So you’ve finally decided to pick up an instrument and settled on the flute, or you’re a parent of an aspiring flutist eager to play their first concert. Not knowing which one to choose from is absolutely normal, but don’t worry, this guide will make it easier to find one that fits your needs and budget.
Flutes come in many shapes, sizes, and features, each one designed to suit the player. So it’s essential to pick the right one from the start as it will make the experience more enjoyable. It’ll also help you develop the proper technique. With that in mind, here’s what to consider when buying your first flute.
- 1 Buying Guide For The Best Beginner Flutes
- 2 Top 6 Best Flute for Beginner Reviews
- 2.1 Gemeinhardt 2SP Flute
- 2.2 Yamaha YFL-222 Intermediate Flute for Student (International Version)
- 2.3 EASTROCK Closed Hole Flutes C 16 Key for Beginner, Kids, Student
- 2.4 Jean Paul USA FL-220 Student Flute
- 2.5 Cecilio Closed Hole Flute – C Flute – Nickel Plated Beginner Flute
- 2.6 Glory Closed Hole C Flute (Best Budget Pick)
- 3 Frequent Asked Questions for Beginner Flutes
- 4 In summary
Buying Guide For The Best Beginner Flutes
Most flutes are made of metal, so a higher price means the quality and craftsmanship also increase. However, this doesn’t mean you should go and buy the most expensive flute you can find. The beginner flutes range from $90 to upwards of $700. You don’t need an expensive flute because you’ll upgrade it as you progress to a higher level.
Quality of material
Commonly, flutes are made of silver, with some beginner ones using a nickel/silver mixture. More expensive ones use platinum and gold. The material used does affect the sound, so keep that in mind. Nickel/silver flutes produce a bright, pleasant sound. Purer silver gives a warmer sound. Silver is a good quality metal for beginners, also being light and durable. However, beginner flutes are delicate and vulnerable to dents and bruises if you’re not careful with them.
Now here’s where you need to pay attention. Beginner flutes should have the following features:
- Closed holes: Closed holes make playing the flute easier for beginners. Open-hole flutes are for more skilled players. As you progress, you will eventually play open-hole flutes, but for now, closed-hole is the way to go.
- C foot joint: Typical foot joints you’ll find on flutes are B and C foot joints. B foot joints have three keys allowing a flute to play B as the lowest note. This feature is for advanced players. Most beginner flutes have C foot joints with two keys and C as the lowest note, which is all you need at the moment.
- Offset G: The G key on the flute is brought closer to the left ring finger instead of the more advanced inline G. Beginners will find it easier to play.
- Headjoint: The head joint is what you blow air into to produce a sound. Flutes have either straight head joints or curved head joints. Flutists develop into using straight head joints. Small children have trouble with straight head joints, and curved ones make it easier to play their flute. So if you or the person you are buying for are smaller in size, consider a flute with a curved head joint.
A few things you’ll need for your shiny new flute:
- Protective case: Most brand new flutes come with a hard shell or zipper case. Either of them will do. Make sure that your carry case is tightly closed to prevent the flute from falling out.
- Cleaning rod: To clean the inside of your flute.
- Microfiber cloth to use along with the cleaning rod.
- Polishing cloth for the outside of the flute. For cleaning any fingerprints and making your flute shiny. Avoid using chemicals as they cause black marks and blemishes.
Top 6 Best Flute for Beginner Reviews
Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. These are the best beginner flutes for anyone wanting to play the flute:
Take note: The flutes listed below have the features needed for a beginner flute: closed hole keys, C foot joint, offset G, and straight head joint (unless otherwise specified)
Gemeinhardt and Yamaha are two of the most respected brands for student flutes. They are known for providing high-quality instruments at an affordable price. Gemeinhardt doesn’t disappoint with the 2SP and is considered standard amongst beginner and intermediate players.
It is triple silver plated, giving it a beautiful finish and smooth tone. The high registers don’t sound shrill or weak and are natural and pleasant to hear. The triple silver coat also makes it solid, durable, and easy to clean.
