HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND?
It's always sensible to avoid the cheapest models, but on the other hand, there's no
point spending a lot of money on a top of the range model if you're not quite sure
your child is going to continue with lessons. It's better to rent a fairly good flute for a
while until you can see how enthusiastic they are.
HOW TO THROW MONEY AWAY
Chinese flutes - Parrot, Lark, Skylark, Shinghai, J. Michael - are not worth buying
unless you can afford to throw money away. You are far better buying a
second-hand Yamaha, Jupiter, Selmer, Trevor James or Buffet.
DO I NEED A 'SPLIT E' MECHANISM?
The 'Split E mechanism': what does it mean? You may have been recommended to
buy a flute with this, or you've seen it in adverts. It refers to the middle two keys in
the centre of the flute. These can either be fixed together or linked together having a
little screw adjustment on one key. When the right hand E key is pressed one of the
keys closes. This is used to help produce the 3rd octave E which is difficult to sound
normally. For a beginner it isn't really necessary as they won't be playing up there!
Save your money!
If you are buying new, it's worth knowing that Yamaha have always produced
consistently good instruments. Jupiter and Trevor James are also now very good.
Selmer flutes are usually good, but check them before you buy, as production quaity
is a bit erratic.
BETTER QUALITY INSTRUMENTS
Of the better quality instruments there are many. There are flutes made of solid
silver and of gold or platinum. There are hand-made flutes and so on . . . . . There
are too many for us to list here. If you want that sort of instrument then it's best to
go to a specialist like All Flutes Plus.
FLUTES FOR SMALL CHILDREN
Jupiter and some of the other flute makers produce a flute with a curved head joint
making it easier for small hands to reach. These should also have a straight head
joint for when the child grows so that they can use the flute in the usual way.