Sorting Out the Options
 

               Sorting Out The Options

 

I know that there are a number of different options and that it can be confusing to sort it out. Here are my comments, hopefully to help make the choices a little more clear.

 

2-piece vs. 3-piece flutes:  There is no difference in how these flutes are played or how they sound. The only difference is that the joint between the hands on a 3-piece flute allows the player to rotate the joint to adjust the fingering between the hands. This is a useful feature, especially for people with smaller hands. 3-piece flutes also break down into smaller pieces for ease of carrying. I charge $15 to construct the joint between the hands. I now am also making 4-piece flutes in low D, C, B, and low Bb. Please see the separate page for information about these flutes.

 

Inline vs. Offset Finger Holes: Inline finger holes are the standard configuration for Irish flutes, however, some flutemakers and players are now promoting a small  offset on the ring finger holes on both hands as making a lot of sense ergonomically, especially if your hands are small. I recommend slightly offset finger holes for all players. With slightly offset finger holes it is still possible to use the piper’s grip with either hand, although some players will prefer inline holes for playing with piper’s grip. I will also make custom offset holes at no additional charge.

 

Flute Colors: Currently I am offering flutes in white, charcoal gray, and black, all at the same price. I discuss this more fully on the FAQ page. Please see the sidebar on my homepage.

 

What Key To Order: The key of low D is the key of the standard Irish flute. Most of the flutes that I sell are low D flutes. Because Irish flutes are simple-system flutes without keys, each flute will play best in a few related keys, so it is desirable to have several flutes in different keys if you want to play in more than a few keys. I have a link at the bottom of my FAQ page that gives a chart that makes this clear. For example, Disney ordered flutes in seven different keys for their productions on Broadway in NYC and in Europe

 

Lip Plate Headjoint or Not: I have a separate page that I have devoted to this topic. Rather than trying to summarize my conclusions here, I refer you to the page (Optional Lip Plate Headjoint) on the sidebar of my homepage.

 

Small Round vs. Larger Oval Embouchure: Again, I have a separate page “Flute Embouchure” that I have written about this topic. I now am recommending the larger oval embouchure for all players, even for people who have never played the flute before.

 

Right or Left-Hand Flutes: Although my default flutes are made for right-handed players, I do make flutes for left-handed players, as well. There is no additional charge for left-handed flutes.


Faux Rings:  I discuss this on the page "Dressing Up Your Flute" on the sidebar.

 

My Recommendations: If you are on a budget and are looking for a basic flute, I recommend a 2-piece, 6-hole low D flute with offset finger holes @ $60 + $10 Tipple-Fajardo wedge = $70 + shipping and selling costs (if any). My most frequently-ordered flute is a 3-piece, 6-hole low D flute with offset finger holes @ $75 + $20 lip plate + $10 Tipple-Fajardo wedge = $105 + shipping and selling costs (if any). I include a simple cloth bag and a steel/cotton swab with any of my flutes.