Do I really need a professional flute???

Flute History and Instrument Purchase

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joolz
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:07 am

Do I really need a professional flute???

Post by joolz » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:15 am

ok, here is a quick rundown. Age 34, taking lessons again to complete 8th grade. Planning to teach primary and low high school aged children on a part time basis. Haven't played for 17 years but getting my "chops" and technique back very quickly.

I have visited my local dealer several times in the last couple of months. The first time I like Sonare as I could easily produce a nice sound. Second visit I liked Muramatsu Ex and GX and Powell Signature. Third visit I actually enjoyed a handmade Pearl, Altus and Aurumite Powell. Also liked a Muramatsu DS but we decided it didn't offer me the range of tone colour that the Aurumite Powell did. This third time the Powell Signature actually felt really odd in my hands as when I trilled from the G to the F, the mechanism touched my index finger. The Aurumite mechanism was much more streamlined.

So this is over a couple of months and I have managed to get myself into the $10,000 range of flutes. The dealer suggested that if I could notice a difference at this level of flute, that I should be buying in this range.

I left feeling very satisfied with myself, slightly confused as to which flute for me but later I wondered if I really needed to go to this level of flute. After all I have no designs to play in an orchestra (a local band at most) so do I really need a professional instrument?

Whilst I loved the Aurumite and handmade Powells that I tried, would I be just as happy with a lower priced Altus?

I remember at one point saying (of the six flutes in front of me), "if any of these were wrapped up and under the tree this christmas, I would be happy".

I should point out that I only plan on buying one flute to last me now, not one now and another in a couple of years (althought, who really knows!!)

Joolz

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vandoren
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Location: Scotland, UK

Re: Do I really need a professional flute???

Post by vandoren » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:02 am

joolz wrote:would I be just as happy with a lower priced Altus?

Joolz
Don't buy anything until you have worked this out for yourself !!
IanR..................

.............still trying to become a musician at 66 years of age !

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:04 am

Vandoren's right...You do need to figure out the answer to that question first. Next, take into account that the dealer stands to make a substantial profit if you buy a handmade flute, and thus his supposition that you should be playing one is not the most reliable basis on which to make this decision. With the musical goals you've set out here, you probably don't really have the need for a professional level flute, but if it will make you happy to have one, and it fits into your budget, then there's nothing wrong with buying one. You might consider picking up a less expensive body and putting a professional headjoint on it. This will give you the sound, response, etc. of the professional flute, but with less cost (and thus less guilt/worry).

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:47 am

If you have the means to buy a handmade flute without feeling guilty [because you probably dont NEED one] I would actually suggest doing a completely blind test of all flutes that you are interested in.

See if you can take a friend with you, and try to get all of the flutes you were interested in inside the trial room if there is one available. Assemble all of the flutes, then put on a blindfold. Have your friend hand them to you systematically, and play them individually. Hand it back, then write down your comments about flute #1, and #2, etc. etc. Have your friend comment about your sound on each one.

Then, cut back the list, and try them all again blind folded. Keep doing this until you are down to two flutes. Play those two without the blindfold, and take into consideration the price tag. If you like two flutes equally, but one is several thousand dollars cheaper, then that is definately something to take into account.

But, this is ultimately your decision. If you will be happy with a cheaper flute then so be it. If not, then that is fine too. When I had the means to buy a handmade flute without feeling guilty, I did and i dont regret it. But, with that being said, I am entering music as a career. This is your decision.

But, if you have the means, try to do a blind test.

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:58 pm

No. But if you have the money and you like it get it.

Phineas

fluttiegurl
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Post by fluttiegurl » Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:17 pm

This is what I tell students when they ask the same question:
Do you need a fancy sportscar to get you to the grocery? However, if you have the money available, will you buy a Neon or a BMW? Ironically, I chose the Neon (which is a running joke in my studio).

There are some players who play handmade flutes due to the demand of their profession. I am not referring to professional musicians. I am talking about those of us who have the job of playing a specific flute to be endorsed by that company. This is not a bad thing, but just something that most of us will never experience (sorry to dash any hopes). I own a handmade flute. I have owned others. It helps me, but I still sound pretty much the same on any other flute.

This has to be a decission that you make. As long as you are happy with what you decide, nothing is wrong with owning and enjoying a high end flute. I had a gold flute for several years. I loved it, but I always felt a little self-conscious about plaing it, especially since I play a great deal in church and for community events. I guess I felt a little guilty, but I don't regret buying it. That flute was a wonderful experience for me, even though I sold it. I don't regret that either because my current flute is amazing and suites me very well at this phase in my life.

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