Student Flute ?

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MusicallyUninclined
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Student Flute ?

Post by MusicallyUninclined » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Hello everyone and thanks in advance for reading and responding. I need some advice on a beginner flute for my daughter. She is 11 and has a good music background and natural ability. Shes had previous experience with guitar and fiddle, and tested well on pretty much every instrument at her Middle School band tryouts. Well, she picked the flute, which I thought was great, but unfortunately it appears the flute we bought on Ebay (I know, I know) was one of those cheap China made flutes and after 4 months of use and the day before the school's Xmas concert she began having a problem with one the keys (G sharp maybe). Anyway after scrambling around all day Monday we finally found someone that could fix it in time for her concert that night. Here it is 5 days later and the same problem appears to be recurring. Instead of pumping good money hand over fist, I decided to just buy her a higher quality one, but given her age, responsibility and history of burning out on music quickly, I really can't go overboard ATM on a $500+ flute. If she continues to show interest, and show the ability to take care of her instrument, I'll probably buy her a much nicer one in HS. Can anyone make any suggestions on something about $200 either new or used that is fairly durable? I plan on going to the local music store tomorrow to talk to them as well, but didn't want to go in unprepared. I saw on another thread that someone suggested a Barrington Model 229 student flute, saw some for like $180? Was curious how durable they were? Thanks for any help you can give me.

MusicallyUninclined

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jmdewey60
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by jmdewey60 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:38 pm

The standard answer for a question about what kind of flute to buy and how,
is to read the FAQs on this site. Your request for a good $200 flute is one that
would be, to me (maybe the only one on this forum), best answered by
saying to go back to EBay. I have 5 flutes I have bought used that way
recently with varying degrees of satisfaction, for between $135, and $225 or so.
If you want one as in right now, I would suggest:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Yamaha-281-Open-Hol ... 415508d9a4
It ends in 12 hours and is for a Yamaha 281 for $200. I have one and it is really
the most reliable of all my flutes and is highly recommended.
That is, if she can play an in-line G key flute. All mine are but I did that on
purpose because one of these days if I get really good a professional model
flute will most likely be of that type. For school level the c-foot should be fine
and is lighter and a little easier to play and a B would probably never get used
in an actual piece that she would play, anyway.
There is the very real possibility that the bidding would drive the price up
another fifty dollars on that one before it is done. If that happens, here's
another one coming up after that one, which is the earlier model which is
mostly different in the exact scaling of the keys, which most likely, she would
never notice. This second one does have the off-set G which she would want
if her hands are not rather large. This one is more likely to sell at your target:
http://cgi.ebay.com/YAMAHA-FLUTE-225SII ... 1e602e41d9
Update: This one here, that I linked to which was sold by a man who's
daughter had used sold for $92 which even if it needed a $100 of work,
(I doubt it would have) would have been still pretty good of a deal. One of the
things I look for as an indicator of wear is looking at the head where it goes into
the body of the flute and if it looks new, then I do not think it had been used all
that much ans still has a lot of life to it, such as this one was.
Last edited by jmdewey60 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fluttiegurl
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by fluttiegurl » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:22 pm

Although I do some E-bay shopping, I have to disagree in this case. If your daughter was one of my students, I would recommend avoiding E-bay because it does take a person with some knowledge to get a flute that is both of quality and that will not need a tremendous amount of work to put in top condition. I see well-meaning parents make this same mistake over and over, and it sometimes results in confused and frustrated students who simply give up. Sorry jmdewey60 :?

Your best bet is to bite the bullet and buy a quality student flute. The FAQ can certainly help you with that. As for brands, I would stick to the basic, quality student level flutes. Ask your daughter's band director if you are unsure. There is a good possibility that you will be able to find something used, but I recommend recruiting the help of someone who is knowledgeable and can actually play test the flute for you. If she does stick with it, you will have this flute for her to use in marching band later on or can even sell it to a beginner to help finance a better flute.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by jmdewey60 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:33 am

fluttiegurl wrote: Sorry jmdewey60 :?
That's ok, no offense taken. I'm sure you are right, I would not dispute that.
But some people do not take the best advice.
In that case, then they can do what they want, which is spend $200.
I'm trying to be helpful to kind of steer then to where that $200 would
do the most good. That second one I linked to is well suited to
the intended application. I went back and looked and there are a couple
more like it and with some better close up pictures, so no reason to get
stressed out about geting one specific unit.
I'm not an expert or any kind of authority, just a regular person
who happens to be a flute player.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by jmdewey60 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:45 am

A couple weeks ago, I got a phone call from a guy who knew I was buying
some flutes and he said, "There's a woman here having a yard sale and I
noticed she had some kind of flute. She is selling everything really cheep
and this might be nice because she seems to have money and drives a
Mercedes."
I drove over and they had a clarinet. I thought, "If she has some funky
old clarinet, I might buy it to mess around on." She had been alerted to my
coming, by the guy who called. So she started telling me the story. Her
daughter had shown an interest in playing but lost interest right away
once she realised the work involved. They had bought a rather inexpensive
one, anticipating that possibility. What they ended up with was probably
similar to what the OP has, which is an instrument with no practical resale
value.
I was mentioning that these Yamaha's were there on EBay and that, for
a reason other than I already stated, is they do have the ability to hold
their value well and I have seen plenty of them sell for as much, or more
than some of the newer ones. That may be partially due to the fact that
recently they have been making some of the student models in Indonesia.
A lot of people perceive a certain cache in the Japanese made flutes.
My Yamaha is an Indonesian made flute and I had to take some 400 grit
wet and dry sandpaper to some sharp edges like the screw ends on the
key linkage anchor points.

