Published on 29/09/2012
You've probably started out with a closed hole student flute. These flutes are usually nickel-plated rather than silver-plated, and therefore less expensive, and are easier for beginners to produce a sound. They are really good options for beginner students.
When you are ready to move to an Intermediate Flute
Most flute players who reach the higher grades, find that the pieces they are playing require a variation in tone, a more subtle sound, and a quickness of response that may be difficult to achieve on their student flute. A student who is committed to continue will find that a step-up instrument will serve them better. There will be more flexibilty in both the higher and the lower ranges.
The Open-Hole Flute
With an open hole flute your fingertips need to completely cover each hole. Tiny corks can be used to plug up the holes until you get used to the correct hand position. These corks can be removed one at a time as you master each key.
Open holed flutes have a hole in the centre of the five keys directly operated by the fingers, not through touch pieces i.e. left hand middle and ring fingers and right hand index, middle and ring fingers. There is no difference in sound but there are several technical advantages to open holes, namely alternative fingerings and better quarter- tones and multi-phonics.
An intermediate flute will have either a silver or silver-plated headjoint and/or body. It is believed that the higher the amount of silver, the better the sound.
Choosing a Flute
In order to test out a flute, you need to find out what it is capable of. Try some long held notes and scales to test the tonal qualities. Try any technical difficulties that you find tricky on your current flute.