Advantages of an Open-Hole Flute

Owning an open-hole flute is more than just an ownership of a more advanced flute, it is permission to start doing more advanced techniques and to really make your flute playing very serious. What really makes an open-hole flute all that important though? Is it purely cosmetic? Does it improve your tone? Hopefully, I will be able to dispell some of those questions for you.

What is an open-hole flute?

The open-hole flute is a type of flute typically played by more advanced players, as they allow for more advanced techniques such as multiphonics, glissandos, and quarter tones. Some of these techniques are able to be done on closed-hole flutes, but are more sucessfully done on an open-hole flute. On an open-hole flute, the main five keys on the flute (A, G, F, E, D keys) have a hole in the center of the key isntead of the common closed hole keys.

Do open-hole flutes look better?

This is a completely opinionated answer. I can't give you a correct answer to this because it is different to everyone. Depending on the manufacturer, the open-holes may have engravings or special designs used to further enhance the look of the flute.

Do open-hole flutes make you sound better?

This is a statement that has been under question for a long time. Buying yourself an open-hole flute will not automatically make you sound better. What I have found though, is that when a player is able to play with the open holes, they feel more confident, which helps their playing in the long run.

There is a lot of technical debate about the chimey of the key, which may affect how the air is going through the flute. There is also a lot of debate about how much air is escaping if your open holes are not entirely covered, but if you have experience with an open hole model, this should not be a problem.

Let's Break It Down!


  • Looks more professional
  • Allow you to play more advanced techniques
  • Can affect your confidence level after mastered
  • Better attack on notes
  • Runs sound more defined
  • Gives you better connection with your flute (you can literally feel the notes being played in your fingertips)


  • Can be hard to master at first
  • Air can leak if not done properly
  • Is more expensive
  • Can be frustrating
  • Impossible to play with if you have injury on finger without a plug
  • Can induce a stress injury on your hand as you cannot get lazy and still play it well, which may cause your hands to be continually in stress.