Best Beginner Flute Review in 2018

Buying that first beginner flute is a big decision. To make the right choice, you'll need to understand some of the components of a flute. Many beginners consider renting a flute from a music store, but you'll save more money and learn to care for your flute better if you purchase your own. As you progress, you can put aside money to purchase a more expensive flute when the time comes.

Value Section

The First Instrument

beginner flute

A beginner doesn't need to play on an expensive flute. Since a beginner doesn't yet know how to care for the instrument, the first flute is likely going to endure some abuse. For this reason, it's best to get a "beater" flute that works well but won't be a huge loss when moving to a more expensive flute. Once the beginner improves, they will be in a better position to take care of the flute responsibly. Only experience can teach an individual the importance of care. When a beginner first picks up the instrument, it should function well. Over time, the instrument will begin to degrade if not properly cared for. As this lessens the enjoyment the student gets from playing, they will feel compelled to take better care of their instrument.

Brands

Narrowing down the list of options to the best brands for a new flute can help make the buying process a little less overwhelming. Look for a flute made by Yamaha, Jupiter, Emerson, Gemeinhardt or Pearl to ensure you're getting a decent quality flute. The beginner flute will have special features that make it easier for the beginning flute player to produce a sound. While you shouldn't have to pay a lot of money for a beginner flute, you also don't want to purchase a flute that's going to fall apart after the first few months. Going with a decent-quality brand is the best insurance against getting an inferior flute that will turn the beginner off of music entirely.

Buying Criteria

Flutes come with all sorts of options. So, it's important to understand what is actually needed in a beginner flute. The first thing to look for is a flute that is offset and not in-line. This is an essential requirement for any beginner flute. Some intermediate and most advanced flutes come with a low B extension. A beginner does not need this attachment, and it will increase the cost of the instrument unnecessarily. Go with a simple flute that features everything that's needed to learn to play the flute without any of the extra add-ons that are only useful for an accomplished flutist. The goal of a beginner flute is to remove the distractions and make it easy for the beginner to learn to play well.

Components

The beginner flute should play reasonably well in tune and have a good set of keys. The keys of an inferior flute will easily bend. This can result in frequent trips to the shop to get the flute repaired. This isn't the beginner's fault either since lower-quality flutes will use cheap materials that will bend with the slightest offense. Cast metal keys are the cheapest keys, and they tend to break when you try to bend them back into place. Unfortunately, this also means that you'll want to get a flute with drop-forged keys, which can drastically increase the price of the flute. However, the decision comes down to whether you want to pay to continually fix a cheap flute or buy a better flute with keys that can be fixed at home. You also want to look for a flute that is made of nickel silver, it's a good compromise between cheap metals and the more expensive silver used on premium flutes. Finally, look for a flute with rolled tone holes and closed flute holes.

Controversy

Some people believe that buying a quality flute for a beginner is a waste of money. While you may not want to spend $1,000 on a new flute, it makes sense to purchase a flute that will encourage the beginner's interest in music. A poor quality flute will only discourage the student and possibly deter them from learning to play music. Striking the balance between finding a good beginner flute and one that will last is a delicate one. Expect to spend from $200 to $400 for a flute that is suitable for an entry-level student.

Accessories

Since a beginner flute is intended to introduce the student to the world of flute playing, it's important to purchase the accessories needed to get started. A good hard case, grease and polishing cloth are items that are going to be needed on the very first day. Don't make the mistake of purchasing a flute without first getting these items. It's crucial to protect the flute from day one and buy the right cleaning supplies to keep the flute in good working order. If the beginner is a young child, then you should always supervise the child's practice at home. This will ensure they don't damage their flute by handling it incorrectly.

Check out this video for a graphic illustration of the parts of the flute:

Five Best Beginner Flute

Gemeinhardt 2SP

Best Beginner Flute

The Gemeinhardt 2SP flute features a straight headjoint, an offset G key and a triple coated silver plated finish. This flute serves as an ideal instrument for a beginning student, and it also comes with professional padding that will ensure the flute experiences a long life. The flute comes with a case to protect the instrument, and you'll find that it produces a clear, sweet and warm tone that is perfect for the beginning student and ensemble playing.

One unique feature of this flute is that it uses triple-silver plating, unlike the nickel that so many beginner flute instruments use. This gives it a better tone, but it also means the flute goes beyond the needs of the typical beginner. Still, for those who want a good flute for someone who hasn't played before, this does offer an excellent option. The nice thing about silver is that it can be polished and restored to its original beauty if the finish begins to degrade. This instrument would be suitable for the older beginner who is willing to learn how to properly care for an instrument.

Pros

  • Quality: This is a beginner flute that offers many professional features.
  • Structure: Uses an offset design, which is essential for band or orchestra playing.
  • Plating: Silver plating means that this flute will continue to look exceptional after years of use.

Cons

  • Expense: The flute functions much like a beginner flute, but it has advanced features that make it more expensive than necessary.
  • Intonation: Good intonation, but the flute does require some adjustments to give a clear tone.
  • Notes: The higher notes on the flute are not tuned well, but this won't typically affect a beginning flutist.

Prelude FL711

Best Beginner Flute

At the higher end of the beginner flute market is the Prelude FL711. This flute features several professional-level features that will appeal to the beginner and intermediate flutist. The flute uses premium materials like silver plating on the body, a silver-plated headjoint and an offset design. All of these features combined make it a superb choice for the serious or older beginner.

This instrument is designed to be an affordable option for the serious beginning band or orchestra student. It will make playing more enjoyable, and the high-quality materials mean that you won't have to worry about it breaking down like some cheaper instruments. The instrument is build using the correct and ergonomic hand positioning to ensure that the student can play comfortably.

