What Is The Easiest Flute To Play If You Want To Learn Quickly & Easily

The easiest flute to play to learn quickly and easily depends on different things. Who you are as a player. What your needs are and what you want from playing the flute. Which type of flute you get will change depending on this. Having said that there are certain things that will help you decide which is best for you.

The standard curved or straight head closed hole C Flute with offset G and Split E is the easiest flute to play of the common flutes family. For young children, the easiest flute is the recorder instrument or the Nuvo Toot flute. The ocarina is the easiest overall flute to play out of all the different types of flutes.

For ease, I have split this article into two parts. For those that are interested in standard flutes and those that are interested in the easiest overall type of flute to play. This, in my view, isn’t the same and I have explained why below.

What Is The Easiest Flute To Play?

Standard Traditional Flutes

The Standard C Concert Flute is An Excellent Choice For Beginners

The C flute is the standard flute that most people play and is the one that students usually start with (See better choices for children below).

If you Go For A Smaller and Higher Flute It Gets Harder

  • If you go to the smaller instruments like the piccolo they are much harder to play than the standard flute.
  • Even getting a sound from them is more difficult.
  • Also fingering can be a challenge for those with larger hands.

If You Go To Lower And Bigger Flutes Is Also Gets Harder

  • The larger alto instruments and above are much heavier to hold and bigger than a standard flute.
  • You need a lot more breath to get them to make sounds.
  • Hand stretches are an issue for some.
  • They are more of a financial investment some in the thousands.

Open or Closed Keys

Closed keys are easier to play than open ones as you do not have to be as precise with your fingering when you don’t have the holes. Open keyed instruments tend to be geared towards intermediate players and they cost more to buy.

You can get open keyed flutes that have caps on them to make them closed keyed then you remove the caps as you improve.

It is more common for people the buy a good quality student flute that will last a few years and then to upgrade later. If you look at the quality brands like Yamaha you can see how well the old 211 flute keeps its value and is still available while cheaper brands are not.

Offset G

Offset G is where the G instead of being in line with the other notes is offset slightly. This is because this finger is shorter than the middle finger. This makes it easier to play.

Split E

As the 3rd octave of the E on the flute isn’t very stable some flutes have a split E mechanism to make the note more stable and much easier to play.

Which Is The Best Flute For Beginners?

There is a lot to choosing your flute. What is right for one beginner isn’t necessarily right for another one.

Flute Brand ModelDescriptionPrice Range New (Approx.) £/$
Jupiter JFL700Straight easy blowing head joint, with 92% silver riser for easier playing. A very popular student flute from beginner to grade 4, offset G, E mechanismAround 400 to 550
Trevor James 10X Designed to help the beginner to blow easily, great padding for better sound, 3 plate players sliver on copper, great for beginners and returning players, Offset G, E mechanism.Around 400-620
Yamaha YFL 211 or 212The 211 is still going strong, the 212 is the new version, can take the player to Grade 5, excellent flute offset G, E MechanismAround 500-600

Is The Standard Flute The Best Choice For Kids?

The standard concert flute is not the best flute for kids to learn. It is too big, too heavy and too difficult to play.

If you want your child to learn to play the flute quickly and easily then its best to take your child’s age, size, needs, and development into account. That way they are more likely to succeed and enjoy playing more.

Which flute you get them depends on their age, their size, and how well developed they are physically.

If they are really young the flute isn’t suitable. It’s too big, too heavy and the embouchure is difficult to master.

There are alternatives:

Children Up to 7 or 8 Years Old Or Adults That Want To Try Things Out

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The Nuvo Toot are brilliant little flutes. They are designed to develop the skills needed to become a flute player and to progress from the recorder. They are very similar to the recorder. The fingering is mostly the same (source) but it’s held like a flute. It makes embouchure easy as well. They are light to hold and come in lots of bright colors.

Some say they sound like the recorder, however, I think they sound better than the soprano recorder.

For younger children, this type of flute or the recorder is the easiest type of flute to play.

Children 7 to 8 Years Old

It’s recommended that children start the flute at about 7 to 8 years old.

Once they are 7 to 8 you can get them a prodigy flute. This is a flute designed especially for really young children. It’s much lighter than a normal flute and not as long and has fewer notes and only goes to lower D (Source).

These can be curved heads or they can have a “shortened” head joint with a curve in the center.

If they are looking to play the standard flute at some point it is best to buy a curved-headed flute or shorter headed as this brings the flute closer to them is less of a stretch and makes it easier to play for children.