MusicallyUninclined
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by MusicallyUninclined » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:15 am

Well, after doing some research, and talking to my daughter, I've decided to bite the bullet and spend a bit more money. We went and looked at a Gemeinhardt 3, and Yamaha YFL 261 from a local music store. Not sure if I should do the rent to own thing (about 45 a month for 28 months w/insurance for repairs, breaks, etc) or just buy it outright for $630 though. Thanks for the help everyone.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by jmdewey60 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:25 am

I don't know if that was what Fluttiegurl meant by "biting the Bullet".
You are basically buying what I suggested, but for three times as much.
You can see what these sell for on EBay, so that is what you have to
look forward to in the future.
I think she meant something that is at least a "step-up" model, which
the ones you mentioned are not. But you have financial realities to
deal with and that is what overrides other finer points at times.

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Phineas
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by Phineas » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:17 pm

MusicallyUninclined wrote:Well, after doing some research, and talking to my daughter, I've decided to bite the bullet and spend a bit more money. We went and looked at a Gemeinhardt 3, and Yamaha YFL 261 from a local music store. Not sure if I should do the rent to own thing (about 45 a month for 28 months w/insurance for repairs, breaks, etc) or just buy it outright for $630 though. Thanks for the help everyone.
Sorry, A Yamaha 261 nor Gemeinhardt 3 are what I would consider step up models. Not only that, $630.00 is kind of steep for a YFL 261. At best, you will be getting a better version of what you already have. For that kind of money, you could get a Pearl 505 or a Jupiter 5xx flute.

Here is another one you may consider

http://www.cewinds.com/alpha-series/alp ... cfoot.html

They even offer a rent to own option as well. I have not played on any of their flutes, but have heard nothing but good things about them so far. There are plenty of videos on youtube with demonstrations as well. Something you might try as well.

Here is a reputable place that sells used flutes. Highly recommended.

http://www.saxquest.com/catalog.asp?Cat ... nstruments

There is a very thin line between what fluttiegurl, and jmdewey60 are advising you. Both are correct. Yes, you can find a Yamaha 225 or a Gemmy 2SP on Ebay for $200-$300 dollars. Yes, some are new and reconditioned. However, you have to know what questions to ask, and figure $100 extra for repairs once you receive it. You see, a lot of the people who sell instruments on Ebay are not musicians or instrument dealers.

Here is a good bit of information

http://www.fluteland.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5859

It has information, brands, links and dealers.

Good hunting!

Phineas

MusicallyUninclined
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by MusicallyUninclined » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:03 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. Thats very helpful info Phineas and everyone else. I didn't realize those weren't step ups from the cheap student models, I figured they would get her through HS at least. Looking at that Saxophone site Phineas and was curious as to which one of these looks to be a better deal.

http://www.saxquest.com/productDetails. ... rdtCfootFL

http://www.saxquest.com/productDetails. ... rtleyFlute

http://www.saxquest.com/productDetails. ... einhardtFL

or

http://www.saxquest.com/productDetails. ... amahaFlute

I'd like to get everyone's opinion on them if possible. I know when she went to the music store she liked the Gemeinhardt 3 alot, so that 3rd one looks promising depending how quickly they can get it to me.

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Phineas
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by Phineas » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:29 pm

Well, the Gemmy MS3 is the closest to a step up model out of the bunch. Only because of the features, not because it plays any better than the others.

Call the store. Mark and his crew are good people and will help you in making a choice. They may have flutes that are not listed.

Phineas

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jmdewey60
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by jmdewey60 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:59 pm

Well, if you are talking about that kind of money,
Take a look at this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Pearl-Flute-PF-501- ... 35ae44cca4
This is a Pearl. Take a really close look at it.
There is a difference between one of these and older
flutes that's a little difficult to explain, but think of a hole in the
side of a can, or something. There is a flat (along the longitudinal
axes) surface that rolls around the cylinder. The pearl, and some
other newer flutes are not flat but kind of sink in, in the center and
it makes it more comfortable to play, and to find the right spot when
you go to blow on it. I have one and I bought it from a music store
in Spain, regular mail in about four or five days. This shop has it in
England but will ship it next day.
This is a regular music shop and they refurbished it and guarantee it.
I really like mine a lot and think that would be a better deal in the
long run.

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MissyHPhoenix
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by MissyHPhoenix » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:26 pm

It is safer to buy a student line instrument from a music store; however, you are going to be paying through the nose for it. The music store that I was associated with a while back sold the new beginner Yamahas for $750 to $800. Of course, their justification for this was that they pay a lot more for them from the distributor, at least that is what they said. Wish there was a middle ground.
Missy

Why Be Normal????

Kshel
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by Kshel » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:49 am

JL Smith just put out a student flute that one of my students uses and it plays beautifully (they call it the Giacomini). I think she said it was less than $350 and she got a service agreement with it.

If I were going to buy a student flute for my child, I would at least purchase from a music store. Ebay is scary as you never know how much work the flute you purchased will need. Even though the initial cost is more than you wanted, you will save money in the long run by investing in something durable and worthwile.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by jmdewey60 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:31 am

Two of the flutes I bought on EBay were from music stores.
Now, these are not stores I can walk into and try out different
flutes but there are not any stores near me where I can do
that anyway. I would have to drive most the day, get a hotel
room and start on my shopping in the morning. I do not feel
like doing that. There is a music store and it is basically one
flute that they carry and if you like that, then you are in luck.

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cflutist
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Re: Student Flute ?

Post by cflutist » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:16 am

My advice would be to call the flute speciality houses, e.g. Carolyn Nussbaum, Flute World, J.L. Smith. These people have degrees in Flute Performance and can make educated recommendations for your daughter. They also can send flutes out on trial so that your daughter can try different models. They also discount to some degree.

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