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  • Any Flautists in?
  • Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Miss OTS has got to about Grade 4 on the flute over the past year. She’s got an old Yamaha flute I picked up in a second hand shop for £75. I now want to buy her something more befitting of an improving intermediate. So, any recommendations for a suitable instrument? Budget wise, I’m thinking around £300- £400 mark.

    Any ideas?

    Premier Icon joshvegas
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    Yep me.

    The yamaha is probably pretty good to be fair. How about a piccolo?

    Premier Icon pondo
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    Mrs Pondo (grade 8, plays flute in an a community NCBF platinum-scoring concert band) says don’t do piccolo unless she wants to learn piccolo – her advice is try before you buy, she has a friend who bought a Yamaha and doesn’t like it, it’s not that they’re not good, she just doesn’t like it. That said, there’s lots of them about, so they clearly suit many people. She thinks go to a music shop and try a load – she’s had hers since the mid-nineties so we’re not bang up to date on the current market, but she’ll ask flautist friends, let you know what comes back… 😉

    Premier Icon pondo
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    “I would say go to a flute shop, tell them what you want to spend and try loads out! It’s like a wand in Harry Potter – you know the one when you play it 🙂 there are a few shops in London that I tried on a day out! She could even look at maybe some pre owned ones but it really depends what’s out there! Don’t want to buy something cheap off the internet and then end up having to spend loads to repair it. I tried a few out in two different shops and the one I went with just sounded the best, and felt right. Could she get advice from her teacher?”

    Premier Icon joshvegas
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    Yeah piccolo is a crap idea.

    I think trying out in a shop is a good shout.

    My flute is a Germeinhart i get on very well with it.

    Not played it in ages though

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    Mrs Pondo (grade 8, plays flute in an a community NCBF platinum-scoring concert band) says don’t do piccolo unless she wants to learn piccolo

    I agree with Mrs Pondo.

    Grade 8 flute here, and years spent playing with a student orchestra, and performing solo. I would say that if your wife’s current flute does not have ‘open hole’ keys, it would be worth getting one with them. Also, a ‘B’ foot joint is a treat. I had a solid silver Gemeinhardt for years, and have just been given another, student model, Gemeinhardt for Christmas. So I don’t mind them at all. But flutes can be funny things. As @Pondo points out, above: what works for one person, will not necessarily work for another.

    If you buy secondhand, though, try to test the instrument in person first. It is vital that the keys have been well-maintained with good ‘action’, and that the cork in the headjoint has not dried out (i.e. seals properly).

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
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    Thanks all, I need to check shop options in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Merak
    Member

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    My wife was also a grade 8 flutist, I still have her Pearl NS-600E
    I know its a solid silver head & she saved a fair bit for it but that was back in 1983.
    Could some of you flute players tell me if its any good as a flute?

    Premier Icon CountZero
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    Not myself, but there was that one time at bandcamp…

    Premier Icon pondo
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    Mrs Pondo says solid silver head is the sign of a good flute but depends how it’s been looked after.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
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    pondo
    Subscriber

    Mrs Pondo says solid silver head is the sign of a good flute but depends how it’s been looked after.

    Its almost like new my wife took great pride in looking after it even pulling it through with a soft cloth and drying the pads and holes with Rizla papers, always got her a funny look as a student when she asked one of her flatmates to buy her a pack of green Rizla’s as she never smoked.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    @MrOvershoot, I don’t know where you live, but if you are anywhere near me, or a member of my family in England, when the lockdown ends I would be happy to meet up and have a look at it.

    Otherwise, there are flute fora that should be able to give you more information.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    I believe your in South Wales?
    I’m just past North Wales about 4 miles infact.

    But I do come down to the South West fairly often (just not at the moment 🙁 )

    cyclelife
    Member

    My wife is a professional flautist and recommends Yamaha as a good beginner to grade 8 instrument after that you need to look elsewhere.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    Daughter doing grade 5 this year, eldest doing diploma (also plays in a platinum winning NCBF band, county and national orchestras 😉)

    Youngest has a Trevor James, eldest on an Azumi with an upgraded head. Both were about £1k new, before upgrade.