The Gemeinhardt makers made sure not to sacrifice the performance of the flute for a lower cost. The closed-hole keys feel responsive. The offset G makes playing effortless. The construction allows inexperienced players to do adjustments, replacements, and repairs if needed. If you’re a small player or a younger player, you have to buy a curved head joint separately.
The 2SP comes in a hardshell case with a plastic cleaning rod included. Made in the USA, the 2SP is highly regarded amongst music teachers due to its high build quality. It should last you for ages.
- Great value for money.
- Tough build quality.
- Good intonation.
- Includes a case and cleaning rod.
- Smaller-sized players have to buy a curved head joint separately to reach all the keys.
If you have a little spare change in your pocket, you should consider this Yamaha YFL-222. The successor to the now discontinued YFL-221( known for being one of the best student flutes on the market), the YFL-222 offers upgrades that make it an unbeatable flute at this price range.
New key arms make it easier to put pressure on the center, improving playability. It also provides a pleasant and even tone throughout the range. Its accurate intonation will keep you coming back for more. Experienced players have described this flute as free blowing, which is essential for beginner players. Yamaha is known for providing exceptional quality instruments in every price range, and this flute is no exception.
It comes standard with a Nickel/silver build, foot joint markings for easy assembly, and a shoulder hook making the instrument easier to hold for younger players. The plastic case it comes with will be enough to protect your flute when it’s not in use. If you’re looking for a reliable and beautiful sounding flute to begin your journey, this trusted Yamaha instrument won’t let you down.
- High-quality, reliable, and built to last.
- Easy to play.
- Comes with a soft zipped case along with a polishing cloth and cleaning rod.
- It may be too expensive for absolute beginners.
At just $120, this is one of the best beginner flute bargains around. It’s made with stainless steel (cupronickel alloy), making it a decent, robust flute. Eastrock flutes are great for kids and people with bright personalities. They offer a variety of vivid colors such as Pink, Red, Lake blue, and Fuschia. Antique, Nickel, and Silver plated shades are also available. However, some users have noted the colors do get chipped, but it’s not too noticeable.
As for the tone, you’re getting more than your money’s worth because it sounds great. The cupronickel gives it a resonant and explosive tone, which is surprising for this price. Its air inlet doesn’t leak, which is vital for good intonation. The keys and pads allow for a smooth playing action, allowing you to create flawless notes.
What makes this one of the best flutes for beginners is that it also comes in a waterproof bag. Cleaning accessories such as the cleaning rod, cleaning cloth, and gloves are included. If you’re looking for a good quality yet affordable beginner flute, be sure to check this Eastrock flute out.
- Great selection of colors
- Surprisingly good tone
- Split E mechanism
- Responsive keys with comfortable pads
- Waterproof fabric carry bag
- Colors tend to chip
- Craftsmanship could be better
You might be thinking, “Hey, you said flutes below $350 aren’t high quality!”. Well, there’s always that one renegade that breaks the rules. In comes the Jean Paul USA FL-220. If your pockets are feeling a little light, but you’re still eager to start playing, look no further.
This flute is surprisingly good at this price point. Now it’s not a flute that will wow a Juilliard teacher off their chair, but you do get a solid flute that will help you develop your technique. For $293, the makers of this flute don’t overly compromise on the quality. Its silver-plated cupronickel body provides a rigid and steady body. It may not be as resilient at rough handling as the other flutes on this list. So be extra careful with this one.
However, the playability is what stands out. The closed-hole keys are responsive and even, while the offset G aids younger players in holding the flute. The lip plate on this flute helps produce good intonation, which is essential for every beginner. You will love the sound of this flute. The zipped carry case is enough to protect your instrument, and it also comes with a cleaning cloth, gloves, and a cleaning rod. Talk about value for money.
