World Flutes

The Essential Flute

The transverse flute is one of the most recognizable types of flutes in the world, and the silver, orchestral flute is the icon most people imagine when you say the word “flute”. However, transverse wooden and bamboo “folk” flutes come in all shapes and sizes and they have their own wonderful character. Using wood allows for a wide variety of visual styles as well as the ability to bring more control and consistency to the design, when compared to a material such as bamboo.

I’ve spent many years doing a lot of intensive research and development to perfect a deceptively simple looking one-piece flute that has the performance characteristics of a much more expensive instrument (I suggest reading my blog “The Flute That Changed Everything”). It has been quite a journey and I’ve made many dozens of prototypes in my quest for the perfect one-piece transverse flute, but at last I succeeded. These flutes have a cylindrical body but the head of the flute has a parabolic taper of the type used for silver flutes. This taper in the bore increases power and projection as well as balancing the tuning of the two octaves, turning this unassuming flute into something more.

Why do I call them the Essential Flute? They are the archetype image of that instrument, and I’m speaking of the image we had of the flute before the advent of modern keyed instruments. Additionally, they embody characteristics that make them suitable for many different styles of music. They play the classic diatonic major (do-re-mi) scale which is so ubiquitous throughout the world, and they have intonation accurate enough to rival the most sophisticated conical bore instruments, all with a sweet and powerful voice. A good player will find these flutes to be something that they can explore without running up against limitations.

Transverse flutes are embouchure flutes, requiring the player to create the airstream with their lips and direct it over the tone hole to create a sound. If you are new to this kind of flute, you will need to be patient with the learning process. If you already play other embouchure flutes (Silver flute, Quena, Shakuhachi, Xiao, etc.) you will find these flutes very accessible.

The most common tuning that I use for these flutes is the diatonic major scale in the key of D (do-re-mi scale) which makes them an excellent choice for all types of World music, including traditional Irish music–a nice option for players who want a high performance flute without spending a lot. I also make them in the keys of C (middle C), Eflat and F (for players with smaller hands).

NOTE: These flutes are ergonomically set up for right-handed players (meaning players who play with the foot of the flute pointing to the right). The embouchure hole is rotated six degrees toward the player, a common position chosen by most transverse flute players. Left-handed versions can be custom made upon request.

Sound Samples

Listen to Blayne Chastain (owner of the Irish Flute Store and ITM player extraordinaire) demonstrate both the D and Eflat tunings in the sound samples below.




Products In Stock




NEW! The Essential Flute, Black Walnut, Key of C

$399.00 (out of stock)

Essential Flute in beautiful black walnut, key of C. The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

The finger hole spacing on the C tuning is may not be suitable for players with smaller hands. In which case I’d recommend the keys of D, Eflat or F.

Sound sample coming soon!



NEW! The Essential Flute, Black Walnut, Key of Eflat

$399.00 (out of stock)

Essential Flute in beautiful black walnut, key of Eflat. The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

Listen to the amazing Blayne Chastain demonstrate the flute in the sound sample below.



NEW! The Essential Flute, Bocote, Key of D

$399.00

The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

The finger hole spacing on the D tuning may not be as comfortable for players with smaller hands, in which case I’d recommend the key of Eflat.

Listen to the amazing Blayne Chastain demonstrate the flute in the sound sample below.



NEW! The Essential Flute, Cocobolo, Key of D (domestic sale only)

$399.00 (out of stock)

Gorgeous Cocobolo Essential Flute in the key of D. The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

The finger hole spacing on the D tuning may not be as comfortable for players with smaller hands, in which case I’d recommend the key of Eflat.

Listen to the amazing Blayne Chastain demonstrate the flute in the sound sample below.

Due to CITIES restrictions on rosewoods, this flute is only for sale within the domestic U.S.



NEW! The Essential Flute, Curly Cherry, Key of C

$399.00 (out of stock)

Essential Flute in beautiful curly cherry wood, key of C. The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

The finger hole spacing on the C tuning is may not be suitable for players with smaller hands. In which case I’d recommend the keys of D, Eflat or F.

Sound sample coming soon!



NEW! The Essential Flute, Curly Maple, Key of Eflat

$399.00 (out of stock)

Essential Flute in beautiful curly maple, key of Eflat. The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

Listen to the amazing Blayne Chastain demonstrate the flute in the sound sample below.



NEW! The Essential Flute, Green Ebonite, Key of D

$499.00 (out of stock)

Visually stunning Essential Flute in D, made from Green ebonite (see comments below). The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

The finger hole spacing on the D tuning may not be as comfortable for players with smaller hands, in which case I’d recommend the key of Eflat or F.

Listen to the amazing Blayne Chastain demonstrate the flute in the sound sample below.

For players unfamiliar with ebonite, I strongly encourage you to read my blog entry on the subject. It is a truly amazing material for woodwinds of all kinds, and it is all-natural (not plastic or synthetic). Waterproof, stable and demonstrating superior acoustic properties.

Making ebonite is as much art as science, and colored ebonite is very expensive (but worth it!). My cost for materials for a flute of this size is $100 per piece, so the price of the flute reflects this.



NEW! The Essential Flute, Cumberland Ebonite, Key of D

$499.00

Visually stunning Essential Flute in D, made from Cumberland ebonite (see comments below). The Essential Flute is ideal for both Celtic music and World music of all kinds. Diatonic major tuning. Featuring a tapered head bore for improved intonation and projection. Ergonomic embouchure hole placement for right-handed player.

The finger hole spacing on the D tuning may not be as comfortable for players with smaller hands, in which case I’d recommend the key of Eflat or F.

Listen to the amazing Blayne Chastain demonstrate the flute in the sound sample below.

For players unfamiliar with ebonite, I strongly encourage you to read my blog entry on the subject. It is a truly amazing material for woodwinds of all kinds, and it is all-natural (not plastic or synthetic). Waterproof, stable and demonstrating superior acoustic properties.

Making ebonite is as much art as science, and colored ebonite is very expensive (but worth it!). My cost for materials for a flute of this size is $100 per piece, so the price of the flute reflects this.



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