A full complement of accessories are included with this instrument. The set comes with the entire instrument, all of the accessories you need to get started and a kit that explains how to care and maintain the instrument. This flute will provide the beginner with a good combination of value and performance so that they can discover the joy of playing music and the importance of discipline in achieving goals.

Pros

  • Features: Contains all the features you would want in a student flute at an affordable price.
  • Plating: Silver plating gives the instrument a prolonged life.
  • Offset: The offset design is essential for a serious student who plans to upgrade later.

Cons

  • Features: Contains a split E key, which may end up confusing beginning players.
  • Plating: Silver is a great material for plating, but it makes the instrument more expensive.
  • Intonation: The instrument plays well in-tune, but it lacks guides to help the student find the right positioning.

Yamaha YFL222

Best Beginner Flute

When it comes to reliable and durable instruments, Yamaha knows how to make a solid instrument. This instrument doesn't include the silver that some of the other beginner flute models include, but it makes up for it with a superior tone and design throughout. The flute uses nickel-silver, which is more affordable and cheaper to make. For the beginner, this is a perfectly fine material.

Instead of silver plating, the student gets some other enhanced features that will make playing more enjoyable. The instrument features neoprene key bumpers to ensure that the instrument can withstand the potential abuse of a beginner flute player. The footjoint includes a marking to make it possible for the younger player to properly align the flute. Power-forged keys ensure that the instrument is less likely to break or bend. Additionally, the closed-hole design offers an easier and more fluid playing experience for the beginner.

The flute also comes with a case and the accessories needed for the beginner to get started right away. The instrument typically comes with a soft carrying case and a hard case. The soft case fits inside of the hard case to make it more convenient to carry around. The instrument is well-designed and perfect for the beginning student who needs a bit of help producing a good tone.

Pros

  • Durable: Made from strong materials that will resist bending and breakage.
  • Case: Solid case makes it safer to take the flute on trips.
  • Markings: The footjoint indicates the correct alignment for the student to get a good tuning.

Cons

  • Plating: Instrument uses nickel plating, which isn't as good as silver plating.
  • Intonation: The higher and lower range aren't as playable, which is typical for a student flute.
  • Weight: The flute is slightly heavier than some other beginner flute models.

Gemeinhardt 1SP

Best Beginner Flute

The Gemeinhardt 1SP is a suitable option for those who are on a strict budget. It uses nickel silver for the plating, which makes this a more affordable instrument. The instrument also uses an attractive silver-plated finish on the remaining parts to give it a warmer tone. This flute provides good intonation and easy response for the beginner who is attempting to get a quality tone from their instrument.

The instrument does feature an offset design, and it allows the player to learn how to play an instrument that uses a similar structure to an intermediate and advanced flute. Many players feel this flute is just as good as a Yamaha for the beginner. Since you don't need an expensive flute for a beginner, this may be the perfect fit. While this model won't suit the intermediate player, it's a fantastic flute for the beginner who wants to play in an ensemble.

The instrument comes with a case, and it also has a cleaning rod to ensure the instrument stays clean. This instrument contains all of the key features you would want in a beginning instrument. It uses a closed hole key design and it provides the student with an excellent tone. As is the case with many beginner instruments, the highest and lowest range is going to feature some intonation problems. However, the beginner flute isn't intended to go to the extremes of the range, so this should be less of a problem for most beginners.

Pros

  • Offset: The offset design makes it easier to play properly.
  • Plating: Uses a nickel silver headjoint, and the rest of the instrument is silver plated.
  • Case: Comes with a good case and cleaning rod to help the student get started without damaging the instrument.

Cons

  • Pitch: The highest and lowest registers are out of tune, which is typical for a beginner flute.
  • Plating: Doesn't use silver plating throughout, which is only an issue for people who have nickel allergies.
  • Cost: Affordable flute, but it's possible to get a much better-quality flute for $100 more.

Jupiter Plateau

Best Beginner Flute

There was a time when Jupiter instruments received a bad name amongst band directors and musicians. However, as the company has developed, they have made stronger and more reliable instruments. This particular flute is exceptionally well-made. The Jupiter Plateau is an excellent choice for the beginning student. It uses silver plating throughout, and you're not paying for the honor of playing a brand name instrument.

The flute contains all of the features you would expect to find in a beginner flute model. It has an offset design, and it will provide the beginner with plenty of room to grow. The keys are reliable and made of durable materials that are designed to last. The instrument will likely need some adjustments each year to keep it in good condition, but this instrument has the potential to save money on the cost of a rental.

The instrument comes with a full suite of accessories. The typical packages comes with everything needed to get started, including a case, cleaning rod, cloth, owner's manual and the warranty card to get support for the instrument. This is a flute that any beginner would be proud to own, and it's not so expensive that damage to the flute would come as a hard financial blow.

Pros

  • Design: Silver plating is used, which is normally only found in high-end professional flutes.
  • Accessories: Comes with a complete set of accessories to get started.
  • Sound: Produces a warm and pleasant sound with good intonation throughout.

Cons

  • Plating: The instrument could be made cheaper if silver plating wasn't used.
  • Keys: Some issues with sticking keys may occur if the student isn't careful about handling the instrument.
  • Quality: The instrument doesn't include guides to help the student find the right tuning.

Conclusion

While any of the mentioned instruments would be a good pick for a beginner student, Yamaha is well-known for its reliability and structural design. The Yamaha YFL22 features all the features you would expect from a beginner flute. The manufacturer leaves off some of the higher end options like silver-plating to ensure that the product functions well. In terms of tone and functionality, this flute fairs better than the other products on the list. This is an instrument that will last through the first few years of high school playing if necessary. The instrument is made from quality materials, and it's a durable instrument that should stand up well to time with the occassional repair. Overall, it's the best value, most reliable and most suitable instrument for a beginner.

Stephanie Su
 

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