Summary: If you want the best flute brands to try first, consider companies specializing in beginner flutes, complete with flute accessories.
If you have a younger child in your family who wants to start playing the flute, or you are a beginner yourself and want an instrument appropriate to your skill set, you probably have many questions about the best flute brands to try.
To help you determine which brands are best for beginners, whether children or adults, I put together this quick guide that tells you what features to look for and which brands are best for different situations.
Bottomline Up Front
One of my favorite beginner brands is Mendini. Mendini by Cecilio is very famous for their student and beginner models of stringed instruments, but they also have a good set of flutes for beginners. I love that they come with all the accessories you need to get started, and they are affordable.
However, if you prioritize having an instrument manufactured in America, Kaizer is great, and if you want something handcrafted from a company that has been around the longest, consider Gemeinhardt.
My selection criteria include affordability as one of the primary selling points. If you are a beginner and looking to try a new instrument, you need something affordable.
Second, I prioritize having all the accessories you need to get started, especially for beginners. Having all of the accessories to play the flute, maintain the flute, and safely store the flute is essential. It does not matter if you are an adult finally getting the courage to try the flute or a parent buying for your child.
Features of the Best Flute Brands to Try First
When you do a quick online search for different flutes, you will get a lot of options, and not all of them are designed for beginners. Higher-quality flutes for professionals have better intonation and projection because the professional flutist has to be heard over the other instruments, all the way to the back of the performance hall.
But if you are practicing in your home, you probably do not want to be heard to the back of your yard just in case your neighbors are home.
It is easy for a beginner to look for the cheapest model. I naturally pivot toward whatever item is cheapest without hesitation. But I very rarely buy the cheapest thing because I have to remind myself that something like an instrument is an investment, and a good investment might cost a little bit more at the beginning, but you get more out of it, and it lasts a long time.
We have one particularly unique family member who likes to brag about how much money he saves with every purchase. Every time we visit, he looks at my rugged outdoor watch and asks how much it costs. He knows my watch was $300. He also knows that my watch is durable and has survived multiple camping trips, rock climbing trips, glacier hikes, deep-sea divers, etc.
I’ve purchased it once, and it remains in excellent condition ten years later. This quirky family member asks me to tell him how much it costs each time we visit because he wants to point out that his Walmart watch only cost him $15 and, therefore, he got the better deal.
It does not matter how many times we point out that his grocery store watch breaks after 3 or 4 months which means he buys three or four watches every year at $15.
So every year, for the last ten years, he has spent about $60, amounting to $600 total. Meanwhile, during that same ten-year period, I have only spent $300, and my watch is of significantly better quality than his. But for some reason, this unique family member can’t appreciate the value of long-term investments.
I’ll admit that every family member has this unique frugality about them, although thankfully not to the same degree. So if you are a beginner and your family has this particular trait, I ordered you to remember that if something costs just a little bit more than the cheapest option marketplace is like Amazon, there are probably good reasons. It will be well worth the investment.
Beginner flutes usually have curved head joints to extend the physical reach making it easier for children to play. This is something to look for when considering beginner models, especially if you are buying for a child.
Tip: If you are buying for a child, have your child stand in front of you. Using a tape measure, place one end of the measure at their mouth and then mark 16 inches from there, along their right hand.
If that mark is at such a place that their arm is bent at a right angle or less, your child can use a full-size flute. If it is not, you have to find the more expensive model that comes with that curved head. If you do not want to spend the extra money, you can find a wooden flute designed to fit your child.
When looking at the description of a beginner flute, you might see it called the open key. The open key is a modification that improves the sound quality, but it is meant for professionals.
If you are a beginner and get a flute modified to be open key, it will be much harder for you to get the right sound and develop the correct finger placement. So, as a beginner, you want a model that specifies a closed key design.
Mendini by Cecilio
Mendini is a famous brand manufactured by the Cecilio company and explicitly designed for beginners. Mendini by Cecilio produces brass instruments, woodwind instruments, and stringed instruments. They all have multiple rounds of quality control but are initially manufactured in China, something not every consumer likes.
Mendini by Cecilio comes in 16 keyhole open designs or 17 keyhole open designs. They have many options for nickel plating vs. gold lacquer, so if you want more selection opportunities for the aesthetic part of your flute and the material from which it is crafted, Mendini by Cecilio is an excellent brand.
Yamaha is a very well-known manufacturer of pianos, but they also make other instruments like flutes. They design a range of good quality, middle-of-the-road beginner and intermediate instruments.
They do not walk away with the gold or silver award in my book just because they do not specialize in flutes; flutes are just one of many things they make, whereas the other manufacturers specialize in flutes and therefore put higher quality and design efforts into the flutes.
The Kaizer Company is known for manufacturing beautiful instruments for beginners in America. They do not just make their instruments in America, they provide all of their customer service and support in America, so if something goes wrong with your flute, you’ll be able to get it fixed quickly. What’s more, they only source products from local suppliers.
This is a huge selling point for many economically conscious buyers who do not want something produced overseas when they could buy something locally.
The Gemeinhardt company has a rich history of making flutes. The company was founded by a fourth-generation flute manufacturer who had worked in Switzerland on some of the most prestigious instruments worldwide and then moved to Germany.
He began manufacturing flutes for beginners and intermediate players. This is one of the biggest manufacturers of flutes and piccolos. They use advanced technology and machinery to make sure every flute is precision-made.
