Bamboo Flute

Re: Bamboo Flute

as it’s currently listed at 17quid It doesn’t seem much of a risk does it. However, I can just about promise you that it’s not much of a flute… perhaps as a starter instrument just to get a feel for the transverse embochure or whatever but not for playing Irish flute…

Olwell does make bamboo ‘Irish’ flutes for $100 or so that are actually quite decent if not tuneable;

if its the deep dark Molloy sound you’re looking for , I’ve yet to see any but a true wood-flute do the job. If you do buy online, I strongly suggest you check the return policy as I would never buy an instrument outright without getting a chance to try it for a few days at least….

good luck!!

Re: Bamboo Flute

well, since its so cheap i dont see the harm. i cant guarantee you it will be in tune, but hopefully it would make a great sound.

what i would get it for would be to get my hands used to the spread, but dont expect much.

i have a bamboo flute in g that was about 60 or more new. it is not in tune at all but it makes the best tone.

if you can afford it use it to practice while you’re waiting for a good wood one to show up or to arrive / be made. if you’re lucky it might be session playable. but… doesnt look too promising.

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Re: Bamboo Flute

Cheers for the advice all

Re: Bamboo Flute

Flutes are best made out of a dense material. i actually have porcelain flutes that play beatifully. Bamboo is not a dense wood, hence the somewhat airy sound. Also, you get whatever nature provides in terms of bore diameter, so it’s almost impossible to make the intonation from note to note accurate, let alone get it into a particular key.

They can be fun to play, but get yourself a good wooden flute.

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Re: Bamboo Flute

Looks like junk to me. I’ve seen these things before. They are un-tunable, and have the worst intonation you can imagine. If you can’t afford a real flute, wait and save up for one. You will be glad you did.

Good rule of thumb with buying instruments…. don’t buy unless you’ve played it! Cheers

Re: Bamboo Flute

I was just talking to a woodwind maker today, who was considering making some bamboo flutes. Apparently, there are two distinct approaches regarding bores: one is to use the natural bore of the cane, thus retaining its natural waterproof coating, but, as Ailin says, you get whatever nature provides as regards bore shape and diameter; the other approach is to line the bore with some kind of hard material (a resin or lacquer) and re-bore it to the dsired dimensions.

Re: Bamboo Flute

If it’s a Steve Cox flute of Tallgrass Winds as advertised, it’s a really good bamboo flute (just a slight step down from an Olwell or Rhiannon bamboo flute). Bamboo flutes, when well made, can be in tune through about the low D to the third octave D thanks to the slight conicality of bamboo. They can also have as deep a sound as a traditional wooden flute.

Look, if a non-professional like me can make a bamboo flute in tune throughout two octaves, a good maker can, too. The key is selecting pieces with the right wall thickness and bore size.

That said, the majority of bamboo flutes are terrible things made by middle easter manufacturers. And, I’ve yet to see a bamboo flute with a slide for tuning although I have heard people have cobbled together one.

Anyone here heard any Indian bansuri players playing on professional grade bansuri (k.e. - bamboo flutes)? They’re incredibly expressive and truly fine instruments.

Just like wooden flutes, bamboo flutes have been around for ages because when well made they are wonderful instruments and not just toys.

There, that’s my rant and I’m sticking to it….


Re: Bamboo Flute

Why not listen to some of Brian Finnegan’s playing? He uses bamboo, and has a brill sound.

Here in Tasmania, Tom Walwyn plays them in the session in Hobart, and manages to obtain a beautiful tone, for quickies, as well as slow airs.

Some might remember the All-Irelands 1985. A flute player was marked down for using a drainpipe flute. The tone didn’t matter apparently, just the appearance. That flute ended up being requested for three different albums.


Re: Drainpipe flute

Perhaps it was just the fact that it was a *different instrument*, regardless of how well it was played or how good it sounded. What if someone were to enter the All-Ireland playing a Hardanger fiddle tuned to standard fiddle tuning?