Learning the flute is perfect for a child to do, fast becoming one of the world’s most popular instruments for starting musicians.
It can be played by people of all different skill levels and the fact that it’s a fluted instrument with keys gives you a solid grounding to transition to other instruments like the trumpet, piccolo or oboe.
The flute has an extensive repertoire. It can be used as an ensemble instrument, although it makes a great solo instrument too. It can be used in a classical, jazz or even a rock setting. What prog-rock song isn’t complete without a flute solo?
For a student player, having a flute whose keys they can reach without having to strain their hands is very important. If you are a student, you’ll want a flute with a curved headjoint that will make handling the instrument much easier and won’t cause you to overextend yourself during those crucial first days of learning.
As you develop your playing style, you might then want to progress towards a more standard headjoint. However, you’ll certainly want to check with your music teacher, your band leader or flute teacher before purchasing an additional headjoint. You don’t want to run before you can walk when it comes to fluting!
The flute is also a very delicate instrument, so when you first start out learning this instrument, you’ll want to buy a model that comes with a hard case to protect the delicate keys that are very prone to bending. You’ll need a resilient case with latches that will shut tightly and not open during transportation.
But where can you find some of the best flutes for beginners? What features does a flute have to have to be effective and what materials should it be made out of to give you the best sound when learning those intricate finger positions? How much can you be expected to pay for a decent beginner flute?
Well, student flutists the world over need not worry any longer, because we’ve compiled a list of some of the best flutes for beginners currently available on the market.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide that will help you to decipher what the best and worst flutes are to start playing, as well as some frequently asked questions.
OUR TOP PICK
Our first flute is one that is manufactured by a well-established brand Mendini, which has garnered plenty of 5-star reviews from instrument users across the globe.
Having a reliable and reputable company is incredibly important when having an instrument that will last you for longer than a few months - introducing the Mendini Closed Hole C Flute.
This flute comes in a completely flawless finish, made from top-quality metal that will not warp or bend after repeated playing. This flute comes with a closed hole design, with a beveled embouchure that has an undercut for ease of playing.
It also has double leather bladder pads that give the student player that added level of comfort and responsiveness when playing.
The tone of this flute is rich and of decent quality, coming in a very affordable price, again, which will appeal to the student with not a lot of money in their bank account.
The detailing on this flute is very lavish, coming with Fuschia lacquered body and 16 closed keyholes, giving you the utmost confidence in your instrument during those early days.
- This model comes with plenty of accessories that will help protect its delicate casing - a pro-deluxe hard case with nylon lined padding will protect your flute during transportation from the practice room to the concert stage.
- The craftsmanship that has gone into this flute is awe-inspiring, with 16 closed keyholes and mouthpiece that will allow the flutist to get to grips with the rudiments of playing.
- The price - considering the number of features you can get with this flute, it is a steal to buy. If you are a beginner on a budget, then this flute will break you in without breaking your bank account!
- The bladder pads give you that extra cushioning on the keys, which is very important when you’re working through the scales and strengthening your fingers.
- Some users have complained that the Fuscia paintwork on the body of the flute starts to peel after a few months of intensive use.
Our next flute is another that is designed for beginners, coming in a professional construction but with an accessible design of keys.
It has a wide range of accessories such as a hard case, a cleaning cloth, a flute swab and various other items that will help keep your flute in pristine condition - introducing the Eastar EFL-2 Open/Close Hole C Flutes.
This flute comes with a premium grade finish or pure silver. It is also lacquered, which will help keep it resistant to damage from moisture, which you can expect if you’re planning on using your flute in various live settings where sweat is abundant. If you clean and maintain this flute, you can expect it to last for a few years.
This flute comes with an all-important plush-lined hard case that will prevent nicks and scratches that your flute will suffer from over months and years of playing. You must keep your flute well-maintained, as even superficial damage like this will soon start to impede its functionality.
- The accessories - the range of cleaning items that are available with this flute is amazing. The cleaning cloth, the flute swabs, the polishing cloth, the gloves, all of these items will contribute to a longer lifespan for your instrument.
- The grade of this flute is solid silver, so it will be able to withstand the intense playing that sometimes accompanies a beginner.
- The spring pads on these keys are made from carbon steel, meaning that they won’t warp or bend during harder playing. When you are learning, you want the assurance that your instrument will be able to take intense pressure.
- The tone of this flute will be both rich and consistent, giving you the professional-sounding instrument that most beginners crave.
- Some users have complained that the sound of this flute is very tinny, lacking the bass tones that characterize the standard flute sound.
This next flute is one that is manufactured by the world-renowned Yamaha brand, so you can be certain of this model’s professional construction and the precision of the design and the craftsmanship.
The intonation of this flute is very impressive, playing C with a G offset, you can reach all the notes up and down the scale with confidence and ease - introducing the Yamaha YFL-221 Student Flute.
This model is one that is often recommended by music teachers and bandleaders and with good reason. The construction of this flute is nickel-plated, with silver-plating in the keys. This composition results in a solid body that won’t warp or bend after intense playing.
The warranty of this flute is very generous, allowing you to exchange it quickly if you buy it with a defect. The tone that you get from this flute will be rich and warm, with a lightweight of around 2 pounds, it will allow you to play for longer, which will be crucial when trying to perfect your playing stance.
- Manufactured by the popular Yamaha brand, you can expect a very resilient flute for an affordable price. This flute is like a classic car - stylish, well-designed and reliable.
