How To Choose A Flute

Congratulations! You are about to buy your first Flute...

Discovering which Flute to purchase can be exhilarating, if not a bit daunting. As part of our ‘Beginner’s Guide To Learning The Flute’ series, this section will help you start your journey as you mean to go on.

How To Choose A Flute

Things you should know before buying your first Flute

  • Decide your budget? Flutes can be made from a wide range of materials from affordable silver plated and plastic student models to 14k solid gold handmade flutes designed for professional players like James Galway. 
  • Be wary of very cheap budget flutes! Although they look like a good deal they will often end up costing more in repairs in the long term and are not a good investment.
  • How tall are you and how long are your arms? For smaller players, a curved head joint is recommended so little players can reach all the keys.
How To Choose A Flute

What should my flute be made out of?

How To Choose A Flute

A good compromise for a mid-range flute is to buy a solid silver head joint with a silver-plated body. You can also change the sound of your flute with a wooden head joint. You will be amazed how much changing a head joint on a flute can affect the sound, it is also a great option if you want an upgrade but don’t want to replace your whole flute.

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Keys, Mechanisms and Foot Joints? What does all this mean?

  • Beginner flutes usually come with a C foot joint, this is all you need until you have been playing for quite a while. A B foot joint gives you an extra low note which is a lovely addition for more advanced players.
  • A split E mechanism is a must as this makes some notes of the flute much easier to play.
  • Closed or Open Holes? For a beginner, closed hole flutes are recommended because they are much easier to play on.
How To Choose A Flute

Smaller Players And Curved Headjoints

Smaller players can find it difficult to reach all the keys on a standard flute but don’t worry as most brands also offer a curved flute option. Some flutes come with a straight and curved head joint which means the flute can grow with the student. 

How To Choose A Flute - Summary

Flutes hold their value pretty well so it is possible to sell on your current instrument if you want to upgrade after a few years.
Booking your flute in for a service with a woodwind repairer every 18 months will keep your flute in peak working order.

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