A Guide to Buying an Irish Wooden Flute

Choosing your first beginner wooden flute can be a daunting task. There are many questions that arise. What are the different makes of flute? Which flute is the best for traditional Irish music? How much should I expect to spend on a beginner flute? Why do flute costs vary so much?

Well wonder no more. I’ve written this short and simple guide to answer all your questions.

I’ve compiled a list of the top tips to help you choose the right wooden flute for your needs. This post will equip you with all the knowledge you need to make a confident, well informed decision.

The sooner you have a brand new flute in your hand, the sooner you’ll be on your way to playing your first tune!


When considering what flute to buy its always best to do plenty of research. Congratulations, you’ve already started on that all important step.

By conducting online and instore research (where possible), you can gain knowledge on the different makes of flutes and see which one is right for you.

Its always good to talk to fellow flute players to get their opinions and recommendations. Though, flute preference can be subjective. Don’t worry too much if you find yourself disagreeing with them.

Any Irish flute teacher will also be able to give you some expert advice.

Beware a Bargain

When buying a flute, you should be wary of a deal that seems too good to be true. You know the old adage ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’. In some cases this can be right!

Cheap flutes can work out more expensive in the long run, as they’ll either force you to usually incur high running costs. If a poor quality flute is purchased it can be difficult to play, even some professional players will find it difficult to produce good sound on a poor quality flute.

In general, a good quality beginner flute will range from €300 – €800.

You might be surprised by this price range. It’s possibly a higher cost than you were expecting but it’s important to invest in a good quality wooden flute. A cheap instrument will produce a bad sound that will actively discourage a beginner flute player from continuing to play.

A well made, high quality wooden flute, crafted by an expert maker is a worthy long term investment in both yourself and your flute playing.

Keep Your Needs in Mind

That being said, while it’s important to think of your musical future, it’s also important to cater to your current needs as a player. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Keyed vs Keyless
I always recommend beginner flute players start out on a keyless wooden flute. Keyless flutes are lighter and easier to hold. Keys are an optional extra further down the line.

Synthetic vs Wooden
Synthetic flutes have come a long way in recent years. Delrin flutes in particular offer an excellent alternative to wooden flutes. Particularly for those living in hot, humid climates, or for flute players who are planning to travel with their instrument. Delrin is a robust, reliable material that will give you great value for money.

Beginner Flute Recommendations

Irish Wooden Flute Tuning - McNeela African Blackwood Flute

Here at McNeela Instruments we specialise in crafting flutes specially designed for beginner players. These flutes are easy to fill with air, easy to play and produce a a beautiful strong tone.

The Cygnet Rosewood Flute is an ideal beginner wooden flute, as is the McNeela African Blackwood Flute.

Alternatively our synthetic flutes such as the Lon Dubh Polymer Flute or our Carbony Carbon Fibre Flute are great options for beginner flute players.

We also stock excellent beginner flutes by the brilliant Des Seery.

Other flute makers we can highly recommend include Arie De Keyser, Sam Murray and Martin Doyle.


To learn more about our full range of Irish flutes, have a read of our blog post: McNeela Irish Flutes – Which One Is For You?

Best of luck with your search!

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