Flutes come in many shapes and sizes, so how much do they look like? Here’s your information guide on buying one at a reasonable price.
What makes a perfect flute? The answer depends greatly on a couple of factors – a flute’s shape, length, and tone count – and a bit of luck:
Most flutes look a little like a flattened bowl, so a straight blade and a curved blade would go together just fine. If the flutes you find have more curves than straight edges, it looks more like the bowl shape of an acoustic flute. A flute that’s too straight will sound less powerful and dull.
Length and tone.
Flutes aren’t just about how long they are, though – for that, you need to look up what a flute is “tone-rated.” A flute is “toned-up” if all the parts are the same. That’s where a flute’s string length matters: to create the tone of the flute, it has to be the same length. If a flute’s length and string length have a different ratio (like three strings in a set), it will sound different. In terms of tone, all the parts in a flute contribute, and you need one that sounds pretty close to the original (you may have to listen for the exact same sound, if you don’t have much money). A very thin flute that has only a thin body will produce much lower highs (and, in doing so, dull things), whereas a flute with a flatter body will produce higher highs with less distortion.
What about tone-rating an instrument?
If an instrument is underpriced, it’s not worth trying to make a flute that looks like it. You can always get good-quality sound at around $30 for a small flute, or around $90 to $200 for a full kit.
Is it worth making a flute from the ground up?
Not usually. It takes a great deal of time, money and effort to build a flute. However, it can give you years of enjoyment. You’ll be able to learn a lot and play with confidence with a flute made from a lot of materials in many different colours, tones and techniques. And you never know if you might be inspired by what someone else makes.
This is the first in a series of articles on how to get
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