Are you that parent who is not a musician yet your child wants to start playing the flute? Well, here are a few quick tips on what to do when shopping around:
- Buy a closed hole, or "student" flute. Open hole is harder to master and with the small size of a child's hand, it won't be possible for them to concentrate on playing while trying to get their tiny fingers to cover the openings.
- Buy a flute with an offset G. This is VERY important!!!! If you purchase an inline G, your child will not be able to stretch their left ring finger to easily depress the key. Accuracy and speed are very important to learn and it will not be easy with an inline G. An offset G is built on an angle so it is easier to reach - even I still use an offset G.
- Purchase a C flute - it is the most common and widely accepted key of flute.
- The brand you buy isn't everything, but here is my list of the best brands to buy flutes from. The better quality, the more money, but it is important that they start on a better flute if they want to continue. Also, more expensive flutes will hold up better and have a higher resale value. Here they are: Yamaha, Geimenhardt, Selmer, Bundy, Armstrong. DO NOT, WHATEVER YOU DO, BUY A FLUTE THAT IS COLORED OR MADE IN CHINA! These are by far inferior to American-made flutes, and I'm not being a patriot here. Flutes that are colored are not made for quality, but rather for quick money. These will fall apart quickly and have bad sound quality. Other guide writers have more knowledge in this area so please refer to their guides for more information on this.
- Do not be fooled by the description "nickel silver". A flute made of this metal has no silver at all! It is really an alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc. However, nickel silver is not something you should avoid as a first-time flute buyer. Many name brand student level flutes are made out of nickel silver - my personal beginner's flute was as well.
These are the most obvious hints of what you should look for when buying a flute for a beginner. There may be many factors that influence your purchase. Just make sure that, whether used or new, the flute operates, plays ALL the notes in the chormatic scale from low B/C to a high B/C (depending on the capabilities of the flute), and has minimal nicks and dings. Happy hunting!