Buying an alto or a bass flute can be a daunting experience for any first-time buyer. How can you know what will make a good instrument? What options do you really need?

The following information presented here will serve as a guide, if you are seeing any bass flute for sale.

  • Budget

For choosing any low flute, budget is an important factor and if you are at entry level then you can buy it from second hand market and after learning the skills try to upgrade it.

You can always find instrument as per your budget.

  • Straight or curved head

The type of head-joint will be an important consideration while choosing, if you require straight or curved head, as alto flute needs some physical strength for playing.

However, be careful and don’t mix up muscle weakness with your inability in reaching the keys.

  • Ergonomics

For comfortable playing, positioning of keys are an important factor and different people may need different key placement.

Therefore, select an instrument that suits your hands and instrument is properly balanced and you can move your hands easily without making an extra effort.

  • Bass flute crutch

Few bass flutes available with hand support crutch meant for left hand. In case this is not perfectly suiting your hand, then try playing without using it, or instead use blue tack lump that is molded to properly to suit your hand.

  • Bore size

There are different bore sizes for low flutes. In general, big bore instrument may have weaker high register and stronger low register than small bore instrument.

Any bigger bores will have slightly slower response, more difference in their tone between registers but ideal for playing with flute choirs but heavier and may need more air.

Any small bores can be ideal for solo play where demands for more agility and stronger high register needed.

  • Tone

If you are beginner then you cannot adapt the playing techniques in low flutes so look for in low register, potential for deep, rich tone.

  • Response

As per the style and cut of the head, joint response can considerably vary. To find head joint which suits you, try different makes or different instruments even of same make.

  • Materials

If you have sufficient budget then by choosing a silver head-joint can make difference to your tone and response, however rest of your instrument may be silver plated and will not make any difference to sound.

Lighter materials, like brass, can be much preferable to any precious metals.

  • Bass flute – horizontal or vertical?

Any good quality of vertical instrument is designed ergonomically for your comfortable hand positions.

Remember you should be comfortable to play in sitting and standing position, and avoid anything which involves need of support bass flute with neck strap too.

  • Open holes?

For playing contemporary collection, open holes will be very useful. The holes are positioned to suit the hands, and to operate all the keys directly, instead of through extra levers, will make mechanism lighter.

Any open holes will also improve the response of your instrument.

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