Jen Cluff ~ Flute Equipment List

Canadian Flutist and Teacher

Jen Cluff's Best Fluteplayer's Equipment List:

Flutes, stands, swabs, metronomes, tuners music books;

all Jen Cluff's top picks for the budget minded student

This list of flutey equipment is really for serious, fulltime flute players only.
Novice or intermediate players do NOT need to run out and buy all these items until they reach a certain level. and their private teacher will certainly tell them when that time has arrived. But the following list is GREAT for the serious player who's friends and relatives want a Christmas gift list. :>)

Best flutes

Intermediate to Advanced level flutes under $5000.

I recommend the following brands in this price range:

Azumi, Miyazawa, Muramatsu, Sankyo, DiMedici, Altus.

Read about shopping for a used flute HERE.

Read about shopping for flutes in general

Beginner to Intermediate flute brands:

Best flute brandnames in order of personal preference for under $2000 for beginners, novices, amateurs and intermediate flute students:
Prices given are general approximations for year 2005.
Much lower prices may indicate an instrument in poor condition if used. If you'd like to read more about flute shopping
click here.

1. AZUMI 3000 flute, designed by Altus (still true 2010). These are fabulous flutes! Have just tried them. Solid silver throughout, open-hole, offset G, B-foot, and an incredible value for under $1600 U.S.

See for prices. They also have a plated body, solid head Azumi 2000 model for $1000 U.S. that is open-hole. Amazing flutes for students!! Easy to play, effortless high register, full sound, tone colours possible, dynamics easy, key work low and fast. Incredible value for the money. Great back up flute for professionals.

Also look for: Altus Aprenti ($1000 U.S.) or Altus 807 ($2100 U.S.) for the Aprenti, contact flute dealers; Paul Rabinov or Mara Goosman online.)

2. Secondhand Yamaha 300, 400 series (check over with a flute technician to correct any problems if the Yamaha has an "A" in serial no.) ($700 to $2400 U.S.) Choose offset G for younger players or those not used to inline G.

4. DiMedici 911 or 1011 ($1100 to $1400 U.S.) I don't know about the longevity of DiMedici flutes, but have not heard complaints. They are lightweight and generally well made intermediate flutes.

5. Secondhand DiMedici or Jupiter flutes less than 5 yrs. old in 2004 ($500 to $1000 U.S.) Older Jupiters were not as well made.

6. Jupiter 711 ($1000 U.S. or less.) Try several to find one with richest tone.

7.Secondhand Sankyo Silver Sonic or Artist Flutes ($1800 to $3200 U.S.) If you are seriously investing in a top quality flute for a very talented young player, Sankyos are incredible flutes if you can find a good used one. They are endlessly repairable and very very well made. Consider this as a large step up for a hardworking teen player.

Check prices to find out current trends by visiting the following sites and comparing:

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Best flute & piccolo swabs
Roger Holmann's piccolo and flute Flags:

These great new swabs last for years and years. One piece, no need for cloth to be threaded. Absorbent material permanently affixed and very very absorbent (no more twisting round and round). Can hand-wash material repeatedly using dish soap or woolite and is very quick drying. The full flute-length, 2-piece screw-together flute flag swabs whole instrument without disassembly (can use without changing tuning). Gets cork plate dry of water droplets.
The piccolo flag cleans tone holes instantly from condensation buildup and "water bridges" as well as reaching entire length without disassembly.
Very useful in ensemble rehearsals in cold halls, when super-quick swabbing absolutely necessary. Look good onstage; large variety of colours.

Best metronomes:

Seiko quartz metronomes that have a old-fashioned sounding wood-like click (not an electronic ping) that can be heard over high register playing. Test in store to make sure they are audible while you're playing high G, high A etc.

Some newer models also can give compound rhythms and heavier downbeats for various time signatures. This can be useful.

Best tuners:

Must read pitches high enough to read upper octave of piccolo if you intend to play piccolo. Test by taking your piccolo or flute to the store. Also, very helpful to have a tuner that can sound all twelve semitone pitches audibly so you can play to match or harmonize with tone generated.

Some new $40 or less tuner/metronome combinations now available.

The tuner I have (about $100 in 1997) is by Korg, and reads the highest octave of the piccolo. See online photo here. However I do wish I had one that generated tones.

A $30 Korg DT-4 tuner that is recommended, and plays up to C8 is demonstrated online here.

Best music stands:

Choose one of the heavy black metal stands (like Manhasset brand) for holding many books and music without toppling over.. Get the tallest one you can find. Test for steadiness (cheaper models do not screw together sturdily enough and will annoyingly wobble.)

I own and use two music stands. One for music I *must* play. One for music I *want* to play more. I alternate between the two.

Folding lightweight silver "wire" music stands only for back-packers/giggers. They usually only hold a small amount of music, and often don't telescope up high enough for tall players (over 5'8")
If buying one of these, set up a shelf or table nearby for changing sheetmusic and books, and be sure that you get "extra tall" size, for use while standing.

Best flute stands:

Can be homemade from broom handle screwed into plastic receptor, but need to have a weighted base in order to be well balanced against toppling over if knocked. A good flute stand SHOULD resist toppling if being used in a crowded rehearsal area. A flute peg should also be tall enough to come midway up the middle section of the flute. Avoid short flute stands that can cause the flute to llean and eventually damage to the tenon of footjoint.

If you are not handy enough to create your own stand, the following company makes affordable wooden stands that resist toppling, but disassemble for packing about:

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Flute cover:

You can sew a long wide rectangle of cotton that will fully cover flute when on the flute peg or stand at home. If you are worried about tarnish, you can sew interior pockets that will hold anti-tarnish strips (3M silver protector strips available at )

Best flute books and sheet music

See Jen's favourite repertoire and

Sheetmusic for flutists on a budget

Best way to carry sheetmusic

Use a knapsack. A single-strap shoulder bag can really cause posture and muscular damage over time. I found the University student book-bag from Mountain Equipment Co-op to be good as it's very sturdy, holds flute upright in case (B-foot length) as well as music folder, binders, pencils, water bottles, food, sundries, text books.

Next buy a heavy (black leather-like) cardboard, oversize music folder with reinforced corners. Be sure it fits in your backpack. Many styles come with pencil holder flap inside. Very useful for keeping books and sheetmusic in pristine condition while travelling to gigs, work or lessons.

Best & cheapest music dictionary

The most useful pocket music dictionary I ever found ($3 in a music store) for popping into my music bag, and using for italian, french, and other musical terms is: Elson's Pocket Music Dictionary [The important terms used in music with their pronunciation and definition, together with the elements of notation and a biographical list of over seven hundred noted names in music ] by Louis C. Elson. Oliver Ditson Co. Distributed by Theodore Presser. 437-400027.

That's hilsarious! The above typing takes up the same amount of space as this miniature paperback! :>D

Best Flutey reading list

Best Flute CDs for desert island

Best, :>D

Jen Cluff

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