My selection criteria for the best flute brands to try first include affordability. If you are a beginner, you do not need a flute that is handcrafted from the best materials; you just need good quality and reliability, something that will last.
But you also need something that comes with the accessories. As a musician, buying one flute with things like a cleaning cloth or a storage case can make it much easier for you to dive into developing the right technique and protecting your investment than buying a flute on its own having to purchase each accessory piecemeal.
Best Flute Brands to Try First: My Top Picks
Mendini by Cecilio Premium Grade Closed Hole C Flute with Stand, Book, Deluxe Case, and Warranty (Nickel Plated)
Mendini by Cecilio comes from a reputable company. Mendini by Cecilio manufactures their instruments in China. They get a quality assurance test in China before being shipped overseas and a second quality assurance test once they reach port in the United States. Still, Mendini is well known for providing one-year warranties against defects that somehow slipped through these two quality assurance tests.
This model is a closed-hole design perfect for beginners. It uses the common nickel-plated material, a much cheaper investment for beginners than professional flutes’ solid metal. It uses double bladder pads and rubber key bumpers under your fingertips.
I love that it comes with all of the accessories you need, including the cleaning cloth, joint grease, a foldable stand, and a storage case. You can also pick from different colors if you are buying for a child who wants a future flute or a bright green flute instead of a metallic flute.
- Closed hole design perfect for beginners
- Offset G
- 16 keys
- It comes with a high-quality carrying case, joint grease, cleaning cloth and rod, flute pocketbook, and stand
- Lots of colors available too
- Nickel-plated material
- Manufactured in China
Gemeinhardt Flute (2SP)
The Gemeinhardt Flute is great for adults (or children) who are beginning with the flute but have some experience with other instruments. It is a trendy brand designed for beginner/intermediate players.
It, too, comes with accessories like a tuner and cleaning rod, but not a case or gloves. It boasts a beautiful silver exterior thanks to the triple silver plated finish. The flute is a silver-plated, high-quality instrument.
- Closed hole design, suitable for beginners
- Triple coated silver finish
- Professionally padded keys with stainless steel springs underneath
- Undergoes two levels of quality control
- It does not have as many accessories as the other brands
Kaizer Flute C Key 1000 Series Closed Hole Nickel Silver New 2018 Model Student Flute FLT-1500NK
The Kaizer Flute is arguably just as good as the Mendini when manufacturing quality and materials used. This model is part of their beginner line known for its high functionality, playability, and versatility.
I highly recommend this model if you have a child who is part of a band Orchestra in school and needs an instrument that helps them project over a loud group. This flute is known for its smooth responsiveness, and the spring design on the keys makes them physically more comfortable and easier to play, especially as a beginner.
The keys have professional padding, so they are airtight whenever you press down on their keys. They have adjustable screws with steel springs under each of the keys, so you can adjust with time if things get a little loose. This feels better underneath your fingers and gives you better control over the tone. There is a detachable foot joint, a beveled embouchure, and plateau keys.
- Nickel silver plating
- Manufactured in America
- It comes with professional padding on the adjustable springs
- Has a kit with a cleaning cloth, rod, gloves, joint grease, and molded case
- French-style closed-hole design
- Offset G, which might not be what you like
- It does not come in many color options
Yamaha YFL-222 Intermediate Flute for Student (International Version)
Yamaha does not have the greatest flutes, but it has generic flutes that might suit your needs. The international line of Yamaha flutes is made in Japan. They undergo two rounds of testing in Japan, and when they reach the United States. This international version has a unique foot joint alignment meant for younger children, so it fits those kids who can’t use a full-size flute.
The key bumpers are crafted from neoprene. All of the keys are made with silver nickel, so they are much more durable. This is a closed-hole key design, so it is excellent for beginners. These Yamaha flutes come with a plastic case, cleaning rod, polishing cloth, and owner’s manual.
- Unique foot joint marking for smaller children
- Nickel silver plating design
- Closed hole design, which is perfect for beginners
- Neoprene key bumpers which are more durable
- It does not come in many colors
- Not professionally padded keys like the other models
Answer: There are many reputable flute brands, and the best one for you will fulfill your personal needs. Mendini by Cecilio, Gemeinhardt, Yamaha, Lazarro, and Kaizer is great for beginners or intermediates.
Answer: The flute is considered medium difficulty if you look at all the potential instruments you might choose to learn. The flute is a smaller instrument, and the fingerings and maintenance of the instrument are relatively straightforward. It can be challenging to produce the right sound for a beginner, but once you get breathing techniques under control, it becomes much more manageable.
Answer: Learning to play the flute by yourself is possible. How difficult you find it to learn to play the flute as a beginner is based on your previous experience with any type of instrument or reading music. If you have some musical experience learning to play the fleet will be slightly easier. However much time you spend practicing, learning, reading, or potentially taking lessons can make this easier.
The bottom line is that I recommend three leading brands as my best flute brands to try first, and they each feel a specific feature that you might consider to be most important. If I had to pick just one, I would recommend Mendini by Cecilio because they are well known for good quality beginner and student models, and they come with all the accessories you need.
But suppose you care more about having your product manufactured in America instead of China. In that case, Kaizer is better, and if you want something from a company that has been around for a long time and developed a reputation for high-quality designs, do not shy away from Gemeinhardt.
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