I want to learn flute i already know how to play but I only play flute that has hole at its top position and from which I have blow from its top side.

but one of my friend did advice that sound of flutes that have circle hole on side position has more good sound looks good as well. so i want to try for it. on top side hole flute i do put right hand fingers on first 3 hole on flute and left hand fingers i put on down three hole on flute.

for flute that have circle hole on side which hand side circle hole will be good for me?

from comments and answers I want to add some specifications now I know that there are too many variations of flutes with different notation keys to different numbers of hole and among these i found two are the most conman that are fipple (the one i used to play top side blow) and another is transverse that i want to learn.

I used to play flipple by having right hand near to mouth.

I did found two kind of transverse flute in the music shop near me. one is flute in which blow hole and all the key notation holes are in linear (same line) and another one in which one blow hole is little bit downer line than key holes. when i try the one in which all holes are in one line I did not able to make even sound. and when I tried to play another transverse (blow hole was downer than key holes) I able to make sound but confused with with finger position as right hand near to mouth was bit uncomfortable. please see the link for making understanding more clear. here is the one with blow hole downer.


and here is the other kind of transverse https://www.amazon.in/Professional-Flute-Scale-V-440-Bansuri/dp/B00SPRC8V4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1537783877&sr=8-2&keywords=side+flute

which one i should go for to and is there really not any option for different right handed or left handed persons?

  • Flute or recorder? For both, most right handed people use l.h. fingers for the holes closest to the blow-hole, and r.h. for the others. Otherwise, if it's transverse flute, the arms will be crossed.
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 8:47
  • @Tim among flute or recorder I mean flute or say bansoori (Indian Style Bamboo flute) what you mean by transverse flute?. I am not aware about terminology with regarding to flute as I am self-taught flutist. may key instrument is harmonium based on that I learned flute. Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 9:00
  • 1
    The one that's held to the right hand side, with a hole that's blown across. Usually silver in colour, around 26" long. But with many more holes and several levers. 'Flute' seems to mean different instruments in different parts of the world.
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 9:05
  • @Tim Okay got it. thanks for information. I was not aware about this numbers of variations. Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 9:44

3 Answers 3


Before Theodore Boehm had his wicked way with the flute to produce the silver typewriter we know today, side-blown aka transverse flutes had wooden bodies, open holes, and a varying number of additional keys (from no keys to 8 keys or more) to assist with accidentals. You will sometimes see these called 'simple system' flutes, and there are many fine instrument makers still producing this type of flute all over the world today for use in a variety of folk and classical musics.

However [apart from specially made variants for particular individual customers] all of them, whether Boehm or not, are designed to have the left hand nearer the mouth and the flute to the player's right. Apart from anything else the embouchure hole will only have been cut so that it produces the required edge when blown with the flute in the normal, right-handed position. Also if you learn on a keyless flute and then later decide to upgrade to a keyed flute, the keys will all be in the wrong position unless you start with left hand closer to the mouth.

Different makers do indeed produce instruments with varying size of finger holes, and the spacing of those holes can also vary; the only way to find out what suits you is to play a few and see which suits your hands. Assuming the maker has done their job and the flute plays in tune (rather than it being a toy or tourist souvenir item, with the holes bored for decorative purposes), there is no one hard and fast correct solution that anyone can possibly advise.

  • thanks @Steve M i got it. In music there is no short cuts or options but still want to choose best alter natives to not re-practicing my hand position. did update my question please give me a valuable advice. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 10:18
  • The two links you have provided are for two different instruments, and which one you choose should be determined by the music you want to play, what inspired you to what to learn the instrument, and your own personal circumstances. This is not the sort of decision that can be made for you by people on an Internet forum. Go with the one that appeals to you and be prepared to put the hours in practicing, Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 7:13
  • yes probably you are right but I was confused over could I play flute with side hole without switching of hand position? or should i choose flute according to my habitual hand as i am not that much known about flute but okay now among both of them I did choose the flute with blow hole is downer than others as its easier to make sound rather than other one. thanks for your information. Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 10:48

You can buy a left handed flute for around 700 euros. I can't play right handed flutes AT ALL. I've tried. Just google 'buy left hand flute'.


There are transverse flutes (the ones you hold sideways) and the kind where you blow in the top. In Western music that's the orchestral flute and the recorder. Plus many ethnic variants of both. And many more world-wide.

There are top-blown flutes where you have to direct the air with your lips onto an edge, where the vibration is produced. But a lot of top-blown flutes are 'fipple flutes', where the air flow is channeled through a duct onto the edge. Much easier to play, but not as controllable.

I think all side-blown flutes are the kind where the player has to direct the air flow himself.

Either way, there's no 'handedness' in wind instruments. Get the one that fits the kind of music you want to play. Put your hands in the standard position for that instrument. The orchestral flute is held to the player's right, left hand fingers the keys nearest to the player. It may well be that there are varieties of flute worldwide that are held differently. But you don't need to worry over choosing a 'right-handed' or 'left-handed' version.

Sorry if this is a bit obvious, but do have a look at the Wikipedia page about flutes!


  • okay got it update my question above. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 10:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.