Many of you might still remember your school band, playing on ceremonious occasions, your schoolmates playing the National Anthem on Independence Day, and many such occasions. As all the instruments rang in unison, one instrument, in particular, stood out the most. Yes, it was the flute! Flutes are truly charismatic instruments. It’s sometimes hard to believe that a hollowed piece of wood can give out so many melodies but it’s true.
The flute is popularly known as bansuri in India and is named after baans (meaning bamboo) from which it is made. Usually, it is made from Assam bamboo which is aged between 6-7 years and it is considered the best. Otherwise, any wooden piece which can be hollowed out can be used to construct a flute.
Flutes are basically of two types and there can be an additional type as well. The first one is a transverse flute, which is played sideways to the mouth while blowing into the hole. The second one is a fipple flute, which has a whistling kind of structure to blow air and is much easier to work with. Usually, it is recommended for amateurs to use this type of flute. The third type is the end-blown flute, which is rested vertically downwards from the lips while blowing, this is also easier to play as compared to a transverse flute.
Flutes are made from either metal (mostly brass and then coated with silver), wood (as discussed above) and plastic also. The PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) flute is gaining popularity due to its durability and affordability. In the end, it all depends upon the person playing the flute and the material used is not so significant.
Coming to the basic working principle of any flute. It has 7 or 8 holes in total. One of them is obviously for blowing air. The rest of them are used in fingering to play different notes of the octave (sa re ga ma pa dha ni sa). Such flutes generally can play 2 octaves. The 8th hole has a scientific reason and has been explained in the FAQs below.
After this comes to the main task of buying a good quality flute. It might seem tricky as all flutes almost look alike, but here are some pointers to check while selecting a flute.
Things To Consider Before Selecting Best Flute In India
- Wood Quality (or material used)
Generally, it’s preferable to use a bamboo flute, but PVC flutes are equally good. Assam bamboo is considered to be the best for constructing flutes. Unfortunately, there are no exact methods of checking the wood quality for newbies, but a person who has played different flutes can identify the quality of the wood.
However, one must check the flute bamboo for any cracks and sharp edges. PVC flutes should be of good quality and free from any plasticizers. This should be cross-checked with the manufacturer.
- Proper holes
The entire mechanism of music production from a flute is based on the holes used for fingering. The holes should be well made and should be exactly circular. There should be at least 7 holes in a transverse flute and at least 6 in a fipple flute. The holes (other than the blowing hole) should be correctly placed in a straight line.
This is a small assembly near the head-joint of the flute. It is fitted inside the flute near the blowhole. It might go unnoticed but it is of great significance. It affects the tone quality of the instrument.
When air is blown into the flute, the air must not escape from the other open side of the flute, this will cause the music to sound airy and different. To prevent this, corks are a must. Hence checking for the cork is crucial.
- Straight or not
The flute should be completely straight. This is to ensure that airwaves inside the pipe are correctly formed. One can simply close one eye and look through the other, through the inside of the bamboo pipe and see if the line of sight is straight or not. If the pipe is not straight the music obtained will be hoarse and unpleasant.
- Tuned or not
One of the most crucial points which is often neglected due to lack of knowledge is the tuning of the flute. Tuning of a bamboo flute is done while manufacturing it and that’s why it’s advisable to purchase from a well known and expert flute maker.
The tuning of a flute can be checked simply by playing it. If the person is well aware of the 7 surs he will be able to distinguish between a properly tuned and a poorly tuned flute.
So here are the 10 flutes reviewed!
Top 10 Flutes For Beginners In India[wptb id=2702]
Best Flutes in India Reviews
Probably the most famous and branded flute that is also used by famous artists. Almost everyone who has an interest in playing flutes has heard about Punam Flutes. The C Natural Medium Bansuri is ideal for beginners. Made from premium quality bamboo it is 19 inches long and has 8 holes.
The hole size is accurate and gives a good grip. The sound quality is great and it is perfectly tuned. One can also use this flute in small functions and sound recordings. Moreover, you can get the threads of your choice and also get your name inscribed on your flute. If you are enthusiastic about learning how to play the flute this is a must-have.
