Saturday, February 25, 2017

Band Instrument Repair - FLUTES

So you want to be a flute player. Well the best way to get the maximum results out of your learning and playing, is to keep the flute well maintained. I am a band instrument repair tech and I can tell you that some of the instruments I see are in pretty bad shape.

Drawing of a flute.
Drawing of a flute. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dents, dents and more dents. Flutes are a fairly sturdy instrument but the should not be used for play sword fighting or propping doors open or jamming in doors! I have taken a lot of dents out of flutes and straightened them out so their keys will fit over the holes again. However, dent removal is quite expensive and time consuming.

The head joint should be kept in good shape. The head joint tenon needs to be kept clean and free from dents and dirt so it will keep a good seal when fitted into the body. The head cork should be changed yearly to insure a tight seal also. This will insure the flute plays in key. The crown should fit snug but able to be used to adjust the head cork up and down for tuning purposes. Also, the lip plate needs to be kept in good shape and free from dents as well as cleaned very frequently. After all, this is where you put your mouth to play the flute.

A word on cleanliness of the head joint. In these times of Swine flu and contagious viruses and germs it is vital that you keep the mouthpiece clean. I use a spray 9 and isopropanol alcohol combination to insure the head joint is clean both before and after I play test an instrument I'm working on. I suggest you carry 2 small spray bottles with your instrument and keep it clean and sanitized at all times.

Next we talk about the body of the flute.

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