Buying an overtone flute

Overtone flutes are manufactured today mainly by handwork. As concerning almost any musical instrument: both the player and the instrument are unique individuals so it is wise to try flutes before buying. Some flutes are good for playing low overtones, some work better with high tones. A suitable flute is determined by the nature of the repertoire to be played, player’s playing touch and playing technics to be used. For example if the player wants to use tying two closed notes (closed flute end) he or she needs a flute good for that purpose. Some thick and low overtone flutes have characteristic timbre which can be used e.g. to make some rhythmic effects and patterns, but playing high melodies may require excessive use of air and sound unpleasant etc etc. Choosing a good flute for your own playing touch is practically possible not until you already have some experience in playing overtone flute. Choosing the first overtone flute is always a kind of a compromise. It helps if flute makers have published some sound samples of the flutes.

Here is a short list of overtone flute makers (if you know more of them please let me know):

Rauno Nieminen (pitkähuilu/Finnish side-blown overtone flute)

Juhana Nyrhinen (pitkähuilu/Finnish side-blown overtone flute)


Kirsi Vinkki (pitkähuilu/Finnish side-blown overtone flute)

Max Brumberg (side-blown and end-blown overtone flutes)

Winne Clement (overtone flute)

Shop Nadishana (overtone flute)

Steinar Ofsdal (vårfløyta/seljefløyta/Norwegian side-blown overtone flute) (overtone flute/koncovka/Slovakian end-blown overtone flute) (Pikkvile/Estonian side-blown overtone flute): (Tilinko) (sälgflöjt/Swedish side-blown overtone flute)

Magnar Storbækken (seljefløyte/sallow flute/Norwegian side-blown overtone flute)

Thomann (overtone flute)