- One of the premium branded flutes
- Ideal for beginners due to its dimensions
- It comes with a protective case (with PVC pipe inside)
- It is customizable (can get your name written)
- It is varnished and smooth looking
- It has perfect tuning
- It is quite lightweight and easy to carry
- It is quite costly as compared to flutes
- There have been a few reports of defective pieces
- No warranty available
Another name that you must have come across while flute hunting is Sarfuddin. Sarfuddin is a very famous flute maker and is known to make wonderful flutes. It is professionally tuned and has a C Natural scale. It has 7 holes and hence it cannot be used by left-handed people easily.
The price is very less compared to the Punam flutes, but it still might not be that pocket-friendly. Being a C Natural Medium tuned flute, it is very suitable for amateur flute players. It is also customizable like the previous flute. It has a rich tone and clear sound. This flute is also a good choice for people with a slightly good budget.
- The flute is built accurately
- It is much more affordable
- It is good for beginners
- It can be customized with your own name.
- It comes with a strong nylon casing for the flute
- It is correctly tuned
- It is well packaged
- It does not have a very aesthetic look
- The bamboo used is comparatively thin
- No warranty available
This is an F scale flute and is naturally smaller in size to the C scale flute. It has a much more shrill sound than the earlier one. The unique thing about this flute is that it is made from the best quality bamboo available in India, i.e. the Assam bamboo.
The sound produced is very high and clear. The holes are smaller in this case and hence it might be difficult for beginners to blow into it. If not blown correctly, it might create noise. Overall it is a good choice at a lower price and is certainly worth it.
- It is made of the best bamboo i.e. Assam bamboo
- It is correctly tuned
- It is good for intermediate learners
- It is a bit more affordable
- Easy to blow
- It does not come with a safety cover
- Slight variations in size have been reported
- No warranty available
There is no questioning the credibility and accuracy of Punam flutes and this flute is yet another example of a superior quality flute. Specially designed for right-handed people it is a G scale flute and since G comes after C it produces a bass sound.
The construction and surface are smooth. The flute is straight and very long (26 inches) and hence makes it difficult for beginners to hold them and make a grip. It is quite fitting for playing in concerts, music functions as bass.
- Its quality is much better than local brands
- There is the ease of blowing into the hole
- It is properly tuned
- It is good for bass sound
- It has a 7-day warranty
- It is quite expensive and not everyone can afford it
- The size is big for newbies to handle
The makers of Swara flutes have produced splendid sets of flutes of various scales. This flute is made with superb quality Assam bamboo and hence is durable and reliable. The product cost is higher compared to a few of its contemporaries but it is worth the price.
This F scale flute is finely tuned and is checked by experts before reaching the market. It is a bass flute and is very concert friendly and good for classical events. It has an elegant structure and it comes in a safety bag. One must try playing this one for sure.
- It is correctly tuned
- The bamboo used is of a decent quality
- There is the ease of blowing
- It has an appealing look
- It is not customizable
- It has no warranty
Anandi flutes are also robust and efficient in delivering what they are supposed to. A good choice for beginners, these flutes have the correct dimensions of a C Natural scale Bansuri. It is a 7 holed bansuri and all the holes are placed correctly.
The music is tuneful and the flute has the desired frequency. Their maintenance is easier as compared to other flutes and is washable. It’s the price range that is certainly on the higher side, but it is still affordable. It can be used in large functions and events.
- It comes with a manual for explaining the working of the flute
- It can be washed and dried and restored
- It comes with a one year warranty
- It has an elegant black nylon storage case
- It is easy to blow as it has a lip plate
- It is a little pricey.
In the midst of bamboo and metal flutes, PVC flutes have also made their place in the list of good flutes. This is yet another C Natural tuned flute and is hence, good for beginners. The finger holes are located at the perfect distance. Although anyone can play it with practice, it is specially designed for left-handed people.
The sound quality is good. However, this flute is more suitable for learning purposes only. It might not prove to be effective in music programs or on stage. It is also resistant to any external agents such as termites and insects.
- The price is very low
- It is quite durable and strong
- There is no fear of termites or insects attack
- The packaging is good
- It is easily washable as it is plastic
- It comes with an instruction leaflet
- It is finely tuned
- It has a 6-month warranty.
