The flute is one of the oldest instruments in the world. It has a rich history across the world in different religions and myths. While it’s often interpreted as a delicate, dainty instrument, it’s not always so light.
How much does a flute weigh? Flutes can vary very considerably in weight. The average flute can weigh anywhere from 0.8 lbs to about 2.2 lbs. The variation can come from the design, the type of flute, or even the material it’s made of.
Flutes are some of the lighter instruments that you can play. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t cause you to feel strain. That’s why you should choose a flute not just based on its design, but also on its weight and make.
If you prefer a specific material, you should know the answer to “How much does a flute weigh?” across your options.
Let’s dig deeper.
-You Can Find Out More About Ancient Flutes in This Blog–
How Heavy is a Flute on Average?
The weight of flutes can vary depending on the design or the material that they’re made of. Hence, it’s very important to know how heavy a material can be when you purchase your flute. Of course, certain materials are preferred by musicians. However, you need to be sure that the material you’re choosing is not too heavy for you.
Performing without that knowledge may lead to strain on your muscles. That can affect the performance.
Weights of Different Types of Flutes
|Flute Type||Weight (lbs)|
|Silver Soprano Flute||1.13|
Here we see that the Alto and Bass flutes weigh the most of all. However, this doesn’t really tell us whether the flutes vary by only material or design as well. The bass and alto flutes are very long compared to other types of flutes in construction.
How to Handle the Weight of a Flute?
Even if your flute is particularly heavy, you should be able to handle the weight.
Do You Need to Be Strong to Handle the Weight of a Flute?
This advice is straight from band directors and flutists who have experience with flutes day and night. They’ve practiced for years or months on end with flutes and know exactly where it can hurt when you strain your muscles. Thus, this advice is to be heeded with utmost concentration.
- Take short breaks often. This will ensure that your muscles aren’t under constant strain while you’re practicing. The few minutes between successive practice sessions can truly help a struggling musician when they’re aching.
- When you put your flute up, make sure it’s in the correct horizontal position each time. Your body will get used to where this is. This ensures that you don’t have to adjust yourself each time when you’re sitting down to practice.
- Place a weight at the end of your flute. When you practice with it, you’ll get used to the weight and it’ll make your arms and muscles stronger. When you take it off, the flute will automatically feel lighter to you.
- Do some flute ups when you lift your instrument into position each time. This will build up your muscles and lessen the strain in your hands and arms.
- Make sure to do flute ups on both sides so your muscles are balanced. There’s no use having one bulky and one non-bulky arm when you’re playing.
- Remember to stretch your arms before and after you’ve played the flute. This will make sure that your muscles don’t get locked into place. It’s also a great warm up to start you off.
- Don’t collapse your arms toward your body. Keep strong lines.
What are Flutes Made Of?
Flutes are typically made of 4 different types of materials. Here is a small breakdown.
1. Gold Flutes
Gold makes sure that your flute has a special glitter to it, of course. The sound carries for a long way even when it’s played in pianissimo. That’s why gold is often preferred to all other materials in flute making.
Gold flutes are the lightest and thinnest flutes when you consider overall dimensions. The standard sheet thickness is 0.3 mm while the Bijou-merville flute thickness is 0.28 mm.
2. Silver Flutes
Theobald Boehm refined the flute in the 19th century and selected silver as his material of choice. It’s said to produce a timbre that has the most “flute-like“ quality. However, the material often produces a flute of make that is thicker than gold at 0.38 mm.
Even the lightweight makes have a sheet thickness greater than standard gold flute thickness at 0.35 mm.
3. Wooden Flutes
Wooden flutes are the oldest type of flutes which are found in myths, legends, and other folk tales. They produced the most earthy, classical sounds. Wooden flutes today are often made from grenadilla which is very solid wood. It’s heavy enough to sink in water and has long been used in the manufacture of musical instruments.
The standard sheet thickness is much greater than either gold, silver, or copper-nickel at 3 mm.
4. Copper-Nickel Flutes
Copper-nickel flutes are made from the alloy and are durable. They give a clean response and are generally thought to be excellent in make. They give out a well-balanced sound and clear timbre for any register.
While copper-nickel flute thickness is greater than either gold or silver flutes, it’s not very much thicker at 0.4 mm.
With this information about flutes, you’ll be better equipped to pick one out for yourself and handle it better.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.