Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Hello,
I have played a regular keyed flute for years and recently tried playing an Irish flute belonging to a friend during a music session and fell in love with the instrument and the way it sounds. I am looking for a decent quality instrument, and it needs to be of wood. My budget is about 400 euros at the moment, although I could probably go a bit more. The flute that I tried was one by Cotter, and it plays very nicely, but the problem was that my hands were a bit too small for the flute and it was a very uncomfortable stretch on the right hand to get the last hole covered, which caused me to miss the hole more than I liked. Do you have any suggestions about flutes or makers?
Thanks

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Keep playing wooden flutes. Your hand will grow accustomed to the stretch (unless you have really small hands, it’s not that far), and then you can buy a flute for the tone and sound quality, not for how it fits your hands.

A few makers do make ergonomic flutes with the tone holes off set to provide an easier reach.

Also, it may help to get a flute with a joint between the hands, so you can turn each set of tone holes to get the best fit for you.

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Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Actually Casey Burns makes a flute which is better than the Folk Flute & not too far above €400 (in mopane ~ blackwood is more). http://www.caseyburnsflutes.com/order.php#orders
There is a waiting list for new orders. And the shipping, etc. would be from U.S.

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Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

That stretch between D and E can be really bad, even if you’ve
played woodwind instruments before. I speak from experience -
it was surprising. It would be worth getting something ergonomic at least to start out with. Will is right that your hand
will adjust after a while but some people might lose patience.

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Also, it can be a stretch your hand needs to become accustomed to over time. Take your time doing anything which results in soreness as it may lead to fatigue & possibly a bit of pain up along the tendon. Flutes can be made ergonomic by either having the holes curved, or with a bottom joint to turn the low D hole. Whatever you choose take care of your hands. Flute players love those bottom notes. Take your time, though.

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Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Casey Burns made my Irish flute for me and I love it. I play the whistles and this flute was made for me in the key of D. Very easy to play. It’s made out of African Blackwood. There is a waiting list…but worth it!

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

If you are having problems with the D-E stretch you are holding the flute wrong. Simple system flutes are not played with arched fingers like Boehm flutes, but either flat-fingered or in piper’s grip. Eamonn’s flutes don’t have a particularly difficult stretch and they’re lovely instruments. You might contact him and see what his keyless flutes cost.

Once you get the grip right, you shouldn’t have trouble with any D Irish flute. You should be able to get a Casey Burns for that price, and you can definitely get one of Fred Rose’s flutes. His website has them at 200 pounds sterling. The one I tried was a very reasonable instrument and he gets mostly good reviews around the Internet.
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/k.rose10/

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

As I think of it, another option is a Sweetheart flute. Walt Sweet has redesigned them and the new blackwood “resonance” model Sweetheart flutes play nicely. They’re $575 in blackwood, which is a little over 400 euro. I’ve only tried two of the blackwood ones, so can’t comment on the rosewood. Don’t go with a used Sweetheart, as Walt has only perfected this design fairly recently.
http://www.sweetheartflute.com/irishflutes.html

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

My wife has the same problem and plays a Casey Burns blackwood, it seems to play well and sounds great. She also has a mopane from Casey that she doesn’t play much, she might be willing to part with it.

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Thanks for the info, I will look into the different flutes suggested and hopefully find something that works well for me!

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

I have looked at a lot of websites and a lot of flutes, and I know I want to stick with a wooden flute, and I have looked and heard some about Casey Burns flutes and Sweetheart flutes (I actually have a fife that is a Sweetheart, which plays beautifully). The other makers that I could find prices posted for within my range were Francois Baubet, Carl Bell, Michael Cronnolly, David O’Brien and John Rutzen. Does anyone know someone who plays any of these or play one of these themselves? If so can you tell me if they are decent instruments? Thanks

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

I have a Casey Burns Folk Flute, the small hands version, in blackwood. Plays easily with a good tone and my hands like it. Beautifully made.

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

I play (and started on) a flute made by a fella named Brent Santin and it’s wicked. He’d probably be in the lower end of your price range although he makes a large variety of different flutes. The stretch is kind of average but, as somebody already suggested, unless your hands are extremely tiny, you’ll probably just grow accustomed to the reach.

Also, Brent is very personable and approachable. He has a few recordings out and is always ready to answer questions: both maintenance related and playing related.

http://www3.sympatico.ca/clarke-santin/flutes/main.html

Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

I would say, you might like to consider that if you buy a decent flute for around 400 euro’s you may well find yourself fed up with in a short time. And then having to think about selling it and stuff.

You might be better just playing whistle and saving up for a good flute by someone like Sam Murry or Hammy Hamiltion.

I have had my Sam Murray for about 20 years and I’m very happy with it and have never thought about getting another until very recently.

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Re: Decent wooden flute for a beginner

Dave Copely from Northern Kentucky makes very good flutes.