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You are here: Home > Flutes > Flute Buying Guide & Tips

What you need to know before buying a flute:

  • B-foot; The B-foot option on a flute extends the low range of a flute by one half-step, from C to B.  This is an option that is usually left for advanced players, so if you’re just starting on flute, a normal C-foot will be good for you. 
  • Offset G; the offset G key is a convenience option.  The G key is the left-hand ring finger key, and would normally be in line with the rest of the keys on the left hand.  With the offset option, that key is moved further down, making the reach for your ring finger easier without affecting pitch or tone.
  • Open hole/Closed hole; Closed hole flutes are used by beginning to intermediate flute players.  The keys can be closed off, with a pad completely sealing off the hole to change the pitch of the flute, or they can have a hole in the top, leaving the seal up to the flutist’s finger.  The open holes let the flutist adjust fine tuning with their finger and achieve a better tone.  Open-hole flutes are played by most advanced players and all professionals.
  • Cleaning; Cleaning of a flute is pretty straight-forward.  The most important part would be to keep the pads dry.  A cleaning rod and moisture swab are the most important maintenance tools to have for any flutist. 
  • Colored flutes;  Colored flutes are usually for beginning flutists, and you won’t find one with open holes, a B foot, or an offset G key.  These are nickel silver flutes with a colored lacquer coating.  Normal (uncolored) flutes have a lacquer coating also, only clear.  The color will not affect the sound of the flute or its playability.  Lacquer does chip after time, and sometimes more dramatically if the person handling it has acidic sweat/hands.  This is normal and is not covered in any instrument warranty; it is just more noticeable in colored instruments.
  • Cases; All flutes come with a case included as a protection for the instrument.

If buying for a beginning student:

Recommended flute for students who are “not-yet-personally-committed” to play for years: