Buying a new flute means experiencing a new way of playing, especially if you're upgrading from a beginner or intermediate model to a professional instrument. The chance to take your ability to the next level is an exciting one, but some people who upgrade their flutes are left disappointed.
The problem is that no two flutes are the same, and that can be quite a shock if you've only ever played one. Even if you have used several different flutes, moving to a professional flute can be more difficult than you anticipate.
In some cases, this causes people to abandon their new flute and move back to the old one, which is not only disappointing but a waste of time and money. Instead of doing that, you just need to put a bit of effort into getting used to your new flute. Here are some tips to help you.
Persevere, then persevere some more
It should go without saying that plenty of practice is usually the best way to get accustomed to a new flute, but too many people give up too quickly.
Even if you feel like you're getting nowhere, every practice session gets you a little bit closer to adapting to your new flute, so don't give up.
You may find it useful to add basic exercises to your practice sessions, even if you don't normally do them.
Get to know the important differences
One of the most obvious differences you'll often find between basic and professional flutes is the presence of open holes. They give you new expressive possibilities and are necessary for advanced pieces, so concentrate on getting used to them if your new flute has them.
Different manufacturers sometimes tune their flutes to different pitches, so you should find out what yours is and how it differs to your previous one. This can help you adjust to producing the right tones.
Make temporary adjustments
If you're struggling to adjust to open holes, you can buy plugs to close them off. This lets you work towards mastering the flute's other differences before you tackle this extra step.
When flutes have a tuning you're not used to, it can sometimes be adjusted by moving the headjoint in or out. If you're not sure how to do this accurately, a music teacher or flute retailer will usually be able to help.
Consider more lessons
You may have reached the point in your flute mastery where you no longer take lessons, preferring instead to practice on your own.
If you're stuck in a rut and you feel like your new flute is getting the better of you, booking a few extra lessons can be just what you need to get past it and start enjoying your new instrument.