What Flute Should I Buy For A Beginner: 9 Key Issues


There are lots of options when it comes to buying a flute for a beginner.

There are a few key issues to consider when choosing a beginner flute that suits your needs. Even though it is ideal to buy a flute in person from a reputable music store, it is possible to do research and buy it online and make sure it is the right instrument for you.

Looking for the best beginner’s flute for the money can be a daunting task, but this article can help you get started.

The Beginner Flute: Basics You Need to Know

The best instrument brands can offer you many compelling reasons to choose their flute offering, but understanding their main positive qualities can be difficult to get your head around.

We’ve made it easier for you with these 4 things to know before you buy.

1. Choose A Beginner Flute

Choose a flute especially designed for beginners so it is easier to learn on. It will make a big difference to have an instrument that is easy to play at the start so as to keep you motivated and interested in continuing to practice your instrument.

2. Cheap Is Usually Too Good To Be True

Although there are a number of cheaper options available today. Many of them are very cheap for a reason.

Occasionally, a cheaper brand can be as durable and well-designed as a higher quality brand. However, the less expensive brands usually fall apart more quickly or will develop faults quickly, leading to more costly repairs in the long run. So if you go for a cheaper option, it is very hit and miss.

Consider carefully your budget when making a decision on your best options while reminding yourself that a few extra dollars here and there might prove worthwhile in the long run.

3. Think About The Size Of A Flute

A young beginner may not have adequate arm length to handle a large flute. The flute needs to match the size of the person playing it, especially if the arm reach is limited

How can I determine for sure?

  • In your right hand, pinch a measuring tape at the 40cm mark (16 inches) with your fingers. 
  • Hold the end of the tape to your lips.
  • Your right arm should have no more than a 90 degree angle (right angle) at the elbow.
  • If the angle is 90 degrees or less, then a full size flute is suitable for you.

A recorder or a wooden flute may be a better option for you if your arm is straighter than a 90 degree bend, at least until your arms grow a bit. It can be a fun way to develop your skills while still keeping your finances under control. 

Also available is the slightly more expensive option of the curved head beginner flutes, which produces the same sound, pitch and playing experience as the ordinary flute, just with less need for the length of your arms.

4. Avoid Alternative Types Of Specifications

An open key modification is available as a way of improving sound quality for the professional player. However, this option is not ideal for a beginner because it will tend to hinder their ability to make a clean clear note without the precise placement of your fingers. Best to make it as easy as possible for the beginning flautist.

Whilst this article focuses on the standard flute, there are also other options such as alto flutes, piccolos and even bass flutes. It is important, however, to realize that each of these options differs greatly in pitch and playability; therefore, you should be familiar with the standard flute for some time before moving on to the alternative options.

5. Well-known Brands Hold Their Value

There is a good reason for the popularity of the good brands. For example, brands such as Yamaha and Mendini, while they are regarded as high quality and reasonably priced new instruments, typically retain most of their value when sold secondhand.

Learn more about best flutes for beginners that will retain their value on our review page.

6. Choose A Brand From A Woodwind Manufacturer

Make sure you choose a flute that is made by a woodwind manufacturer because the other options tend to be cheap and often need lots of repairs shortly after purchase.

7. Keep An Eye On The Future

When searching through the best flutes for a beginner, you should keep an eye on what your needs will be when you are an intermediate player. It shouldn’t be the main focus, but it is still worth keeping in mind.

One key issue to consider as you progress is will your focus be on ensemble playing in a concert band or will it be on solo performance?

In an ensemble you may find yourself playing in a unified voice, blending in harmoniously as a whole with the group. In this case you need a flute that blends in. For soloists, however, you should choose a flute that will set you apart and allow you to project over the accompaniment.

8. Consider A Wooden Flute If Cost Is An Issue

It can’t hurt to start with a wooden flute if you are concerned about the initial cost before you’ve fully evaluated if the flute is really your thing. Starting this way will teach you the fundamentals of how to control your breathing. You can then move on to a regular flute once you are comfortable that you want to continue along the flute playing journey.

9. Try Some Flutes At Your Local Supplier

Try a few different brands at your local supplier to give yourself some idea of what fits for you. Online is great, and it is possible to do the whole process that way, but there is a lot to be said for getting hands on as soon as possible to help with the process.

Conclusion: Is the Flute an Easy Instrument to Learn?

It is a very difficult instrument to master even with the best flute brands. It requires concentration as well as good coordination of your fingers and hands in addition to controlling your breathing. It also requires a good lung capacity. When you first begin, you can easily feel a bit dizzy after a while. It will get easier as you get used to breathing and controlling the notes.

You can play the first octave like you would play the first octave of a recorder, and once you nail that one, the rest is very similar.

A great place to start when learning with a flute is practicing holding long notes quietly, as this will help you to focus on your breath and make you feel less likely to experience dizziness.

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