The flute is an instrument that you see played in bands and orchestras. The flute, like the harp, is very old. In Germany, flutes have been found that were used 40,000 years ago.
Even though today the flute is normally constructed of metal, it’s actually considered to be a woodwind. The sound the flute makes comes from the player blowing across a hole. (Unlike clarinets, you do not need a reed to play the flute.) Playing the flute can be difficult at first but it gets easier with practice.
When you are looking for a flute, most likely, you will run across the piccolo, which is actually a very small flute – usually about one half the size of a standard flute. The difference in the piccolo, other than the size, is that the piccolo produces a sound that is an octave higher than the flute.
The player needs to direct the air at the right angle and velocity; if not, the flute won’t vibrate appropriately. The player changes the pitch by opening and closing holes along the body of the flute. This changes the length of the resonator and the corresponding frequency. The player can also change the pitch of a note by changing the air pressure within the flute by making the air resonate.
Most beginning students purchase a closed-hole flute initially. This is because they are much easier to play than the open-hole flutes that are used by professional flutists.
When looking for a flute, regardless of the online flute store you look at, probably the most important thing to consider is the headjoint. The headjoint is the most important part of the flute since it is the heart of the tone the flute produces. In fact, when you want to upgrade a flute, quite often flutists simply replace the headjoint rather than replacing the entire flute.
Sterling silver headjoints produce a warm and rich tone. Because of this, many flutists play nickel flutes with sterling silver headjoints. Professional flutists normally use silver flutes because of the clear and crisp response. A few professionals purchase gold flutes because gold is hypo-allergenic and the bottom lip has more traction and assists them in playing fast passages.
The material of the headjoint isn’t the only consideration. The geometry of the headjoint changes the acoustics and tone of the flute.
Unlike purchasing a wooden instrument, such as a harp, where an old instrument can actually be a better buy, used harps can be troublesome. If you know an accomplished flutist or a band director, get them to test a used flute before you purchase it. Flute keys are exceptionally sensitive and can get out of alignment very easily. Check the pads that cover the holes because they may need to be replaced. Remember that you can get a flute that will need repair, but you may find that repairing a flute is as costly as buying a new one.
Beware of flutes that are discount or knock-offs because they may come from places where the quality of workmanship is very poor. If you purchase a flute like this, it is very possible that local repairmen will not even be able to work on your flute.
These are the things you should consider as you evaluate online flute stores:
When you are evaluating the inventory of flute stores, be sure to make sure they have flute packages that are for the student, intermediate level, and professional. You don't want more flute than you can handle.
When you purchase your flute you will want to make sure you have the materials necessary to keep the flute in order. Check to see if the flute store has packages that include cases and cleaning products.
The best kind of flute store will offer insurance and service packages so that your flute is kept in tip-top shape. Take the time to find the best support you can for your flute. This can also include information. You will need to learn how to tune your flute and you'll need guides to help you learn.
Regardless of the number of great flutes a store may sell, you need to be able to find them so that you can order the products you want. Make sure the flute store you choose is easy to navigate and has musicians that are available to answer your questions.
Take some time to read about the various flute brands out there. Then choose the store that has a good selection of the brand you're interested in buying.
To help you avoid the potential problems of buying a flute, we’ve brought together some helpful resources on online flute stores, including articles related to flutes, comparisons, and in-depth reviews of the best online flute stores. For the best flute stores, see our reviews of Instrumental Savings, Sam Ash Music Store and Music 123. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™
TopTenREVIEWS no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in March 2012.
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