Music

The 8 Best Pan Flutes of 2022

Pan Flute – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis

Many people agree that the pan flute has one of the sweetest and most relaxing sounds among the wind instruments. For this reason, it has more and more interpreters. However, if you are going to buy one, you have to take into account some aspects, such as the material it is made of and the distribution of the tubes. For example, the GEWA 700285 model offers you a curved ergonomic design and is made of bamboo. Another good option could be the Cusco Qt-20 flute, with its traditional Peruvian design and double row of tubes, as well as a very colorful decoration.

The 8 Best Pan Flutes – Opinions 2022

There are so many pan flute manufacturers out there that finding the best product can be a complex project. However, by reviewing a selection of products that have received good references from their buyers, you could have a better chance of making the right purchase. Here are 8 models that are considered among the best pan flutes of 2022.

1. GEWA 700285 Zampoña in C 18 tubes

Whether you’re just starting to play the panpipe or looking for an option tuned in a specific key, this model might be of interest to you. It consists of 18 tubes to cover a convenient range of notes. But in addition, the manufacturer offers you the possibility of acquiring it in different keys, so that you have the registry of tones that you like the most. Thus, you can choose between C major, B flat, etc.

On the other hand, regarding its appearance, it is a panpipe made of bamboo wood, so its appearance and natural color are part of its appeal; but you should also know that the wood has a special treatment, so it will last longer and could better tolerate exposure to humidity in the environment. As for its ergonomics, it has a curved design, so you can play more comfortably, something that performers appreciate.

To buy the best pan flute of the moment, it is best to analyze each product in detail. Below we show you a summary of the highlights of this zampoña.

Pros

Ergonomics: Thanks to its design with curved tubes, you can have comfortable access to the tones.

Appearance: Due to its manufacture in bamboo wood, it has a rustic and beautiful design.

Durability: The wood has been treated with paraffin to extend its useful life and prevent it from being damaged.

Cons

Number of pipes: It is not the pan flute with the most tones in our selection. However, it offers a wide range of notes.

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2. Cusco Qt-20 1 1/6 Octave Panpipes

Among the pan flutes that are played most frequently in Peruvian music, we find the one with a double row of tubes; a distribution that prevents the instrument from being so long and adds practicality. If this design is what you are looking for, the Cusco brand model could be the best pan flute for you.

Its structure is made up of 23 tubes, which provides great versatility when interpreting melodies, but if you want one with less register of notes, you can opt for the version that has only 13. On the other hand, its appearance is very attractive, since that, in addition to a natural finish with a brown lacquer, adds colorful and traditional woven ribbons from Peruvian culture, an aspect that makes it more striking. Also, you can easily wear the instrument around your neck or hang it up when not in use.  

Before choosing any flute, we recommend you to analyze in detail its positive features and if there is anything to improve. More information about this product in our pros and cons section.

Pros

Notes: Because it has 23 pipes, you can play melodies with a wide range of notes.

Decorative: It is a visually pleasing flute, which could even offer decorative purposes.

Comfort: Thanks to its neck strap, you can easily transport and store it.

Cons

Alignment: Due to the fact that the technique of fastening the tubes is by means of ties, they could move slightly out of place with use.

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3. Vangoa Pan Flute 16 Pipes Key C Zampoñas

If you are wondering which is the best pan flute for beginners, we invite you to review this option from the Vangoa brand, as it has designed a flute that adds a couple of special pieces among its accessories, so that the execution is much simpler in comparison. with those of traditional appearance. This can prevent you from giving up learning to play and the experience is much better.

As a consequence of these attributes, you won’t have to worry about finding the right angle between your lips and the flute, allowing you to focus your attention on learning the location of the notes, to get your first melodies with this beautiful instrument. On the other hand, its tuning in C provides you with an easy scale to study and with a large repertoire of musical pieces.

Another advantage in this model is that everything can be stored properly in its case, to keep it organized and prevent damage.

Vangoa could become the best brand of pan flutes for beginners with this model. Let’s see if it is the instrument that best meets your expectations.

Pros

Objective: Thanks to its design, it can help beginners to easily play their first pieces of music.

Progressive: Due to its modes of use, you can choose the one that best suits your needs and abilities.

