone is affected only in a minimal way.
It does not degrade the sound of the flute as far as I can tell. The
slanted end just makes it look different and in my eyes gives a certain
"flow" to the shape of the instrument. Now, it has been brought to my
attention by one of my friends that it is possible to get another note
out of the flute by bringing the flute down to your body, or your knee
if you're sitting, while all fingers are down playing the fundamental.
This technique helps add to the palette of notes that you can use while
playing. So, long story short, the slanted end is advantageous if you
wish to learn how to play another note that is 1/2 step lower than the
fundamental. If you thought your F#m flute could only go as low as F#,
now you can get one more note lower by bringing the open, slanted end
down towards your body and get the F natural. Same with the other keyed
flutes, IE: a Gm flute can play the lower F#, an Am flute can play the
lower Ab, etc. This extra note is often referred to as the "leading
tone" or the "major seventh".
Custom Native American
styled Flutes. Check them out on the "Flutes" page. Great
looking woods, Great sounding flutes!
Pewter & Bronze "Bear
Dreamer" statue. Limited edition, on sale here.
This e-mail is long overdue. I got caught up in the holiday madness and
I neglected to send you an e-mail soon after the arrival of my Bubinga
Drone in E minor.
Richard, wow! Thank you! I need to tell you that when I received the
Bubinga Drone in E minor, I was speechless. The flute is everything I
expected and more. In a word, the drone is AWESOME! (Actually, I have a
lot more words I could use, too, but they're all synonymous with the
word awesome.) After the mail carrier handed me the package and I
signed for it, I ran inside like a little kid with a big ol' smile on my
face. After opening the package I held the instrument in my hand,
inspected it, and said aloud to no one in particular (I was home alone),
"This is AWESOME!" Then I played it for who-knows-how-long, shook out
the condensation, and then played it some more. Later that night, about
10:00 pm, my wife finally had to tell me, "OK, that's enough for today.
You can play it some more tomorrow."
Richard, please feel free to include this message in your Testimonials
page if you wish. I am not shy about saying how pleased I am with each
of the flutes I have purchased from you. Not to mention, thanks for
your outstanding customer service. I know I called you a few times with
my "Is it ready yet?" phone calls and you were always patient with your
replies. You can bet I'll be ordering from you again in the near
Los Angeles, CA
Hi Richard I just received my new flute from you an I could not
contain my self as I rip away at the box. But when I did get it open an
took out that magnificent work of art I was just stunned! The pictures
on your web sight of this flute just did not do it justice. It took me
some time just looking at it an admiring it's beauty. Just holding it in
my hand an feeling the weight of it let me know that I was holding
something very special. Then I began to play on it an the sound was so
beautiful an sweet to the ears. An this flute really responded to my
every movement of my fingers like a fine tuned race car! Man Richard you
out did your self on this flute an I'm extremely happy that I'm the one
who owns it now. You live up to your title of master flute maker! I
can't wait to play the bear in Dm the second flute I purchase from you.
I would highly recommend to anyone looking to buy a well made top of the
line flute to look no further than Richard Maynard ( Laughing Crow )
Thank you so very much
Thank you very much Richard. I
appreciate the fact that you devote your energy
to the making of instruments. Stocks rise and fall. Instruments keep
to some kind of constant ageless circle in my life.
Yours very truly,
Free Native American style Music
Downloads. As a "Thank You" gift for visiting my site and for all
my wonderful patrons, I now have two flute solos in the Native American
style that I'd like to share with you.
The first is called "Saturn's Night" and the second, "Morning
Light". These tunes are in MP3 format which you may download free as a token of my
appreciation. The only catch is that you have to visit my
"Flutes" page and scroll
down to the bottom to find the link. I hope you enjoy these freebies and
come back to visit my site. Thanks for stopping by!
The workshop in Tucson.
Laughing Crow working at the belt sander shaping a new drone in
that belt sander can take the hide off in a hurry. That's why I'm
wearing those heavy gloves. The other photo is of the routing process. I
spent a week cutting, routing and planing enough wood to make 118 Native
American style flutes. Want to see more photos?
Click here. (Photos by Amelia Williams-Maynard.)
Click Here to go to the flutes.
If you'd like to see me and
sample my Native American style flutes in person, check out this page with all my show dates and
This site uses PayPal for ordering
flutes. If, for some reason, you don't want to use PayPal you can use my
Secure Order Form or, better
yet, call me toll free (888)778-3688 to place your order over the phone.
A note about shipping to other countries: Your
country may charge import duties, value added taxes (VAT), etc. The
recipient is responsible for these duties, taxes and fees. Laughing Crow
Flutes has no control over these fees. Your government is responsible
for adding these charges. You will be expected to pay these fees in
order to retrieve your shipment from your local Postal Service.
Video from Zion. "Over the Rainbow" as played by Richard Maynard.