From here when the child is ready they can progress on to the standard closed-hole concert flute.

Then on to the open holed ones.

Brand/ModelDescription of FlutePrice Range New £/$ (Approx.)
Jupiter JFL700 (curved Head)The same high specs as the straight-headed Jupiter but with a curved head which is perfect for the younger player. 92% silver riser for easier playing. A very popular student flute from beginner to grade 4, offset G, E mechanism550-700
Trevor James TJ 10X (curved head)This is made to help the beginner to blow more easily, has great padding for better sound, 3 plate players sliver on flash copper, great for beginners and returning players. It has an Offset G, E mechanism.490-550
Yamaha YFL 212 (curved head)The 212 is the new version, can take the player to Grade 5, excellent flute offset G, E Mechanism650-800

Note: Some places have curved and straight heads in one package while others sell them separately. The body of the flute is the same you just swap out the flute head when you are ready.

The Easiest Type Of Flute To Play Overall Has To Be The Ocarina

The ocarina is the easiest type of flute to play out of all the of the flutes.

While of course, I cannot play all the different types of flutes. I do play the standard flute, the recorder (alto & soprano), and the ocarina so I have a very good comparison. And comments on how difficult some of the others are from other musicians. I have also looked into other flutes and would love to play the pan flute although it sounds like it’s going to be a tad loud.

While everyone is different and loves different instruments there’s a reason children start with the recorder and not the standard flute.

Having said that it’s important to love the sound and to play your instrument. If you love the flute and hate the ocarina sound or look then no matter how easy it is, you won’t enjoy it and won’t learn it.

My sister and I say it sounds way better than the recorder. My mum says it sounds the same and can’t stand the sound of it, lol.

Why the Ocarina the Best Choice to Learn than other types of Flute

The ocarina is a world apart to learn from the concert flute.

Learning To Play The Ocarina Is A Breeze!

Oh my, it was a dream to learn the ocarina. I was a bit slow it took me a whole 2 hours! lol. They say it only takes one.

That is to learn the fingering and get some basic tunes on it not to sound perfect.

This is perfect for children (watch the finger hole sizes though 6 holes are best) and students of all ages. My view is that a lot of the trouble with people get fed up with practice, practice with little or no progress. You can be playing a tune in no time with the ocarina.

Yes, you still have to practice but it’s so much easier. There’s so little pressure when learning the ocarina. And it’s fun. After all, shouldn’t learning an instrument be just that – fun!

The reason it’s fast to learn is that it only has about 1 octave of notes. So there’s less to learn here.

Also, the notes are easy to remember especially if you have already learned the recorder.

It’s pretty much a case of putting your fingers onto all the notes and as you go up a note you lift a finger. Not all the notes are like this, the A isn’t and you do have flats and sharps.

Higher notes are harder to reach as the ocarina has issues with getting to the higher notes and so do the people playing them.

Holding the ocarina while playing the higher notes can be a challenge which s is one reason plastic is such a good choice for beginners. That or a big fluffy pillow just in case you drop it.

If you want to find out more about the ocarina you can see which one is best to buy in my post here for more information on which ocarina is best to get and why as some are more difficult to play than others.

Cost To Buy An Ocarina Won’t Break The Bank

Reasonable quality ocarinas are not expensive to buy. This means they are more readily available than the flute which is a much greater investment for many. You are easily talking a couple of hundred or more for a decent student flute whereas you can get a decent plastic ocarina for around £/$30. Even top-of-the-range ocarinas are great value by comparison to a flute which can be thousands.

I have 2 one at about £/$30 and one at £/$55. The cheaper one is way better than the dearer one.

You Can Learn To Play The Ocarina Without A Tutor

You can bring the ocarina to concert level if you want to but the pressure just isn’t there to do that. You can easily learn to play form a book or from online tutorials. I know you don’t get feedback on this which is where a tutor helps but if you want to you could get one online.

If like me you just want to play it for fun then there are plenty of really great tutorials on YouTube. I recommend the following ocarina channels if you are interested.

David Eric Ramos

Gina Luciani

The Bonuses Of Ocarina Playing

It’s just such an odd shape. It looks great on its stand and is a great conversation starter. It’s just something different.

If it’s a youngster learning they will love that it is part of a video game and associate with that making them want to learn it more, especially if they get to play the songs from that game.

It is also easy just to pick up and play, nothing to fit together which means its easy to slip 5 minutes of practice in whenever you can.

Practice doesn’t feel like practice with the ocarina, because its really not. It’s just playing.

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