The Differences Between Open And Closed-Hole Flutes Thursday June 16 2022, 9:58 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
The Differences Between Open And Closed-Hole Flutes

Open Hole Flutes Vs. Closed Hole Flutes

You have two options when it comes to buying a flute. Which should you choose for your needs? Some say that closed-hole flutes are better for beginners, but I'd like to tell you why that isn't always the case.

Neither type of flute is wrong or right, and it's more about preference than anything. There are a lot of misconceptions and ongoing arguments when it comes to the debate between these two types, but don't let that deter you. Let's start by going over the simpler style. 

Related Post: Learn How To Play Flute - 3 Effective Methods

Closed Hole Flutes

A closed-hole flute (sometimes referred to as a plateau flute) simply has no openings on any of the holes. When you get this flute, you do not have to worry about covering holes the right way to hear the sound you desire.

This type of flute is often used for playing classical music and beginner music, but it is not always best for beginners to start here with this style.

Open Hole Flutes

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The open-hole flute is also called the "French" flute. This type of flute was introduced sometime in the 1800s by French flutists. This design has holes in the middle of 5 different keys (A, G, F, E, and D).

To get a good tone, you will need to properly close the holes, which may be a challenge for beginners at the start of their journey. Open flutes also give players the ability to bend notes ornamentally and play semitones, which often happens in more contemporary styles of flute music. 

Which Flute Is Better For Beginners? 

Most people believe that a closed-hole flute is the better option for beginner players because of how foreign good finger placement can feel at the start. When beginners play with a closed flute and do not cover the holes the right way, their tone won't sound as great.

But, some teachers argue that a closed flute will not challenge a beginner enough when it comes to good finger positioning, encouraging laziness in form. If you are buying a flute for a very young child, the closed-hole would definitely be the better option, but consider the benefit of the challenge for older players. 

Which Flute Is More Affordable? 

Since most people think closed flutes are better for beginners, a lot of people get elitist when it comes to playing the open-hole flute. This stigma among flute players has caused many high-quality flutes to be around $50 more than a closed-hole flute.

But don't let this deter you if you want to feel like you're a star with a closed-hole flute. Famous French flutist and teacher Marcel Moyse played one for his entire career!

Which Flute Sounds Better?

The big ongoing debate is centered around which flute sounds better. Many will say that the open flute sounds better because the tone is often richer. There are a couple of reasons this may be happening.

For one, since high-quality flutes tend to go with the open-flute style, the brands don't allow for closed-style flutes to be made which the same amount of attention.

The second reason is that open-flute players tend to have more control over what they can do with their pitch and tone, as I mentioned earlier with ornaments.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. As long as the player is not a very young child, they will be able to close the holes with their fingers if they decide to go that route.

Players can also consider getting open-hole flutes with plastic pieces that can plug the holes and can be taken out and put back in easily.

The only downside is that you may lose the pieces easily. If you're really looking for the best quality sound, pay more attention to the flute headjoint. That's where the quality comes from!


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Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!

If you are ever in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services for your music project or brand, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her song services page. As an Amazon Associate, Yona Marie earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon and other affiliate products are recommended to genuinely help readers and keep this site up and running as well.

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