“Do I need an Intermediate Flute?” I receive this email a lot from students who are feeling like they have moved “officially” into the Intermediate Level. Let’s explore student flutes vs intermediate flutes today.
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Honestly, I have many, many students who move from novice all the way through the beginner level and well into the Intermediate level before they have a new “intermediate” flute. And, they play great! That being said, there is a time when they have outgrown their flute and it is past time for a new one.
In this article I’ll discuss the reasons and ins-and-outs of moving to an upper level flute.
First, if a flutist has been using a low-quality flute (usually made in China with an “off brand” name), then it is always time for a new flute. But, I also realize that is not always possible for someone to begin with the quality they wish for. So, in this case – we’ll take a flute in GREAT CONDITION for starters.[headline style=”6″ font_size=”17″ font_style=”bold italic” align=”right”]”You’d be amazed at the difference in volume and tone-quality of a lower-quality flute is compared with a higher quality brand”[/headline]
Next (this is really important), if a flute player does not have the skills to play on a higher level,.. the instrument will not matter. There will be virtually no sound difference.[headline style=”6″ font_size=”16″ font_style=”bold italic” align=”right”]If a flute player does not have the skills to play on a higher level,.. the instrument will not matter.[/headline]
So, with all that out of the way let’s quickly see the differences between a Student model flute and an Intermediate.
* usually made of nickel that is silver plated
* may or may not have open-holes
* usually has a C foot joint
* usually has an offset G
* may or may not have the split E option
* At least the head joint is solid silver and the body nickel plated
* may or may not have open-holes
* may or may not have a B foot joint
* may or may not have an inline G
[headline style=”6″ font_size=”16″ font_style=”bold italic” align=”right”]”You can note that the more silver the better quality the flute is.”[/headline]
Now, here is the lowdown on each of the features mentioned above:
1. If the flute doesn’t have any real silver (or gold) on it, it is not an upper level flute.
Silver-plated is not the same thing. The head joint (at least) should be SOLID SILVER.
2. The open holes are usually an indication that is it at least an Intermediate flute, but more and more flutists are choosing a closed hole option nowadays since there is virtually no difference in tone or sound quality.
3. Usually, you’ll have the option of a C foot or a B foot joint. The B foot makes your flute a little longer and looks a bit fancier. But, honestly you’ll need that extra note it gives you about… 0% of your flute-playing life. (unless you are going pro)
4. The offset G is also a choice that is dwindling over time. If you look at your fingers you’ll notice that they are not all the same size. The offset G allows your fingers to rest more naturally. The Inline G option was created by someone in Paris who obviously thought there’d be no such thing as carpel-tunnel-syndrome. My recommendation is for the Offset G option. (I played an inline G for 20 years before moving back to offset)
5. The split E mechanism is designed to basically “tune” your E note. This isn’t usually an option on the Intermediate flutes, but if it is- you should get it. Everyone wants to play effortlessly on tune, don’t they?
I have no affiliation with any one brand, but I’ll tell you that I do have brands I like and I have brands I think are absolutely yuck.
If you’d like me to send you a link to what I like – send me an email from the contact page.
See you in the Intermediate Flute Lessons in my online flute studio!
And, if you’re not part of this worldwide studio yet,… we’d love you to join! (enter your info below)
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