Quality: The model offers good finishes and is made of resistant and easy-to-clean materials.

Cons

Tuning: This model, unlike other flutes, does not offer other tunings, which could be a disadvantage.

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4. Selling Zampoña Bamboo pan flute

Not all panpipe players look for options with a large number of notes. In fact, beginners prefer those with fewer tubes, as they are lighter and make learning easier. If this is your case, we recommend you review this model, as it consists of 13 tubes arranged in a linear fashion, so you could have more than one octave to play your favorite melodies. 

Similarly, it might be attractive to know that it is one of the cheapest in our selection, so getting a pan flute will not cost you too much money and could be an investment that offers you many hours of entertainment and relaxation.

The instrument has been carefully made manually, so it includes a craft value. In addition, its decorative ribbons show colorful woven designs, a quality that allows you to use it both to make music and for decoration.

If you have a collection of instruments at home, don’t forget to add a pan flute, as its beautiful sound could be the perfect complement to many melodies.

Pros

Notes: Because this model includes more than an octave of notes, it is considered practical for teaching purposes.

Appearance: Due to its colorful design that adds hand-woven ribbons, this instrument could also have a decorative function.

Ergonomics: The distribution of its curved tubes makes it easy to access the tones comfortably when playing.

Cons

Finishes: Compared to other models, the details of the wood may be more rustic.

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5. GEWA 700324 G M 22-pipe pan flute

In Europe the pan flute has a long tradition, that is why we can find very beautiful melodies that have been composed specifically for this instrument. If what you are looking for is a versatile flute with a beautiful appearance, take a look at what the GEWA brand can offer you in this model.

In relation to its note register, you will have a wide range of them due to its 22 tubes arranged in a linear arrangement. In addition, you will be able to choose its tuning in different keys, for example, G major or D major.

Another quality that we want to highlight is its lightness, since the manufacturer indicates that it has an average weight of 358 grams, so you will not get too tired holding it during your practices. Likewise, we would like to point out that its manufacture has been carried out manually, in maple wood with transparent varnish, which gives it a natural appearance.

If you still don’t know which pan flute to buy, but don’t want to be limited in the number of notes, this model could be what you’re looking for.

Pros

Tuning: You can choose two versions of this instrument (G major and D major) to adjust it to your favorite melodies.

Note range: It is a flute that offers a large number of notes, so you can cover high and low registers without problem. 

Ergonomics: Its curved design facilitates execution making it more comfortable.

Cons

Case: The product does not include any transport or storage case, so you will have to purchase it separately.

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6. Musik Plaschke Pan Flute R 18 G made in Tyrol

Representing one of the most traditional pan flute designs, the Plaschke brand presents us with this model with 18 pipes distributed in a linear fashion; with a soft curvature that helps make the execution more comfortable.

In relation to its sound, the flute is tuned in G major and users rate it positively, as it is capable of providing a balanced tone, which meets the expectations of various musicians, both beginners and advanced.

On the other hand, it should be noted that the brand has extensive experience in the manufacture of various instruments, including pan flutes, offering very strict material selection techniques, which are combined with manufacturing processes that meet rigorous quality standards.. In addition, Plaschke offers reasonable costs, so this model could well be the best price-quality pan flute in our selection.

Before making a hasty decision, we recommend that you carefully review each aspect of the flutes that have caught your attention. Know the pros and cons of this model.

Pros

Quality: Its manufacturer has great experience in making flutes, which adds confidence.

Ergonomics: Linear distribution with curvature easily adapts to the shape of the lips for comfortable performance.

Natural: You should not worry about exposing your skin to contact with unhealthy substances, since it does not include varnishes.

Cons

Storage: No case is offered in the purchase set, which is recommended to protect the instrument.

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7. H Hilabee Pan Flute 18 Pipes C Key

A material that has managed to offer several advantages to the pan flute is ABS plastic. Among its contributions we can say that it has made them cheaper, easier to maintain and very light. That is why those who begin to practice prefer them, because they do not have to spend so much money to acquire their instrument. They can also have, like the wooden ones, a very pleasant sound.

