SUGGESTIONS FOR PURCHASING A NEW FLUTE

All students looking to purchase an instrument should consult with me before making a purchase. I am happy to assist students and parents in the trial process and ensure that students are matched with a quality instrument, suitable to their level of playing while leaving room to grow, within budget.

BEGINNER

Many beginning students find that renting their first flute is a logical option to allow for a trial period before investing in an instrument, and many school music programs facilitate rentals. Students are urged to avoid the lure of cheap instruments sold in department or toy stores, as they tend to be poorly made and mechanical issues can hinder progress. All used instruments should be assessed by a professional technician. Below is a listing of recommended beginning level flutes.

TYPICAL FEATURES

  • Closed Hole
  • Offset G
  • Plated Body and Headjoint
  • C-Foot

BRANDS

  • Yamaha
  • Gemeinhardt 
  • Armstrong
  • Jupiter
  • Pearl

STEP UP FLUTE

As students progress, they can outgrow the capabilities of their beginning instrument. Step-up flutes feature open key holes and faster mechanisms to accelerate technical progress, as well as improved headjoint cuts and materials to allow students to play with more clarity in tone and articulation and a wider dynamic range.

TYPICAL FEATURES

  • Open-Hole
  • B-Foot
  • Plated Body, Silver Headjoint 

BRANDS

  • Yamaha
  • Trevor James
  • Gemeinhardt
  • Jupiter
  • Pearl 

ADVANCED

Many advanced students invested in pursuing a higher level of playing find that standard repertoire comes with high demands, and can begin to feel hindered by student/intermediate model flutes. Advanced flutes are made with finer materials, such as sterling silver headjoints and bodies. Depending on price range, some advanced flutes are completely handmade, and others feature some handmade components. The attention to detail, fast mechanisms, and high-quality metals provide an opportunity for developing artists with reach a higher level of expression.

TYPICAL FEATURES

  • Open Hole Keys
  • Pointed Key Arms
  • Sterling Silver Headjoint, Bodies, Gold Fusion/Alloy
  • Hand-cut Headjoints, Gold Lip Plates/Risers
  • B Foot
  • Split E 
  • Drawn Tone Holes

BRANDS

  • Altus
  • Amadeus by Haynes
  • Azumi by Altus
  • Haynes
  • Muramatsu
  • Pearl
  • Powell
  • Resona by Burkart
  • Sonare by Powell
  • Trevor James
  • Yamaha

PROFESSIONAL

Professional level models feature the highest level of craftsmanship for those interested in pursuing a career in performance. Professional flutes tend to be handmade and made of the highest quality silver, gold, and even platinum. Additional options such as the split E mechanism, C# trill key, and D#/C# pinky rollers are useful additions when considering the demands of repertoire at the professional level.

TYPICAL FEATURES

  • Open Hole Keys
  • Pointed Key Arms
  • Finest Materials, Silver, Gold, Platinum
  • B Foot
  • Split E
  • C# Trill
  • D# / C# Roller Keys
  • Drawn or Soldered Tone Holes

BRANDS

  • Altus
  • Brannen 
  • Burkart
  • Haynes
  • Muramatsu
  • Miyazawa
  • Nagahara
  • Powell
  • Sankyo
  • Williams

HEADJOINTS

A great way to upgrade an instrument without purchasing an entirely new model is to purchase an upgraded headjoint. Almost all brands allow customers to purchase headjoints separately, however, some brands specialize in headjoints alone. The right headjoint can improve clarity, response, warmth/color of tone, dynamics/projection, however, it is wise to consider a new instrument rather than a headjoint upgrade in flutes with mechanical issues.

  • Lafin Headjoints
  • David Chu Wooden Headjoints 

PICCOLOS

The most popular beginning piccolos, also typically used in marching bands, are made of plastic. Some feature plastic bodies and headjoints, while other feature plastic bodies with metal headjoints. Advanced and professional piccolos are most often made of grenadilla wood, as many professionals find that wooden piccolos provide a warmer sound that blends well in ensembles. Wooden piccolos should never be used outdoors, as they are highly sensitive to temperature changes and can crack. 

BEGINNING PICCOLOS

  • Gemeinhardt
  • Jupiter

INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED PICCOLOS

  • Pearl Grenaditte Composite Piccolos
  • Di Zhao Composite Piccolo
  • Powell Sonare Wooden/Resin Piccolos
  • Resona by Burkart WoodenPiccolos
  • Roy Seaman Synthetic & Grenadilla Piccolos

PROFESSIONAL/WOODEN

  • Burkart
  • Hammig
  • Keefe
  • Haynes
  • Powell
  • Yamaha
  • Bulgheroni

BAROQUE FLUTES

  • Aulos Plastic Baroque Flutes
  • Simon Polak Handmade, Wooden Baroque Flutes: www.earlyflute.com