Whether you’re a beginner flutist or a professional musician looking to protect your investment, you can find the very best flute accessories right here.
If you’ve just got a flute – you might have a few questions. What else do you need? A case was more than likely included. But where is everything else?!
More questions invariably follow: What do I need to keep it clean? What do I need to read and carry my music? What is the best way to take my flute on a plane?
On this website, you’ll find the answers to the above questions and more besides.
Flute Cleaning Equipment
After a flute, a cleaning rod and cloth are usually the first things we put in our flute bags.
For sticky pads. tobacco rolling papers have been used for decades. Yamaha actually make some papers which are better suited.
You don’t have to worry about gummed paper damaging your instrument or arousing any unwarranted suspicions!
For cleaning the inside of your flute, we can break it down into 3 tiers:
Budget: A Plain Gauze swab
Middle: A Silk Swab
High-End: A Flute Flag
Both the gauze and silk swab are great flute cleaning cloths for the body. But if you really want to clean under the head joint use a Flute Flag.
It does a really good job of removing moisture near the cork. Also, you don’t need to break your flute down so you can clean it on a break. A big advantage!
Remember, never store your dampened swabs in the same case (or compartment) as your flute. This can attract mold and mildew which will transfer onto your instrument.
For the outside, it’s best to use an untreated cloth. Remember, you aren’t really polishing it, but removing skin oils from the surface. To this end, a micro-fiber or ultra-suede cloth is effective. Some technicians also recommend this blue glass cloth, too.
And after cleaning with a rod, many flutists like to use pad savers to help their pads last longer.
Flute Stand Accessories
At some point in your journey from beginning flutist, to intermediate, to a regularly gigging professional, you’re going to need a flute stand.
Buying the right stand will help keep your flute safe and secure. They can prevent not only the huge costs of repair but also the incalculable cost of not being able to play while it’s damaged.
The best flute stands have a very low center of gravity, great stability and a peg system designed to prevent deformation or abrasion to your flute.
If you’re upgrading or replacing your flute case you’re in luck! There have never been more designs to choose from.
If you choose wisely, a new case will be more comfortable and convenient to carry. This is sure to help if you have to walk distances for practice, recitals and performances.
A lot of the cases that come with new flute are of the hard variety. This is great for protecting your flute, but it makes them really hard to put into backpacks and other luggage.
A case with a shoulder strap will help prevent you from losing the flute, too. With a hard case, you’ll always be putting it down or “out of the way”. A shoulder-carry case helps you keep it comfortably close at all times so you won’t forget it.
Upgrading your flute case is also a chance for you to get something more stylish and kick that worn, dull black affair to the curb.
Check out our page: The Best Flute Cases
Flute Case Covers
You might be thinking, “I already have a case for my flute, why do I want a case for that?”. Or be having visions of Russian Matryoshka Dolls. But flute case covers do make a lot of sense.
The cases that come with flutes are often made from cheap plastic with terrible latches. This might not be a big issue whilst you’re at home.
If you’re outside the last thing you want is for the latch to fail and your prized possession to spill onto the floor. Not the pre-performance prep you were looking for.
A flute case cover can prevent these kinds of accidents from happening. They also can provide extra space for a piccolo, cleaning supplies and even sheet music.
Check out our page: The Best Flute Case Covers
The last thing you want to do is forget something at a performance. Flute gig bags provide the reassurance and convenience of having everything in one place.
The best gig bags can comfortably carry flutes, piccolos, tuners, metronomes, collapsible stands, sheet music, and orchestra folios.
Many gig bags also offer a variety of carry options. You can wear them as a backpack, shoulder-carry or tote them. They also protect and insulate your instruments and keep everything how it should be.
Music Sheet Bags
Simply staying organized and showing up prepared every time shows you mean business. The right sheet music bag can keep you looking and playing like a true professional.
Sure, you can cram it all into a laptop bag, but why not have something that’s built for its intended use and shows you’re serious? There are many cool designs of music bags and many can fit sheet music folders and portfolios.
They also have dividers to help you keep your music separate and find it in a hurry. The best music sheet bags will always ensure your music is kept flat with no bent corners.
Whether you’re after a traditional leather bag or a chic tote, we can help you find one to keep the music alive.
Check out our page: The Best Music Sheet Bags
Many flutists have experienced the difficulty of choosing the best music stand.
Some are heavy and sturdy. This makes them great if they’re kept in music rooms. Not so great if you’re lugging it on the bus to gigs.
Others are just too light and unstable. Most play standing, and a fully-extended stand with heavy sheet music really needs to be stable.
