Hall Crystal Flutes
Available in 15 decorations
Available in 9 different sizes
Which flute key/size is best?
Our Crystal Flutes come in nine sizes or keys ranging from the smallest D piccolo at 11 inches long to our largest C flute at 24.5 inches long. So if you are asking what is the best flute for you? There are a few factors to consider.
The size of the flute determines the pitch or key of the flute and the finger stretch required to play it. Our smaller flutes will be easy to cover the holes and play a higher pitch while our larger flutes will have a deeper tone, larger tone holes and a much bigger finger span necessary to cover the holes.
Embouchure has two meanings, It is the name of the top hole of the flute and it is also the way you shape your lips to produce a tone. The smaller flutes play an octave higher, will take a tighter embouchure with more air pressure, and will be placed higher on the lip. While our larger flutes play an octave lower, will have a looser embouchure with less air pressure and will be place lower on the lip.
If this is your first Hall Crystal flute then I would recommend one of our middle size flutes to get a balance between a smaller hand spread and easier embouchure. If you have large (man sized) hands and flexible fingers then the large D flute would be a possibility, this is my personal favorite for a deep tone and relaxed embouchure. For average sized hands I would recommend one of our G or A flutes, they still have a flute tone as opposed to a piccolo sound and a fairly relaxed embouchure. For very small hands (small woman or child sized) the D or C piccolo would be best, for you first must be able to seal the tone holes in order to play the flute. Please note Hall Crystal Piccolos produce a softer sweeter tone compared to a concert piccolo. I find then enjoyable to play and are more gentle on the ears.
Regarding the large C flute:
This flute is very large and I do not recommend this flute to anyone, especially as a first purchase. There is a reason the D flute was standard size for the 7 hole Renaissance flute. It is human sized. The modern C concert flute has a mechanical key system to assist in covering the holes making it playable. I am 5′-11″ tall and I can play the large C flute, but it is quite a stretch, and I cannot play it quickly for so much energy is devoted to covering the holes. On the positive side it has a lovely deep sound and is great for playing slower bass parts. It is a great addition to a collection for studio recording. This flute is a custom order/size and does not include our standard green foam lined box. It is shipped in a ridged cardboard tube which can be used for storage.
How does playing a Hall Crystal flute differ from a Concert flute
It’s made from glass:
Pyrex® or borosilicate glass is very hard and smooth it contains the vibrating air column very well while absorbing less of the harmonics. This makes for a clear sound a bright tone. This glass is unaffected by moisture and heat up to 400°F.
It has a Traditional 6-hole Fingering patterns:
Our flutes have a traditional 6-hole fingering system similar to a renaissance flute or penny whistle. Our fingering charts are available online. I personally use the D fingering chart for all of the flute sizes/keys, This way the fingering is closer to the modern flute and also automatically transposes the music and makes it more readable by placing the notes centered on the musical staff.
Our Hall Crystal Flutes play easily in two keys; it’s native key, (the key produced starting with all the tone holes covered), and the key a 5th above, (starting with just the top three holes covered). So, our D flute can easily play in the key of D and G using standard fingering.
While it is possible to play a chromatic scale by half covering the tone holes this takes technique and practice. Practically speaking the key of A adds only one half hole and is possible. Beyond that it is easier to choose a different key flute or have your accompanist use a capo or transpose for you.
This is not a difference but a similarity, Hall Crystal Flutes have a Boehm taper a the top of the flute. This give an extended range (2 1/2 octaves) over a straight bored bamboo or renaissance flute. It also improves tuning in the upper register and makes the fingering patterns the same for both the first and second octave.
Raised Tone holes and embouchure:
Concert flute and Crystal flutes both have raised tone holes. On the concert flute you have a pad and key to cover the hole. On the Crystal Flutes you have just the raised tone hole. It is fire polished and smooth and the raised edge makes it easy to make a good seal. The embouchure or mouth hole is also raised, this is necessary for good sound production. On a concert flute the raised embouchure is covered with a lip plate. On the Crystal Flute there is just a smooth raised edge. The difference being the Crystal flute will need to be placed slightly higher on the lip.
Available in different sizes or keys:
Each sized flute will need to be place differently on the lip. The piccolo will go much higher on the lip. I have heard many flutes players say, “I can’t play the Piccolo.” But, if they just move the piccolo up a bit, they have no difficultly getting a clear tone. The large D flute will be the closest embouchure wise to a concert flute, but still will still need to be moved slightly higher on the lip.