You'll hear a lot of noise in the background, especially the saw from
the flute making tent. It was a very noisy day, but we made the best of
it. I hope you'll enjoy the song. I had a blast playing on the open mic
stage. You can see more performances from the open mic stage at the Zion
Flute and Drum Festival like
Zuni Sunrise and a
Hang Drum solo on YouTube.
from the Zion trip. These photos were taken by Amelia and myself on
the way back to Taos, coming through Zion National Park. Some truly
Below are some unsolicited testimonials from happy customers. (These are what
really makes it all worthwhile.)
................and Wow! I'd like to say more.....but flute won't
let me stop.... ...........must play more!
Whoa! The flute arrived with this afternoon's mail, and I haven't
been able to leave it alone! The sound is just phenomenal, it vibrates
right through me ( ... so that's what a flute is supposed to sound
like). The grain and color of the wood are spectacular and the
workmanship is exquisite! After looking over your website and reviewing
a few of the testimonials I knew I would get a good quality flute, but
what you sent me far surpassed my expectations!
The only thing I wasn't prepared for is the size of this thing! this
monster of a masterpiece (Bass Cm) makes my little (brand name withheld)
poplar F# look like a kids toy ( ...sorta makes it sound like one too)!
I'm already looking at replacing it with one of yours down the road when
I purchase another.
I will be getting a lot of joy with with your flute. I now see
what you mean by works of art; your pictures are quite well done on your
website, but still don't do your flutes ample justice.
Thank you, thank you, and enjoy the blessing, from your newest future
repeat customer ...got to go play now!
I just received your cedar flute in F#. It's a stunning instrument
look at and more so to play. I don't have much to compare it to
my penny whistle, but the fingering is almost as tight even though
in a lower key, making it a breeze to play. Breath control is much
easier than people seem to talk about - the flute is very forgiving
volume and has quite a range as far as that's concerned. The tone
gorgeous as the instrument itself - really everything it should be -
I have to say I'm in love. As soon as I got it I sat down and
for two hours! I'm just amazed with how
clearly it was made by a musician for a musician. Flats and sharps
pitch shifting and the lot are just so easy - it's hard to get a bad
When I branch out into other keys or look for something fancier, I
definitely know where to go! Thank you for making these beautiful
THANKS FOR THE FLUTE IT IS PERFECTO THE SOUND IS BEAUTIFUL, THAT'S WHY I
ORDERED 4 MORE FROM YOU.
KAY & MARCO
It has been a delight to do business with you. Thank you for having
such a wonderful website and offering magical instruments and music
to people. I believe things like this are very valuable tools that
will help us to heal ourselves and our planet. I admire what you are
Just wanted to let you know how popular your
flutes are here. Angela is currently doing
Stella Benson’s Healing Musician Course that I
completed and took her flute to play for some
people in a hospice. One man was of Asian
nationality and when Angela played the flute he
was totally stunned – it took him back to his
childhood and he loved the sound.
Stella is currently here in Australia and
Angela borrowed our other Laughing Crow flutes
and played them with Stella playing the harp –
the number of people that commented on the sound
of the flutes was amazing. Today we had a full
day workshop on healing music and David played
your flutes in different settings – the comments
were lovely - the sound quality is very
different to what we are used to here and it
really touched people very deeply.
Thanks again – take care
Hi This is Kevin......
Thank you Laughing Crow for the flute! The resonance
breathtaking. Everyone that has heard and viewed the
has complemented on how beautiful this instrument
is. The tone
and beauty are one. Words cannot describe the
feelings as I
weave my way through the notes as a windrider. I
from the deepest part of my heart for creating this
instrument. The melodies echo along the prairie.
Although I am
new at playing this instrument, I feel that the
melodies that I have
created are becoming more beautiful as each day
Again thank you for the flute and I hope to start
soon among the prairie fields.
Testimonials, you can go here.
to the Flutes.
Lots of people see and hear these
beautiful instruments and say "Boy, if I had talent, I'd get one of
those!" Most think that if one is not already a musician, there's no
chance of being able to create the soothing, inspiring, meditative moods
that the Native American Flute is capable of. I try to say, "Oh, they're
easy to play!" They reply, "Easy for you!" I have to tell you that
almost anyone can evoke the inspirational tones from this instrument
with a minimum of effort and practice.
I think it's important to know that
the Native American Flute requires almost no effort. One does not need
to hold one's mouth any certain way. What I mean is one does not need a
special embouchure, such as a clarinet or trumpet player or even someone
who plays a concert flute. "Just kiss it and blow" is the short, sweet
way to get the point across. The fingering is elementary. The pentatonic
scale has no wrong notes. You can play the notes in any order and your
song will be "right". The goal is to learn to express yourself with your
own song. Play what you see, play what you feel. Look at a tree and play
the tree. Watch a hawk circling overhead and play the circles in the
sky. Play the clouds.
I offer seven CDs that I have created with the Native
American style Flute.
These are almost entirely improvisation. They are all done using the
Native American minor pentatonic scale. This is the scale this flute
does best and the scale that is illustrated on the instruction sheet
that comes with the flute. I, personally, have never excelled with a musical instrument
in my past. I played drums for twenty four years because I couldn't fit
in with the standards, the norms which were dictated by the music
teachers. (Translates to my being "hard-headed"). When I found the Native
American Flute, I found a way to express myself musically. This is why
the Native American Flute is so popular. It can be used creatively by
non-musicians as well as by musicians of all capabilities.
