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.
After purchasing my own instrument through Flutistry Boston, I highly recommend their expertise, knowledge, and incredible flute-matchmaking abilities.
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.
Plated Body and Headjoint
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.
Plated Body, Silver Headjoint
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.
Open Hole Keys
Pointed Key Arms
Sterling Silver Headjoint, Bodies, Gold Fusion/Alloy
Hand-cut Headjoints, Gold Lip Plates/Risers
Drawn Tone Holes
Amadeus by Haynes
Azumi by Altus
Resona by Burkart
Sonare by Powell
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.
Open Hole Keys
Pointed Key Arms
Finest Materials, Silver, Gold, Platinum
D# / C# Roller Keys
Drawn or Soldered Tone Holes
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.
David Chu Wooden Headjoints
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.
Pearl Grenaditte Composite Piccolos
Di Zhao Composite Piccolo
Powell Sonare Wooden/Resin Piccolos
Resona by Burkart WoodenPiccolos
Roy Seaman Synthetic & Grenadilla Piccolos
Aulos Plastic Baroque Flutes
Simon Polak Handmade, Wooden Baroque Flutes: www.earlyflute.com