Carolyn's Advice for Finding the Perfect Flute


Go For the Sound

When trying flutes, our flute expert’s goal is to help you find an instrument that will grow with you. For some players, this means finding an instrument that gives you a little more resistance, which will offer a fuller, robust sound. This will provide you with more control of your sound and give you more variety of colors. Resistance can come in different ways by different tubing thickness and, or using different metal combinations. By doing so, you can project and develop your sound. Metals such as silver, gold, and platinum offer a more colorful sound over beginner flutes. The different metals change the sound and will add colors to the sound instead of sharpness and cracking notes! Our flute experts will carefully listen as you play to help guide you to your desired sound for today and the future sound you will grow into with your new flute.

The Northbridge 700 is made of Sterling Silver tubing. It includes a completely handmade headjoint by Chris Mckenna, so it is a favorite step-up flute for the extra resistance it gives developing players at an economical cost. Many of the handmade flute companies have been experimenting with blending metals, which will continue to be the trend, and the mixture is creating so many more varieties in our sounds as flutists. 

For example, the Muramatsu Platinum Clad is silver with Platinum cladding on top, creating a dark, dazzling sound in a player that loves to spin their air and enjoys the response they feel with platinum. The Haynes Fusion flute is made by fusing a 14k gold tube with a silver/platinum alloy (95% silver, 5% platinum) tube. This blend of metals creates a unique sound that vibrates throughout the flute that you can feel as you play. However, these are no longer in production, so finding these flutes in the coming years will not be easy. Heads-up! Carolyn Nussbaum has only two left!

Consider Your Long-Term Goals

An essential factor to consider when choosing an instrument is your long-term career goals. Students and many leisurely performers enjoy partially handmade instruments, such as the Sonare, Resona, or handmade instruments with some silver-plated parts (rather than all silver) to keep costs down, such as the Miyazawa 202 and the Muramatsu EX

Fully handmade instruments (whether silver, gold, platinum or a blend) can give you a unique sound to help you stand out in auditions and competitions. Handmade instruments can also best withstand the countless hours of practice required for aspiring flutists. If you are someone who wants to perform professionally, we recommend considering a type of instrument that will allow you the most possibility for your future career. Handmade all the way! 

Sometimes pre-owned, professional instruments are available at a fantastic price, so look carefully and often at our pre-owned flutes page because they come and go quickly! If you don’t endeavor to become a professional performer, you may believe that having a high-end instrument is not essential for you. So let me tell you a secret: try them, try them all. Whatever your goals, there is an extensive range of flutes ready for you to find your perfect flute. 

Forget About the Brand

At the Carolyn Nussbaum Music Company, we carry over 21 brands of flutes, piccolos, headjoints, and harmony flutes; this allows for a beautiful variety of choices, even if you already have an idea of what brands you like. For example, during flute appointments, our most important consideration is the instrument's sound, not necessarily the brand. So many customers (with preconceived notions of what brands they like) often leave with a different brand of flute! 

In our over 26 years of experience selling flutes and many more years of playing flute (don’t ask our age), the best thing is to try a nice variety side-by-side, such as Burkart, Mancke, Haynes, Powell, Miyazawa, and many more! When shopping for a flute, we recommend keeping an open mind about the flutes you are trying because we want you to find the love of your life!