- It is not customizable
- The sound generated can be better
- Right-handed people might face problems while playing this.
This flute is of the correct length suitable for a C# bass flute. The built is good and the wood quality is also perfect. However, there have been really mixed reviews about the functionality of the flute. But at a very low rate, this is a decent flute and can be a good option for learning how to handle a Bansuri and maintain your grip.
- It is cheap
- It is suitable for learning to play the flute
- The quality of bamboo is good
- It comes with a free carry bag.
- The construction of the flute can be better
- No customization is available.
This is a good quality bamboo flute. It is durable and long-lasting. The sound quality can be improved slightly more, but still it works fine. It is a transverse style flute which means it will be positioned sideways and hence might not be very comfortable for beginners.
- It is very cheap
- It is suitable for intermediate learners
- The packaging can be better
- No customization is available
- The sound quality can be better
Very inexpensive and durable, this Foxit flute can be bought without thinking much about the price. It is made from premium quality bamboo and is a 6 holed bamboo flute. The lesser number of holes might affect the music but can be a very good choice for learners in their initial stage.
- It is very inexpensive
- It is composed of good quality bamboo
- It comes with a carry bag
- There is no warranty policy
- No customization available
Best Sources To Learn Flute
Nowadays almost everything can be learned via the internet and learning how to play the flute is no different. There are innumerable tutorials which are teaching how to play certain musical instruments. There are many videos for the same, as well as free lessons are also available. Of course, the free tutorials might not be sufficient to become an expert but they can become a good start for the learning experience.
Various Ebooks by professional flutists and experts are available for purchase and are complete learning packages. There are various DVDs as well for this purpose. For example “God’s Own Breath: Raga On Flute” is a DVD by Hariprasad Chaurasia who is India’s one of the best flutists (Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan award winner).
Various books are available on online shopping websites such as Amazon which impart knowledge about flute playing. These resources can be utilized to learn more about playing the flute. These books are often illustrated to make the process easier.
- Personal Teacher
Hiring a personal master for teaching flute is probably one of the oldest methods of learning. One can research and contact such a teacher and learn.
- Music Schools
There are various schools in almost every city that are purely focused on teaching classical forms of art, such as dance and music. Such schools can give a very healthy and competitive environment to make the learning process even more enjoyable.
Career as a Flute Player
Being a flutist might seem overwhelming and might seem like something which can only be a family tradition. Earning to feed oneself and the family by playing flute might seem difficult but when thought about seriously, there are quite a few careers available in this field.
- Online teaching
In the era of massive online courses, learning musical instruments online has also become trendy. There are many online platforms teaching how to play various instruments. These platforms obviously will require passionate and experienced music teachers.
Hence, it becomes a good career option for a flute player. The pay scale is also good as music teachers are quite rare these days. One can also start Youtube tutorial channels for the same.
- Individual teaching
The most common practice is to tutors interested students individually. This might take time in establishing, but once it’s done you’re good to go. One can demand tuition fees according to oneself.
There are also certain vacancies in North Central railways for flute players, as well as other instrumentalists. This takes place under the cultural quota. The pay scale is also fair and there is job security as well.
- Professional Concerts
Being a part of a music band is dreamy and magical. Entertaining lakhs of people with your symphony is very fulfilling. This is a very sought after career option and many people actually have started their own bands. It is risky but also worth taking the chance. If you can become a part of a well-established band then there is nothing to worry about.
- Flute Making
A lot of flute players eventually learn about flute production and create quality flutes from their knowledge. Various Indian flute makers have earned their respect and are appreciated much by their customers. This can also be considered as a career option though it requires a lot of skill and business analytics knowledge.
It is said that every person should learn to play at least one musical instrument in his or her lifetime. A lot of concentration, dedication, and passion are required to learn an instrument. This brings positivity to one’s life. Music awakens the soul which anything else in the world seldom does.
The flute is considered a divine instrument, especially in India and there is nothing better and pure than creating pure music from it. This product buying guide is an effort to help people choose the best so that they can do their best. Hope this proves to be worthwhile in your venture to learn to play the melodious flute.