After initially not liking it, I fell in love with the alto flute when I found the right model for me. A few years later, I decided to upgrade to the Trevor James Copper Alloy Alto Flute.
This model is a fantastic choice for a variety of players. There’s a reason it’s become such a popular choice and why Nyenyezi Horns uses this model for their alto flute designs.
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What Is the Trevor James Copper Alloy Alto Flute?
The Trevor James Copper Alloy Alto Flute is an intermediate-level alto flute that’s perfect for a variety of players and situations. As the name suggests, it uses a copper alloy, which contains 85% copper and 15% other metals.
However, the keys and mechanism are silver plated. The lip plate and riser are made of sterling silver. On the body of the flute, the keys feature mother-of-pearl finger buttons, which look and feel great.
Like most alto flutes, this one comes with a C footjoint (sounding concert G). If you’re used to the C flute with a B foot, that can be a shock. But it keeps the alto flute from being too heavy.
You can purchase this alto flute with the straight headjoint, curved headjoint, or both. If you get the curved headjoint, you can take it apart to easily swab out the curved part and to adjust the angle to your needs.
- Great tone
- Easy response
- Multiple headjoint options
- Unique look
- Slightly expensive
- Not always in stock
Who the Trevor James Copper Alloy Alto Flute Is For
This alto flute is a great choice for anyone who wants a good, warm sound. If you’re not a huge fan of the sound of silver, this is one of a few alternatives when it comes to alto flutes.
I’d also recommend it to players who are concerned about the weight of an alto flute. Copper is a bit lighter than silver, so it doesn’t feel as heavy as other models with similar specs.
You can buy this alto flute as your first alto. But if you have a cheaper model, you can treat this TJ alto flute as an upgrade, which is what I did.
Who the Trevor James Copper Alloy Alto Flute Is Not For
As much as I love my new Trevor James alto flute, it’s not for everyone. If you really love how silver sounds, you may find the copper alloy is too warm or otherwise hard to play.
I’d also say the Trevor James alto flute isn’t the best for people with a super tight budget. Looking at one flute shop’s options, there are 11 alto flutes that cost less than this one.
On the other hand, it’s not the best choice for players who want a handmade instrument. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line alto flute, the most similar model would be from Yamaha.
Other Trevor James Alto Flutes
Along with the copper alloy model, Trevor James makes a silver-plated alto flute. That one has been around much longer than the copper alloy, which hit the market in 2018.
In the past, Trevor James made and sold black nickel alto flutes as well. I haven’t seen them for sale new in a while. But if you like the darker sound, you can search the used market for one.
More Alto Flutes to Try
Before you buy the Trevor James Copper Alloy Alto Flute, consider some other brands and models. That way, you can make sure you get the model that works the best for you.
The first alto flute I got was the Pearl 201, and I still have it as of this writing. It features a solid silver lip plate and riser, but the rest of the instrument is silver-plated to help keep costs down.
Like many other alto flutes, you can get this one with the straight headjoint, curved headjoint, or both. I got just the straight headjoint, and I played on this model for over five years.
You can get a great sound, particularly in the low register. But after a while, I found it hard to get the sound quality I wanted from the flute.
Di Zhao also makes excellent alto flutes. While I’ve never owned one, I briefly tried one a few years ago. And one of my fellow flute choir members plays on one, and it sounds great.
They make alto flutes that use silver plating for the body. One model also has silver-plated headjoints (straight and/or curved). The other comes with a solid silver headjoint to help you get a slightly different sound.
Di Zhao alto flutes are some of the most affordable on the market. So if you’re on a tight budget, I’d recommend giving this brand a try.
When I was in college, I got to borrow a Jupiter alto flute for a bit. The model was nice and came with both headjoints. Like many other models, it uses silver plating for the body and headjoint tubing.
What I didn’t like as much is the fingering position. Most alto flutes these days come with an ergonomic finger position. That means you don’t have to reach as far with your left hand to hold and play the alto flute.
However, Jupiter alto flutes don’t have that feature. You may not care that much if you play on the curved headjoint, but it makes a huge difference if you want to play on the straight headjoint.
What’s in the Copper Alloy?
According to Trevor James, the alto flute is made of 85% copper. The remaining 15% contains other metals, but it’s unclear what those metals are.
Trevor James does say that the other metals are there to help strengthen the copper. That way, it’s strong enough to retain its shape as a musical instrument.
Where Can You Play the Alto Flute?
You can play the alto flute in a variety of settings. Most players, including myself, get started by playing the alto flute in a flute choir.
However, you can also find some solo works or chamber pieces with alto flutes parts. There are even a few orchestral works that call for the alto flute.
The Trevor James Copper Alloy Alto Flute is only about five years old. But it’s quickly become one of the most popular models out there.
If you’re looking to start playing the alto flute or improve your playing, give this model a try.
And don’t forget to check out my selection of alto flute music on Flute Files.