April 8, 2011 by Allison
Whether you are a student a couple of years into your study or an adult who wishes for better tone, a step-up flute may be right for you! Step-up flutes may also referred to as intermediate flutes.
One advantage to upgrading to a step-up flute would be tone quality. Beginning flutes are manufactured with durable materials, specifically designed for novice hands. As a result, beginning flutes produce a fuzzy, less clear tone. After learning the basics, further musical development can be set back by a beginning instrument. Intermediate flutes are made with sterling silver, which have a profound effect on tone quality. One thing solo and ensemble judges listen for is tone quality, and a step-up flute will improve that score!
The next major difference on intermediate flutes is the addition of open holes. The switch from plateau or closed holes is easy with practice. The intermediate flute will come with tiny plugs that are gently placed in the key holes. These key plugs are an excellent way to accommodate this new learning curve. The easiest way to open up the holes is to practice and take one new plug at a time. Do not move onto the next plug until you feel 100% comfortable with the initial open hole. Taking plugs out in this order F, E, A, G, D should be the easiest method.
Rushing through this new technique could hinder your playing in the long run. It is very important at this stage to seal the key hole entirely because improperly seated fingers may leak air.
It is an exciting experience for players to test many flutes and choose one with the best tone quality for them. Opening your student to a new level of playing builds enthusiasm as they find themselves progressing in their studies. The commitment to playing the flute will be renewed when the student plays their first step-up instrument.