You will also find a powerful tool to
develop creativity and confidence in this site; "Understanding the Gift"
by John Vames. This method book is probably the best source one can find
for properly learning all the techniques for playing the Native American
Flute. There is no better resource available, in my opinion, for
learning the Native Flute. John is a music educator. He has been teaching
for over thirty years. This man knows his business. His book,
which is available here, teaches everything from how to place your
fingers on the flute, to learning all the embellishments, or "little
tricks" that enable you to play like the major players. It takes you all
the way to learning how to read tablature, the form of written music
created by R. Carlos Nakai for the Native American Flute, with songs in
the back you can learn, if you so desire. My favorite aspect of this
book is that it comes
with a CD in which John explains and performs all the lessons. I highly
recommend "Understanding the Gift" available at this site.
Explore the flutes here. Download and
listen to some of the examples by clicking on the pictures of the
flutes. I hope you like what you see and hear.
Thank you for stopping in. Namaste,
To find instructions on how to make a
Native American flute go to
To find accessories for your flute such as deer hide bags, stands and
cases go to
www.juniperflute.com. Be sure and tell them Laughing Crow sent you!
A word about "delamination". (Fancy
word that means "coming unglued"). My flutes are made in two pieces. I
am using "Titebond III" to assemble my blanks. This is the world's
best waterproof wood glue. I guarantee that my flutes will not
delaminate. Period. I've left glued scraps out in the weather, rain,
sun, you name it and this glue holds. Boring the wood to make a one
piece flute is a faster way to make these instruments. Maybe, some day,
I'll get a boring machine so I can make them in one piece. But until
then, I'll keep making them the traditional way using this high
performance glue which is actually stronger than the wood itself. If
you're worried about my flutes coming apart at the seams, don't. They
are guaranteed not to delaminate. Ever.
It is a known
fact among woodworkers that any piece of wood can crack, check or split.
This means that even the "one piece" instruments can crack. Remember,
we're working with wood which is a living thing, It is a dynamic thing
and in rare occasions can "move", bend and split. So, regardless of
whether a Native American flute is made in one piece, two or more
pieces, we still have to deal with the fact that the wood is dynamic.
With proper care, your instrument should last for your lifetime as well
as for your heirs'. Even though I have applied finish to the inside of
the slow air chamber, leaving the fetish or bird off overnight after a
long playing session will help to keep the slow chamber dry and add to
the stability of the wood.
What is a Native American Flute? I've taken
this section of an article from Wikipedia which explains it very well.
Native American flute
Native American flute
The Native American flute has achieved some measure
of fame for its distinctive sound, used in a variety of
New Age and
world music recordings. The instruments origins are
unknown, but the theory that it was developed by the
Ancient Pueblo Peoples based of
Mesoamerican designs is the most common solution.
Its music was used in
healing, meditation and spiritual rituals.
1960s saw a
roots revival centered around the flute, with a new
wave of flutists and artisans like
Doc Nevaquaya and
Carl Running Deer. Of special importance is
R. Carlos Nakai (Changes,
1983), who has achieved some mainstream renown for
his mixture of the flute with
New Age and
The Native American flute is the only flute in the
world constructed with two air chambers - there is a
wall inside the flute between the top (slow) air chamber
and the bottom chamber which has the whistle and finger
holes. The top chamber also serves as a secondary
resonator, which gives the flute its distinctive sound.
There is a hole at the bottom of the "slow" air chamber
and a (generally) square hole at the top of the playing
chamber. A block (or "bird") with a spacer is tied on
top of the flute to form a thin, flat airstream for the
whistle hole (or "window"). Some more modern flutes use
an undercut either in the block or the flute to
eliminate the need for a spacer.
The "traditional" Native American flute was
constructed using measurements based on the body - the
length of the flute would be the distance from armpit to
wrist, the length of the top air chamber would be one
fist-width, the distance from the whistle to the first
hole also a fist-width, the distance between holes would
be one thumb-width, and the distance from the last hole
to the end would generally be one fist-width.
Modern Native American flutes are generally tuned to
a variation of the minor pentatonic scale (such as you
would get playing the black keys on a piano), which
gives the instrument its distinctive plaintive sound.
Recently some makers have begun experimenting with
different scales, giving players new melodic options.
Also, modern flutes are generally tuned in concert keys
(such as A or D) so that they can be easily played with
other instruments. The root keys of modern Native
American flutes span a range of about three and a half
octaves, from C2 to A5.
Native American flutes most commonly have either 5 or
6 holes, but instruments can have anything from no holes
to seven (including a thumb hole). Various makers employ
different scales and fingerings for their flutes.
Some modern Native American flutes are called
flutes, and are two (or more) flutes built together.
Generally, the drone chamber plays a fixed note which
the other flute can play against in harmony.