One is faced with many choices when looking for an Irish flute. By “Irish flute” we mean a wooden flute, most commonly in the key of D, that is well-suited to playing traditional Irish music, with all of its nuance and subtlety. While some people play Irish music extremely well on modern, metal Boehm-system flutes, the vast majority of Irish flute players (Grey included) prefer the 19th-century wooden, simple-system flutes, or modern instruments based upon these 19th-century models. These are the kinds of flutes we sell. We do not sell modern, metal flutes.
Terry McGee’s Grey Larsen Preferred Flute. Grey’s favorite choice of all flutes is Terry McGee’s Grey Larsen Preferred model (popularly known as the GLP). Click here for information, to hear Grey play it and to view photos. A limited supply is available from us, with no waiting period. (Terry McGee is not taking flute orders from individuals at this time.)
The GLP models we offer for immediate delivery are keyless (with or without tuning slide) and the six-key model, all in African blackwood and sterling silver. From time to time we are have keyless models made of Delrin, a polymer material that is attractive to players who fear that their climate, camping activities or performance situations are just too harsh for wood. We can get keyless Delrin flutes by special order, as well as wooden models with fewer than six keys and made with different woods.
The GLP is a wonderful choice for people who want or need a more physically comfortable flute. It has relatively small finger holes, a smaller-than-usual outside diameter, and a lighter weight. This makes it very well-suited for players with smaller hands or hand impairments. The smaller finger holes also make the GLP one of the most nimble and responsive flutes available, qualities that Grey values very highly in the execution of Irish ornamentation techniques. He also finds that it has a lovely range of tonal qualities that he doesn’t often find with larger-holed flutes.
Casey Burns’ Flutes. Casey Burns’ Folk Flute fills the need that many players have for an excellent economy-priced flute in the key of D. Click here for more information, to see and hear Grey play it and to view video and photos.
Note that wooden versions of this flute are no longer available. The new resin version, coming in late November 2020, will cost $350, $100 less than the former model. Just like its wooden predecessor, it will be a very fine instrument, not only for the beginner, but for the experienced player on a budget.
The Folk Flute, and all of the Burns flute models, are available with three finger hole spacing options – Standard, Small-Handed and Large-Holed – and two finger hole alignment options – Ergonomic and In-line. The Ergonomic Small-Handed models are the most comfortable that we have ever seen for small-handed players, or those with hand impairments. Catering to such flute players is one of Casey Burns’ specialties, and in our opinion he has achieved the best level of comfort and playability we know of.
In addition to the Folk Flute, we can sell you any of the Casey Burns flute models, all of which Grey recommends. This includes his keyed flutes, and flutes in a wide variety of pitch levels. Please contact Grey to make arrangements. Buying your Burns flute through us helps to support the work Grey is doing in creating Irish flute and tin whistle instructional materials, and we are very grateful for your help in this regard.