- With nickel and silver-plating, the body is very solid, with responsive keys that will allow you a smooth transition between notes.
- This one comes with thousand of high ratings on Amazon, ranking frequently in the top 100 flutes list. When it comes to having an instrument that hits those notes consistently and lasts for years, the testimonies of other musicians are invaluable.
- The price - this is a very affordable unit, making it an ideal choice for newbies who are looking to save as many dollars as possible.
- Some users have complained that this flute is off-key and needs additional tightening upon purchase.
This next flute, as indicated by the title, is designed solely for the student player.
The body of this model is made from silver with nickel-plating, giving you responsiveness and comfort in the keys, allowing the newer player to be accustomed to finger positions without any undue stress.
It also has excellent intonation and an ergonomically shaped offset G key - introducing the Gemeinhardt 1SP Student Flute.
This flute is very lightweight at only 2.7 pounds, which will enable the newer player to flex their fingers and hold the flute for much longer, adopting a playing stance with little awkwardness or pain.
The C-foot joint is plateau styled, allowing the player to rest their fingers with comfort, forgiving any initial hesitation.
This flute comes with a hard case that will protect it from all the knocks and bumps that it will receive between your bedroom and the practice room.
If you are planning on playing live straight away, then you’ll want that extra assurance that you’re not having to compensate for playing with a warped key.
- This flute is made from silver with nickel-plating, giving you that solid body and reliable responsiveness that are crucial for improving your playing.
- The design of it is not that different from a professional grade flute, it gives you all the keys that you will need to perform basic compositions.
- The weight is very light, yet the body is durable, giving you the perfect balance between pro and amateur levels of playing, allowing the entry-level player to become accustomed to a decent stance.
- A lot of the keys are plateau styled, allowing new users to play comfortably and not experience any unnecessary resistance from off-center fingering.
- Some users have complained that this flute has difficulty reaching and sustaining those lower notes.
Our final flute is made by a company that is known for manufacturing quality instruments for student players, with an attention to detail in the construction that characterizes much more professional instruments.
This flute is manufactured primarily from nickel, which is a great material that is very responsive over time, despite any wear and tear that it might accumulate - introducing the Cecilio High-Grade Student C Flute.
When it comes to preserving your flute and making it last for decades rather than just a few years, you’re going to need some basic cleaning products, such as a flute swab and a cleaning rod.
Luckily, this flute comes with both of these and more, allowing you to remove any excess moisture and grime from the nooks and crannies of your instrument.
The closed holes of this flute are of a professional standard, with keys that are double plated and covered with rubber to make your first attempts at holding finger positions that extra bit more comfortable and less daunting.
This flute comes from a company that has extensive experience in this field and makes instruments to a high standard.
- This flute is made from premium-grade materials, the nickel is both responsive and resistant to corrosive elements such as moisture.
- If you’re looking for longevity from your first flute, then you can’t go far wrong with this model. It comes with durable keys that are extra padded and plated and won’t warp or bend over long hours of intensive playing.
- The padding in the keys makes for a luxurious playing experience - so often student players are daunted and exasperated by harsh steel keys. That won’t be an issue with this model.
- The accessories - this flute comes with everything that you’ll need to keep your flute free of both harmful bacteria and moisture.
- Some users have complained that the foot joint is too tight to fit into the main body of the flute.
Best Flute For Beginner Buying Guide
Buying your first flute is always going to be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never even held one before, let alone played it.
You might be worried about buying a model that’s too flimsy or will easily suffer from wear and tear after only a few months. How do you get one that has that distinctive flute tone without forking out too much on the price?
Well, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of a few things you should consider before buying your first flute.
There are plenty of resources and forums out there where you can learn the basics about flute purchases and which models are the best for the style of playing that you’re going to be planning on doing.
Before buying, it’s probably worth considering what style of flute you’ll be playing. For example, if it’s an intensive jazz style you'll be playing, you’ll probably want to purchase a flute that will allow you to play faster, smoother notes.
Avoid Flutes That Look Too Cheap
Some supermarkets and high street chain sell their own brands of flute. We would recommend that you avoid buying these, as they are often made from substandard materials, as well as having a poor design.
Cheap flutes also offer no challenge when playing, meaning they can make even a bad flute player sound good! We would recommend that you pay somewhere between $100 - $250 for a decent entry-level flute.
Buy A Flute Designed For Students Or Beginners
A beginner flute should be very light, easier to play than a professional flute with more keys, as well as being resilient enough to withstand impacts from live gigging or practice.
The pro flutes will often be heavier and give you more or a tonal range and better projection when it comes to playing.
Make Sure Your Flute Is The Right Size
While there aren’t radically different sizes between flutes, you can get flutes that have things like curved headjoints that make playing much easier for a beginner.
These keys will reduce the distance between themselves and the flute body, so you won’t have to stretch as much to hit those notes.
You can easily suffer from neck and joint pain if you’re playing a flute that is beyond your capacity. This will impede your playing and it will take you a lot longer to progress. You can also get into the habit of adopting a poor posture, which will also negatively affect your playing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should Your Budget Be For Your First Flute?
Musical instruments are generally very expensive, especially as you travel further into the pro playing realm. If you want to save money, you might have to consider renting an instrument at first, as opposed to buying one.
Expensive instruments may cost you a lot more, but ultimately they will have better design features and will last you longer. Expensive flutes also come with a better warranty, so you can always trade them in if they break.