Which Native American flute should I buy

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Walt LaForet
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PO Box 166, Fountainville, PA 18923
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My wife and I  have flutes from a various different makers and then each line comes in many keys, and on top of that most keys are made with a few different woods.  So understandably making a decision can be difficult.    All these products are made in the USA.
Makers

If you are just beginning, for your first flute,  I would lean toward the High Spirits flutes because they come with an excellent instructional DVD and book as well as fingering carts. High Spirits flutes are concert quality and are used by many recording artists. They also have a leather tie over one of the holes making it a 5 hole flute till you are ready to remove it and experience a 6 hole flute.  

The only authentic Native American flutes I carry are the ones made by Jonah Thompson. These are great value flutes with carved animal fetishes. Jonah is Dine and grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Kayenta, Arizona. He is born to the Coyote Pass clan and born for the Red House clan of the Navajo people. Flute making was taught to him by his uncle. My wife and I have his flues in our collection. They are a great value. 

The Quite Bear flutes are very bright and responsive, a real pleasure to play. Quiet Bear flutes are in my personal collection.  Quiet Bear  will make a custom flute to your specifications just for you .    If you are considering multiple instruments over time I would get one of each to round out your collection.
| About High Spirits Flutes | About Quiet Bear FlutesAbout Jonah Thompson Flutes |

Keys

As far as the key, I would suggest you get the lowest key (biggest flute) you can use.  The dimensions and finger hole spacing is noted with each flute and they are listed in order of size.  Even people with small hands can play an "A" flute and "normal" size hands can play the "G" & F#" as well.  These have a nice deep sound.  

Even if you've never played a woodwind before you should quickly adapt to most any key except the lowest ones. If you have any woodwind experience you will be able to master any Native American style flute.  Flutes in the highest range (D, C)  have a piping, Irish whistle quality, while flutes in the lowest range have an airy, hollow mellowness to them.  Experience has shown us that people usually want the deepest tone that is comfortable to play.  The A and G flutes are good middle of the road flute keys, still very easy to play and have a nice deeper sound than the smaller ones.  The F#, E, low D and lower, being larger flutes, need more practice to master. They are not so difficult to play as it is a matter of breath control. Again, most players I know have many flutes of different keys and woods.
I would recommended the key of A or G for people who never played an instrument before.

If price is the only consideration the High Spirits flutes in "D" & "C" are made with the same techniques and care as the expensive larger High Spirits flutes. 

FAQ on Native American Style Flutes

Native American Flute FAQFAQ  Native American Flute   Click here
Native American Style Flute Wood
For a beginner the main thing about wood to consider is the durability.  The harder woods, walnut, birch, cherry hold up well to the elements and bumps.  Generally hard woods have a clearer tone and are more responsive.  Softer wood like cedar is fragile, but smells nice and creates a warmer, mellow tone.  But for beginners subtle tone differences like this this is not really an issue. 
You can also have a flute custom made of special wood just for you, for more information on custom flutes click here.   
It is a personal preference as to which is better and many or most Native American style flute players have some of each.  
Warning: Most people who purchase a Native American style flute love it so much they buy more flutes in various keys & woods. You can't say I did not warn you.  
5 or 6 Hole Native American Style Flute?
The High Spirits flutes are 6-hole flutes and come with a leather tie that easily converts them into a 5-hole flute. When comfortable just remove the leather tie and experience the use of the 6-hole. So you are not faced with this choice with one of our flutes.
The Quiet Bear flutes are all 6 hole and do not come with the hole cover.

All the flutes are based on the minor pentatonic scale. When used as a 5-hole flute it is in the minor pentatonic scale. 
When the 6th hole under the leather tie is exposed the flute will play the relative major key in both the Diatonic and Chromatic scales.
A 5-hole flute is easier to play because it is based on the pentatonic minor scale. (5 notes to the next octave) 
A 6-hole flute allows for an extended range of the instrument and different scaling.
Native American Style Flute Care
There is very little maintenance to a Native American style flute. When finished playing, just suck air in backwards through the mouthpiece to remove the humid air & moisture. If it is very wet, remove the bird or block to allow more air to circulate and shake it out. Keep your flute out of direct sunlight and store in a bag when not in use for a long period. You can also apply a natural oil to the inside once a year or so. We have a natural oil for wooden flutes in our shopping center.

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FAQ on Band Flutes

Return to flutesonline.com   Walt LaForet, PO Box 166, Fountainville, PA 18923
| Home | Shopping Center for Native American Style Flutes, Flute Accessories |
| FAQ on Band FlutesMy Refurbishing Process | My Customers Say  |
| Site Map | Photo Gallery | Music Appreciation | My Guarantee | Misc. Info | Flute Links | email Me |