The Best Flute For Beginners: 9 Key Issues

Learning to play the flute is a great adventure. You have to start at the beginning though. Starting off with professional flutes is not the way to go at first. You want to choose one where the flute is designed to be easier for beginners, not professional performance. There are lots of options when it comes to buying someone’s first flute. There are so many flutes on the market. Do you want the best beginner flute with a lot of durability for the journey ahead?

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.

For , it is particularly hard for beginners to notice the differences between a cheaper instrument and a pricey one especially when it comes to flutes and other woodwind instruments. A brand for a high-quality flute is going to be different from quality beginner models.

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 9 things to know before you buy.

1. Choose The Best Beginner Flute

Choose a flute specially 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. That doesn’t mean it should be a dirt cheap flute though.

Here are some key issues:

Until they have refined their technique, beginners are better off learning with closed hole (German style) flutes. Also known as plateau holes, closed holes will make the instrument much easier to play for beginners.

Choose a flute with a C foot joint rather than a B foot joint. The difference is in the flute’s ability to create low notes. Intermediate and advanced flutes have a B foot joint, allowing one to play a low B. The C foot joint is shorter by having one less key, and only allows to play down to a low C. The shorter foot joint makes the flute lighter for beginner players, and often these lower notes are not frequently utilized in the repertoire until the intermediate and advanced playing levels.

The best student flute is going to need to be durable. Most instruments for new players take a little bit of punishment at times, and need to be made to last. It is good to get one with neoprene bumpers instead of cork to make sure there is a good fit and to ensure they are durable.

A flute that features a split E mechanism to increase the ease of playing the third register E is recommended for beginners. It also improves intonation and just generally makes the note easier to produce. One note of caution though, you will find you pay a bit more for this feature as it is seen as more of a high-end beginner feature.

2. Cheap Is Usually Too Good To Be True When Choosing The Best Flute For Beginners

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. A few things to keep in mind:

Keep away from a plastic flute – that is not a real musical instrument.

It doen’t have to be a Yamaha flute (although that is a great option), but make sure the flute features good intonation.

Do your research if you are considering buying used flute as a beginner player. If you do have the option of buying a used flute, make sure it is a better quality one – preferably one built for beginners and intermediate players.

3. Think About The Size Of A Student 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 joint 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. This allows the young flutists with smaller hands to reach the keys while they’re learning.

4. Avoid Alternative Types Of Specifications: Closed Hole Keys Vs Open Hole.

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 their fingers. Best to make it as easy as possible for the beginning flutist and get one with closed hole keys. German-style flutes with closed holes, also known as plateau holes, are better for beginners to learn on as they refine their technique. A closed-hole instrument is much easier to play.

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 Flute Brands Hold Their Price Tag Value

There is a good reason for the popularity of good brands when it comes to flutes, even those ideal for beginners. 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.

6. Choose A Brand From A Woodwind Manufacturer With Good Flute Reviews

Make sure you choose a flute that is made by a woodwind manufacturer that actually knows what they are doing because the other options tend to be cheap and often need lots of repairs shortly after purchase. So best to avoid ‘cheap knock-off’ options for that budget flute.

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 join the ranks of intermediate and advanced players. 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 Getting Started

It can’t hurt to start with a wooden flute, or even a clarinet 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. In this sense, the ideal flute is the one that sets you down a musical journey, not necessarily a perfect silver plated body instrument you can’t afford. 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. You just can’t beat going to your local music store and having a good conversation with someone who knows how to guide you to the right instrument.

Seeking advice from your child’s music teacher is also an excellent place to start when it comes to getting the best student model flute for kids or the young student.

Conclusion: Is the Flute an Easy Instrument to Learn?

When it comes to learning how to play, 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.

A quality starter flute with a reasonable price tag that will hold its value when you want to upgrade to an intermediate flute is a good way to go.

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