Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Hi folks, as by the discussion title I’m a 20 y/o Low whistle player who has been playing nearly a year. I am looking to go into playing Irish flute too and have a budget of £300. I am looking for a keyless D flute. I’m not keen on the Tony Dixon stuff as I really didn’t like their whistles. I’ve seen lots of people recommending M+E flutes, Forbes, Somers, copley to name a few. I am wondering if anyone could provide their thoughts on these flutes.

In an ideal world I’d love a Jil LeHart flute for my budget but I know thats not going to happen! :D

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Hi Martin!
Another flute maker you may want to look into is Walt Sweet. His Shannon flute is amazing and would make a great first flute.
Also when the time comes, Lehart’s flutes are the best! I have his D and low Bb and you won’t go wrong! Cheers and good luck!

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Look at Seery flutes. They have a page on Facebook. Flutes and whistles made with delrin so they are durable and don’t need a great deal of maintenance. Friend of mine is a teacher and says that a lot of his students have them and they are even better now than they were. Eamonn de Barra still plays his old wooden one. As far as I remember they come in two models pratten and rudal & rose. The latter was a little bit more expensive.
There’s also M&E flutes. Also made with polymer and pretty much in your current price range. I’ve no experience with them I’ve seen only one person playing it and it was years ago.

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Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

+1 for Seery, for the initial first flute. I recall Alan Docherty used to play one. It will do you grand until you decide to invest in a bit of wood.

Good luck

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

All you mentioned are not only adequate, but would serve you well for decades. I’ve owned most of them and played the rest (including some you didn’t mention) and can’t find anything but microscopic differences in any. My only regret is the time and money I spent overthinking the issue. As I’ve said before I liked my Somers well enough to have it fully keyed. Polymer has become my first choice, it’s impervious to temperature and humidity. The only thing it lacks is bragging rights to a famous makers name. Pick one, somewhere in the $400 range, and play the hell out of it!

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Don’t overlook the used option. Many fine flutes are posted for sale here and on Chiff & Fipple. Ebay is another source you may want to check out. Good luck ! 🙂

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

For that budget you are likely to get a reasonable second hand starter flute. Seery ones are great to get going on. You should be able to get one within your budget.

I got a Carbony (carbon fibre) flute to get me going - wonderful low-maintenance and well-behaved yoke. If you see one available second hand don’t even think twice. They are probably around £500-600 new so might be in range of your budget second hand. There are three of us in our Comhaltas branch using them and I know a couple of others also who have been happy with them.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

https://www.thompsonflutes.com/. UK based maker and a fine player himself so worth a look.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

I second Thompson, flutes, I have his Delrin Pratten, and love it!

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

I agree with the Seery…. I have one of his Prattens and it is a beast. Damned near indestructible (in sessions…
that COUNTS).. but it takes a lot of air to fill it. Great sound when you do, it really honks… if ou can play it you can play almost anyones. Good luck!

(Me: learning on the flute.. *toot toot toot*..
Wife: " Are your eyes supposed to be rolling around like that?"
Me: ..*pant pant wheeze..".."huh?"

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Piggybacking onto this thread as I am in the same boat, currently eyeing up a Tony Millyard flute, they are £400-500 new for keyless. Would appreciate any particular recommendations for those with small hands though.

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Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

My only hesitation about delrin/polypenco flutes is their weight.

I do love a light flute! Like Casey Burns’ boxwood flutes.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

I was about to post about Casey Burns flutes before Richard mentioned them above. You can get boxwood to to avoid extra CITES paperwork importing blackwood to the UK, and it’s at the lower end of the OP’s budget, including shipping. This includes the "ergonomic small handed" versions:

http://www.caseyburnsflutes.com/ff.php

A piper friend of mine plays a Burns small-handed Folk Flute in blackwood and it’s a fine instrument. Possibly the best available if you want a wooden flute at an entry-level price.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

This isn’t strictly a recommendation (nor, I hope, a hi-jack), but I do have a boxwood Goulding & D’Almaine single key flute from the period 1823-1834, which plays to D according to my tuner, and which I was proposing to sell. It needs the joints re-doing, the end cap is absent, and I was hoping to get at least £350 for it.

Not sure whether this is helpful, or just distracting…

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Another option to consider is Francois Baubet, located in Ennis, I believe.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

I was able to buy a Lehart used for ~ £400, so one may not be as far out of your budget as you think. My first flute was a Shannon by Walt Sweet, well within your budget and a great flute altogether. While I wouldn’t say they’re really very similar, I did find the transition to the Lehart pretty easy, and still play the Shannon a fair bit. As of now, the Lehart is my main flute, and I don’t think I’ll ever really need another one.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

M&E was mentioned; I was in the same situation when I started,posting online and going through options. Someone here or at Chiff and Fipple emailed me, and I ended up buying a used 8 key M & E rosewood-ish flute for $600 or so. It sounds good, plays well, and there is still lots there for me to grow into. At some point I will get a ‘better’ flute, but in my limited experience, M & E makes pretty good instruments.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

More flute for the money cannot be got than a Casey burns folk flute. If you can get a two part one second hand then you will have an object of beauty too. Though I have not seen anyone trying to dispose of one of those for quite some time. Maybe that says something about them too? By the 400+ GBP price point there are numerous other options open to you as well. Sweet and M&E flutes are ok, but there are better flutes out there than the examples of these on which I have had my hands. But again,that could just be my preferences coming through.

Do not get distracted by keys - there are no cheap keyed options out there worth playing anywhere near your price point. And by the time you know that you want keys, you will also know more about what other properties your ideal flute should have. Which, by then may not be that closely related to what I or anyone else might think.

A flute should respond well (i.e. make a nice, strong sound without any delay and with little effort), be playable in a=440Hz +/- a little. and be internally in tune with itself (check with RTTA if necessary). If a flute meets these criteria then it is a good flute. Whether it is _your_ flute depends more on you than on the flute and is decided by many factors.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Also worth checking is whether Mopane would be an option - I think Mopane is still outside CITES protection. And that does simplify purchase if crossing non-EU international borders.

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Agree with Steve Bliven, unless I believe that Baubet is based in Galway. I just recieved one of his delrin flute and it’s a very good purchase in my opinion, at a more than reasonable price.

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Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

I too am a low D whistle player. I play a Cox flute, learned on it, and am very happy with it. I believe they export from Ontario Canada where they are made. Try the link www.richardcox.ca/fluteTYP.html, they run from about $300 to $500 depending ($180 GBP?), plus shipping. Mine is rosewood 2 piece and cost $250 about 4 years ago (at a Goderich folk concert discount!).
The most difficult thing is embroucheur sorted on any flute!
Roger

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

I highly recommend the Casey Burns Folk Flute as a first flute. Casey does excellent work, and the Folk Flutes are great.
http://www.caseyburnsflutes.com/ff.php

The first flute that I bought was a Hammy Hamilton Practice Flute. It plays very well, is very inexpensive, and, due to it’s aluminum and nylon construction, it is pretty much indestructible. I probably play my practice flute more than any of my wooden flutes simply because it is the only one that I can reasonably leave out with two small children roaming the house.
http://www.hamiltonflutes.com/Practice_Flutes.html

Re: Low Whistle player looking to start flute - looking for a Keyless D

Hi All thank you for all the responses. I’m really quite overwhelmed by how helpful everyone has been. I decided to go for a keyless flute from Damien Thompson 🙂 Masterfully crafted and beautiful sounding from the videos I’ve seen for a very reasonable price.