A “Golden Eagle” in the key of F# by High Spirits is a great Native style flute for beginners. It is well-made, properly tuned, and affordable. This line of instruments is being made in the United States and it comes with worldwide shipping.
I honestly recommend this brand of flutes for most beginners, since you get a good product for an affordable price and you can be sure this flute will simply work the way you want it. If you’re just starting out, you may be scared when shopping online for woodwind instruments, but High Spirits is a well-known brand you can trust. They do not produce the top-line instruments, but when it comes to starter flutes, there’s nothing better out there.
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This particular instrument you’re seeing here is an alto flute. Made of Aromatic Cedar, it has a wonderful, hard to describe scent, that is still present, although a little faded, after owning this flute for about 7 years (and yes, this is my own instrument I bought with my own money).
As a typical Native American style flute, it is tuned to Minor Pentatonic scale and it is a six holes flute, although the third note from the top is usually covered with a piece of leather. It has a nice, soft sound, although it is a bit airy for my taste. Be aware that the airness or crispness of the sound will vary from flute to flute, as not every Golden Eagle is made the same. In my case, my flute has a splitting plate glued to the sound mechanism, and High Spirits sometimes utilize this technique for tuning purposes. Your copy may not have the splitting plate.
The mouthpiece is wonderful, its shape allows you to play various articulations and use numerous techniques for breath control and let it be known, the simplicity of playing often depends on the shape of the mouthpiece. The flute itself, being an alto F#, requires a bit more air pressure when playing the top notes, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to master this.
The finger holes span is rather OK for most people, and the holes are spread evenly, with the first and six hole no more than 16 centimeters, or 6 inches, apart. People with small fingers should avoid this model, and rather go for a flute in the key of A or G, when unsure and shopping online.
On the cons side, the flute has this mass-produced feel to it. The holes and openings are cut with a laser and they look perfect. It’s all glossy and plastic-like, but that’s just my feel. This mass-production lowers the price at the cost of lost uniqueness and “crafty” feel. That said, for a little more than 200 dollars, a beginner receives a well-made instrument that will last for many years, is easy to play, and can be purchased online from a reliable flutemaker.
A “Golden Eagle” is available for 225 US dollars, and you can either purchase an Aromatic Cedar or a Walnut version.