Flutes are one of the most popular instruments among beginning musicians. However, the first step towards any musical career is actually buying an instrument. Although buying any instrument can seem daunting, the process of finding one can be a fun task. This guide will (hopefully) aid you in your quest to find the perfect flute for you.
Parts of the flute
Things to consider
Before buying the prettiest, cheapest, or most expensive flute, it's important to evaluate your situation. At the time of your purchase, consider who you are buying for, and the level that you or the person you're shopping for is at. One of the most important things to keep in mind, though, is your budget. Obviously, getting the best flute possible at the right price is ideal, so resist the urge to buy the first thing you see and compare flutes with one another. This will ensure that you find a flute that suits your needs and your wallet alike.
New vs. Used - The ongoing debate
With a brand new flute, you guarantee that all of the pads and keys have never been used and are in good condition (most of the time, at least). However, a new flute can be a bit pricey, with $1,000 barely being enough for a decent intermediate flute. Used flutes, though, can be a great bargain, especially for a beginner. However, with the growing number of scam artists and inexperienced buyers, buying a used instrument is more difficult than ever. Here are a few things to look for.
* Make sure the pads attached to the keys are not dried out, torn or yellowed.
* Check the springs to see that they will return to a resting position in a smooth motion.
* Dents on the body of the flute will not affect the sound of a flute, but dents to the head joint will.
* The parts of the flute should fit together snugly, but not so tight that it's impossible to undo.
* The keys should be free moving and should not click when being used.
Whether you buy new or used, it's a good idea to go out to a local music store and try some flutes out for yourself. Don't feel pressured into buying anything - give yourself plenty of time to get a feel for what kind of flutes fit your needs and your budget. After you've done this, you will naturally narrow your search, making it easier to bargain with individual sellers and sales clerks alike. At the very least, by trying different flutes, you'll get a better idea of what you're looking for and become a more informed shopper.