    Second hand for that budget. Go to a decent specialist shop. Music teacher will know where locally, we use Wind Blowers in Nottingham. Most list second hand stock, or can put you on their contact list when something comes in.

    If they really have the passion for music, consider it like your bike purchases – do you want one good enough, or one that won’t need upgrading 2-3 years down the line? If it goes all wrong, flutes retain value better than bikes.

    Be prepared to spend a lot of time in a room while they try different flutes out. I’m not musical, but when eldest upgraded, probably grade 4/5, I could tell which made a better sound, and again when he went through different head joints. Key actions all vary slightly and suit different hands also.

    Piccolo we treated as an additional purchase rather than instead of. Keyboard, saxophones etc on top of that gave him access to different bands and now earning options. Oboes, clarinets and bassoons have also been borrowed from their music centre to get him and now his sister, to at least competent in a band level.

    His N+1 problem is worse than mine. Generous grandparents and two jobs since he was 14 have been required.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    My uncle was an internationally known flautist of some repute. I’ve sent him a message to see if he has any ideas

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
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    So below is my uncle’s recommendation. As I say he’s retired now but played professionally for many years for the Hong Kong philharmonic, the London Mozart Players and the English National Opera.

    —-
    Hi Danny. Not an odd question at all!

    In that price range, a silver plated Yamaha, a 200 series I think. I’d get one with what’s called a split E.

    OR an Altus. They are good flutes made in Taiwan and a reasonable one could be found for £400.

    Id try Yamaha first.
    ——

    @pondo. Your wife better not see uncle’s flute (oo err). Solid platinum head and solid gold gold body…

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
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    Hi Danny any chance you could ask your uncle what he thinks of my wifes Pearl NS-600E with solid silver head.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
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    @MrOvershoot – done.

    May as well shamelessly plug my uncle’s website. If anyone is looking for a flute teacher in the St Albans area when all of this is over I’d recommend (obvs!)

    https://paul-flute.co.uk/

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    @MrOvershoot. He’s says it’s a very good flute. May need a bit of fettling if it’s not been played in a long while but a nice instrument.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    Thanks Danny, my wifes old flute teacher asked if Carolyn had kept her flute, I said she had. She always thought Carolyn could have gone on to be a concert level player if she wanted to.
    Sadly MS took that away from her and right up until she died she alway said she was determined to play the flute, I think it was her way of holding on to hope 🙁

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Wow! Thanks for all the input. I’m going to go through the advice again and look at options.

    @Morecashthandash I sympathise
    OTS junior 1 plays trumpet, guitar, drums, piano and bass all to a decent level.
    OTS junior 2 plays cornet, flute, guitar and piano.

    They’ve both just passed their grade 5 theory. Instruments are currently trumping bikes in the financial outlay stakes!

    Premier Icon pondo
    Subscriber

    @pondo. Your wife better not see uncle’s flute (oo err). Solid platinum head and solid gold gold body…

    @dannybgoode Mrs Pondo says she would very much like to toot your uncle’s flute. 🙁

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    OTS – that’s great to hear. If they love it, keep supporting them.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
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    @pondo. See if this means anything to Mrs P. Don’t know what happened to the platinum head. He may have sold it or it may be in a safe somewhere!

    —-
    It’s a Brannen Cooper with a Lafin head joint. The flute is 10 carat rose gold with silver keys and the head is I think 14 or 18 carat gold. It’s more yellowy gold.

    The flute was made in Boston and the head in Austria.
    —-

    Just looked it up on the interwebs and the body alone is $26k.

    I’ve seen (and heard) the flute many times and it’s a thing of utter beauty. Last time I heard him play was up on the Peaks when scattering my mum’s ashes. Was almost haunting stood up on Curbar with his playing floating over the hills.

    gonefishin
    Member

    Like others have said Yamaha make good musical musical instruments, their symbol is three tuning forks after all. I’d say it would be better to spend the money on replacing pads and springs on the existing instrument.

    For clarity I was never a flautist but played saxophone (grade 8) on a Yamaha but my sister was a flautist and played to a similar standard to me on a Yamaha also.

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