Our Guide to Buying Your First Flute
Confused by varying information and opinions on which brand and model to buy? …. Stop worrying about the brand names and model numbers, just think about quality and suitability first.
To have a good chance of success with learning to play your first flute, both of the following boxes MUST be ticked. Remove one and it’s “game over before you even start”
- The headjoint, lip plate & embouchure hole MUST suit the individual player
- The entire flute MUST be made with quality materials & workmanship
To appreciate these points, it is important to understand how a flute works. The player blows air across the embouchure hole on the lip plate which is attached to the headjoint tube via another small tube called the riser. The airstream splits and causes a vibration of, and in the tube. The vibration flows down the body and foot of the flute. This vibration becomes the sound of the flute.
If the embouchure hole shape or dimensions do not suit the individual’ facial structure, then it will be very difficult for their airstream to produce the correct vibration easily (or at all). If the embouchure hole suits, then it’s straight on to playing some notes!
The following pictures …. are an example of one person being tested with different brands and models of headjoints … notice the condensation patterns which show the airflow pattern, suitability and efficiency (or lack therof) …. Note that only one of these headjoints (guess which one) suits this person. If this concept puts you off buying a flute “sight unseen” and untested – you are on the right track!
If the material quality is poor, then the player needs to put far too much physical effort into trying to get the vibration started and transmitted through to the end of the flute. You will end up spending too much time trying to get a sound happening, rather than moving on to learning to play and having fun.
Typically, the better the quality of the materials that the instrument is made from, the more reactive the flute will be to the player’s airstream. Put simply, a better quality flute is much easier to play than a lesser quality flute.
Flutes …. like any other piece of precise engineering ….. as research, designs, tooling, manufacturing processes and human hand work quality levels increase, products become more usable, efficient and long term reliable.
A good quality flute will be easier to play, sound better, be more efficient, will require less costly maintenance and will give many years of reliability and enjoyment. It’s value will also be fairly well retained. A poor quality flute will discourage anyone from attempting to learn and in our decades of experience, may give a person such a “bad taste” of musical instrument learning that they may not ever attempt to play another instrument … ever.
The clear message is …. If you want to have a decent chance of success with learning the flute, don’t buy a cheap toy, buy a “real” instrument …. Then if you don’t enjoy playing, you will know that it is you and not the instrument that has made that decision for you.
Informative – things to look for when buying a “first instrument” or “upgrading”
Here is a selection of quality beginner’s flutes that we recommend as being typically the best options in their price ranges. If you already know which instrument to buy, then simply click through to the flutes. If you want to arrange a time to make sure your final decision is the right one, by being tested out on a more extensive range of options, feel free to call our team.
Jupiter Prodigy (junior) 313S