New or used flute for a beginner?

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Bcoopmando
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New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by Bcoopmando »

I am a mandolin player looking for an Irish flute. I have had no experience playing a wind instrument!
I am retired and now have the available time.
Should I begin with a Delrin or wood flute? And if so should I purchase a new or used flute!
Any thoughts are welcome.
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dyersituations
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by dyersituations »

As long as it's a solid flute from a good maker and in good condition, it doesn't matter if it's new or used. Some people prefer wood to delrin, but both are fine options. Have you considered playing a tin whistle first? That is a cheaper and easier way to see if you like the whole six-holed instrument thing. While some cheap whistles are rough, you could pick up a cheap whistle for $10, learn a couple tunes using YouTube videos, and go from there. If you want to jump straight into the flute, Tipples are the cheapest option, but if you have the money, something like a Burns folk flute, Forbes delrin, Somers delrin, Shannon delrin, would all be great options. There are plenty other good options in the $300-500 range. For example:
https://www.irishflutestore.com/collect ... walt-sweet
https://www.irishflutestore.com/collect ... folk-flute
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by fatmac »

I'd go with a delrin keyless flute, they're easy to look after.
I have 3, a Tony Dixon 3piece key of D, an M&E 3piece key of F, & a Damian Thompson 2piece key of D (with offset holes).
I also have a Tony Dixon one piece ABS key of D flute which plays really well, is lightweight, & a cheaper entry to flute playing.
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by jim stone »

Any idea how much money you have to spend?
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by Bcoopmando »

I am not sure what my budget should be to acquire something that will work best for me.
I repeated suggestions to stay away from the cheap flutes advertised on EBay!
What is a reasonable budget for a reputable flute?
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dyersituations
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by dyersituations »

Bcoopmando wrote:I am not sure what my budget should be to acquire something that will work best for me.
I repeated suggestions to stay away from the cheap flutes advertised on EBay!
What is a reasonable budget for a reputable flute?
Definitely avoid the cheap Ebay flutes. My bandmate was given one, and they are terrible.

For a "non-traditional" flute, Dixon/Tipple are sub-$100. A step up would be around $250 (Shannon delrin, Thompson student model, aluminum Sommers, etc.). Then around $400 for the Folk flute or other delrin options.

I personally have never played a Dixon, so no tips there from me. The Tipple is a good flute but requires a "refined" embouchure (at least that's how mine is, though keep in mind my embouchure is not super). If I were to be picking a flute for a beginner, I would look at the Thompson student model or Shannon delrin. Or the Folk flute if the person had the money. Honestly all great options.
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by Sedi »

Bcoopmando
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by Bcoopmando »

Thanks for all the responses.
Much appreciated!
jim stone
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by jim stone »

http://www.copleyflutes.com/catalog.html

These are widely thought to be good flutes. I've played them nearly a couple of decades. This is an example of what's out there, anyhow. A good place to begin. A good idea is to buy the best flute you can afford. I prefer wood to delrin, but delrin is good enough.
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by jim stone »

Let me add that there is something to be said for purchasing a new flute as one's first flute, since if anything needs adjusting etc, the maker will do it for you.
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by Bcoopmando »

Thanks Jim!
There is a used wood flute which is being verified by the flute maker presently which is expensive though!
They want 1000 for it but apparently it is pristine and hasn’t been played much.
I am a musician able to read music well and improvise in Jazz. I am just hesitant to jump into an expensive instrument. I guess I could resell it. But some suggest wood if it just doesn’t do it for me! I feel that seems to be an unscientific bias searching through this forum!
I am used to high quality string instruments with no polymers as yet!!
All further thoughts are welcome.
Thanks for your posts.
jim stone
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by jim stone »

Getting a working embouchure will take you months and a good deal of patience, odds are. If it were me and I had your musical background and ability I would go for the best new wooden flute I could afford. The thing is that flute can become a consuming passion, and you may want something good before too long. The mistake a lot of newbies make is to go for something cheap, relatively unplayable, and hard to sell. Some of us have played just about everything out there and can give you particular advice about specific flutes, FWIW. You can contact us by private message. You might also consider whether you want keys. What music do you wish to play?
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by Peter Duggan »

Bcoopmando wrote:I am used to high quality string instruments with no polymers as yet!!
Don't confuse wood with quality here. There are lousy wood flutes and great polymer* flutes, and lousy polymer* flutes and great wood flutes. And probably more lousy wood flutes at the bottom end of the market...

*Or other non-wood materials, e.g. ebonite.
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jim stone
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by jim stone »

I want to add that wooden flutes, while not as carefree as delrin, are still easy to care for. The chief thing is to humidify them when it gets dry (e.g. central heating) which, in a pinch, can be done by putting the flute and a damp cloth in a plastic bag. You would want a hygrometer. These are cheap and accurate enough. Flute goes beautifully with mandolin, IMO.
Bcoopmando
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Tell us something.: Musician considering the Irish Flute. I am a Mandolin player interested in most genres of music.
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Re: New or used flute for a beginner?

Post by Bcoopmando »

The forum doesn’t authorize me to send a PM!
I guess I’m not a good enough flute player yet!
I promise to improve if I warrant having a flute! :-?
Also, I know there are flute and there are flutes!
Sort like the string instruments!
Jim, It will be difficult to play mandolin flute duets with myself!
Thanks once again for coming forth with your support.
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