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One of the main things one should consider when buying a beginner's flute is price, although it's also important to choose items that are durable and have a decent sound quality. It's often a good idea to begin by renting a flute so that the student can get a good idea of the sound, playing capabilities, and feel of a particular model. It also gives them the chance to determine if the flute is for them.
Music stores often have flute rentals, as well as used and new items for sale. A beginner's flute generally does not have to be the best quality, especially if the player is a young child. Many beginner's models are made from nickel silver, a lightweight metal alloy. These are relatively durable and are able to take abuse from children who may drop, bump, or otherwise damage them. They are also much less expensive than higher quality models.
It is important to ensure that the beginner's flute is guaranteed for a certain amount of time. Many stores have repair facilities on site, so this is another good option to seek out, since repairs will be needed at some point. Additionally, some stores even have instructors on site who offer private music lessons.
The beginner's flute should be lightweight and easy to hold, especially if it is for a child since they have smaller hands than adults and may find using a larger instrument more difficult. Older children who are in middle or high school can often manage a full-sized option, but the weight issue is still important to consider, especially for those in marching band and similar scenarios.
Price is generally the deciding factor when choosing a beginner's flute. Although getting a good deal is important, it is also a good idea to shop around to ensure that the instrument being purchased is in good working order with no scratches, dents, or cracks. Buying used items is a good way to save money, but only if the seller will guarantee function with a warranty of some sort. Many overseas items are sold for very little money, but they are often not worth purchasing because they require constant repairs or replacement. Additionally, these items may contain lead.
The way to find a quality flute is to ask a flute instructor, retailer, or another player which items work best for beginners. Prices will vary, but these individuals can advise on which ones are worth the money and which ones aren't. They can also give advice on brands and models which are suitable for various age groups and skill levels.