Have you been having trouble playing your flute? Are you about to head off to music school? It may be time for you to buy a new flute or piccolo!
Upgrading to a new instrument is scary. You have to spend a lot of money, and you don’t want to regret your decision. Fortunately, you can upgrade your flute and piccolo as long as you consider your situation and future goals.
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When going to a new school for music or even going back to school, you want to do so with the best instrument you can get. If this sounds like you, you can flute shop before you start school or right after.
Sometimes, waiting until you start means your new flute teacher can help. Then, you can try a bunch of flutes in your budget. And you’ll be able to find the best instrument for you.
Still, shopping for a flute on your own is an option. I bought my current flute a few months before I started grad school. After trying tons of other models, I found one that fit me well.
Whether you’re playing music more or you’re starting to play more advanced music, you may be ready for a new flute or piccolo. If you’re playing a music that your current flute can’t do well, you should upgrade.
An example of this is if you have a closed hole flute but are playing more contemporary music. Some of those pieces use extended techniques, some of which (quarter tones) require open holes.
I discovered it was time to upgrade my piccolo about four years ago. In my community orchestra, we were playing Beethoven Symphony No. 5, and I was on piccolo. My instrument at the time wasn’t staying in tune very well, so I decided to upgrade.
Perhaps you want to get a different tone than what your current instrument offers. Buying a new flute with more silver or a wood piccolo can help you get a warmer tone.
If you can’t or don’t want to buy a whole new flute, you can also change the tone with a different headjoint. Some headjoints are more expensive, but others are relatively affordable.
Whether you upgrade the headjoint or the entire instrument, you can explore different tone colors with different materials. Then, you can get the sound you want, and you can keep your prior headjoint or body if you want to make more sounds.
Your Teacher Says
If you’re going into college as a music major, your current or future flute and piccolo teacher may recommend an upgrade. When I was set to transfer from community college to a state university, my university’s flute professor said I needed an upgrade.
Your teacher might provide you with a list of specs you should get. If possible, try to follow that closely. While it may seem unnecessary to upgrade, your professor wants you to do as best as you can.
Sometimes, you can do that on your current instrument. However, there are also going to be times where you just can’t get away with a student or even a step up model.
You Want To
Another sign it’s time for you to buy a new flute is simply if you want to. Now, you need to be careful with this one. There are tons of flutes, and it can be easy to get caught up in the allure of a new instrument.
But if you feel like you can’t continue to improve on your current setup, you can upgrade. You don’t need a teacher to tell you to or to be playing super hard music.
As long as you know what you want and have the money, you can buy a new flute. Then, you can keep loving the instrument for years to come. But remember…
Let the Flute Choose You
Many people have heard the phrase “the wand chooses the wizard.” And the same holds true for flutes, not just magic wands. If you decide you’re ready to buy a new flute or piccolo, let it choose you.
Try as many instruments as you can within your price range. Look for different brands and materials to get the full scope of what’s out there. Then, you can find the best flute or piccolo for you.
And don’t be afraid to keep looking. You may not find the right instrument the first time you look. That doesn’t mean you won’t find something in the future.
Are You Ready for a New Flute?
Buying a new flute or piccolo is a big decision, especially if you’re upgrading to a professional instrument. You need to have the money ready, and you need to make sure that you choose the right flute.
Luckily, we have plenty of resources to help. So if you need some assistance with finding and buying your next flute or piccolo, let me know! I’d love to help you.