A good example of this type of pan flute is the one offered by the H Hilabee brand, with its black 18-cylinder model. Unlike other flutes, this one has a linear layout. Likewise, the mouthpieces of each cylinder offer an inclination that helps in the execution, to make it easier and to achieve the expected tone without further complication. On the other hand, it has a C major tuning and as for its appearance, you could buy it in three color versions, to satisfy your preferences.

If you think that this is the model you need, you might be interested in its pros and cons.

Pros

Performance: Beginner students can get accurate tones with ease due to the design of the mouthpieces.

Note register: Due to its 18 pipes, it offers a wide variety of notes tuned in C major.

Maintenance: You don’t have to worry about humidity affecting the instrument and you can wash the flute with water for a deep cleaning.

Cons

Tones: The manufacturer does not offer this model tuned in other tones, which is a disadvantage compared to other pan flutes.

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8. SMAA Traditional Chinese Musical Instrument 22 Tubes

Those who prefer instruments made of traditional materials, in this case wood, the option we are analyzing could provide them with just what they are looking for. It is a carefully carved 22-note pan flute, in which the natural qualities of bamboo wood can be appreciated.

For added comfort, the mouthpieces feature an ergonomic design, with a slightly rounded edge at an angle; thus, your lips will not suffer from irritation after a practice session. It also highlights the placement of the cylinders, which is slightly curved to add ergonomics.

If you are wondering about the notes that you could play, you should know that this flute can be purchased, depending on its availability, both tuned in G, F or C. Therefore, it can be adapted to your favorite musical pieces. In addition, to make it more resistant, the material has been treated with paraffin, preventing it from cracking or absorbing moisture.

Due to its good finishes and wide range of notes, this flute could meet the expectations of higher level students and performers. Learn more below.

Pros

Tuning: You can purchase this pan flute in 3 different tunings, thus covering a greater number of notes in the musical scale.

Natural: It is made from materials such as bamboo wood, which gives it a beautiful and traditional appearance.

Design: Its distribution of tubes helps so that you can play comfortably.

Cons

Color: Due to the natural wood of this instrument, there may be variations in color from that shown.

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Shopping guide

Because panpipes are typically handcrafted instruments, each piece is unique. This determines its appearance, but also the quality of its sound. To help you choose among so many options, we show you a guide to buying the best pan flute, which will be useful to have a clearer understanding of the aspects to take into account in your selection.

Materials and finishes

Originally pan flutes could be made of clay, stone or wood. However, we currently find them made mainly of plastic or wood, the types used in the latter material being very diverse. In this regard, each interpreter will have their own preferences when making a comparison of pan flutes, but we want to mention that this point will determine how much the instrument costs; being, generally, more expensive the pan flutes elaborated in wood. The reason is that the processes used for its manufacture are carried out manually. Now, if your budget is a bit limited, you can always find a good and cheap option made of plastic.

In addition, we do not want to forget the external appearance, because for many flutists it is very important that it is a beautiful instrument and that it transmits part of the culture to which it belongs. In this sense, some Latin American, African, European, etc. decorations could be sought.

Types of flutes and distribution of tubes

Although all those instruments made up of tubes into which you blow are called pan flutes, you should know that there are different types, which are a little different in their structure and, therefore, you must choose which one you are looking for.

If you are going to start learning the pan flute, you should look for the distribution of tubes that you need. It is necessary to know if you want one in which the cylinders are placed next to each other in a linear way, or if you prefer one with a double row. The technique will be different to be able to play each type. Although, probably, as you gain skill, it will be easy for you to adapt to one style or another.

Tuning

Although the flutes can be very similar in appearance, a slight variation in the length of the tubes makes the tuning different. This is probably not important if you plan to purchase a flute for purely decorative purposes. However, if your intention is to learn to play this instrument, you have to make sure that the sound is of quality and that it is correctly tuned in relation to a musical scale.

In this sense, you will find pan flutes tuned in C major, G major, etc. This point should not be ignored, because if you plan to play a melody that includes, for example, an F natural in its score, you will not be able to play such a note on a flute tuned to G major. In case you don’t want to be limited in this regard, you can also find some flutes with a complete note register. You just have to make sure that the flute has a chromatic tuning.

