Hey Flute Players,

I want to get my first Irish flute and I need some guidance as to where and what type of Irish flute I should get.  I've played tin whistle for about 2 years and classical flute for 7 years --so I think I'm kind of familiar with how to play those. 

I was thinking of getting a delrin plastic flute. 

Any thoughts?

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Have you seen Casey Burns' Folk Flutes?

They are wood, conical bore 'Irish" style flutes.(about $375)



I bought a Tipple PVC flute to see if I like flutes.

For the price, they are really decent. (about $100 more or less)



And you know that while less that perfect, some use modern Boehms for Irish Trad.

Jonnie Madden has one, and she Rocks!


NOT Jonnie, but not bad either.



Best, maki


I have seen the casey burnes folk flute --have you tried it?  I've tried to play irish music on my classical flute, but it not as fun as my whistle.  Lately, I mostly play my whistle, and I'm looking for a flute that's similarly easy to play. 

Thanks for posting the videos, I love that tinwhistler guy!


$100 PVC flute? Well, I might have been a tad negative about Delrin (which is polyacetal, if I remember correctly), but PVC? Now I am apoplectic!! What next - rolled up newspaper, recycled garden hose? For goodness sake, you have to pay double that price to get a reasonably decent tunable whistle!

Excuse me while I lie down and take a Vallium :-)

As for Boehm flutes, there are some excellent examples of Irish trad musicians who play well on the Boehm but there are many bad examples also. I was nearly sick when I heard James Galway doing it. The instrument is basically not suited and the typical Boehm player has to overcome years of inappropriate classical training. Some can do it but many can't. IMO, it's like Pavarotti trying to sing along with The Pogues. There I go again with my opinions!

BTW, I play whistle, flute and harmonica in a UK band called Waxie's Dargle, which is a Pogues cover band (I won't say "tribute"). I had to pay £220 (over $300) for two tunable whistles (Chieftain, by Kerry Whistles). I need good tone and, even with amplification, a lot of penetrative power to overcome the general noise level (our drummer is very spirited) and those whistles are awesome. You get what you pay for.

If you can afford better than get something better.

If you can afford an antique R&R, that is what I'd recomend.

Or get a used Orwell, Grinter or other top maker.

Absolutely, get the best tool you can afford!


But, there are many options on the lower end, if you don't have a trust fund.

For Irish flutes under $500 there are MANY options.

Casey Burns is very well respected, do a search on the C&F forum.

Other makers are Copely, Seery, M&E, WD Sweet, and others I forget.

The C&F board has used flutes at very attractive prices as do Whistle and Drum and

The Irish Flute Store.

Recent discussion on Derlin flutes at Chiff and Fipple http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=87788

Oh yeah, the TinWhistler guy is good, very good.

By the way whats yer tin whistle?

I'm not sure, I've had it probably since I was ten... I re-discovered it at my mom's house a few years ago. It's definitely cheap-o.  I should probably get a new one soon, the headpiece is cracked.

I thought all Californians were rich. Perhaps I have been watching too many American TV shows!

It is unfortunate if "snobbism" and/or brand/maker alone decides what one  'should' buy..

I have tried (briefly) a Rudall - i prefer my Murray to be honest. The best, by a fair stretch sounding flutes i have heard played live were Grinters, Murrays, one Tom Aebi and a Glenn Watson. Horses for courses. I know that Susato and Goldie high-D whistles are held in high regard, but i personally find both eye-watering obnoxious, with piercing 2:nd octave..

If at all possible, try the instrument before handing over cash, and don't be prejudiced because you haven't heard of the maker ;)

I wouldn't own whistles by Ian Turnbull and Gerry Freeman, a flute by Rob Forbes or a bodhrán by Breandan de Fáoihte if i had been "brand controlled" or gone by the "most expensive = best" thinking.

It could be an old Generation or Feadog. Cheap-o or not it could be a real honey.

Most of my whistles are inexpensive, of course I'm not a professional,  just a crapy n00b.

Not long ago I cracked the head of newish Freeman whistle by carrying it at work.

I wrapped the socket in dacron tread and fixed the tread in place with super glue.


Let us know what you get and how you get on with it.

My next flute is certainly going to be delin.


Well now, if sunshine were gold, then all Californians are rich indeed.;)

I am entirely a novice when it comes to information about irish flutes, but since you are asking......when I started playing irish music I bought a Casey Burns folk flute, it is keyless and was about $400 dollars. I love it and I get a lot of compliments on its sound. The one I chose also is designed with the holes closer together for players with smaller hands. It has been a good transition flute between my classical silver flute, and finally taking the plunge financially to get a wooden irish keyed flute. (Which I cannot afford yet). Currently I just switch back and forth between flutes depending on the mode/key the tune is in. I am curious what other experienced players think of the Casey Burns folk flute. 



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