Learn how to Choose a Native American Flute with Southern Cross Flutes

There are a number of important elements to consider when choosing a flute; in particular, the quality of sound you want, type of wood, personal comfort, and price.

What follows below should help support you in your decision making process…


The Best Native American Flute for Beginners

People always wonder what the best native american flute for beginners might be. The highest quality concert tuned flute we offer for those looking for a more affordable flute, is the Starter Flute Package.

What makes this the best native american flute for beginners?  It’s light weight, portable, durable, affordable, and will leave you feeling inspired.

For those looking for an equally great flute to learn on, and are willing to pay a bit more, our wooden Love Flutes are a superb place to begin learning the Native American Style Flute.


CHOOSING A FLUTE BASED ON SOUND-QUALITY

What would you like your flute to sound like?

Southern Cross Flutes range from soprano to bass tones, and from single chambered to dual chambered flutes. Check out the following pages:

  • Listening Post – featuring sample recordings of our flute range.
  • Shop – featuring flute descriptions with accompanying video demonstrations.

The quality of sound is influenced by the pitch of the flute, as well as the type of wood. We will cover both below.

CHOOSING A FLUTE BY PITCH

You can learn how to choose a Native American Flute based on pitch from the following flute ranges…

Forest Flutes

These soprano, small-sized flutes are high in pitch, and play a sprightly song. Forest Flutes come in the keys of A, G, and D minor pentatonic (A minor being the highest pitched flute).

Love Flutes

These alto/tenor, mid-sized flutes are the most common style of flute played because of their versatility and warm tones. Love Flutes come in the keys of A, G, F#, and E minor pentatonic (A minor being the highest pitched flute in this range).

Grandfather Flutes

These large, bass flutes are very deep in tone and produce a mysterious, contemplative, and haunting song. Grandfather Flutes come in the keys of D, C, B, and A minor pentatonic (D minor being the highest pitched flute in this range).

Drone Flutes

These are dual chambered flutes, in the alto/tenor range, that plays a continuous drone through the left chamber, with melodic playing on the right. It’s also possible to play the melodic right chamber independently as a solo flute. Drone Flutes come in the keys A, G, and F# minor pentatonic (A minor being the highest pitched flute in this range).

Mayan Temple Flutes

These are multi-chambered, multi-keyed flutes, in the alto/tenor range. Each chamber can be played independently as a solo flute, or both chambers can be played together, creating an immersive, harmonious, and highly resonant sound. Mayan Temple Flutes come in the key E/B.


CHOOSING A FLUTE BY WOOD TYPE

Wood is important as it contributes to the sound, look, feel, smell and even taste of the flute.

Great ways to learn about the different wood characteristics of Southern Cross flutes are by:

  • Visiting the Shop and Custom Flute pages for photographs showcasing the many beautiful woods available; written descriptions and video presentations.
  • Checking out The Woods page to learn about the woods that Southern Cross Flutes crafts from. Please note, rarer woods are not always available.

Finding the right wood can really help when learning how to choose a Native American Flute. We all have different kinds of woods that we prefer, and it’s important to find one that you resonate with.

CHOOSING A COMFORTABLE FLUTE

When learning how to choose a Native American Flute, comfort becomes an important factor.

Southern Cross flutes are crafted in various sizes and keys, each with different respective finger-hole spacings.

The key of the flute relates not only to the pitch it plays, but also to its physical size. So the deeper (and therefore larger) the flute, the greater the finger-hole spacings become, though we can cleverly  offset the finger holes to make them more accessible.

Let’s take a look at what ranges might suit you best…

Forest Flutes
These small flutes are playable by most people, including children, due to the close finger-hole spacings. For the highest Forest Flute (A minor), there are only five finger holes instead of the usual six, making it even easier.

Love Flutes
These mid-sized flutes are crafted with the adult player in mind. The A and G minor Love Flutes are typically playable by all adults, however the F# and E minor Love Flutes can take some time to adjust to for small-handed players.

Grandfather Flutes
These large flutes require the greatest finger span to cover the finger-holes. This doesn’t necessitate large hands, as greater flexibility can provide the needed reach, and this can be developed over time. All Grandfather Flutes feature ergonomic offset finger-holes to enable easier and more comfortable covering.

Drone Flutes
As with the Love Flutes, these mid-sized dual chambered flutes are crafted with the adult player in mind. The A and G minor Drone Flutes are typically playable by all adults, however the F# Drone Flute can take some time to adjust to for small-handed players. In additional to the added physical size of the Drone Flute, additional breath is required to play both the chambers. Thankfully, Drone Flutes are crafted with this in mind, and you’ll find that you can quickly adapt your breath control to suit.

Mayan Temple Flutes
These mid-sized flutes are evenly balanced with ergonomically placed finger-holes, as well as a thumb hole on the underside of the flute. The offset finger-holes help with the ease of hole covering, however some finger flexibility and strength will be required to develop for most people. In additional to the added physical size and handling co-ordination, additional breath is required to play both the chambers. Thankfully, Mayan Temple Flutes are crafted with this in mind, and you’ll find that you can quickly adapt your breath control to suit.


FLUTES BY PRICE

Starter Flutes – $90
Forest Flutes – From $180-$250
Love Flute – From $400-$650
Grandfather Flutes – From $500-$650
Drone Flutes – From $890
Mayan Temple Flutes – From $890
Custom Flutes – By arrangement

It can be a great advantage to try out a few flutes in-store or at Markets, as the act of playing and holding a flute is certainly the easiest way to decide which Native American Flute best suits you.

In New Zealand, you can buy a Native American Flute from:

Try before you buy

You can ‘try before you buy’ with our Rent A Flute service (available to NZ and Australian postal addresses only). Rental fees are deducted from final purchase price, making it a great avenue to buy a Native American Flute.