On the other hand, we want to limit that there are very sophisticated versions of this type of flutes, which are considered professional; since they include the option of altering the tuning in each tube in a simple way through a rod. These flutes have a higher cost, but meet the needs of expert players who seek versatility for this instrument.

note range

Since each pipe included in a panpipe is associated with a note, then a panpipe with more number of pipes will offer a greater range of notes in the musical scale. This must be taken into account so that when interpreting a melody with low and high registers you do not have limitations.

Generally, flutes ranging from 7 to 22 tubes can be purchased. Of course, the more records, the bigger, heavier and more expensive it could be. In this sense, the flutes that have few cylinders may be the most suitable for those who begin their musical education. With the passage of time, they could acquire another flute with a greater range of notes and according to their skill level.

Accessories

Some pan flutes are true works of art, the result of long hours of manual work and their cost is not exactly affordable. The safest thing is that if you want to buy a flute with these characteristics, you want to preserve it from agents that can damage it. In this case, it may be convenient to check if a bag or case is included in the purchase package to store the flute and transport it comfortably.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: How to use a pan flute?

The sounds obtained from the pan flute or zampoña are characterized by their soft and harmonious timbre, which transmits tranquility to many people. However, you may encounter some difficulties in outputting quality sound.

Among the aspects that you can take into account are the position of the lips and where you send the air. Experienced interpreters recommend that you find a position of the mouth similar to the one you acquire when you pronounce the letter “T”. With this the air gets more momentum, you will achieve notes with greater strength and sharpness.

Similarly, you must pay attention to the inclination of the flute, this will be much more relevant if it is one of two rows of tubes, since the technique to access the notes involves constantly moving it up and down.

On the other hand, as with any wind instrument, it is important that you learn to control your breathing. This will prevent you from experiencing dizziness and headaches after your first few practice sessions. Similarly, it is good to know that flutes with high notes are usually easier, because they do not require you to project as much air to make sound. On the contrary, those pan flutes with low notes need more air, so that it runs through the entire cylinder. At first it is normal that you have a hard time giving power to these notes.

Finally, we do not want to forget to mention that the maintenance of the flute is important, especially if it is a wooden one. In these cases you should keep it away from moisture, avoid exposing it to sudden changes in temperature or clean it with damp cloths. It is better that you use some special oil, being careful not to place it where your lips touch the instrument, unless it is a non-toxic substance. 

Q2: How to make a pan flute?

There are numerous options for making your own pan flute. You could use pretty much any cylinder-shaped material that is hollow; for example, straws, PVC pipes, etc. If you have a bamboo at home, with the surplus of its pruning you could make one, you just have to make sure that the wood is completely dry.

He proceeds to cut the cylinders, respecting the lengths, so that they are smaller and smaller, with the intention of playing different tones. Don’t forget to close one of the ends, so that the air can produce sound. Later, you can help yourself with a digital tuner to verify that each tube gives the tone you want. Finally, it only remains to place each tube next to the other and tie them together.

Q3: Where is the pan flute from?

The clear origin of this instrument has not been determined, since there are similar versions made in Greece 400 years BC. C.; traces of a similar musical instrument can also be found in the Han dynasty of China 200 BC. C. However, its greatest diffusion has occurred in Latin America, where it has been part of popular folklore for hundreds of years, forming an important part of its music.

Q4: Why is it called a pan flute?

This name is due to the fact that in Greek mythology the god Pan is attributed the creation of this instrument for the first time. However, its variations have other names such as zampoña, siringa, siku, etc.

Q5: Which is better, wooden or plastic pan flute?

The choice of pan flute material will depend on the performer. In this sense, each flute will have a different nuance in its sound depending on the chosen raw material. Your choice could also be subject to the type of maintenance and its lightness. While plastic is easy to clean and is not affected by moisture, wood requires more delicate treatment and special maintenance to prevent its structure from fracturing.

Q6: How do you tune a pan flute?

In simple flutes, the length of each cylinder that makes up the flute is what generates the tone that it will emit. Therefore, to tune the flute, this length must be adjusted until the desired note is achieved. However, there are tunable versions that have a small piece of wood that can be adjusted with a rod, in such a way that it must be moved up or down until the cylinder generates the exact note.

Q7: Which is better, pan flute with pipes in line or in parallel?

This depends on the type of flute and the skill of the player, who might feel more or less comfortable with one layout than the other.

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