- Student-friendly lip plate
- Surprisingly great intonation
- Silver-plated finish
- Packaged with cleaning accessories
- Not the most solid build compared to other flutes on this list
A reliable, wonderful-sounding beginner flute for $140? You bet. Do you want your child to impress the teacher with the best sounding C note in class? This is seriously one of the best beginner flutes on the market for under $200. Buying a pricey instrument is a risky investment. When you’re just starting out, you need a solid flute to practice, develop and perform with until you’re an intermediate player.
This Cecilio will sing like a bird and play comfortably. Its silver-plated cupronickel body is rigid and built to last. However, it’s prone to scratches and marks if not cleaned after heavy use. The flute is elegantly designed, the keys aren’t too flimsy, and it’s fitted with rubber key bumpers.
Cecilio tests their flutes twice before they reach the buyer, ensuring good quality. Their beginner flutes also come with a 1-year warranty. What makes it one of the best beginner flutes is that it includes a music pocketbook. Which is something to consider if you can’t afford music lessons. The accessories provided make this an impressive offering.
- Made with beginners in mind
- Great value for money
- Good sound quality
- Comes with a music pocketbook
- Scratches easily
- Sound degrades if it’s not cleaned regularly
Glory Closed Hole C Flute (Best Budget Pick)
Maybe you’re not too sure if the flute is for you, and you don’t want to spend too much money. That’s okay because, for just $99, you’re getting the best flute for beginners below $100. Obviously, for $99, you can’t expect a premium beginner flute. But this flute sounds and feels good. It’s not as flimsy as one would think because of its nickel-plated copper build. This beginner flute is lighter than a $400 flute, which is to be expected.
It comes in a standard, shiny nickel color. If you want your flute to stand out, you can also choose Black, White, or Sea blue. Padded closed holed keys allow beginners to play comfortably. The copper-nickel provides a surprisingly decent tone. At this price, you’re getting a solid flute that lets you practice and progress if you’re keen on becoming a good flutist. A free tuning rod, polishing cloth, and cleaning rod are a pleasant addition. Treat it well by cleaning it after each use to make sure it lasts long.
- Inexpensive to get doubtful players started
- Plays well
- Plays in tune
- Flutes color chip easily
- Does not handle heavy use well
Frequent Asked Questions for Beginner Flutes
When should I upgrade to an intermediate flute?
When your playing exceeds the limitations of your beginner flute. In other words, when your student flute is starting to hold you back. Your teacher should be able to tell if you are ready to advance to an intermediate flute.
I can’t afford a $400 flute. Can I buy a cheap or used one?
Buying cheap $50 flutes will lead you to a dead-end. You’ll end up having to buy one slightly out of your budget anyway. Cheap flutes are made with brittle and fragile materials that get damaged easily even through regular use. Music teachers won’t tolerate the sound of cheap flutes and will encourage you to buy one they recommend, like the ones listed above.
However, consider buying a quality used flute instead of a cheap new flute if you’re looking to save money. You can find a clean, reconditioned one for $100-400 at your local music store. If you’re buying from a private seller you should take it to a repair shop for professional conditioning and cleaning. Though you’ll be spending less than you would for a new flute.
How should I take care of my flute?
Make sure to clean your flute after playing. Wiping it with the polishing cloth will do. Store it in its case when you’re not using it to keep it away from collecting dust and moisture.
See our guide: How To Clean A Flute
Choosing a beginner flute that combines a quality build and a beautiful tone right from the start will set you up for a lifetime of joy and excitement with the flute. It’s crucial that the flute you choose fits your needs as a player and also fits your budget so that you don’t end up wasting money on something you don’t need.
Consulting an expert flutist or your music teacher will make this process seamless. If you don’t know an expert flutist or music teacher, I hope this article helped you decide which flute is best for you.
If you’re still unsure, well, you can’t go wrong with the Yamaha YFL 222 or the Gemeinhart 2SP because these are the two most recommended flutes for beginner flutists. Whichever one you pick, at least you’ll know that you chose the best one.