Yamaha YFL-221 Student Flute Review

Yamaha YFL221 flute

Yamaha YFL-221 Student Flute

BIG Rating

The Yamaha YFL-221 student flute is one of the most highly recommended student flutes and makes BIG's best student flute list.

Yamaha is known for building quality instruments and the YFL-221 student flute is no exception. Made of durable nickel silver, the Yamaha YFL-221 is specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of young musicians and is best suited to the beginner flutist (elementary and middle school).

The Yamaha YFL-221 is a favorite among teachers because of the open sound and easy playability. Given its durability, the Yamaha YFL-221 is also a great choice for the marching field!

  • Features
  • Specifications

Bullet list of instrument specifications, examples given below

  • Key: C
  • Finish: Silver-plated
  • Headjoint: Nickel Silver
  • Body: Nickel silver
  • Footjoint: C, Nickel silver
  • Offset G: Yes
  • E Mechanism: Yes
  • Key Style: Close hole (plateau)

Yamaha YFL-221 Flute Overview

Built for Students

The Yamaha student flute is as they say "built like a tank" and is ideal for the younger beginner who may be less careful or have less instrument handling skills. Robust quality ensures it survives the primary school years intact.

Nickel-Silver Construction

The tougher nickel silver plated construct is great for the younger student who may be less conscious of handling care. This differs from a flute made of solid silver flute (commonly used in intermediate and professional flutes) that is a softer, more pliable material that is more vulnerable to dents and bends. If not properly carefully handled or played solid-silver flutes in the hands of a young musician may need more frequent trips to the repair shop!

Easy to Play

The Yamaha student flute is designed to be easy for students to play. This is due to its CY headjoint with specially designed embouchure hole. The CY headjoint is intentional more is restrictive, yet easy to play. Restrictive here refers to the ability to control dynamics and expression, something student flutist are not too concerned about. They are more concerned with just being able to make sound! In this regard, the Yamaha YFL-221 is an ideal learner flute.

Easy to Upgrade

The Yahama YFL-221 flute has been known to see a student through to Grade 8 if required. As a student flutist advances, however, one's flute needs greater tonal colors and flexibility to play more advanced pieces of music. Better tonal colors are produced by flutes with high silver content and flexibility through a more advanced headjoint design.

Since 70-90% of a flutes sound quality stems from the headjoint, better tonal quality and flexibility, as well as projection, can be achieved by simply replacing the headjoint with one of higher silver content or advanced design.

Yamaha sells a number of higher end headjoints that fit the Yamaha YFL-221. Just beware that a higher end headjoint may cost as much as an entire student flute! If you think your student is inclined to stick with playing the flute, you might consider investing in an intermediate level flute to start with. All depends on how much you want to spend up front.

Easy to Maintain

The nickel-silver material used in the Yamaha student flute is easy to care for (as opposed to solid silver that requires polishing) and is very durable requiring less repairs.

Yamaha YFL-221 Student Flute Video Review

Customer Reviews

Verified purchasers of the Yamaha student flute have great things to say about this flute ...

Excellent flute for students...

This flute is just absolutely great for students. The keys are responsive, and it is really easy to play. The sound and tone is warm and resonates very well. The intonation is also very good. I would definitely recommend this flute to anyone who is looking to learn the flute or to continue their studies.

Great starter flute!

This has been a great starter flute. No issues. It plays great, the case is great and the shipping was quick. We would buy this flute again.

Limited Tonal Range Not An Issue For Beginners

The only downside to the Yamaha student flute noted by reviewers is the limited tonal range, namely due to the less expensive materials used throughout the flute. This really isn’t an issue for a beginner flutist but more advanced students might consider stepping up to an intermediate level flute. All-in-all, reviewers of the Yamaha YFL-221 rate the instrument very highly.


Yamaha's most popular student flute, the YFL-221 is durable, easy to play and sound's great! Made of nickel silver, the Yamaha YFL-221 is specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of young musicians and is best suited to the beginner flutists (elementary and middle school).


Based on overall quality and value the Yamaha YFL-221 student flute gets a BIG 4.6 stars!

BIG Rating