To get the best music stand for your flute you need to think about where you’ll be playing and how often. For occasional use on gigs, a lightweight budget solution like the Crafty Gizmos stand will likely do fine.
For practice while standing, the Manhasset stand will probably be your best choice. On the other hand, if you need a portable stand that will last for years, check out the Hamilton KB90.
Check out our page: The Best Music Stands
Music Stand Lights
A good music stand light can help you see your music better and prevent missed notes.
Not being able to read the corners of music in a consistent light is not only annoying, but it really strains the eyes. Fortunately, there are a number of great stand lights on the market for all budgets.
If you primarily need a practice light for home a less expensive model may do fine.
However, the best stand lights have some pretty cool features like full-range dimmers, rechargeable batteries, the ability to use mains power and they’re cool to the touch.
Cheaper lights tend to burn through batteries much faster. They will also tend to have a shorter product life as the bulbs dim with time.
Check out our page: The Best Music Stand Lights
Thumb Ports / Rests
Thumb rests and thumb ports are used by novices and professionals alike. They are great for training the hands and fingers to be in the right position.
They also help take the weight of the instrument away. This will help limit the stress and strain on your hands and make things much more comfortable.
Thumb ports can also help prevent the onset of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and arthritis, to keep you playing pain-free for longer.
As well as thumb rests, there are also “Pinkieports”, which are index finger braces for the left-hand.
Flute Teaching Aids
Many flute teachers will extoll their students to use a metronome when practicing. They are great for novices who have trouble keeping tempo in their head while playing.
Metronomes are really handy for exams as you need to play pieces at prescribed speeds. They are also good for group play, too.
They can also help ensure different sections of music are played at the same tempo. This is most helpful when increasing speed to a difficult passage and moving from longer to shorter notes. A metronome can help check your progress in this.
Many students do use metronome i-phone apps as on their i-phones these days. However, some of the best metronomes are incredibly cheap, don’t need batteries and can fit in the palm of your hand.
They also give you a break from “Screen time”, too.
Many beginners are surprised at just how much lung-power it takes to play the flute.
Especially if they’re coming from other woodwind instruments like the clarinet, recorder or saxophone which require far less!
There are many books on the flute for beginners to professionals alike.
If you’re a younger player perhaps learning an instrument for the first time, or getting back into the instrument after time-off, “Essential Elements for Band: Book 1 Flute” is great.
It’s a relatively cheap, interactive guide that has music theory, history, easily recognizable songs, and play-along mp3 tracks.
“A Tune A Day” by Janet Cole is another good flute book and CD set. It has flute music for beginners and is great for teachers to assign exercises from.
For flute scales with exams in mind, get the “ABSCM Scales & Arpeggios”. It covers students Grade 1 – 8 so it’s really an indispensable book.
A great intermediate flute book is Trevor Wye’s “Complete Daily Exercises for the Flute”.
He has a wide selection of books which are great for all levels. The book covers the technical aspects extremely well especially things like tone and correct Embouchure.
Flutes can be put into 3 main categories – student, intermediate and professional. There are differences in materials and resulting sound quality but new buyers may not know there are also differences in ease of play.
The Best Student Flutes
With the most basic student flutes, you will be sacrificing a little sound quality. But they make learning a lot less frustrating.
For beginners, going with a student flute is also a great option because they do tend to cost a lot less. A couple good examples of nice beginner flutes are the Yamaha YFL-221 and the Gemeinhardt 2SP.
Student flutes will usually have what’s known as an “offset G”. The offset G has a number of advantages, especially if you’re a newer player.
Check out our page: The 5 Best Beginner Flutes
The Best Intermediate Flutes
At the intermediate level, you should be getting an instrument that looks and sounds almost as good as a professional model. But you’ll likely only be spending 1/10th the amount.
Often intermediate flutes will have solid silver head joints and silver plated bodies and foot joints. They will generally look and sound a little nicer. Some intermediate flutes will also have an inline G key.
Also in the past, many intermediate flutes would use a B foot joint. Recently though C foot joints have become much more popular.
Check out our page: The 4 Best Intermediate Flutes
The Best Professional Flutes
Professional flutes are what the name implies – flutes made for professional musicians.
The bronze alloy springs found in intermediate flutes will be replaced by gold alloys. The keys will also be manufactured to much stricter tolerances. Other components of a professional flute will be gold plated, too.
To the untrained eye and ear, there might not be a considerable difference to an intermediate flute. However, a professional flutist will notice the difference in appearance, playability and most importantly, sound.