LFP 005 |The Difference Between an Open and Closed Hole Flute

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LFP 005 |The Difference Between an Open and Closed Hole Flute

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, you will learn the difference between open and closed flutes.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 005.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • Whether you should buy an open or closed hole flute
  • The difference between an open and closed hole flute
  • What kind of flute is intermediate level
  • How to leave your own comments and questions for Rebecca

Learn Flute Podcast 005

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

Welcome to Episode 5!

Well welcome back here to the Learn Flute Podcast. I’m Rebecca Fuller the expert over at Learn Flute Online dot com, and I’m excited to help you learn even more about playing the musical instrument flute.

In this podcast series, I take pieces and parts of the videos, audios and articles that are all part of my learning program and discuss them even more here with you.

Feel free to join the discussion by finding the show notes over at Learn Flute Online dot com forward slash – and then enter the episode number you’re looking for. I started the numbers at 001, 002, 003 etc. This is episode 005. So you can find these exact show notes at learnfluteonline.com/005. You can leave comments, ask questions, read or re-listen to this episode. It’s here for you and your learning enjoyment.

So, let’s get right into it today:

When students are just getting started playing the flute, or if they’ve been playing for some time they often will get mesmerized at the fancy looking flutes they see. Now, by fancy – today I’m going to address the holes you see in the keys of my flute when you’re watching one of my videos. I get a lot of people asking me about this. Now, perhaps you already know all about these, but those of you who are curious. Let’s dive in.

I get this question asked often; Do I need an open hole flute? and is that considered intermediate level?

Here’s the short answer; ‘no’ you don’t need an open hole flute. But, if you’d like one, you can have one. Either way, the flute will play for you as well as you know how to play it. There’s the key.

So, what are those holes for anyway?  

Well, I recently did some research on this, and the bottom line was that the French invented this idea of putting the holes in the tops of the keys for a couple of different reasons.

One reason being that it kind of forces the student to have better hand position. I wish this were 100% the case. I’d require all of my students to have open hole keys. There are still many way to mess up your hand position – hey, we’re human. 

But, the good part of being human is that we can learn. And, the best way to learn to be effective on an instrument is to learn to play with the most natural hand position as possible. If placing your finger tops in those little holes helps you keep your fingers in the right spot, then great.

One thing you probably didn’t know is that a flute with open holes is usually an indication that it is a step-up in flute level. What I mean by this is it would usually be titled an ‘intermediate flute’. This is just saying that these flutes perhaps have better mechanism or are made with a higher quality of materials.

But, more and more flutists are choosing a closed hold option for their flute nowadays… I may surprise you by saying there is virtually no difference in tone or sound quality. .. Surprised?

That’s okay. I still know that a higher level flute generally will have more silver on it – real silver that is. Most flutes are nickel with a silver plating on it. The deeper the silver goes, and the more of it on your flute, the better chance you have of getting a deeper volume on it.. that is, if you’ve been trained to do so.

Let’s backtrack just a second  to the two questions for today, “Do I need an open holed flute”? and “Is an open holed flute considered intermediate?”

Well, you can play on an open hole flute if you want to. I prefer the holes for a couple of reasons. Number one, the open holes tend to be found on the higher quality flutes in many and most, but not all cases. I like to feel that I am being able to find a more variety of higher quality flutes in the open hole models. 

And, I like to play some really jazzy sounding slides in jazz music and traditional and modern Irish music. I can still create these cool slides with a closed hole flute, but I find it easier on my open hole flutes.

In regards to the second question of “Is an open hole flute considered intermediate?” Well, this used to be more true than it is nowadays. I have young students who order their flutes in student models with the holes. 

One thing that makes this great is that we don’t have a transition phase later on. And, I have advanced students who don’t prefer the holes at all. More and more flute makers are providing options for closed hole flutes in the higher quality silver and gold versions.

It’s true. You basically can order a flute with or without those open holes, just remember that the quality of the  materials makes the difference, but the biggest difference is the player.

And, that’s a wrap – I hope I was able to answer a question you may have had about open and closed hole flutes, and whether you really  need one or not.

If you have a question you’d like me answer here on this Learn Flute Podcast, you can speak right into your computer and send it to me by going over to https://learnfluteonline.com/contact/. I have a link there that will take you to a fancy, easy to use button where you can just talk it right to me. It sends it to me, right on an email. I’ll get those and put them in cue. I’d love to help you out in any if not all of your flute learning questions.

Join us over in this conversation over at the LearnFluteOnline.com website by finding this episode at forward slash 005.

See y’all next time!



Thank you for Tuning In!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute as well as what’s the difference between an open and closed hole flute.  Join us for the next episode.

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

2 thoughts on “LFP 005 |The Difference Between an Open and Closed Hole Flute”

  1. great article! Thank you…i have three..c foot closed hole gemeinhardt, a b foot open hole Odyssey which breaks often and the b foot open hole Azumi that is my principle instrument.

    1. Nice, Cheryl. It’s great that you’re looking at your equipment with new eyes. I bet you love your Azumi. 🙂 Thanks for the comment. ~Rebecca

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