What is the Difference Between Bamboo and Wooden/Irish/Celtic Flutes?
The bamboo flute will give you all you need to learn flute and build a credible repertoire. You can do pretty much anything on the bamboo flute you can do on a more traditional (European) wooden flute. In some cultures, much more intonation and voicing is provided on the bamboo flute than on modern classical or wooden flutes. It has a slightly warmer voice than hardwood (more refined), and tends toward larger holes and a different finger stretch, at least as we design them. For Celtic music, we tend to recommend the D alto, standard to Irish or Celtic music, with the G, A, and F following behind that in popularity. The primary plus of the wooden flute is a greater likelihood of longevity, as the bamboo is considerably more prone to cracking. We find a well made and cared for flute will give you years of use, but bamboo has an unpredictable nature inherent to the "wood" (actually, a grass....) In general, I (Zacciah, the flutemaker,) prefer the bamboo, but have a bias toward it, it being my first flute. If you wish to invest in long term tradional playing, I would recommend the hardwood. We can provide templates of some of our bamboo flute fingerings. The instructions will show you how to map out the fingering to see if you can fit the larger flutes (most adult hands have no problem with the A or G, few have problem with the F except smaller hands). The D can be problematic for anyone not used to flute, except larger hands.