Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

I’m just getting going on the D flute and am loving it. I would like to get a inexpensive (read ‘cheap’) high D flute/fife to carry around and noodle around on when I’m out and about and can’t carry my flute. Are there any inexpensive high D flutes out there? Do you all have any suggestions on where to find one? I’ve tried the usual suspects and have searched online extensively. All I can find are cheap fifes in B-flat or C. The D models are rather expensive. I did find a Yamaha 8-hole fife in C on Amazon and it was only $9US. But I’d really like a six-hole model so I’m not learning new fingerings. And I really want one in D so that I don’t have to transpose. I did enough of that as a horn player!

Mind you, this is something to throw in my bag and pull out on my lunch break and the like. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Durable and cheap are what I’m after.

Are there any suggestions?

Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

Some makers propose a piccolo in D, everyone has a preferred maker, but: what do you intend for "cheap"?

If you want to get really cheap, in D and have a satisfying instrument I suggest to go for a good whistle!

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Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

Doug Tipple makes a nice plastic PVC plumbing flute. I don’t think he’s got one an octave higher, but you can get one full-sized, or get an E flute, F or I think he even has one in G.

Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

One of Jem Hammond’s home made open hole plastic piccolos would do it, but I’d say most people just use a whistle for those moments

Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

I too like Jem’s for developing the embouchure, but he isn’t making them any more, & that design was not tunable.

I’m thinking I’ve seen others beside the Dixon, but either they were priced way higher, or I’m just unable to recall the maker(s).

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Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

Davy Angus in N Ireland makes Reasonably priced D fifes. My daughter had one and learnt on it before moving on to the flute. He has a website. From about 60 ukp to 150.

Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

Depending on how you define inexpensive: https://carbony.com/product/carbony-two-piece-fife-in-d/

But the better no transposing, same fingering option is a nice whistle. Very complementary to flute - and welcome in a session (where the fife/piccolo might be controversial).

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Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

If just playing on my own, so the key doesn’t matter, I carry a Tipple G. It’s smallish, easier to play quietly than a piccolo, and gives the embouchure a good workout without being too different from a D flute.

Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

Just get a D whistle and play it when your embouchure needs rest. Concentrate on the flute.

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Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

Somewhere I have a Bb fife. You’re supposed to play the fife in the top two octaves. The bottom two octaves have the same fingering as a whistle or Irish flute. The third octave has different fingerings. I have only ever played the lower two octaves. I always thought it would be a good idea to have a smaller practice flute, but it turns out it’s better to practice with your real flute. Anyway, I live in California. If you aren’t too far away, and if I can find the fife, I can mail it to you if you give contact me.

Re: Inexpensive high D flutes for practicing?

You can get a good playing antique piccolo off eBay uk.
I see ones I would purchase selling around 30 quid quite often.
I have a Rudall Carte these days but have owned a Murray, Sweets, Oesch and lots of antiques.
Pitch could be an issue.
In my experience the ones labelled London D (improved, made, make etc.) play well and are cheap. The ones I have owned have played well and even the high pitched D’s can play with a slide extension.
Be aware though piccolos are often in Eb (high or low pitch )
I used to keep a page about piccolos but all the images have gone
http://irishpiccolo.blogspot.com/2013/07/?m=0
A second hand Jem Hammond piccolo would be ideal if you don’t feel like fixing one up off eBay.
The job is easy. Read up on foam pads, and simple crack repair even sealing it on it cheap piccolo

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