Flutes for Irish Music - Introduction



Welcome to the illustrated catalogue of the Irish flutes I make.  There are a lot of things to talk about, so I've set it out as a guided tour, with different pages for different topics.  You can continue from topic to topic, or return at any time to the home page.

As we proceed, I'll be putting many options in front of you - different models of flutes, different styles of heads, keys, accessories and so on.  I'd suggest you keep a piece of paper beside you, and make a note of your preferred option in each area.  Then, when we get to the end, you can check that against the pricelist.

Before we start though, I'm aware many people have never seen an Irish flute close up.  We might also use different terminology, so let me introduce you to the words I'll be using on the rest of our tour.

A Close Look at the Irish Flute

Here's one of my typical Irish flutes - my Rudall Perfected model, in African Blackwood with Classical Cylindrical Head,  Mk III New Improved Tuning Slide, 6 sterling silver keys and Long D foot.  We'll identify some points of interest along the way.  Depending on your browser, the writing may not quite line up.  I'm sure I can trust you to use your imagination!


Screw cap
(turning the cap adjusts the position of the stopper, located just above the embouchure hole)

Embouchure Hole
(where you blow!)
Tuning Slide
(Pulling the head out from the barrel adjusts the flute into tune with other instruments)
(with left hand finger holes)
Bb Key

(Left Thumb)


C Key

(Right Hand Index Finger)



G# Key

(G# and Long F both operated by left hand fourth finger)

Long F Key



Short F Key

(Right Hand Third Finger)

(Right Hand finger holes)


Eb Key

(Right Hand Fourth Finger)



Vent Holes
(where C and C# keys would
formerly have been)


Next, About My Flutes ...

Or, back to McGee Flutes home page...