With the vast array of flute brands and models in the market today, finding one that will best suit the needs of a beginner flutist can be a daunting task. This article will help narrow down your choices by listing flute brands and specific models that are often recommended for beginners.
For intermediate or advanced players, check out the next level of flute models for each brand listed below. Other recommended brands that are pricey include Altus, Sankyo, Miyazawa, Muramatsu and Nagahara flutes.
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The Yamaha Corp. in Japan (formerly named Nippon Gakki Co.) was founded by Torakusu Yamaha. They first began manufacturing reed organs in 1887 and since then have branched out to producing other instruments. The Yamaha Corp. of America was founded in 1960. Yamaha flutes have consistently ranked well among the most recommended brands, both for affordability and quality.
Suggested ModelsYamaha YFL-221N Standard Flute - Compare Prices - This one is nickel silver-plated with undercut embouchure hole and double bladder pads. It has a C footjoint and an offset G key system. It comes with a plastic case and a cleaning rod.Yamaha YFL-221 Standard Flute - Compare Prices - It has the same features as the YFL-221N except that this one is silver-plated.
2. Azumi by Altus
The Altus brand has been crafting flutes for over 25 years with headquarters in Azumino, Japan. Altus flutes are created by master flute maker Shuichi Tanaka. Flutes by Altus, like the 807 or 907, are designed with "the growing flutist" in mind. In 2006, they introduced a new line of flutes called Azumi meant for advancing players. Azumis are more affordable but maintains the same quality as Altus flutes. Serious beginners will also find this brand a good investment.
Suggested ModelAzumi AZ 3000RBS - Vendor's Site - This has the Altus handmade Z-cut head, Britannia silver body, B foot, offset G key system and french or open hole.
The Pearl Musical Instrument Co. was founded in the 1940's in Japan. Primarily known for producing percussion instruments, Pearl went on to create a line of flutes and opened its US-based office in Nashville, Tennessee.
Suggested ModelPearl Quantz 505E Flute - Compare Prices - This flute is silver-plated, closed hole, C foot, offset G with split-E mechanism.
KHS (Kung Hsue She) was founded in Taiwan in 1930 and began manufacturing musical instruments in the 1950's. KHS then founded Jupiter Band Instruments Inc. in 1980 and later opened an office in Austin, Texas in 1990. Jupiter's slogan is "A world of quality goes into each musical instrument," which is why their flutes remain on the list of recommended flute brands.
Suggested ModelsJupiter 313S Prodigy Model - Compare Prices - This model is specifically meant for young beginners. It is closed-hole, has a curved headjoint, assisted fingering and a silver-plated body.Jupiter 511 RSO Standard Flute - Manufacturer's Site - This standard flute model is open-hole, silver-plated and has an offset G key system.
5. DiMedici by Jupiter
DiMedici flutes are also under the Jupiter brand.
Suggested ModelJupiter DiMedici 911 RBSO Flute - Compare Prices - The 911 RBSO is for serious, advancing flute players. Specs include a silver-plated body, sterling silver D-2 headjoint, B foot, open hole and an offset G key system.
6. Trevor James
Named after its founder, Trevor J. James, this company began in 1979 as a flute repair shop in London and then branched out to crafting flutes in 1982. Since then they have also manufactured saxophones and clarinets.
Suggested ModelsTrevor James 10X2E Flute - Vendor's Site - Silver-plated body and foot, closed hole, C footjoint, offset G and split E mechanism are among its specifications. It comes with a case and cleaning rod plus a 5 year guarantee.Trevor James P3CPO "Privilege" Series 3 - Vendor's Site - This model is all silver-plated, closed hole, offset G and has a C footjoint.
Known for its flutes and piccolos, it was founded by William Teasdale Armstrong, an instrument repairman, in 1931 with his first office in Elkhart, Indiana. Before long, Armstrong started crafting his own flutes which was continued by his son Edward.
Suggested ModelsArmstrong Model 102 Flute - Manufacturer's Site - For beginning students, it is silver-plated and closed hole. Has a full warranty, comes with a hardshell case and cleaning rod.Armstrong Model 104 Flute - Manufacturer's Site - Likewise for beginning students, it is silver-plated, closed hole and has a basic cut head joint. Also comes with a hardshell case and cleaning rod.
The Gemeinhardt Company was founded by flute maker Kurt Gemeinhardt during the late 1940's. Gemeinhardt acquired the Roy Seaman Piccolo Company in 1997 and in 2005, Gemeinhardt joined the Gemstone Musical Instruments team. The Gemeinhardt Co. is known as manufacturers of flutes and piccolos.
Suggested ModelGemeinhardt Model 2SP Flute - Compare Prices - The model 2SP is often recommended for beginning flutists. It is closed hole, silver-plated, with stainless steel springs and offset G.