11 best flutes for beginners – 2019
Photo: Dreamworks Pictures
Yes the emergence of “Sasha Flute” or the lizzo popularity inspired you to pick up the flute, we say go for it – the wind instrument is surprisingly easy to learn. âHere’s the funny thing about the flute,â says Carol Wincenc, Grammy-nominated flautist and professor at Juilliard, who has been hailed as âQueen of the Fluteâ by new York in 1984. âYou know how they say, ‘Just hang it on the outside of a moving vehicle, like a car going 70 miles per hour, and it’ll play on its own? This is for real. This is how basic the flute is. But which one to take? To find the best flutes for beginners, we chatted with Wincenc, orchestral flautists, and resident artists. Below, their 11 choices.
Most flautists we spoke with named Yamaha as the go-to brand for a high quality flute for beginners. Wincenc says that for the “serious student” Yamaha would be the most reliable flute in the $ 300 to $ 500 range. âIn terms of a solid instrument for your money, this is the best bang for your buck,â she says. The Yamaha has closed-hole wrenches, an offset treble clef, and a C-foot joint, all of which are specifications that resident flautist Kim Lewis New York Flute Center, suggests that beginners look into a flute.
Lewis also recommends the beginner flutes from Gemeinhardt, Trevor James, Eastman, Pearl, and Di Zhao, which all have closed-hole wrenches, offset treble clef, and C-foot joint, like the Yamaha. Beyond these basic features, it’s all about personal sound preferences. âEach company has its own idea of ââsound and mechanism design, so every flautist can find a flute that suits them,â explains Lewis.
The positioning of the keys on flutes like the Gemeinhardt 2SP helps in teaching beginners where to hold their hands on the instrument. Lewis explains, âThe intermediate and advanced flutes have open holes in the keys that are pressed down with the player’s fingers. Until a student develops a correct hand position, it is difficult for them to cover these holes, so beginner flutes do not have holes in the keys. Additionally, the G offset refers to the G key of the flute (which is played by the left ring finger). This key is advanced compared to all other keys, so it is easier to reach, as the left arm must stretch across the body to position itself on the flute.
Flutes named Lewis also have C-shaped foot joints, whereas a more advanced flute would have a B-shaped foot joint. The difference is in the flute’s ability to create low notes. âThe intermediate and advanced flutes have a foot articulation in B, which makes it possible to play such a low end,â explains Lewis. “The C-foot joint is shorter with one key less, and only allows playing up to a low C. The shorter foot joint makes the flute lighter for beginner players, and often these Lower notes are not frequently used in the repertoire until intermediate and advanced playing levels.
Bart Feller, who is principal flute of the New Jersey Symphony, New York City Opera Orchestra and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and teaches in the pre-college division of Julliard, recommends Di Zhao, Trevor James and Aizumi as some of his favorite brands. for beginners. The beginner’s flutes from all three brands âplay well in air and have a substantial, non-metallic sound,â he says.
âThe curved head joint is for the very little boy,â says Wincenc. She recommends a curved head joint – which allows flautists with smaller hands to reach the keys as they learn – for players as young as 4 and 5 years old.
If you’re just looking to get familiar with the flute and want to try something inexpensive that won’t necessarily last forever, there are a few options. âTen years ago there was a $ 79 Walmart flute,â says Wincenc. âAnd I haven’t investigated that lately, but there are the plastic streamers. I’m a backpacker and thinking about buying one of these things, and they come in all kinds of fun colors like hot pink, royal blueâ¦ I mean, yeah, you can make some noise on these things.
âIt wouldn’t be fair of me not to mention the Burkart Resona flute,â says Wincenc (full disclosure: Wincenc is a Burkart artist, which means she is sponsored by the company). She calls this model “a top of the range flute for beginners to intermediates”. The name “Resona” implies resonance, she says, which is “the monkey on every flute player‘s back, that’s how beautiful and resonant their sound is.” If you have the budget to splurge, this might be the flute for you: “The adult beginner who’s like a doctor – you know, like my hand surgeon is a hobbyist – for their money, oh my god the Resona flute is extraordinary. “
Maxim Rubtsov, the principal flute of the Russian National Orchestra, also said that he âwould highly recommend Yamaha flutes to beginning students. They are well made and sound great. It was a training flute for Rubtsov: âMy father brought me a Yamaha flute from his work trips to Asia, and I played this flute during my formative years,â he recalls. “I auditioned for college and even won my first orchestral seat playing my Yamaha flute.” (Rubtsov is currently a Yamaha Piccolo Artist.) This model is a cut above the beginner Yamaha 222 – it still has the G offset, which is recommended for beginners, but has open keyholes and a B-foot, this which allows intermediate and advanced players to play lower notes.
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