Videos of people playing bass flutes

Back when I was a junior-high flute player, I once heard somebody mention the existence of bass flutes. I was instantly intrigued. But, in the days before readily available Internet access, I wasn't able to track down examples of what they looked or sounded like.

Today, YouTube is filled with examples of deep-voiced, husky flutes — ranging from the simply extra-long alto flute to the gigantic subcontrabass flute, which is basically a percussion instrument with some woodwind features.

It's fascinating stuff, and a handy reminder that flutes can do really interesting things ... like improvisational jazz, and beatboxing. I've put together a small playlist of videos. Enjoy!


12 Responses to “Videos of people playing bass flutes”

  1. relawson says:

    I was looking through some contrabass instruments  and it seems like the bass trumped is just a baritone? lol

  2. splashu says:

    Contrabass wind instruments are great because they make the person playing look tiny/make it look like they’re holding a futuristic superweapon:

  3. Paul Renault says:

    Jeepers, doesn’t anyone manufacture tripods any more?

  4. CastanhasDoPara says:

    This is a pretty cool video if you like big instruments and a maker’s touch.

    I give you hyperbass flute:

  5. hugh crawford says:

    Sax mouthpiece on a trombone is pretty awesomely low, I can only imagine what a Sax mouthpiece on a Sousaphone would sound like.

  6. lafave says:

    i love bass/contrabass recorders

    • kiptw says:

       Dad played one of those for some occasion — didn’t own one (tenor’s as big as we got). It was like a wooden box with a bunch of key extensions on it, and required ridiculous breath control to keep it making a sound.

  7. Russell Almond says:

    Interesting video.  I’ll offer this one of my favourite band Piffaro ( playing a consort of recorders including the 8′ tall contra-bass (an octave above the 16′ flute in your video). 

  8. PaulDavisTheFirst says:

    Nathan “Flutebox” Lee was the first person I saw beatbox on a flute:

    I don’t think he invented the technique at all, but he is pretty impressive. See him also with Beardyman performing a lunchtime concert for googlers in London:

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