- Quality of Workmanship
- Quality of Sound
- Ease of Playing
- Finger spacing
- Flute length and bore size
- Types of Wood
For beginning flute players the most important thing to consider, other than the sound, is the width of the finger spacing of the holes on the flute. People with smaller hands, or those who have never played a musical instrument before, are not used to the stretch that comes with the bigger, lower pitched flutes. Starting with a smaller, higher pitched flute is like doing warm ups before exercising. It will help a beginner get used to playing a NAF without having to worry about a big stretch right away.
A flute in the key of A is a good way to start for people with smaller hands.
If your hands are bigger or if you've played a musical instrument before, the finger spacing will not be as big a consideration. I've found that people with experience playing other wind instruments like clarinet, recorder or a silver flute have no problem with the finger spacing. Pianists also do well. If you've played other instruments before, or you have large hands, you could easily start with a flute in the key of G or F#.
Of course even if you never played an instrument or your hands are smaller you could still start with a G or F# flute. Just try not to over do it and strain a muscle in your hands. Once you've gotten used to the stretch of these the larger flutes you'll do just fine. Most flutes below F# are harder for all beginners to play and I generally don't recommend them for that reason. But there are exceptions and that lead us to our next subject.
READ THE REST IN SCOTT AUGUST'S NEW BOOK
The Complete Guide to the Native American Style Flute
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