The flute is a beautiful instrument dating back many thousands of years, with some historians estimating it may be one of the earliest types of instruments discovered. The flute is a crucial element to many different types of bands and orchestras, and thus, it's a fantastic choice for beginners, intermediates and professionals who wish to pursue many different musical avenues. Flutes are a transverse instrument, which means (unlike many woodwind instruments) they're actually held out to the side whilst playing. By blowing across the mouthpiece, whilst using the fingers to operate the keywork on the metal tube, the flute creates a beautiful sound with many famous melodies written for the instrument.
If you're looking to purchase your first flute, or a new flute - here at Dawkes we have a wide selection on our website to browse through. We have a variety of different brands, models and styles too - so you can ensure you find the perfect musical match for your skill and experience level. The flute family consists of several different types of flute. These are:
The classic flute, most widely played. This is the flute you will recognise from most bands and orchestras as the long silver tube, with keys running along the side. The standard flute is pitched in the key of C, and has 3 octaves as its average range.
The alto flute is sometimes confused with the bass flute, but they're actually different instruments. The alto flute is known for having a distinctly smooth lower range, and because of this is often popular in jazz music. The metal tube for the Alto flute is longer and thicker than both the Piccolo and the flute in C, so requires more breath and lung control from the player.
A half-size, smaller version of the classic Flute in C (or concert flute). The Piccolo plays an octave higher than the concert flute, and is often thought to be one of the hardest flutes to master. Most people who play the Piccolo will have began their flute journey playing a Flute in C.
As the name suggests, the bass flute has the lowest pitch of all the flutes, in fact it is pitched a whole octave below the flute in C. The bass is the biggest of the flutes, and because of the size, the mouthpiece is often bent around into a 'J' shape. This curved shape gives the bass flute a visual difference in design from other flutes in the family.
We stock a wide range of flutes on the Dawkes website, from a variety of brands and makers, including; Azumi, Yamaha, Altus, Pearl and Windcraft. Each maker and model has its own advantages, and our experts at Dawkes can help you find the perfect flute for you. We know that everyone has different needs and requirements, and that buying an instrument is an incredibly personal and important occasion. We'll be on hand to help guide you through the process if you need us to.
Our Instrument Rental Scheme is perfect if you're not sure that you wish to purchase an instrument just yet. For example, you may have a young beginner and you want to see how they progress or you may be an adult adding another instrument to your collection. Our 'Start Right' rental scheme is flexible, affordable and you can use some of the money spent on the rental towards the cost of a new instrument. Most new beginners start on a straight Flute in C. Some very young players with small arms may require a Curved Flute which comes with a curved head joint. We advise checking with your teacher if you are unsure. We also offer the Piccolo on a monthly rental for any Flautists who want to try one out before committing to a purchase, or indeed who just need one for a fixed period of time.
When purchasing a Flute, you'll want to stock up on the relevant accessories too. Here at Dawkes we ensure we have a wide range of accessories in stock for you to browse and purchase. With the largest square footage of display in the UK we hold our unique stock of Flute spare parts, Flute accessories and repair materials for the brass and woodwind retail and wholesale market.