Starting the flute can be overwhelming. There are so many instruments to choose from, and they can be expensive. But starting the flute doesn’t have to be that hard.
Of course, you need a good instrument and some accessories. And if you have the determination to start, you can do so and save some money in the process.
Here’s what you need to know to keep your finances in check when starting the flute!
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The Cost of Starting the Flute
Starting the flute, or any musical instrument, can be exciting. But it does come with some costs, some expected, others not so much.
While the cost of starting the flute can be scary, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try. Luckily, there are ways to finance your musical beginnings.
And if you know what you’ll need when starting the flute, you can plan for those costs and maybe even save a little money.
The first thing you’ll need is, obviously, an instrument! Student flutes vary in price, but most new student flutes cost $400 to $900.
Yes, there are tons of flutes on Amazon for under $100, but they’re not going to be as good. When starting the flute, you want a good quality instrument.
If you have to buy from Amazon, I have some tips for making the most of it.
In terms of specs, you don’t need much as a beginner. You can get a silver-plated flute with closed holes and a C footjoint.
More advanced (and more expensive) specs can come later.
Every flute player needs a few supplies when starting the flute. After all, you want to keep your flute in the best condition possible to avoid costly repairs.
To clean your flute, you need a cleaning rod and swab. Cleaning rods come in wood, plastic, and metal. If you want to avoid scratching the inside of your flute, avoid metal.
A cleaning rod helps you push the swab through the flute.
And for the outside, you only need a microfiber polishing cloth. Avoid silver polish because it can damage the pads and mechanism.
A method book
There are tons of beginner flute books available. Some are great for a band setting, while others are perfect for learning flute on your own.
If you plan to take flute lessons, ask your prospective teacher what they recommend. Some teachers may have a specific preference, but others might just have recommendations.
Whether or not you take flute lessons is up to you. Starting the flute is definitely easier with a teacher. However, you can also learn on your own.
If you don’t take lessons, make sure you do your research to avoid developing bad habits.
There are tons of online resources available to help you learn flute without a teacher.
But a teacher can be beneficial for almost anyone starting the flute. Younger students especially need the guidance of a proper teacher.
The Cost of Learning the Flute
As you progress on flute, the costs will keep adding up. Yes, starting the flute has some expenses, but so does keeping up with it.
Be sure to budget for these ongoing expenses, or dedicate a savings account to pay for them.
If you go the lesson route, great! However, you’ll have to make sure you can keep paying for those lessons.
Flute teachers deserve to get paid, and you don’t want to be that person who forgets to pay for your lessons. That won’t rest easy on your conscience.
If lessons get to be too expensive, ask your teacher about shorter lessons or taking lessons less often.
You could switch from an hour to 30 minutes. Or you can go from weekly to bi-weekly lessons.
However, not all music is in the public domain.
And even if it is, you may still want to pay for a copy.
Aside from sheet music, you’ll also have to buy more method books, etudes, and exercises.
If you branch out into piccolo or low flutes, you should also invest in materials specific to those instruments, too.
While student flutes can take a beating, you may still have to take your flute to the shop every once in a while. Pads start leaking, keys can bend (yikes), and other issues can arise.
If your flute starts having issues, book an appointment with a repair person as soon as you can. It might just be an easy fix.
Starting the Flute on a Budget
So you want to start the flute but don’t have much money? While the flute does involve some costs, there are ways to bring the total down.
If you’re on a budget, there are a few things you can do when starting the flute to make it more affordable.
If you live near a music store, ask them if they have a flute you can rent. While the cost will add up, a $25/month rental fee is easier to handle than a $400 purchase fee.
And many music stores offer rent-to-own programs. If you continue with flute, you can use your rental payments as credit towards purchasing your flute.
If renting isn’t practical, you can also buy a used flute. Plenty of advancing students look to sell their beginner instruments after they upgrade.
And the price of a used flute can start at around $200, give or take. Just make sure you choose a reputable brand. Otherwise, it won’t do you much good.
Look for bundles
The next thing to consider is a flute student bundle. Some music stores will bundle basic cleaning supplies with a student model flute.
While that may not save you much, any bit counts. And you’ll know you have everything you need for starting the flute.
When it comes time to find some solos or etudes, look for those in the public domain. As I mentioned, there are a couple of websites where you can find free sheet music to download.
And with both IMSLP and Flute Tunes, you can usually search by instrumentation, time period, composer, and difficulty.
That can make it really easy to find some music that works for you.
YouTube, Facebook, and more
Thanks to the internet, you can find tutorials and get answers to questions for free and from your home. There are a few flute channels that post tutorials, reviews, and informational videos.
And if you’re on Facebook, there are tons of flute groups you can join. In the groups, you can ask and answer questions. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
Of course, there are other websites where you can find tutorials and ask questions. But social media is always a great place to start!
Do you have any finance tips for starting the flute? Leave them in the comments!