At some point in your playing career, you’ll know if your feelings towards the instrument are mere puppy-love or if it’s the real deal. Should you discover a genuine passion and talent for the flute you will definitely want to move up to a more suitable instrument. This is especially true if you’re going from a beginner to an intermediate flute.
The most noticeable tonal improvements you will get from flute to flute are the differences between a beginning instrument and an intermediate one. A good intermediate flute will be nearly as capable as a professional model in every way.
Intermediate Flute Features
Intermediate flutes come with a wide variety of options. But there are some things you should look for in any good intermediate model. The flute should have open-holed keys. This can improve sound projection and tonality a lot.
It should also have a sterling silver head joint with a suitable embouchure plate. These can also dramatically increase the richness of sound that the flute produces.
Many of the features seen in beginner flutes are designed to make playing simple passages easier. Perhaps unsurprisingly some of those features can actually make playing complex passages more difficult.
As musicians we’re always growing, getting bored with the old and seeking out the new. Even if today you aren’t transcribing Bach fugues or improvising over Giant Steps tomorrow you probably will be.
It’s important as we branch out, growing taller and fuller as artists, that our instruments don’t stilt us by imposing a glass ceiling on our skills and creativity. That’s why it’s imperative that the passionate, striving musician has an instrument that fuels rather than throttles their growth.
Intermediate Flute Reviews
Let’s take a look at four intermediate level flutes that will inspire and facilitate an advancing player.
Yamaha YFL-361 Review
The YFL-361 features an offset G which is great for people with smaller hands. Even for those with larger hands there’s some evidence an offset G key reduces the incidence of Carpel-Tunnel syndrome.
This flute also has a professional quality solid silver head joint. Many players love the unique embouchure which is more forgiving and easier to produce sound with than other flutes. That can make a big difference for those long practice sessions!
The Yamaha also has an open-holed key design. This combined with the sterling silver head joint, gives it a rich, resonant sound. This really is a beautiful sounding flute that will make your practices and recitals instantly gratifying. It also has a B foot joint.
Yamaha’s are known for both consistency and quality. This means your Yamaha flute will hold its value to a remarkable degree. Even ten-year-old instruments can often be sold for significant fractions of their original retail price.
One drawback is that this flute doesn’t have a split E mechanism. This can make playing the high E note a bit more difficult. But most players find with practice that limitation can be overcome.
To sum it up this is a great instrument that you’ll love playing. And backed with the Yamaha name, you know you’re getting top quality at the best price.
You can find the Yamaha-361 online price here.
- Offset G
- Solid silver head joint
- Open hole, convertible to closed
- High resale value
- Yamaha quality
- Rich, resonant sound
- No split E
Azumi AZ2 Review
The pointed key arms give it a high-end appearance. All sterling silver construction means with care this flute will look brand new after ten or twenty years of use. The craftsmanship and artistry of this flute almost can’t be overstated.
This flute also comes with a B foot joint. This makes the flute slightly heavier so it may not be great for younger or smaller players. But for players with the requisite strength, it allows for hitting the low b.
The AZ2 also has a patented Z-cut head joint. It features a rectangular embouchure. Many players say it produces a sharper, further projecting resonance and requires less breath expulsion.
This results in an instrument that rivals the best concert flutes in tone quality and volume. In fact, this is a favorite of many jazz players who are often the sole flute players among typically loud instruments in noisy settings.
One thing you should know is that this model does have open holes. This is actually considered a big plus among good players but it can be a little more difficult to master at first.
Overall, the Az2 is a fantastic instrument with professional features at a really great price.
- Pointed key arms
- Sterling silver
- B foot joint
- Handmade Z-cut head joint
- Sharp, resonant sound
- Professional features, low cost
- Open holes
Pearl 525 RBE1RB Quantz Series Review
The Pearl 525 series is an upgraded version of their 505 line. These are great looking flutes with French pointed arms commonly only found on much pricier models.
This is an overall beautifully constructed flute. It has French pointed arms, something commonly only found on professional models. It also has an offset G which makes hitting the G key much easier for small-handed players.
It also is proven to reduce the incidence of Carpal-Tunnel syndrome. The 525 also has open holes. This can add quite strikingly to the tonality, giving it a richer and more easily projecting sound.
One negative is that the case is a little large, with the flute not fitting quite snugly. However, compared to the price, upgrading
All in all, this is a wonderful instrument that sounds, looks and plays great. You can find the Pearl 525 Intermediate flute online here.
- B footjoint
- Split E mechanism
- French pointed arms
- Offset G
- Open hole
- Case is a little large
Gemeinhardt Model 30B Review
The Gemeinhardt Model 30b is a unique flute from a renowned craftsman that you may find tough to stop playing. The flute is silver plated with an overall beautiful appearance. It has French pointed keys, considerably nicer looking than the cheaper y-arms.
This flute comes with a long B foot joint which enables not just hitting the low B but also facilitates hitting much higher notes as well. It also has an open-hole design but comes with hole plugs for younger or less experienced flutists. The B foot also has a gizmo key which makes hitting the high C easier.
Overall the 30B has great action and a tremendous sound. The unique head joint and embouchure give it a unique, rich sound that you’ll notice right away. It also has an evenness of tone quality across its entire range that’s comparable to much more expensive instruments.
One slight complaint is that the case it comes with isn’t great. But for the price, this really is one of the finest instruments you can buy. You’ll certainly love playing this professional sounding flute for many years!
- Silver plated
- Offset G
- B foot joint with gizmo
- French pointed keys
- Great action
- Extra length for higher notes
- Case isn’t greats