Flutes are one of the most popular woodwind instruments for band students and it’s no wonder why. Throughout history, the flute has held a similar mantel as the lyre. Royalty has enjoyed the beautiful melodies produced by this instrument including the King of Prussia himself, who actually composed for the instrument. There are a lot of flutes and flute brands available so it can be hard to find a good one. In this review, we’ll show you what the best flutes and best flute brands are so that you can find a high quality instrument.
When buying a flute, it is important to note that flutes range from beginner instruments that cost under $100, to professional instruments made of silver or gold that can cost more than $15,000.
When looking for a student flute, you have many options to choose from. Student model flutes often have a few altered features that make the instrument easier to play. These include closed holes, offset G’s, different foot joints, and curved head joints. These are good things to know whether or not you want when buying a beginner or even an intermediate flute. We will look at a few of these options before we check out the different instruments.
Best Beginner Flute
Medini makes great beginner flutes for those who want to try out the instrument, but aren’t sure whether they will commit.
• Complete kit
• Closed hole
Best Intermediate Flute
Gemeinhardt is known for making quality flutes and the Model 3OB is a great open-holed flute for intermediate players.
• Includes case and cleaning rod
• French style keys
• Open hole
|Best Flutes||Recommended For|
|1. Mendini Nickel Silver Closed Hole C Flute||Beginner|
|2. Mugig Flute||Beginner|
|3. Trevor james 10X Flute||Beginner/Intermediate|
|4. Jupiter Plateau Offset G Silver-Plated Flute 511S||Beginner/Intermediate|
|5. Pearl Pf500||Beginner|
|6. Yamaha YFL-222 Intermediate Flute||Intermediate|
|7. Gemeinhardt 2SP||Beginner|
|8. Gemeinhardt 30B||Intermediate|
|9. Di Zhao DZ200||Beginner/Intermediate|
|10. Azumi AZ2||Intermediate/Advanced|
1. Mendini Nickel Silver Closed Hole C Flute
Mendini makes good instruments for beginners. They’re affordable enough for beginners who are unsure about pursuing the instrument long-term. We recommend their closed-hole, C-foot flute, which an offset G. The starter kit includes everything a beginner needs to get started including a case, stand, cleaning clothes and other needed accessories.
If you’re looking for a slightly higher-quality flute, check out the – Mendini by Cecilio Premium Grade Closed Hole C Flute which is almost the same as the Medini nickel silver flute above, but with gold keys.
2. Mugig Flute
The Mugig Flute is another beginner option, similar to the Mendini flutes. It is Nickel plated with a silver plated mouth, and has all of the beginner features that make it easy to start playing the flute. This flute also comes with a cleaning cloth, case, flute stand, and other helpful items to get started.
3. Trevor James 10X Flute
This beginner flute is great because a smaller player can start out with the curved head joint, and begin using the straight head joint when they are ready. It also comes with the other beginner features, including an offset G and closed hole keys. This is a nice flute to start on if you expect to keep for a while and be able to continue playing while you grow, both musically and physically.
4. Jupiter Plateau Offset G Silver-Plated Flute 511S
Jupiter is a brand that makes many different instruments at the beginner and intermediate levels. This flute could be a beginner instrument that you could expect to last a few years. It is a decent quality for a beginner or intermediate student who plans to continue to play for a few years. It is a closed-hole flute with and offset G, made of nickel and silver plated.
5. Pearl Pf500
Pearl is a brand that makes some really high-quality advanced flute models as well as other level flutes, like this beginner model. This closed-hole flute with offset G and a C foot joint is a great choice for a new player who wants to start on a decent quality beginner instrument. It comes with a cleaning rod and a case.
6. Yamaha YFL-222 Intermediate Flute
Yamaha makes a few different models of flute. This one specifically is a solid intermediate option – better quality than a simple student flute, but still including most of the features you would want on a student model. It has an offset G, closed hole keys, and is made of nickel silver, so it is durable but has a good sound. This would be an instrument that you could expect to last a while.
7. Gemeinhardt 2SP
The Gemeinhardt 2SP is one of the brand’s student models, along with the 1SP. Though both are student flutes, the 2SP is supposed to be better quality and last longer, and therefore it is more pricey. Gemeinhardt is a brand that makes many flutes for many levels of player, and this is one with many of the features you’d like on a beginner instrument – offset G, closed-hole, and C foot joint. It is silver plated and comes with a long (3 year) warranty.
8. Gemeinhardt 30B
If you’re looking for a slightly more advanced instrument, this is a good intermediate level flute. It is open-holed, silver plated flute. It comes with a B foot joint, but still has an offset G. This would be a great step-up flute, or possibly a beginner flute for someone who’s interested in keeping it for years.
9. Di Zhao DZ200
Di Zhao makes a few different types of flute, from this beginner model to more intermediate and advanced models. This one has closed holes and offset G, and is silver plated. These are a pretty solid brand to invest in, for a reasonable price.
10. Azumi AZ2
This is a more advanced intermediate flute, that is open holed, but still with an offset G. It has good response and good tuning. This is a good flute for a serious student who wants to move on from a student flute to something a little higher quality.
What to Think about When Buying a Flute
Open/Closed hole flute and key position
Beginner flutes often have covered holes, to help students who are new to the flute or have small fingers. Many students start on flutes like this, which make it much easier to make sound consistently and easily. Once the student is older and more experienced, they can buy a better quality flute with open holes. Another option is to get removable pads, which you can put in an open-hole flute to make it easier to play, and not have to worry about buying a new instrument.
Another thing that beginning instruments usually have to make them easier for new players is an offset G key. This makes a more natural hand position that helps students who are just getting started to get used to the flute fingerings without straining.
Flutes can be made out of many different materials – professional flutes can range from anywhere from wood to solid silver or solid gold. Of course, student models are more often made with less expensive materials, such as nickel or less expensive kinds of silver. These are more durable and more affordable, but often still produce a pretty good sound that is good for a beginning player.
Flute foot joints also vary – student flutes often only go down to the note middle C, while professional flutes can play a B below that. Again, this makes things easier for newer players, and helps beginners learn with more ease. These are referred to as “C” or “B” foot joints.
Curved Head Joints
Lastly, a feature of some student flutes is to have a curved head joint, making it easier to hold the flute and much more comfortable for small players until their arms and fingers get big enough to hold a flute with a straight head joint more easily. Some of the fancier student models come with both types of head joints so that the player can switch without needing a whole new flute.
What Are the Best Flute Brands?
We have a few favorite flute brands including:
1. Mendini / Cecilio
Cecilio is one of our favorite beginner brands. They make affordable instruments that are great for beginners.
Headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, Gemeinhardt is a well-known manufacturer of flutes and piccolos. They specialize in flutes made for intermediate and advanced players.
Pearl is another dedicated flute manufacturer. They are known for their patented Pinless Mechanism, which has set an industry benchmark for smoothness and reliability.
Choosing the right flute is crucial to making sure that you enjoy playing. While most of the flutes above come with everything you need to get started, some of the packages only come with the flute and case. Make sure that you get the other basic accessories.