Which Native American flute should I buy, About Native American Flutes

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Walt LaForet
PO Box 222, Chalfont, PA 18914
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My wife and I have in stock flutes from a various makers and then each line comes in many keys, and on top of there are  different woods.  So understandably making a decision can be difficult.   
The Native American Flute 

Native American style flutes have some great advantages over other musical instruments. They are easy to play, especially the smaller ones. You do not have to read music to play one as the Native Americans, like all tribal cultures, never had a written music language. They developed instruments that were naturally harmonic. No musical background is necessary to play these flutes. To produce the sound, one simply blows into the instrument; the unique design easily creates the music. They are also inexpensive allowing you to own and enjoy various models made from different woods and in different keys. The Native American style flute is constructed with two chambers, one you blow into and the air flow is directed out a hole into the other chamber which makes the sound. The length of the flute determines the key.

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.  

If you are just beginning, for your first flute,  I would lean toward the High Spirits flutes partly because they come with an excellent instructional DVD and booklet as well as fingering carts. This and other DVDs are available separately, click here.    
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.  
About High Spirits Flutes

The Stellar flutes are also excellent flutes at very good prices. 
About Stellar Flutes

For an Authentic Native American flute I carry flutes made by made by Jonah Thompson and Marvin Yazzie. 
| About Marvin Yazzie Flutes    |   About Jonah Thompson Flutes   |

Keys (so many keys you have!)

As far as the key to start with, 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 fact you will play notes as soon as you take it out of the box, it is that easy.   The mid-range and high-range flutes play one and 1/3 octaves. The bass flutes are a one-octave instrument.
If you have any woodwind experience you will be able to master any Native American style flute.  Flutes in the highest range (High F#, High D, High 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, hold up better to the elements and bumps.  The general rule is the softer the wood the "warmer" the tone. Hardwoods tent to be clearer and more responsive.   Softer wood like Aromatic C or Spanish Cedar are fragile, but smells nice and creates a warmer, mellow tone.  But for beginners subtle tone differences like this this is not really an issue. 
It is a personal preference as to which is better and many or most Native American style flute players have some of each.  
5 or 6 Hole Native American Style Flute?
99% of the flutes I carry are 6 hole flutes. 
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.
All the other flutes are 6 hole and do not come with the leather hole cover but they are available separately, click here. 

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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